Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Sweet As!

You can take the aggressive, defending America's Cup helmsman off the boat, but you can't take the fight out of the crew.

Team New Zealand wrapped up its second straight 5-0 Cup victory today with a 48-second victory over Italy's Prada Challenge. The win capped another dominant performance for Team New Zealand -- a performance many thought it couldn't pull off in such an emphatic manner.

"This is a fantastic day," said skipper Russell Coutts. "Tonight's a night to celebrate what we've done."

What they've done is dismantle with surgical precision another opponent in the Cup Match. Team New Zealand won the Auld Mug with a 5-0 victory in the 1995 Match over Team Dennis Conner. Now Team New Zealand has defended it by steamrolling over Prada and extending its unbeaten streak to 10 races, something no one expected before the series started.

Team New Zealand led at all 25 mark roundings this year, and now has led at 50 straight mark roundings. Its average winning margin was a robust 1:39, less than the nearly three-minute average margin of victory off San Diego. It lost 2:14 on 10 of the 30 legs. In '95, it lost 54 seconds on four of 30 legs.

"We didn't know what to expect from the challenger," said Coutts. "I was nervous before Race 1. I was very concerned and worried about Prada. I didn't think it would be five-nil. I'd like to say it was the crew that made the difference, but it was a bit of everything."

Prada skipper Francesco de Angelis was gentlemanly in defeat, even if he looked punch-drunk from the events that transpired the last 13 days.

"Congratulations to Russell Coutts and Team New Zealand; they did a great job on the water," said the glassy-eyed de Angelis. "It was a well-deserved win. They give us a long list of things to work on in the future."

The future is something Prada, representing the Yacht Club Punta Ala, is looking forward to. As Luna Rossa crossed the finish line, the Yacht Club Punta Ala filed the "hip-pocket" challenge that sets in motion the events for the 31st Cup Match.

Team New Zealand will attempt to defend the Cup a second time in three years. The challenger series is expected to start in the 2002 Southern Hemisphere spring.

When asked if he would challenge again, Prada chairman Patrizio Bertrelli simply replied, "Yes."

Prada came into the Match riding a wave of euphoria. The first-time Italian challenger advanced to the Match after winning a hard-fought Louis Vuitton Cup final 5-4 over Paul Cayard's AmericaOne challenge. It displayed abundant confidence by forsaking match racing's rules of thumb, such as covering, for fluid tactics that placed a premium on finding the wind shift.

That strategy failed in the Cup Match, as Team New Zealand's match-racing masters steamrolled Prada from the Race 1 five-minute gun. The Italians also seemed drained of the flair and confidence that existed in the LVC finals.

"It's possible," said de Angelis. "This was invaluable experience for us. The first time we match-raced big boats was the Mini Cup in 1998."

Dean Barker also gained invaluable experience. Coutts' 26-year-old understudy replaced him at the helm of New Zealand in a decision made this morning.

"It was very difficult," said Barker. "Team New Zealand was rolling after four wins. Everyone wanted to finish it off today. It's hard to find the words to explain the feeling. I was very nervous."

Barker's nervousness wasn't apparent in the pre-start. He did a masterful job controlling de Angelis and allaying the fears of some team supporters who fretted that Barker wouldn't be able to match Coutts' aggressiveness. Reports out of the Team NZ camp say that Barker had the measure of Coutts in practice racing, and that seemed apparent today.

Barker positioned New Zealand to block Luna Rossa from getting to the right of the start box. Then, to demoralise the Italians, Barker made a covering tack to port with 30 seconds to the start, forcing Prada to sail in disturbed air and follow Team New Zealand across the start line 12 seconds in arrears.

With the wind blowing up to 18 knots from the south/southeast, the first beat was lively. Prada, anticipating a right-hand wind shift, fought to get to the right of Team New Zealand. A tacking duel saw Prada make small gains but never get full control of the right, and Team New Zealand led by 12 seconds at the windward mark.

Both boats did bear-away sets to full-size spinnakers beginning the first run. Prada tucked itself in behind Team New Zealand and slowly chipped away at its advantage. By the time they completed the three-mile leg, Prada had cut two seconds out of the Kiwis' lead.

On the second beat, however, Team New Zealand added 25 seconds to its lead and the writing was on the wall. The black boat pushed the lead to 1:13 beginning the run to the finish, before settling for the 48-second win.

Although this was the smallest delta of the series, it was too little too late for the Prada Challenge, which could only sit and watch Team New Zealand celebrate late into the night.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>

 

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels