Races 4, 5 Blog

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UPDATE: 1440 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand scored its third consecutive win of the Louis Vuitton Cup Final and leads the series 4-1 after posting a 1:28 victory over Luna Rossa in Race 5. The Italian crew was close coming out of the leeward gate, but the Kiwis simply have a faster boat and used that speed to cover and extend to the final delta.

Race 5 Performance Data

  • Course: 5 Legs/10.18 nautical miles

  • Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 24:25.91, LR – 25:53.56

  • Delta: ETNZ +1:27

  • Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.5 NM , LR – 11.7 NM

  • Average Speed: ETNZ – 28.44 knots, LR – 27.29 knots

  • Top Speed: ETNZ – 43.77 knots, LR – 39.23 knots


UPDATE: 1430 hours

Luna Rossa was as close as it had ever been to Emirates Team New Zealand coming out of the leeward gate, but the Kiwis covered and extended their lead to 1:06 at Mark 3, the windward gate.

UPDATE:1417 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand led by 18 seconds through Mark 2, the leeward gate, but Luna Rossa went through on starboard and gained a nice leeward position, leading towards the city front while the Kiwis had to tack to starboard after rounding the gate on port. Luna Rossa is very much in this race, but now faces the prospect of having to pass Emirates Team New Zealand. Can they do it?

UPDATE: 1412 hours

The start of Race 5 was similar to Race 4, but the roles were reversed. Luna Rossa rolled over Emirates Team New Zealand’s bows and started to windward of the Kiwis. But Emirates Team New Zealand’s inside position allowed it to take a slim 4-second lead at Mark 1. The wind is blowing 11 to 15 knots from 235 degrees.

UPDATE: 1345 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand streaked to the finish line, crossing on its hydrofoils at 35 to 40 knots to score a big win over Luna Rossa. The Luna Rossa crew hadn’t even rounded Mark 4 when the Kiwis cleared the finish line. Luna Rossa finished 2:17 behind, and now Emirates Team New Zealand leads the series 3-1 with Race 5 on tap at 1410.

Race 4 Performance Data

  • Course: 5 Legs/10.18 nautical miles

  • Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 25:37.5, LR – 27:51.3

  • Delta: ETNZ +2:17.5

  • Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.5 NM , LR – 11.7 NM

  • Average Speed: ETNZ – 26.94 knots, LR – 25.29 knots

  • Top Speed: ETNZ – 44.04 knots, LR – 39.99 knots


UPDATE: 1330 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand held a 1:55 lead around Mark 3, the windward gate. The Kiwis were extending their lead upwind when Luna Rossa crossed out of bounds on the left side of the course. Recent reports show the wind blowing around 13 to 15 knots from 255 degrees.

UPDATE: 1317 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand leads by 33 seconds at Mark 2, the leeward gate. Both crews began the beat on port tack, heading out to the right side of the racecourse before tacking to avoid crossing the boundary.

The Kiwis hit a top speed of 44 knots at Mark 1, that 50.6 mph in just 13 knots of wind.

UPDATE: 1311 hours

Luna Rossa appeared to have a good position on the start line to leeward of Emirates Team New Zealand, but helmsman Chris Draper failed to defend. Dean Barker sailed ETNZ over the bows of Luna Rossa and onto the racecourse at speed while Luna Rossa was bearing away. Emirates Team New Zealand leads by 12 seconds at Mark 1.

UPDATE: 1305 hours

The wind strength has built to 13 to 15 knots, but still within the limits for Race 4. Pre race comments from the helmsmen:

Luna Rossa’s Chris Draper: “We have nothing to lose. We know those guys are strong and we have to sail a perfect race to beat them. That’s what we intend to do.”

Emirates Team New Zealand’s Dean Barker: “We had a good rest yesterday. Hopefully as we move into more flat tides we’ll get back on schedule with the program. It’s one race at a time. We were a bit disappointed with the last start and first reach. The guys did a great job from there on, but there’s an area we can improve on.”

UPDATE: 1235 hours

With just over 30 minutes to the start of Race 4 the wind is blowing 10 to 13 knots between 235 and 245 degrees. The wind limits for the day’s racing have been recalculated. The limit for Race 4 is 20.2 knots and the limit for Race 5 is 18.8 knots.

UPDATE: 1050 hours


Today’s racing is scheduled to begin at 1310 (Race 4) and 1410 (Race 5), and can be viewed live in the U.S. on ESPN3, beginning at 1300. Internationally, the racing will be broadcast live on the America’s Cup YouTube channel, subject to territorial restrictions. The full race replay will be available on YouTube shortly after the conclusion of live racing.

Day 4 of the Louis Vuitton Cup Final looks to have similar conditions to the first three days. The wind is forecast to blow 17 to 21 knots, which could jeopardize the second race scheduled to start at 1410.

The first race, scheduled to start at 1310, has a wind limit of 21.6 knots, taking into account a .6-knot flood tide correction factor. But the limit drops to 19.8 knots for the second race, due to an ebb tide correction factor of -1.2 knots.

“The weather forecasts are varying,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray. “Although it looked wind first thing this morning, it’s died off a bit and we’re a bit more confident to get two races than we were an hour ago. It’s such a micro-climate between here and the bridge that its’ a difficult place to forecast. We very much take it as it comes.”

Emirates Team New Zealand Crew List?
Skipper/helmsman: Dean Barker (14), Tactician: Ray Davies (10), Wing Trimmer: Glenn Ashby (3), Trimmer: James Dagg (9), Bow: Adam Beashel (2), Pit: Jeremy Lomas (8), Pedestal 1: Chris Ward (7), Pedestal 2: Rob Waddell (11), Pedestal 3: Race 4 – Grant Dalton (6), Race 5 – Winston MacFarlane (4), Pedestal 4: Chris McAsey (5), Float/Grinder: Derek Saward (12)

Luna Rossa Challenge Crew List
Skipper/pit: Max Sirena (4), Helmsman: Chris Draper (11), Tactician: Francesco Bruni (9), Wing trim: Xabi Fernandez (4), Wing grinder: Lele Marino (13), Trimmer: Pierluigi de Felice (10), Pit/grinder: Freddie Carr (23), Bow: Nick Hutton (2), Primary grinder: Simone de Mare (8), Strategist/Grinder: Giles Scott (41), Freestyle: Marco Montis (51)

America’s Cup Park
10:00 am – America’s Cup Park opens
11:00 am – AC72s on moorings?11:45 am – Dock-Out Show, Presentation Stage
12:45 pm – Pre-Race Show with Andy Green and Tucker Thompson
1:00 pm – “America’s Cup Race Show” includes live commentary from 1:10pm, until 3:00
1:10 pm – Louis Vuitton Cup Final 4: Luna Rossa Challenge vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
2:10 pm – Louis Vuitton Cup Final 5: Luna Rossa Challenge vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
2.30 pm – DJ Set, AC Pavilion, until 3:30
3:00 pm – Post-Race Q&A with Andy Green and Tucker Thompson
3:00 pm – Arr Hour: MOA Bar Drinks Specials – Beer Garden, until 6:30
3:30 pm – Live Music: The Trophy Fire, Sounds of San Francisco presented by Dockers, until 5:30
3:45 pm – America’s Cup Sweepstakes, Plaza
4:00 pm – Poster signing session with team representatives ?4:00 pm – Race Replay, North Point & Plaza?4:00 pm – Sundowner Specials at the America’s Cup Sports Bar presented by Peroni, until 6:00
6:30 pm – America’s Cup Movie Night: Pirates of the Caribbean, Plaza (PG-13* 143 minutes)
7:00 pm – America’s Cup Park closes; PUMA YARD and Sports Bar open late

(*PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13)

America’s Cup Village?
11:00 am – America’s Cup Village opens
11:00 am – Morning welcome and schedule for the day, on Main Stage
11:45 am – Dock-Out Show, live from America’s Cup Park, on Main Stage big screen
12:45 pm – Pre-Race Show, live from the America’s Cup Park, on Main Stage big screen
1:10 pm – Louis Vuitton Cup Final 4: Luna Rossa Challenge vs Emirates Team New Zealand
1:45 pm – Halftime Show, live on the big screens
2:10 pm – Louis Vuitton Cup Final 5: Luna Rossa Challenge vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
2:50 pm – Post Race Show, live on the Main Stage big screen, until 3:00
3:00 pm – Post Race Q&A, live from America’s Cup Park, on Main Stage big screen
4:00 pm – Race Replay, on Main Stage big screen
5:00 pm – America’s Cup Village closes

ORIGINAL POST

Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge return to San Francisco Bay today for Races 4 and 5 of the 30th anniversary Louis Vuitton Cup Final. Yesterday their speedy AC72s were secured in the boat sheds for a thorough round of maintenance.

Today’s racing is scheduled to begin at 1310 (Race 4) and 1410 (Race 5), and can be viewed live in the U.S. on ESPN3, beginning at 1300. Internationally, the racing will be broadcast live on the America’s Cup YouTube channel, subject to territorial restrictions. The full race replay will be available on YouTube shortly after the conclusion of live racing.

There was a spectacular moment in Monday’s Race 3 on the first leg, when both AC72s were hydrofoiling between 34 and 38 knots side by side, less than one boatlength from each other. That’s the type of racing expected with the new class of America’s Cup yacht.

Unfortunately, breakdowns have become the topic of discussion, with the clamor blaming the AC72 as being too fragile. But the root cause of the troubles could be traced to human error. Consider:

  • Luna Rossa’s problems with its daggerboards on Saturday were most likely the result of the team “chopping down the daggerboard and daggerboard post in an effort to improve the aerodynamics,” as skipper Max Sirena explained.

  • Emirates Team New Zealand withdrew from Sunday’s race when the crew lost the ability to switch control of the hydraulics, the result of a bad circuit board or, perhaps, dead batteries. “We put new batteries on the boat, checked a few connections and were good to go for second race,” said tactician Ray Davies.

  • Luna Rossa withdrew for a second time in the series in Monday’s race when a sheave in the wing sail control arm was damaged. At the time, the crew was grinding the wing sail sheet in an effort to eliminate an override. In doing so a loud bang could be heard, presumably the point at which the sheave failed.

  • Even ORACLE TEAM USA’s rudder failure could be traced to an extenuating circumstance. The crew ran over a ferry demarcation buoy and the anchor tackle caught on the rudder, bringing the speeding cat to an abrupt halt. Naked to the invisible eye, the damage became apparent when high side loads were applied in a brisk pre-start maneuver from helmsman Ben Ainslie.


It was once said that if a Cup boat doesn’t disintegrate after crossing the finish line for the final time, then it’s over built. The AC72 is a new class being raced in aggression for the first time. As it goes with the America’s Cup, things are built to minimum standards. When they break, another layer of carbon is added and it’s sent back into the fray.

Kiwi skipper Dean Barker might’ve summed it up best, “We’re very, very happy with our reliability. Sunday was a freak occurrence. It highlights the need to have impeccable systems right through the whole boat and process. We exposed one very unusual thing, but it won’t happen again.”

http://youtu.be/3bsmsSfibwo