There were some unhappy teams in Auckland, on the second day of the LVPS Round 2, after gear failure ensured that two teams had no chance of winning. The much anticipated TeamOrigin clash with BMW Oracle was very galling for the Brits, who were docked half a point in the pre-start for contact, during an incident in which they felt blameless. Doesn’t everybody? Russell Coutts seemed intent on close combat with Ben Ainslie and tried to hem in Origin, who only just managed to gybe away. BMW Oracle received a penalty, for not keeping clear, and were docked 1 point for hard contact, but for a reason few could fathom Origin got that half point deduction.  

The pair headed upwind in a tacking duel and Origin lead around the windward mark by 13 seconds, with Oracle still to do a penalty. Coming to the end of the downwind leg, Origin dropped the kite but couldn’t get the jib up, claiming a head foil problem, and was forced to retire.

Another head foil problem meant Greek Challenge had zero chance of beating China Team. Helmsman Gavin Brady explained: “We had a gear failure on the boat. The jib wouldn’t go in the foil and as a result we had to pull our jib down for the start. We were then unable to pull the jib back up and tried to enter without a jib, something very hard. When we found out what the problem was we were not close to the start line and had to go to the start line with just the mainsail up. The race committee wouldn’t postpone the start and we didn’t enter the start box because we were on port entry. If we were on starboard entry it would have been much easier. We would have just gone with the main and dealt with the problem. We got the jib up with two minutes to go and they gave us a penalty and then another one. With two penalties, one of which had to be done right away, there was nothing we could do.”

In other matches, Alinghi had no trouble defeating Damiani Italia and TNZ won comfortably over the lusterless Luna Rossa, but K-Challenge had to fight very hard to defeat Shosholoza. This great shot from Stefano Gattini shows Luna Rossa in action. More here.