Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quick Kiwis Claim The ACWS Crown

Emirates Team New Zealand made an incredible recovery during the ‘winner takes all’ fleet race on Sunday to win the America’s Cup World Series Cascais, the first event of a new global series leading up to San Francisco in 2013.
ETNZ Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA
With nine boats on the start line, the competition was close, and with a tricky, patchy race course area, there were passing lanes throughout the day. ORACLE Racing Spithill jumped out to a convincing lead early, but couldn’t protect it. On the second lap of the race course, Kiwi skipper Dean Barker found more wind on his side of the race course to make the pass.
ETNZ waste no time in celebrating their win Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA
“For us it was fantastic,” Barker said. “It was always going to be a very difficult race, as the breeze never really established. There were big ‘holes’ in the race course, so it was about being at the right place at the right time.”

Artemis Racing, too, was able to work its way up to a second place finish from back in the pack early; the early leader, ORACLE Racing Spithill, forced to settle for third.
ETNZ Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA
“The guys did an awesome job to battle us up into the race,” said Artemis Racing skipper Terry Hutchinson. “It’s probably the best we’ve gone in the entire regatta. It's a very good finish for Artemis.”

But the feel-good story came from the Spanish Green Comm Racing. From a position of dead last early in the race, Vasilij Zbogar and his crew of dinghy champions began picking off the opposition on the final leg of the race to earn a fifth place finish, an incredible achievement for the novice crew.
ETNZ's Dean Barker and ORACLE Racing 4's James Spithill Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA
“It's a fantastic day for the team, we were last to arrive, and were very last for the first three races, then we have been improving every day,” he said. “We were eighth, then seventh, sixth and now fifth. Today the spirit of the team showed more than ever – we never give up. We fight to the end. Today, we are happy with our improvement, but still not happy with the result. We are a team of winners, so we won’t be happy until we win.”
Barker, ORACLE Racing boss Larry Ellison, Spithill and Hutchinson Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA
The America’s Cup World Series now moves on to Plymouth, UK, where the same nine teams will compete from September 10-18, before moving to San Diego, California in November.

America's Cup Media

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