No surprises for LE DEFI AREVA on the final day
Press Release 37 - Sunday 3 November, Auckland
No surprises for LE DEFI AREVA on the final day of RRII
The last race of Round Robin II for LE DEFI AREVA against Oracle BMW Racing held no surprises for the French team. The Americans were bigger, stronger and faster in today’s windy conditions and came home with a comfortable 1.07 minute lead over FRA 69.
The match depart was delayed at 10.30am due to a lack of wind on the Hauraki Gulf, but by 1.15pm a stiff southwest breeze had come up and racing finally commenced.
Despite a promising pre-start by the French crew, USA 76 - helmed by New Zealander Chris Dickson - was quicker off the mark, leading FRA 69 across the start by one boat-length. This was a significant handicap for the French who were forced up the right hand side of the course by USA 76. In this position, the Americans were easily able to blanket the breeze coming in from the left hand side of the course, pushing FRA 69 out towards the layline and extending their lead.
Oracle BMW Racing’s impressive boat speed in 17-19 knots of wind saw them pull away up to the top mark, rounding already 46 seconds ahead. This lead extended to 1.02 minutes at the second mark after a leeward leg of follow-the-leader, USA 76 peaking at a 360m advantage.
The final round of the shortened course saw LE DEFI AREVA maintain a solid performance to reach the third mark 1.06 minutes behind USA 76. The Americans were only able to gain 1 second on the final leg, finishing with a 1.07 minute advantage – encouragingly less than the 2.52 minutes recorded in the first Round Robin.
LE DEFI AREVA will spend the break leading up to the Quarter-Finals testing modifications, practise-sailing with FRA 69 and FRA 79, honing on-board teamwork and resting up for the next two weeks of racing.
"The regattas we have raced over the last three days have been really good for us", says Luc Pillot, LE DEFI AREVA’s skipper and helmsman. "Even against GBR on Friday and Oracle today, we made progress and I can feel the team’s confidence building each time we go out.
"We always said that we needed to make time to give ourselves enough time to develop our potential, and that is what we have done by qualifying for the Quarter-Finals. Just! We intend to use the next few days as constructively as we can, so we are primed for racing again on 12 November."
The only other result from today’s racing was Oracle’s second match of the day where they beat Victory Challenge (SWE 73) by 43 seconds.