Emirates Team New Zealand Emirates Team New Zealand CREDIT: Emirates Team New Zealand
Emirates Team New Zealand Emirates Team New Zealand CREDIT: Emirates Team New Zealand

Battle looms for a last-race decider

Sunday 20 May 2012, 5:33PM
By Emirates Team New Zealand

It’s tight at the top of the fleet race leader board at the America’s Cup World Series  after three days of racing at Venice. Tomorrow’s final race, which will decide the championship, is wide open.

Only three points separate the top four yachts – Energy   (44)  the two Luna Rossa yachts (43) and Emirates Team New Zealand (42).

Behind them  Oracle 4 (38) and Artemis and Team Korea each on 37.

Tomorrow’s race  is worth 30 points to the winner, 20 to second, 15 for third,  12 for fourth and 10 for 5th.

So with conditions expected to be prettymuch as light and shifty as they have been all regatta, a good start, good tactics and more than a little luck will decide who’s fleet race champion.

Racing today was largely conducted at a brisk walking in a breeze that rarely got above seven knots. A flying hull was a fairly rare sight.

It was great day for the spectators. Venetians were out of force on the water, hundreds, perhaps thousands of boats lined the narrow course corridor. The shore line and vantage points, from the start to the finish line off St Marks Square, was were packed with spectators.

Emirates Team New Zealand was third, in race 1,  making the most of a good start and what little breeze there was. Luna Rossa Swordfish won, with Oracle 4 second 57s behind and New Zealand 1.07 from the lead.

The second race today  was one a course shorted because of the light wind at the leeward mark, but increased to 12 legs. That increased the crews’ work load and also turned  the day’s  form guide upside down.

Luna Rossa Swordish, winner of the first race, finished last.  Artemis won and Luna Rossa Piranha was second.   Emirates Team New Zealand was sixth .