x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Azzurra advances as Artemis snaps boom

It was a bad day at the office for Paul Cayard and his team, Artemis, on day four of the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Aukland, New Zealand.

It was a bad day at the office for Paul Cayard and his team, Artemis, on day four of the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Aukland, New Zealand. Helmsman Terry Hutchinson had sailed the wind shifts brilliantly to gain a 44-second lead over Azzurra at the first mark in Race 3. Then, disaster. As Artemis prepared the spinnaker hoist, the end of the boom went over the side, the sail dropped into the water, going under the boat, and the boom snapped under the strain. The Italians needed only to complete the course safely to lift themselves to second place overall on the leader board. "We were disappointed, of course, but not too disappointed," said Cayard. "These things happen - and on these boats, a little snafu can quickly escalate into a bestial mess." The spinnaker almost got Mascalzone Latino Audi into big trouble too, in the day's final race - this time on the drop, when it slid overboard as the crew failed to take it straight into the hatch. They hauled it back just in time to avoid losing the narrow lead they had gained over Synergy in a hotly contested race which ended in disappointment for the Russians as they failed by just 19 seonds to chalk up their first win of the regatta. The dramas of the day - which produced brisk winds of 15-20 knots - began in Race 2 when a tight pre-start battle saw TeamOrigin and Aleph having to sail in reverse to avoid crossing the line too soon. With the boats extremely close, Ben Ainslie took his bow down to go around behind the French boat. Bertrand Pacé was not quick enough to get out of the way and the boats touched, resulting in an on-the-water penalty turn for the French, as well as the loss of a point - the latter upheld by the jury after a post-race appeal. Emirates Team New Zealand had started the day as the team to beat, with three wins already to its credit. The opening race of the day saw the Emirates flag fly still higher as Dean Barker and his crew ended what had been a close race against All4One, sailing away from them on the last leg to win by 26 seconds.

Emirates Team New Zealand 4-0 Azzurra 3-1 All4One 2-2 Artemis 2-2 Mascalzone Latino Audi 2-2 TeamOrigin 2-2 Aleph 0-4 Synergy 0-4

Races are scheduled to start at 10am local time (1am UAE time). Aleph (NZL84) v. All4One (NZL92) Azzurra (NZL84) v. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL92) Synergy (NZL84) v. TeamOrigin (NZL92) Mascalzone Latino Audi (NZL92) v. Artemis (NZL84)