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Louis Vuitton Cup- Emirates Team NZ wins in a heart-stopper

by on 22 Jul 2013
Emirates Team New Zealand AC72, NZL5 shows a massively twisted wingsail as she sails without a jib in their Round Robin three match against Luna Rossa. Louis Vuitton Cup 2013. 21/7/2013 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Emirates Team New Zealand took another point today in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selction series, beating Luna Rossa by 2m 20sec.

For most of the race, Dean Barker and crew sailed without a jib. On the first upwind leg, the clip at the head of the jib broke and the sail flapped uselessly for several minutes before it was brought down to the trampoline.

It could have been a disaster – but it wasn’t. With a lead of 300m when the clip broke, Barker did well to keep boat speed up and minimise the opportunities for Luna Rossa.

As Adam Beashel worked to clear the sail from the stay, Luna Rossa started nibbling into the lead. Then the sail was free; the plan was to throw it over the side. The sail caught inside the side stays with head in the water making it difficult to clear.

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, the sail was in the water clear of the boat, with only about 50m of the lead lost. Barker and crew set out to generate maximum boat speed in the 17-18 knot breeze.

To the amazement of spectators and commentators alike, the AC72 was quickly up to speed and racing without a jib, almost as if nothing had happened.

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