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Emirates Team NZ wins Act 12 A Division Final

Emirates Team NZ wins Act 12 A Division Final
by Emirates Team NZ media

Emirates Team New Zealand beat Alinghi again today to win the final of the last America’s Cup match racing pre-regatta.

Emirates Team New Zealand has also won the 2006 America’s Cup season championship.

NZL 84 finished the regatta with 12 points (15 wins from 17 starts). NZL 84 finished ahead of Alinghi on 11 points, BMW Oracle 10 points and Luna Rossa on 9.

But it was a tough day on the water for Dean Barker and his crew. Two matches were scheduled today in the best of three final. Alinghi won the first race, grabbing the lead on the final run after NZL 84 led for most of the way.

NZL 84 came back strongly in the second match, taking control in the pre-start and never letting go.

Grant Dalton: 'We went out today to win the regatta; winning top yacht for the year is a bonus. The team now has a very solid foundation to build on for the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup in 2007.

'Match racing at this level is all about two evenly-matched boats and crews fighting to the finish. We have seen a lot of that during this regatta. Any mistake or gear failure is heavily punished.

'That’s what happened today in the first match. SUI 75 was never more than a couple of heartbeats astern of us and that’s an uncomfortable position to be in. They saw their chance on the last run and took it.'

Match One: The right side of the course was favoured and NZL 84 was determined to get it, even to the extent of going over the line a few seconds before the start.

Then just as the on-course commentators were lamenting a bad start, Dean Barker dipped under the line as the gun went off and NZL 84 had the right and the ability to control the first windward leg.

The beat was tight with neither yacht able to feel comfortable. NZL 84 rounded 8sec ahead of SUI 75 and headed for the leeward mark with SUI 75 only metres behind.

The margin to NZL 84 was 9sec at the second mark as they rounded the right-hand side gate and SUI 75 went to the left. The beat was a repeat of the first with NZL 84 9sec ahead.

On the run, SUI 75 was close astern, attacking and waiting for a chance. That came when NZL 84 executed a less than perfect gybe and SUI 75 was able to take the lead and finished 24sec ahead.

Match two: Dean Barker again took control at the start, going left where there was more breeze and gained an early advantage.

Then NZL 84, crossing ahead of Alinghi, went first to the right and then to the left of the course, controlling SUI 75 with every tack. NZL 84 rounded the first mark 12 seconds ahead, extending to 21sec after the first run.

On the second beat NZL 84 took the left again and extended throughout the beat gaining a delta of 36 seconds as they rounded for the homeward run.

With the breeze softening, NZL 84 covered SUI 75 and extended even further, finishing with a delta of 1min 24sec.


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