x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Emirates NZ win despite snapped spinnaker

Emirates Team New Zealand grabbed more of the limelight than usual in the Louis Vuitton Trophy today when they faced Azzurra in a repeat of last year's final in Nice.

Emirates Team New Zealand grabbed more of the limelight than usual today when they faced Azzurra in what was a repeat of last year's LVT final in Nice. The All Black star, Dan Carter - a national hero - joined the yacht as 18th man, causing a minor frenzy among the local media. Then ETNZ caused another sensation, and revealed a chink in the armour of their usual excellent crew work, when they snapped their spinnaker pole on rounding the first mark. It was starting to look ugly but they quickly recovered, attaching the sail directly to the bow. Despite having to sail both downwind legs with that handicap, they won by 42 seconds in a reversal of the Nice result. ETNZ shrugged off the incident afterwards: "It's never a nice thing if you don't have a pole but the grinders didn't mind, as it was less work for them, said Tony Rae, the team's pitman. There was more drama in race four, including another close call with a spinnaker hoist at the first windward mark - the same spot that has caused all the kite problems in this regatta. The race began with Artemis earning a penalty in the pre-start for gybing too close to Mascalzone Latino Audi, then swiftly taking the lead. The Italians held on, rounding the first mark just a boat length behind, when a spinnaker clip popped open during the hoist. They lost five more lengths as they struggled to get the sail under control and it looked like game over. However, they kept clawing back, overtaking Artemis on the last leg to claim a clean win, even before the Swedish boat had made its penalty turn. "Nobody was more surprised than I was," admitted the New Zealand-born helmsman, Gavin Brady. It was a bad loss for Artemis, relegating it to the bottom half of the leaderboard with only two more days of round robin matches remaining. On a day that provided ideal sailing conditions, with winds between 12 and 20 knots and early squalls giving way to a sunny afternoon, the Russian team, Synergy and French team, Aleph, were unable to rise from the bottom of the leaderboard in their matches against Britain's TeamOrigin and the Franco-German All4One respectively. races are scheduled to start at 10.00 am local time (1.00 am UAE time) Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL92) v. Aleph (NZL84) TeamOrigin (NZL92) v. Artemis (NZL84) Mascalzone Latino Audi (NZL92) v. Azzurra (NZL84) Synergy (NZL92) v. All4One (NZL84)

Emirates Team New Zealand 5-0 All4One 3-2 Azzurra 3-2 Mascalzone Latino Audi 3-2 TeamOrigin 3-2 Artemis 2-3 Aleph 1-4 (0 points due to penalty deduction) Synergy 0-5,

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