Emirates Team New Zealand wins Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena

Two races down and on match point, Emirates Team New Zealand won the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena in an action-packed afternoon of match race sailing.

The New Zealand boat that won the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland in February prevailed 3-2 against the SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team that had put the Kiwis on the ropes 2-0 after the first race today.
It was the first time in America’s Cup history that a Russian-flagged boat has reached the final of a Louis Vuitton-sponsored event and her mixed Russian and international crew led by Polish skipper Karol Jablonski came very close to clinching the series.
After the finish, boats crowded around the Kiwi winners and the crews hosed each other down with champagne, being congratulated by Louis Vuitton chairman and CEO Yves Carcelle.
The start for the last race of the day set a new record for race turnarounds. The cutoff for competition was 4:00 pm and Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio and his team hustled to setup and signal the start of the last race, less than five minutes after the finish of race three.

A shifty easterly breeze that built slowly in speed provided excellent conditions on a warm, sunny final day of racing. Because there was no wind early, the petit final for third and fourth places was abandoned and the French/German team All4One was confirmed in third place, with Sweden’s Artemis fourth.

Final, Race Two:  SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team def. Emirates Team New Zealand, 01:22 – ETNZ had the starboard entry advantage but after a long dialup Jablonski claimed the committee end with the Kiwis to leeward in the middle of the line.

Final, Race Three: Emirates Team New Zealand def. SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team , Under pressure, SYNERGY’s crew fumbled the gennaker takedown bringing the boat almost to a standstill. Minutes later ETNZ led by 156 metres. At the start, Jablonski had conducted a master class in starting tactics, leveraging a starboard entry and controlling a long dialup that led above the line.

Final, Race Four: Emirates Team New Zealand def. SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team, 00:04 – The Kiwi boat prevailed in a tactical battle punctuated by a flurry of protest flags in 14 knots of breeze. After a spirited pre-start the boats split with the Kiwis on starboard before quickly tacking onto port to control.  Barker led by seven seconds at the top mark but the Russians overtook on the run, only to be penalized after contact when ETNZ closed up again.  The action was furious and the flags frequent on the last run as Synergy fought to land a penalty on their opponent but Barker kept clear and broke through to win by four seconds.

Final, Race Five:  Emirates Team New Zealand def. SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team, 01:23 – Synergy claimed the committee end on starboard with ETNZ to leeward. The Kiwi boat tacked with the Russian boat forced to follow. Barker led by 12 seconds after the run and held off Jablonski in a spirited tacking duel up the second weather leg. Synergy’s hopes were shattered on the run when their gennaker shredded.

Final Results

1.  Emirates Team New Zealand
2.  SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team
3.  All4One
4.  Artemis
5.  Mascalzone Latino Audi Team
6.  Azzurra
8.  Luna Rossa
9.  BMW Oracle Racing Team
10.  ALEPH Sailing Team

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