New York – May 7, 2016
SoftBank Team Japan secured their first win of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in New York today in a “substitute race” that was held following several abandoned starts in the light and shifty conditions on the Hudson Riverracecourse.
The race results will only count if a regular race cannot be completed tomorrow. Though not yet an official result, the race marks the first time a competition involving America’s Cup yachts has taken place in New York for 96 years.
New York – May 8, 2016
Team New Zealand rode a wave of luck all the way to the top of the podium in New York today, securing their second America’s Cup World Series event win with an unlikely victory in the final race of the regatta.
In a thrilling winner-take-all final race, Emirates Team New Zealand recovered from an awful start, in which they became entangled with the starting buoy, to pull off a stunning come-from-behind victory.
No lead was ever safe today as the wind shifted through wide arcs from the west to the north and ranged anywhere from five to 20 knots.
“It was one of those series where everyone had good luck and bad luck, but we got our good luck at the end of the regatta,” said Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby.
Team NZ’s crew, led by Ashby and world sailor of the year Peter Burling, was dead in the water at the start of race three. Crewman Blair Tuke had to jump in the water to unhook the starting buoy’s anchor line from the catamaran’s rudder.
Making matters worse, the port hull was punctured by the buoy and water was leaking into the hull throughout the race.
Team NZ’s luck changed on the penultimate leg. They rounded the last windward mark in fifth place, about 42 seconds behind Dean Barker’s Team Japan. But as all the crews began to the downwind leg they sailed into a patch of no wind that engulfed the course.
As the leg was perpendicular to the southerly flowing current, some of the crews were swept across the course boundary. British team Ben Ainslie Racing, Team France and Team Japan were all penalised for going beyond the boundary. Team New Zealand, further behind, held in the middle of the course and when the wind filled in took off on hydrofoils at 16-20 knots leaving the rest of the fleet gasping in disbelief.
Having recorded third placings in the first two races of the day, the bullet in the final race saw Team NZ just pip hometown favourites, Oracle Team USA, for the New York title.
Burling admitted his team were very lucky to take out the win, which saw them extend their overall lead in the series by two points. “I think we got a little fortunate the breeze was so shifty it kind of allowed us to come back through in that last race after a pretty average start, it’s better to be lucky than good sometimes in our game.”
Franck Cammas’ Team France, who won race two, finished third overall to secure their first podium finish of the World Series, while Team Japan placed fourth.