Louis Vuitton Trophy Stories:
Finals and Semi-Final
Day-by Day Results
TeamOrigin, above, lost to Azzurra in the Semi Finals.
Italy's Azzurra wins the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice after
defeating Emirates Team New Zealand 2-0 in the Finals.
ETNZ finishes second in the regatta. See Sunday Report
Petit Final Complete:
Synergy d. TeamOrigin
Synergy finish 3rd, Origin finish 4th
Semi Finals Complete:
Azzurra d. TeamOrigin
ETNZ d. Synergy
The remainder of the fleet
finishes: All4One (5th), BMW Oracle (6th), Artemis of Sweden
(7th), Team French Spirit Pages Jaunes (8th).
At LVT website:
See Results and Standings and:
Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio gets deep, literally:
It's Not Easy Being Luigi
celebrates their Louis Vuitton victory.
Sunday Report -- Finals:
Despite rounding the wrong gate, interference from helicopter
downwash, and losing a bowman overboard, Italy’s Azzurra won
the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice on Sunday, besting powerhouse
Emirates Team New Zealand in the Final match.
Francesco Bruni, Skipper,
Azzurra: “It’s an amazing sensation. I can’t find the words to
describe it,” said the 40-year-old Sicilian. “We knew we could
do a good job. We had very good training before the event. But
we never thought about beating New Zealand in the final.”
Dean Barker, Skipper, ETNZ:
“I think we sailed well today, but Azzurra was clearly better
than us. They did everything right. Sometimes that’s just the
way it is. You’re either in the right place or you’re not.
Today Azzurra sailed very, very, well.”
In the light and shifty
conditions on a short race course, once ETNZ found themselves
behind, they never had enough traction to catch the Italian
Azzurra, representing YC
Costa Smeralda, isn’t exactly an upstart, with origins that
pre-date every other active America’s Cup team. The Italian
effort was founded for the 1983 Defense and competed also in
1987 on Fremantle, before being resurrected last month to race
for the Louis Vuitton Trophy.
winner Azzurra in the LVT Final.
Friday Report --
Semi-Finals and Lower Knockouts:
Big breeze and a confused sea state made for tough going
on the water and in the protest room. ETNZ and Synergy
fought two terrific battles, splitting the races, or so it
The first race saw three lead
changes before ETNZ was able catch Synergy on the last run,
luffing the Russian team and taking the win. In the Race
Two pre-start ETNZ incurred a penalty for gybing too close and
could not shake Synergy enough to complete the penalty turn.
Dean Barker took Karol Jablonski past the committee boat, and
in the ensuing dash back to the line the two boats hit beam to
beam with enough force to cause damage.
Protest Committee penalties
left both teams with no points, turning tomorrow’s race into a
single elimination decider.
In the other semi final,
TeamOrigin evened the score employing clinical match racing
tactics in the pre-start against Azzurra. Ben Ainslie
gained two penalties against Francesco Bruni, and then left
Azzurra behind when the Italians had to return to the line
after starting early.
Francesco Bruni: "For sure
today was harder for the crew, for everybody. To go from
15 days of very, very light wind and flat water to these
conditions, to switch is hardest for me. I wasn’t as
ready as Ben. I think he did a good job."
In the Knockout portion of
the bracket, BMW Oracle defeated TFS PagesJaunes in the first
race while All4One beat Artemis, then faced BMWO to decide 5th
and 6th place.
BMW Oracle led on the first
leg, but at the rounding with All4One close astern, BMWO
tacked to port to round the first mark, forcing All4One to
bear away, and the umpires red-flagged BMWO. Taking the
immediate penalty turn let All4One grab the lead, going on to
win and place fifth overall in the regatta.
BMW Oracle took sixth,
Artemis of Sweden placed seventh on countback, and TFS
PagesJaunes ended up eighth.
Azzurra came out swinging and took the first race of their
semifinal series against TeamOrigin before fading winds
postponed the other scheduled matches.
In the only SF race, despite
early advantage for Azzurra on the first windward leg, they
overstood the layline and Origin closed in toward the top
mark, hoping to shoot it and take the lead. Italian
Skipper Francesco Bruni regained position just in time, used
the overlap to force the Brits wide, and Azzurra rounded
Francesco Bruni: "It was a
very important race for us and now I’m more confident on the
starting line. During the pre-start we fought for the
right and won it. We made a mistake on the first layline (by
overstanding), but (tactician) Tommaso Chieffi did a good job
calling the wind shifts and we regained our lead."
Ben Aislie’s crew was
surprised by the overlap call as they entered the
two-boat-length circle for the mark rounding. Mike
Sanderson, TeamOrigin: "We felt we were safely clear ahead
when we entered the circle but that was not to be their
decision and so we trailed into the first mark. Azzurra
did a lovely job thereafter of protecting their lead to take
Winds dropped from 8-10 kts
at the gun to only 4-5 kts by the finish, and PRO Peter Reggio
postponed the remaining semi-final races until Friday on the
basis that although wind direction was consistent, the choppy
seas would overwhelm the yachts in such light conditions.
Emirates Team Zealand will race Synergy Russia Sailing Team in
the semi finals. Normally a team like ETNZ after posting
the top score in preliminary rounds might select the weakest
opponent, but Synergy is coming into the semis with five
straight wins under the helm of Karol Jablonski, stands in
second place on points, and looks dangerous.
“It’s hard when you get to
this stage of the regatta,” said Dean Barker, Skipper, ETNZ.
“All the teams are strong. They won’t be an easy opponent and
if we don’t sail well they’ll beat us.”
See Matchup at LVT
ETNZ’s selection leaves
Britain’s TeamOrigin to face Azzurra, the Italian team that
beat Origin by one minute in RR1. Azzurra stands third
and Origin fourth after the preliminary rounds, and possibly
the Kiwis hope that Francesco Bruni will spare ETNZ the need
to face Origin, or could it be Azzurra that they worry about
In the Louis Vuitton Trophy
semi finals the first crew to score two points wins the match.
Fifth through eighth place
are also up for grabs in a series of single-race matches.
BMW Oracle Racing will race TFS Pages Jaunes while Artemis of
Sweden goes up against All4One. The winners face off
against each other to settle fifth and sixth place, while the
losers have their own single-race match for seventh and
Wednesday is a rest day.
Racing is scheduled to resume Thursday, November 19.
Louis Vuitton Trophy, Nice, Facts:
Visit the Official Event Web Site
Vuitton Trophy Series
Factsheet for Nice, France:
Opening Ceremony: Nov 7
The races will be sailed
on the Bay of Angels, near the city of Nice, on the
French Riviera, also called the Côte d’Azur.
formerly raced by
SUI-75 Alinghi ('03)
Mascalzone Latino ('07)
The teams will rotate
among the two pairs of boats, with each pair tuned to be
as equal as possible.
The competitors will be
supplied with spinnakers and mainsail logos identifying
for Nice, France:
Team French Spirit
Rounds Robin Day-by-Day Results:
The breeze returned to the Côte d’Azur today, leaving just one
race left in the second round robin at the Louis Vuitton
Trophy Nice but the positions at the top of the standings are
Emirates Team New Zealand
secured victory in the round robin and will choose their semi
final opponent, following their race tomorrow against the
Russian Synergy team. Synergy continued their run through the
late stages of the round robins, defeating Italy’s Azzurra in
a hard fought battle in steady breezes nearing 15 knots.
Knowing that a win would
secure their spot in the top four, Synergy held Azzurra close,
never getting more than two boat lengths away from their
rivals. With both boats holding a close cover, Synergy just
barely ahead, the match looked to go right down to the finish
until a jibe to port to roll Synergy resulted in a completely
blown-out asymmetric spinnaker for the Italians.
“I think Synergy was strong
on us but by pushing to edge we thought their spinnaker might
blow. It was a 50-50 chance,” said Francesco Bruni,
Azzurra’s skipper. “That was one of best races I’ve ever
sailed in Cup boats. I really enjoyed it. Every leg was
close and each crew did a fantastic job.” Other matches
included BMW Oracle Racing defeating Artemis, TeamOrigin
beating All4One, Azzurra beating BMW Oracle nd Artemis
defeating TFS PagesJaunes.
Once the round robin finishes
tomorrow, ETNZ will pick their opponent from the other top
four boats, including TeamOrigin (8-3), Azzurra (7-4) or
Synergy (6-4). The second half of the leaderboard has Artemis
(5-6) in fifth, BMW Oracle Racing (4-7) in sixth, All4One
(3-8) in seventh and TFS PagesJaunes (1-10) in eighth..
These four teams will race a
knockout round to determine places 5th though 8th concurrent
with the semi finals.
Russia’s Synergy continued their surge through the field
Sunday, defeating TeamOrigin and Artemis to take over fourth
place, while Emirates Team New Zealand clinched the rounds
The Kiwis (9-1) beat
TFS-Pages Jaunes (1-9) and BMW Oracle Racing (3-6) securing
top seed, while TeamOrigin (7-3) held onto second place,
splitting races between BMW Oracle Racing and Synergy (5-4).
The Americans dropped to sixth place with two losses today.
Synergy and helmsman Karol
Jablonski won the first cross against TeamOrigin and held the
lead around the course. Ben Ainslie, helmsman for
TeamOrigin, was impressed.
“It’s good to see those guys
doing so well,” Ainslie said. “They’ve got some great sailors.
It’s good to see that when they get the boat handling side
figured out they’ve got some smart sailors who know what a
wind shift is and can figure it out.”
The amended second round
robin continues Monday.
It was a day of upsets with Italian upstarts Azzurra
losing the first two matches of the shortened Round Robin 2,
falling first to Team French Spirit Pages Jaunes, earning the
French their first victory in the regatta, and then beaten by
Franco-German All4One. Earlier in the day, BMW Oracle Racing
completed their first round with a disappointing loss to
Russia’s Synergy, sending the Americans to the bottom half of
the standings going into the second round.
Emirates Team New Zealand,
though, headed back toward the top of the heap, defeating
All4One, and TeamOrigin took down Team French Spirit Pages
Jaunes, with Origin’s Ben Ainslie dominating the prestart and
leading wire to wire.
Iain Percy, tactician,
TeamOrigin: "A very difficult race, even if we did get a long
way in front! There were 45-degree wind shifts and big holes
of wind all over the place. We kept our wits about us and made
sure we didn't take any risks.”
Breeze permitting, the
remainder of the second round robin will be sailed tomorrow.
Highlights include an uphill battle for BMW Oracle, facing
ETNZ and TeamOrigin.
In a classic match racing battle, TeamOrigin defeated
previously unbeaten Emirates Team New Zealand today at the
Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice regatta. The Kiwis lead from the
start, taking the initially-favored left side of the course,
but as breeze filled in from the right, the Brits dialed down
ETNZ at the top mark. TeamOrigin got the best of the ensuing
luffing battle, and rounded the mark with a 22-second lead
they never relinquished.
Sir Keith Mills, Team
Principal, had a front row seat onboard as 18th man, and
afterwards praised his Helmsman Ben Ainslie. “It was really
close. Ben brilliantly shut them out. The luff, the slow speed
sailing, the escape, that was classic Ben Ainslie. The team
were faultless, textbook good. It has to be textbook good
against the New Zealanders. They are the reference.”
Next came a fight for the
overall regatta lead, with TeamOrigin going up against Italy’s
Azzurra, both teams holding 5-1 records. The Italians copped a
red flag penalty on the first beat for failing to keep clear,
but gained the lead back when the British team failed to cover
on the run. After BMW Oracle Racing defeated Artemis of Sweden
their afternoon race against the Russian Synergy team was
abandoned due to conditions and will have to be sailed before
the quarter finals draw.
The match has significant
implications for the standings. If BMW Oracle wins, they place
fourth and Synergy finishes sixth behind Sweden’s Artemis. If
Synergy wins, however, all three teams would be have 3-4
records and the tiebreaker would place Artemis fourth, Synergy
fifth and BMW Oracle sixth.
The standings are important
because due to the time lost to the light sailing conditions,
the second half of the regatta has been changed. A half round
robin will be conducted with the top four teams racing the
bottom four teams. Each team has four matches scheduled before
the semifinals begin next Thursday.
One of the unbeaten teams fell by the wayside at the Louis
Vuitton Trophy Nice today, as Britain's TeamOrigin lost to one
of the newer teams, albeit one with some serious America’s Cup
experience onboard. Sweden’s Artemis with Terry
Hutchinson at the helm and Paul Cayard as strategist got the
best of TeamOrigin at the start and the relatively short 1.3
mile course gave the Brits no chance to recover.
“We got ourselves a little
late having misjudged the layline and gave them a powerful
position,” TeamOrigin tactician Iain Percy explained. For
people watching, some of those moves seemed to be wrong but
the reality is that when you are starting with them bow
forward by half a length at the favored end, wide right, the
race is kind of over. Although sometimes it looks like
you are making more mistakes, in fact you are trying to give
yourself a chance to get out.”
In the day’s other big match
ups, Emirates Team New Zealand remained undefeated, taking
down BMW Oracle Racing, and Italy’s Azzurra vaulted TeamOrigin
into second place with a win over All4One. The remaining
card including races between BMWO and Artemis, and ETNZ and
TeamOrigin was postponed until Friday, as fickle wind
conditions remain in the forecast.
See Full Results at LV Trophy site
Light winds greeted teams this morning at the Louis
Vuitton Trophy Nice, with a two hour delay as organizers
waited for the fickle breezes to fill in.
One of the day’s highlights
was the first point for the Russian Synergy team, beating
hosts All4One after the French/German team got tangled up with
the race committee boat on the start.
Otherwise, it was a day that
saw the unbeatens stay unbeaten, with Emirates Team New
Zealand defeating Artemis of Sweden and TeamOrigin taking down
BMW Oracle Racing. ETNZ, Origin, and Azzurra remain the
top three teams in the standings.
The day’s last flight,
between ETNZ and BMW Oracle was cancelled, to be sailed
More typical conditions prevailed in Nice on Tuesday, helping
the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d’Azur to catch up on the
schedule. With eight matches complete on the day,
Emirates Team New Zealand remains undefeated and at the top of
the leader board with a 4-0 record.
England’s TeamOrigin stands
one point behind at 3-0. ETNZ had all they could handle with
the fledgling Azzura team today. “Dean did a great job in the
pre-start and had Azzura on the ropes,” said team boss Grant
Dalton. “Then they were over early and almost handed it to us.
But Azzurra kept it tight. It surprised me that we
didn’t sail away more than we did. We didn’t underestimate
Azzurra even though they’re a new team and they certainly
didn’t let us down."
The Italians are the early
surprise of the regatta, posting a 2-1 record so far with
Francesco Bruni at the wheel, building on his strong showing
in Auckland’s Louis Vuitton Pacific Series last February.
Despite the loss, Azzurra
leads BMW Oracle Racing, also at 2-1, since the Italian team
holds the tie-breaker having earlier defeated the Americans.
Among the eight matches scheduled for Wednesday, BMW Oracle
will have their hands full against both of the undefeated
teams -- TeamOrigin in the second flight and ETNZ in the