Friday, November 20, 2009

Dawn til dusk

BMW ORACLE Racing team left for their race as the sun was rising this morning and arrived back at the dock under the last light of the day.

The first race was a good win over Team French Spirit. After a long break, and lunch ashore, the team returned to the Bay of Angels to race ALL4ONE for fifth place on the leaderboard.

The guys had a good start and worked ALL4ONE out towards the starboard tack layline, but the final approach to the first mark was tight, with BMW ORACLE Racing ahead by just a few metres, with ALL4ONE charging hard towards them.

When helmsman Gavin Brady made the tack around the mark, the stern swung out and the Umpires judgement was that ALL4ONE had to take evasive action. A penalty was perhaps expected, but the team was surprised to see the red flag, indicating it would have be taken immediately. That meant dropping the spinnaker, raising the headsail, and making a clearing tack. By that time, ALL4ONE had streaked far ahead. The race was all but over.

"We felt hard done by to be honest," said tactician Hamish Pepper as the team came off the water. It's a tough end to the regatta for the team.

"We learned some valuable lessons here," he continued, emphasising the team would need more preparation to compete at the highest level.

It's a shame as it was a stunning day on the waters off Nice. The wind and waves were up, and there were some great races. These images are from Paul Todd and Bob Grieser from the Louis Vuitton Trophy.

Racing continues through the weekend, with Emirates Team New Zealand, Synergy, Azzurra and TeamOrigin battling for the top four positions. Follow the action on the event website.