Looking Down Ian Roman. C’mon, Kiwis, you can beat these guys, can’t you? Here’s the report:
Yesterday’s dramas were still reverberating on the dockside, after Alinghi stormed into the final and was lucky enough to draw its boat of choice – NZ92. Brad Butterworth when asked if he thought that the NZ92 boat was faster just said "the boys are sailing incredibly well". Ed Baird said "still learning about it, and it has some nice features!"
Today, the ever popular Grant Dalton led TNZ out, to the sound of ‘haka’ drumming rhythms and a personal farewell from the former Prime Minister Helen Clark. As the ropes slipped from the dock, foghorns blasted echoing off the city buildings, with the dockside crowd waving Kiwi flags!
Racing was held on Auckland harbor, with strong cool building southerly breeze from 200 degrees and expected to gust in the high twenties, with cloud cover varying. The tide was high at 11:08 at 3.4M then ebbing strongly until 0.4M at 17:13
First race started, with winds of between 18-22knts, TNZ held Alinhgi above the start line but was eventually thrown off the trail by a dummy tack and, as the boats headed back to the line, TNZ had a good start at speed and to leeward of Alinghi.
Ed Baird said later "We got a little tied up at the start and didn’t do a very good job of getting out of the dial up. Dean and the TNZ guys controlled us nicely, they won the start process but, after a short taking duel, Alinghi took a slight lead.
Both boats headed to the starboard layline, with speed evenly matched, Alinghi led by 50 meters into the mark, but TNZ had halyard problems in a tack set, critically letting Alinghi stretch its lead out of a possible wind shadow attack. The boats gybed down the center of the track, with a seemingly slight speed advantage to Alihngi as the boat regularly hit 15.9 knots to give the Swiss a lead at the bottom left hand mark of 18 seconds. TNZ chose the right hand mark gaining, headed out to the right, when crossing 70 meters behind and starting a tacking duel, with Alinghi matching to cover.
At the final turn Alinghi had a 145 meter lead and, although TNZ turned the pressure, it was not enough and the Swiss went over the line 60 meters ahead.
The wind continued to blow and racing was cancelled until today, with the series reduced to a best of five race competition. However, with a forecast of 30kts this afternoon racing is likely to be further interrupted. Lots o’ pics here.