Monday Sailboat Bloggingposted by The Sailor @ 7:12 PM Permalink
Alinghi wins the pennant! Alinghi wins the pennant! Alinghi wins the pennant!
Alinghi beat Emirates Team New Zealand – DELTA 0:01
Yet again it was a tense and aggressive pre-start between the teams, with Dean Barker refusing the traditional dial-up in favour of getting below Alinghi’s stern and chasing Ed Baird around the start box.
Barker always looked in control, but at start time both boats were at full speed off the line, Alinghi to the right of NZL 92. Baird managed to live there for some minutes, until he was forced to tack away over to the right.
The Kiwis claimed the lead for a brief moment up the beat, but towards the top of the course Alinghi managed to hold their opponent past the port layline. A luffing match ensued before Baird accelerated and took SUI 100 around the windward mark 7 seconds ahead.
Down the run, the Kiwi gybes and spinnaker handling looked more assured, and with the Alinghi spinnaker flailing momentarily, Barker surged past Baird into the lead. At the bottom gate, the Kiwis opted for the simpler spinnaker drop, taking the left-hand mark, Alinghi making a difficult gybe-drop look easy and rounding the right-hand mark 14 seconds behind.
The Kiwis tacked over to loose-cover Alinghi as both boats tracked out to the right-hand side. Brad Butterworth called for a tack over at the Kiwis and a tacking duel ensued. Alinghi appeared to be winning the battle, and eventually the Kiwis disengaged, still a boatlength ahead but to the left of their rivals.
When Barker reached the port layline, he tacked and immediately bore away into a dial-down against Baird. The Kiwis tried to get below the line of SUI 100, but it was close. The Swiss flew a Y flag in protest, and the Umpires flew a yellow penalty flag in response.
Now a penalty down, the Kiwis rounded the final mark 12 seconds behind. On the final run to the finish, the breeze was dropping, but the Kiwis could make no impact. Alinghi was on the final approach to the finish when their spinnaker pole flew off the mast, the spinnaker flailing. At the same time the breeze dropped and shifted massively.
Alinghi - dead in the water - was overtaken. Then the Kiwis almost reached the line and took their penalty with a double-tack. Struggling to accelerate, they bore away to cross but Alinghi made it across the finish by just 1 second.
Labels: Sailboat Blogging