ETNZ FOILING & FOILED IN PORTSMOUTH
Super Sunday saw more breeze in Portsmouth today, giving all the teams the opportunity for fast racing up on their foils.
For Emirates Team New Zealand the regatta finished as realistically expected when lining up to race against an exceptionally strong fleet with with a almost entirely rejigged crew due to Blair Tuke and Peter Burling’s absence in their build up to the Rio Olympics.
With next to no training time allowed as a new line up, Skipper Glenn Ashby on the helm for the first time, and two entirely new faces on the world series boat, Emirates Team New Zealand fought hard for a podium finish. In the end, missing out by just a few points to finish in 4th spot.
Smart positioning at end of the days first race saw the Emirates Team New Zealand grab 3rd place behind Ben Ainslie Racing and Oracle Team USA, as Tactician Ray Davies called the perfect entry into the final turning mark before the line, ‘we knew we were in it, sliding inside SoftBank Team Japan and Artemis Racing with momentum to get us a third, and that was a great way to start the day.” Race two was more of a challenge, after a strong start hitting the line as windward boat, the team secured a fifth place, a tough one for the crew as the fleet spread wide and found strong passing lanes as the breeze increased.
For the final race of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, a strong performance by the team setting up for another third place was marred by a submerged mooring buoy positioned on the race course close to the last turning mark. Foiling at over 17 knots the Emirates Team New Zealand snagged the line on their starboard daggerboard coming to a complete stop as they passed the Japanese team, subsequently giving the Softbank Team Japan a clear run to secure the final podium spot.
Skipper Glenn Ashby was disappointed but upbeat, with their 4th place in Portsmouth. ‘There is no question that was a frustrating way to finish an event by snagging a submerged mooring buoy so close to a turning mark after we had sailed a pretty good race. The important thing about Emirates Team New Zealand is the strong culture at the heart of the squad which shows when situations like this occur. Competing against teams like BAR, Oracle and SoftBank, with unchanged crew roles, we certainly performed well as a team over the weekend in new sailing positions throughout the boat, and that continues the growth and learning of the individual and the team – and critically our communication and interaction within the team is strengthened though these events. This will continue as we move forwards to the events in Toulon and finally Japan later in the year, at which point we will be back to our normal crew line up with the return of Pete and Blair from the Rio Olympics.”
“The pressure is now on BAR on top the leaderboard, as we will certainly be gunning for them.” concluded Ashby.
Emirates Team New Zealand’s focus now returns back home to New Zealand where testing in their new development boat continues.
Full results are here: https://www.americascup.com/en/results.html
VIDEO HERE – (The moment ETNZ hit submerged mooring buoy)