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Emirates Team New Zealand is a finalist at the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena after an extraordinary drawn-out day of light air sailing on the Golfo di Arzachena at the north east corner of Sardinia. One race down and facing elimination, ETNZ came back and defeated Sweden’s Artemis 2-1. The Kiwis also led in a race that was abandoned when the wind died.
The other best-of-three semi-finals, between the French/German team All4One and the SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team, will be sailed saturday. Weather permitting, the first race of the finals may start the same day in the afternoon.
The America’s Cup trophy will be on public display at the Louis Vuitton Trophy race village at the Marina Arsenale in La Maddalena over the weekend. The Cup Defender, BMW Oracle Racing, is bringing the trophy to Sardinia and visitors to the village can view the 159-year-old trophy from 0900 to 1900 on Saturday and 0900 to 1800 on Sunday.
The day was fine but fickle winds forced a three and a half hour delay before Artemis, skippered by Paul Cayard and with Terry Hutchinson steering, seized the first race from ETNZ’s Dean Barker. A second race was abandoned when the wind died and the Kiwis led. After a drawn-out wait, the second race started at 5:30 pm. Minutes into the race, on the ropes and facing elimination from the series, Barker boldly sailed across the advancing bow of the right-of-way Artemis with scant room to spare and leveled the series. The last race started at 6:30 pm in late afternoon sunlight. Hutchinson pulled out all the stops and made a superb start but Barker confidently split away 1.3 kilometers on the opposite tack and came in ahead to control at the weather mark.
Live streaming web coverage of the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena is available on the event website. Racing starts at 1000 local time (GMT+2).
Photo Credit : Paul Todd/outsideimages.co.nz/Louis Vuitton Trophy