2-0 to Emirates Team New Zealand
The farce that is the Louis Vuitton Cup continued with a second 'race', this time in theory between Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing. While the Kiwi team romped around the course as expected, they were once again on their lonesome with the Swedish challenger still tied up in the preparation of its second AC72 which won't be ready to race until the end of the month.
Once again the Kiwi AC72 had to start and complete the race in order to get a point on the board in this round robin stage of the the Louis Vuitton Cup.
On this occasion the 'race' started at 12.15 local time after the early morning fog had burned off and the breeze was filling in. The Dean Barker-skippered AC72 completed the 16.16 mile course in 45 minutes, 28 seconds during which their wingsail catamaran achieved a top speed of 43.26 knots. This faster peak speed was chiefly the result of the wind being slightly stronger, peaking at 20 knots as opposed to 16 knots on Sunday.
Ray Davies, tactician, commented: “We took a few things away from that first day, and worked on it; studied the video. It’s good to have proper video footage, so we can analyse things better. It’s an opportunity to watch, learn and improve.”
Observing the 'racing' was Oracle Team USA's Murray Jones. “They’re slick in gybing,” he commented. The America's Cup defender's AC72 was out practicing before Emirates Team New Zealand’s 'race'. “But our programs are different. They have to race now and we don’t have to start racing until September. We’ve been working on our straight-line speed and now we’re moving into the race training portion of our program.”
The next 'race' is scheduled for 11 July which is scheduled to feature Luna Rossa and, once again, Artemis Racing, before finally we may get to see an actual race, between two actual boats, when Emirates Team New Zealand lines up with Luna Rossa on Saturday 13 July.
We are hedging here slightly because the International Jury is currently contemplating the outstanding protests of Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa, with the five person IJ having finally heard evidence on Monday. The jury is expected to deliver its verdict tomorrow (Wednesday) ahead of Luna Rossa's anticipated solo lap of San Francisco Bay on Thursday. While thanks to its commercial commitments Emirates Team New Zealand is somewhat impotent in terms of how it can react to the jury's decision, this is far from the case with Luna Rossa, where all-powerful Team Principal Patrizio Bertelli has been threatening to pull the plug on the Italian challenge if the decision doesn't go his way.