Skip to main content

AC34: a Race at Last

After weeks of turmoil, on Saturday we finally had a first race in the Louis Vuitton challenger series, between Emirates Team New Zealand and their training partner, Luna Rossa.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

And then there were two!

After weeks of turmoil, on Saturday we finally had a first race in the Louis Vuitton challenger series, between Emirates Team New Zealand and their training partner, Luna Rossa. And while it was hardly a nail-biter, with ETNZ, leading from post to post, where it finished over 5 minutes ahead, it was still good to see some actual racing—as opposed to all the other action the sailing world has been witness to recently.

If there was a downside to the contest, it was that from the outset it was almost “no contest.” The race began with ETNZ skipper Dean Barker winning the start and then slowly but steadily stretching out his lead the rest of the way around the 15-mile course in 16-18 knots of breeze. During the pre-start, ETNZ tacked to leeward of Luna Rossa and luffed up its opponent to gain control. The two crews both started late, but Barker had the better leeward position during their final drive to the line and was able to speed away at 41 knots while Luna Rossa was doing 39 knots.

“There aren’t too many moves you can pull off in this type of start,” said Ray Davies, Emirates Team New Zealand tactician. “It’s a short time period, enough for one or two maneuvers. That’s a standard move we’ll see. If you opponent doesn’t get out of that tack well, there’s an option to tack to leeward and stop the race.”

“We ended up almost where we thought we’d be, probably a little bit worse off,” said Luna Rossa helmsman Chris Draper of the final result. “I think the majority of the losses were in boathandling and a little bit in upwind boatspeed. But it’s all fixable and we knew that was there, so no massive surprise.”

Currently, ETNZ has four points, for the three races it has done solo and Saturday’s victory over Luna Rossa. Luna Rossa has one, for an uncontested race it completed last Thursday. The two boats have been “racing” solo because of an earlier Luna Rossa boycott and the fact that Artemis has yet to launch a second AC72 following the fatal capsize of its first boat this past spring.

Luna Rossa boycotted the first few races in protest of a decision by regatta director Iain Murray to relax the restriction on the lifting elements attached to the boats’ rudders in the interest of safety. However, when an international jury ruled in their favor, they returned to the racecourse.

According to Artemis, the team could launch its second boat as soon as this weekend. However, there will inevitably be days and weeks of testing and training, before the boat and crew will be considered ready for competition.

Related

01-LEAD-Trailer-Sailing-Photo_2022

Taking the Trailer on the Road Again

It was early March and freezing cold in Michigan. Snow lay in patches on the barren fields, and dark clouds hung just above the treetops. Ice skimmed the roadside puddles as we left Ann Arbor, bound for sunny Florida. I was driving a minivan and towing behind me a 16ft Wayfarer ...read more

01-LEAD-Friendships-2021-124

A Society of Friendships

When nearly 20 Friendship sloops set out for the starting line off Rockland, Maine, this past summer, they didn’t just start milling about in preparation for the gun. Instead, they gathered together beyond the breakwater so a Friendship Sloop Society member could scatter the ...read more

SC_2

Sign up for the New Multihull Power & Sail now!

AIM Marine Group's newest magazine will hit newsstands and your mailbox this fall! Multihull Power & Sail will feature articles on ways to enjoy the multihull lifestyle, the latest models from the world's multihull builders, the best cruising grounds for multihulls, outfitting ...read more

01-LEAD-lagoon-42-navigation-9

Multihull Design Trends

For sailors of a certain age, the entire concept of a mulithull is cutting edge. However, even a cursory glance at a harbor full of cats and tris will show that the “cutting edge” of today looks very different from the cutting edge of, say, the ‘90s, or even the early 2000s—to ...read more

IOD-spins-and-others

Corinthian Classics

The 24th running of the Corinthian Classic Regatta, held August 13 and 14, is a testament to the beauty of traditional and modern classic racing yachts and offers a chance to look back at the yachting legacy in Marblehead and also look forward to the future. This year’s regatta ...read more

20220815

VIDEO: Small but Mighty

This summer has been a great one for sailors everywhere, but in particular for the 87 sailors participating in the Tiwal Cup on France's Gulf of Morbihan. In addition to some great sailing, the event saw a new record on the books--fastest ever assembly of the inflatable dinghy. ...read more

00-LEAD-210918_11HR_AZIMUT48HRS_AMO_00411

11th Hour Racing Team's Green Mission

“I’ll admit, it’s still hard to watch the boat leave the dock sometimes,” says former Volvo Ocean Race sailor Mark Towill. Since meeting during a Transpac campaign over 15 years ago, he and his teammate Charlie Enright have sailed thousands of miles together aboard two Volvo ...read more

D61_JKELAGOPIAN-3

Boat Review: Dufour 61

Dufour, long one of France’s most well-respected builders, has been producing sailboats in La Rochelle since the dawn of fiberglass boatbuilding. Having recently merged with another La Rochelle-based builder, Fountaine Pajot, Dufour has now joined other European mass-production ...read more