Louis Vuitton Pacific Series Part 2

Feb 11, 2009 9 Comments by

Greetings yachties,

As we head to the business end of the regatta. This thread will be in two parts.

The book is out

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some classic images

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Brad BUTTERWORTH, the Kiwi skipper and tactician for Alinghi, had high praise for the event. “Its been three weeks of very good sailing here, although obviously we don’t sail very well in the rain,” BUTTERWORTH said.

“But it has been fantastic. I can’t say that enough. Today was a great day. It was a little hairy for both crews. You really saw how good the crews are. We couldn’t quite close it out today but the sailing and the competition was at a really top level and that’s what we love and that’s what we want to see more of.”

more here

YachtYakkaTV: Louis Vuitton Pacific Series

45 minute video round up of the series by Martin Tasker here

Saturday, 14th February, 2009

Emirates Team NZ Wins Louis Vuitton Pacific Series

more here

Auckland – Emirates Team New Zealand today laid claim to the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, convincingly beating the Swiss team Alinghi with three consecutive wins on a grey, rainy and windy day on the Waitemata Harbour.

The home team’s come-from-behind 3-1 victory marked the end of a 15-day match racing regatta in modified America’s Cup boats that drew praise for its format and its originality from all of the nine international teams that took part.

Ship’s sirens and boat horns drowned out the cheering as the Emirates boat docked alongside the Swiss team for the last time. Emirates skipper Dean Barker accepted the silver and crystal Louis Vuitton Pacific Series trophy for his team in a Moët et Chandon, champagne-soaked ceremony watched by hundreds of spectators at the regatta village in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.

Today’s win reversed a losing streak that saw the New Zealand team lose four out of its previous five starts. In all, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron as the organiser and host club succeeded in starting and finish 53 races for the competitors.

Brad Butterworth the Kiwi skipper and tactician for Alinghi had high praise for the event. “Its been three weeks of very good sailing here, although obviously we don’t sail very well in the rain,” Butterworth said.

“But it has been fantastic. I can’t say that enough. Today was a great day. It was a little hairy for both crews. You really saw how good the crews are. We couldn’t quite close it out today but the sailing and the competition was at a really top level and that’s what we love and that’s what we want to see more of.”

Yves Carcelle, president and CEO of Louis Vuitton Malletier refused to be drawn on whether his company would run a similar event in the future. “We don’t know for the moment what the future will be but I would like to concentrate on the last two weeks,” Carcelle said. “I think we’ve seen here a fantastic sports series. The teams respected one another in an amazing way. The level of the competition was extraordinary.”

Racing today, the Kiwi team was on fire after its loss yesterday. Barker and his tactician Ray Davies made the right calls in the first prestart, allowing them to convert an even start into the thin end of a winning wedge. Emirates beat Alinghi by 29 seconds after leading the helmsman Ed Baird and the Swiss team around the course to make the series 1-1. The defining moment came when a small left shift in the early part of the first leg gave Emirates the leverage to make a close, heart-stopping port tack cross, barely in front of the right-of-way Swiss boat. From there they covered Alinghi and worked the shifts to sail steadily away.

The breeze was at 20 knots and gusting higher at the start of the second race when Barker/Davies helm/tactician duo shut Alinghi out before the gun while laying a penalty on the hapless Swiss and then starting clear ahead. With the penalty hanging over his head, Baird worked hard stay in touch and bring the race back to the Kiwis but without success. That made the score in the best-of-five series 2-1 for Emirates.The New Zealand team was just one win away from the series victory.

Alinghi had early control of the third start but broke off to make a start near the pin, leaving the Kiwi boat to start at speed in the middle as the breeze got up to 25 knots. The Swiss enjoyed a small early advantage, getting out 23 metres in front of the New Zealanders. However when Ed Baird tacked Alinghi back on port, Emirates was there on starboard and pushed them back to the left side. Alinghi made tack after tack in their attempt to break through but were quickly on the port tack layline and had to follow Emirates into the mark, rounding 29 seconds astern. New Zealand had the upper hand and cruised to a 20-second victory.

The event web site http://www.louisvuitton-pacificseries.com has content in English French and Italian that includes race reports, press reports, features and photographs.

The Louis Vuitton Pacific Series was organised in association with the New Zealand Government, Emirates Team New Zealand, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Auckland City and SKYCITY Entertainment Group.

Winner

Finish Race 4 3:1 to ETNZ

Finish Race 3 2:1 to ETNZ

Finish Race 2 is 1all

live Radio here

Valencia Sailing

Very good coverage from Pierre Orphanidis.

Alinghi keep their lead in the 2nd beat. Auckland, 13 February 2009.

Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

News

12.02.2009 (05:38 CET) – Auckland, New Zealand – Alinghi
Alinghi victory over BMW Oracle Racing in LVPS Challenger Finals
Alinghi won the LVPS Challenger Finals today beating BMW Oracle Racing by 1 minute 7 seconds

Alinghi, Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, competing in Auckland, New Zealand this month in the inaugural Louis Vuitton Pacific Series has raced its way into the Finals beating rivals BMW Oracle Racing 2-0 in a best of three competition. The Swiss team now passes into the final stage against Emirates Team New Zealand for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series Cup which begins on Friday and wraps up on Saturday.

Brad Butterworth, team skipper and tactician comments on a win on the water against BMW Oracle Racing today: “It’s a great result for the team; there were two good crews out there today and we had perfect sailing conditions. In the end we managed to get a good victory and are into the next stage of the event. It is really good to get the sport back where it belongs: on the water. Racing not only against BMW Oracle, but alongside all the other teams is something we like to do as a group and I only hope that we can sort all this out as soon as possible so we can get on and do that.”

In the LVPS Finals draw this evening, Alinghi drew NZL92 as their race yacht for the rest of the series while ETNZ will race NZL84. Emirates Team New Zealand drew the preferred starboard entry for tomorrow’s first race. Ed Baird, helmsman for Alinghi, comments on the upcoming race against the LVPS defending challenger ETNZ: “TNZ have always shown themselves to be the best team going in the Cup boats. They qualified in the AC Challenger Series and raced for the Cup against us last time and here we are sailing their boats, in their bay, in their current and with their stuff. It is going to be really exciting to see how it goes, they do a great job. They are all good friends and it is great to go out against a team like that and have a nice, clean and exciting match.”

more here

Latest Results

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, 12th February, 2009

Alinghi Will Race Emirates Team New Zealand

AUCKLAND, NZ – Switzerland triumphed in a face-off between America’s Cup winners Ed Baird and Russell Coutts this morning. Steering Switzerland’s Alinghi, Baird slammed the gate on Coutts and BMW Oracle on the start line and went on to win the challenger finals of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series 2-0.

Tomorrow Alinghi meets host Emirates Team New Zealand at the beginning of a two-day, seven-race regatta for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series trophy.

Today’s race marked the end of 13 days of high-energy match racing to select a finalist to race against Emirates Team New Zealand. The home team raced in two round robins with nine international teams from eight countries but sat out the sail-off series that finished today.

Yesterday, the Swiss team, skippered by Kiwi Brad Butterworth with Baird steering, pulled off a shock victory against Coutts and his American team. Coutts had led the entire race but lost by one second.

“You can always reflect on things that might have been and yesterday I think perhaps we got a little complacent at the end of the race,” Coutts said. “The finishing line was heavily biased towards the committee boat end and it is a pretty elementary thing to spot, but we sort of missed that, so that was our fatal error.”

Today, with the threat of heavy wind this afternoon, racing started early in a 15-knot northerly and for Coutts and the Americans it was over before the start gun fired as Baird blocked his approach to the start line.

Oracle had enjoyed the advantage of the right hand entry at the five minute gun and engaged Alinghi in a couple of tight circles, the boats only metres apart. With 1:30 remaining, both boats were lining up for the start inside the starboard layline with Oracle astern and to weather.

As they approached the line Baird remained on starboard but pointed his bow straight at the committee boat. Coutts had nowhere to go and went head to wind as Baird bore off at speed right close to the committee boat.

Coutts could only follow slowly dead astern in his opponent’s wake. The American boat was trailing by 40 metres just moments after the start and never threatened Alinghi as the margin opened out to 58 seconds at the second weather mark and over a minute at the finish

“We were in quite a nice position today and had plenty of time to assess the options coming on the final approach to the start,” Coutts said ruefully. “We burned up a little too much time when we didn’t need to.”

Asked if problems with his boat’s trim tab affected steering during the start, Coutts acknowledged that there was a problem with its control chain a couple of minutes before the start. “That’s not why we lost though,” he said emphatically. “No excuses. We lost the race.”

Asked if he’d return to New Zealand for a similar event, Coutts said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the racing over the last few weeks. I think it’s a fantastic event and I think in these economic times the idea that Louis Vuitton and Emirates Team New Zealand have come up with where all the teams race in borrowed boats, rather than shipping boats all around the world is frankly a commercial reality. There’s no question in my mind that this format works, it’s something that should be looked at in future.”

The Louis Vuitton Pacific Series of yachting is proving to be far more successful and interesting than many people predicted.

Quite a number of the overseas visitors, including many of the leading sailing journalists from a variety of countries, came here expecting this to be a regatta of limited quality and wondered if it would generate much interest.

Their main expectation was that there might be a few stories regarding the on-going saga of the America’s Cup and that the yachting would be a mediocre contest at best.

But they quickly changed their opinion on that.

With most of the best match racing skippers in the world here, there was simply no way this would be anything other than extraordinarily competitive. That is exactly what has eventuated.

The knockout rounds on Thursday produced a stunning finish with a margin of just one second separating Luna Ross and Team China.

In fact the steady improvement of the China crew has been one of the talking points, as has the surprise performance of the Greek Challenge and the quality of Damiani Italia. The emergence of these new crews and the fact some of the new breed of yachting superstars are scoring some impressive victories have been stories in themselves.

Ian Williams, Sebastian Col and Ben Ainslie will soon be as well known as Coutts, Cayard and Baird.

But perhaps the biggest talking point will be the form of Emirates Team New Zealand. They are widely acknowledged as being of the highest class and yet they scored only one victory on the water in the second round robin.

If they had been sailing for points, rather than just getting tuned up for the final, they would be in an embarrassingly low position.

Unlike the America’s Cup, boat design advantages do not play a part in this regatta. The boats being used are very similar, so it has been a test of crew expertise.

The time ETNZ spent racing was a disappointment for them, and they have endured an agonising wait while their potential opponents got plenty of chances to improve on the water.

BMW Oracle Racing’s crew is all class and were always going to be the likely opponents for Alinghi in the Challenger final.

But Alinghi loom as the best of the lot and proved it will their clinical dispatching of Oracle on Thursday.

In the upcoming best-of-seven final the Swiss might have too many advantages over the home crew.

The sailing fraternity has been eagerly awaiting the possibility of a rematch between Alinghi and Emirates Team New Zealand, but many of the Kiwi supporters are unconvinced Team New Zealand are as close to the top of their game as they will need to be for the final.

The mistakes they have made will need to be eliminated if they are to prevent the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series cup from heading overseas.

Just heard on the radio Alinghi have drawn NZL 92 and have withdrawn their protest.

Alinghi threatens walkout

Alinghi continued its “devil’s advocate” role on Thursday in sailing’s Louis Vuitton Pacific Series.

After winning through to the final against Team New Zealand, they are protesting the use of the same boats for each team throughout the best of seven races.

Despite agreeing to the system before the regatta, Alinghi helmsman Ed Baird now says they want the boats to alternate.

But the American added that they don’t want to end the regatta on a sour note so will discuss the issue diplomatically.

A decision’s due by 2.30pm on Thursday.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, 11th February, 2009

Alinghi Beats Oracle by One Second

AUCKLAND, NZ – The Swiss boat Alinghi pulled off a one-second come-from-behind victory over BMW Oracle Racing today on the Hauraki Gulf in the first race of the challenger finals for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series.

The American boat Oracle, skippered by Russell Coutts led the whole race only to see Alinghi, with Ed Baird at the helm, get to the favoured end of the finish line and snatch the win.

Competition in the three-race challenger series will continue tomorrow, Thursday, and the winner will meet the host team Emirates Team New Zealand in a seven-race series on Friday and Saturday.

Coutts and BMW Oracle Racing fought their way to the top of the heap today in two races preceding the finals. They first defeated the Italian challenger Luna Rossa in a bare-knuckles quarter final brawl that featured three penalties. Then the American boat beat the other Italian contender Damiani Italia Challenge in the semi finals. Alinghi assured their place in the challenger finals three days ago by virtue of its top seeding in ten days of round robin competition.

Alinghi’s start against BMW Oracle racing was without incident. The Swiss boat used its starboard entry into the start box to claim the right hand side of the course and lined up for the start with Oracle to leeward. Coutts had a tiny edge at the start and leveraged it to a 70 metre lead at the first windward mark.

Baird drew level and threatened on the spinnaker run and Alinghi was just two seconds astern as they started the second beat. Coutts opened the lead on the next beat but on the run, sailing some 90 metres ahead of his rivals, Coutts only applied a loose cover as the boats split apart. A 20 degree wind shift at the top of the run had made the committee boat end of the finish line favored and it gave Baird the break he needed to beat Coutts.

In his quarter final race Coutts won by just one second after exquisitely executing a penalty turn at the finish line and beating Luna Rossa. Both boats were penalized as they fought for dominance rounding the first windward mark. Those penalties cancelled out but Coutts got a second penalty for gybing too close on the run. Oracle managed to build a 100 metre lead and, defying the odds, Coutts pulled off the penalty turn with seconds to spare.

In the semi final, there were no fireworks or flags when Oracle raced against Damiani Italia Challenge. It was a boat speed contest and the American team prevailed. Earlier, the new Italian team had earned their semi finals place by beating the British TEAMORIGIN. An umpire’s green flag was the defining moment that spelled the end of the British team’s bid. British skipper Ben Ainslie controlled his opponent, Francesco Bruni, throughout an aggressive pre-start sequence but an attempt by the Briton to force a penalty was green-flagged by the umpires while the Italians sailed away to victory.

TEAMORIGIN END REGATTA ON A HIGH

DESPITE NARROW LOSS IN QUARTER FINALS LOUIS VUITTON PACIFIC SERIES

WED 11TH FEB 2009

TEAMORIGIN ended their impressive run today in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series after a narrow loss in the Quarter Finals to the Italian team, Damiani Italia. After controlling the start they managed to position themselves with a strong hook under the Italian boat in the last minute and a half and a penalty to Damiani seemed imminent but was not granted. They went in for the kill a second time but, having been burnt before due to a contact decision, they played safe – perhaps too safe as far as the umpires were concerned – and for a second time no penalty was awarded. Their position in relation to the committee boat at that stage allowed Damiani the room to accelerate off the start line slightly faster than TEAMORIGIN and the Italians went on to lead for the rest of the race despite pressure from Ben Ainslie’s team the whole way round the course.

Sir Keith Mills, Team Principal, shared his views on the event and future plans for the team “This has been a great first event for TEAMORIGIN. The team showed incredible promise which bodes well for the future. The format of the regatta has been great and we have been made to feel very welcome here in Auckland. Now we are looking forward to getting the team back on the water as soon as possible in our preparation for the 33rd America’s Cup.”

Ben Ainslie, Skipper and Helmsman, rounded up the event “We have come a long way in this event and the team has huge potential for the future. We are naturally gutted about the result today but its time to move on. The future of the Cup is obviously dependant on the court case but that said, we have a sailing programme ready for the rest of 2009, with mini maxis, super maxi and match racing activity and hopefully some Acts and we look forward to moving on to the next level.”

The plan for the day was for BMW Oracle Racing to meet Luna Rossa in the first Quarter Final and TEAMORIGIN vs. Damiani Italia in the other Quarter final. The winners of those matches would then race to decide who would take on Alinghi in the Challenger Final.

1345 the first warning signal was fired and BMW Oracle managed to lead off the start line by a mere 8m. Up the first beat the race was really neck and neck with the lead changing between the two teams on a number of occasions. BMWO led around the first windward mark and a luffing incident occurred where both teams were given penalties and then a 2nd penalty awarded to BMWO!

BMWO lead for the rest of the race but headed towards the finish line with their penalty turn still to be done and Luna Rossa only 100m behind them! In true style and showing the extensive skill and race experience of this team, they managed an impressively quick turn to take the race win and move forward into the Semi-final round.

Meanwhile back to the TEAMORIGIN Quarter final. After the start, TEAMORIGIN charged forward in an attempt to catch the Italians and close the margin and throughout the rest of the race the two teams remained close. The Italian team have shown themselves throughout this event to be a very quick and clean team sailing their own race and making few mistakes and they again demonstrated this skill, keeping their cool and not crumbling under the pressure of the British team breathing down their necks.

TEAMORIGIN were attacking from behind, sailing fast and trying to engage the Italians into tacking to draw them back and close the gap, they remained enticingly close but just far enough ahead to keep out of trouble. The one track race course and steady wind did not lend itself to passing opportunities or significant shifts and so the race went forward to the last downwind leg.

Ben and the team sailed a faultless race as did the Italians but it was not to be. Damiani Italia crossed the line 29 seconds ahead and move on to race BMW Oracle next in the Semi’s.

Mike Sanderson, Team Director, commented “Short term it is sad to be leaving this competition but long term I can see a really bright future for TEAMORIGIN. This group of people that we put together have shown how well they can work and sail together, we should be very proud of the way we have performed and conducted ourselves throughout this event.”

Iain Percy, Tactician, added “We are really disappointed to be knocked out of the event but should be proud of our performance generally throughout the series. We have shown our ability to be a top team in this game being able to take on and beat the most experienced Cup teams. The nature of the regatta with its sudden death format didn’t allow for any mistakes and we found ourselves on the wrong side of that today but no point in dwelling on that, better to reflect on the potential of this group of sailors.”

Racing in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series is expected to start after midday on Wednesday.

Coverage through live streaming on tvnz.co.nz/sailing and broadcast on Sport Extra (Freeview Channel 20) will start at midday.

There are two quarter-finals to be sailed – TeamOrigin versus and Damiani Italia and Luna Rossa against BMW Oracle Racing.

The winners will meet in a semi-final to determine who enters the Challenger Final series (five races) against Alinghi.

the lastest news is here

TV3 interview with Dean Barker

TV3 interview with Brad Butterworth


Part One

AC, Local yachting, new stuff, Pro Tour, Profile, Racing, Sailor Profile, Video

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9 Responses to “Louis Vuitton Pacific Series Part 2”

  1. Yachting News February 09 says:

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