PRESSURE ON THE COMEBACK KINGS

Just one second separated the two teams as they crossed the finish line in the last race of the day. But that was enough to make the score to 4-2 to Emirates Team New Zealand, and Artemis Racing now must win the next three races in the challenger final.

The second day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs final started with a 2-1 advantage to Emirates Team New Zealand on the scoreboard.

The kiwis had a small lead at the start of the first race, but Artemis Racing managed to roll over them as the windward boat and take the lead on the first leg. Blue Magic then had a small speed edge around the course. Even after the team had a bad tack resulting in a nosedive, they managed to maintain the lead and even the score to 2-2.

Race 2 started with another drag race to the first mark and Artemis Racing, now the leeward boat, once again had more speed and took the lead. Emirates Team New Zealand stayed close behind on the following upwind and took over the lead when they managed to luff Artemis Racing, forcing Artemis Racing to tack away. On the following lap they extended their lead and took the point.

The last race of the day became a real thriller. Artemis Racing managed to luff the kiwis after the start and were a few boat lengths ahead at the first mark. They covered their opponent nicely on the first upwind but at the start of leg 4, Emirates Team New Zealand took advantage of a split at the gate and took the lead. They seemed to be heading towards a comfortable win, but then they lost all speed and power in the boat at the last mark before the finish. Artemis Racing came powering down the course and towards the finish, and they almost managed to steal the win. They were just one second behind as both boats crossed the line but that was enough to give the kiwis a 4-2 lead on the scoreboard.

“There was not much between the teams today. The difference was their upwind pace. Which meant winning the starts, and leading around the bottom gate was important to us. From there we were doing our best to slow them down”, said Nathan Outteridge and continued:

“They had their bigger daggerboards which gave them a upwind advantage, while our smaller boards gave us an edge downwind. Race one we kept them at bay, race two they got through us. In race three they got a shift at the top mark and it really is tight racing”

Artemis Racing now have to win three races in a row in order to reach the America’s Cup Match.

“The strategy for tomorrow is the same as it was today; keep winning the starts and then sail as fast and as tactical as we can. Our design team will be crunching the numbers to try to get a little more speed out of the boat tomorrow”.

 “I definitely think we can win three out of three tomorrow. At the end of the last race we nearly got a victory after their error. If we take some errors out of our sailing and keep sailing like we have done in the starts, we will put pressure on Team New Zealand and then we have a chance to win three, but we will be taking one race at a time”.

With lighter wind predicted for tomorrow, the configurations on both boats will likely be different than they were today. 

“It’s hard to say which team will have an advantage tomorrow. We haven’t really had any light wind sailing against them with our big boards and their big boards, so it is going to an interesting day.”

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs final is a first to five wins series.  The winner of the finals will face Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup Match, starting June 17, 2017.

 

Official results - Sunday 6/11/2017

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs – Final

 

Match 4

Artemis Racing (SWE) – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)  1-0

 

Match 5

Artemis Racing (SWE) – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)  0-1

 

Match 6

Artemis Racing (SWE) – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 0-1

 

Scoreboard:

Artemis Racing (SWE) – 2p

Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) - 4p

 

https://www.americascup.com/en/results.html