Emirates Team New Zealand have maintained their lead on top of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series after an exhaustive two days of close light air racing in Muscat, Oman.
Emirates Team New Zealand and Ben Ainslie Racing were the only teams to win two races each out of the six after Glenn Ashby and crew won the first race of the day again. But in the end it was the British that got their nose ahead and took out the overall Oman regatta by just two points over Oracle and Emirates Team New Zealand.
“As with all of these events, the final results always come down to the final race. I knew we just had to beat Ben Ainslie in the last race and we would win the regatta.” said tactician Ray Davies
“Obviously this is always easier said than done, we had a good lead over them half way up the upwind leg and we were looking good, but the French tacked on us which gave us some dirty air which hurt our cross on three starboard tackers that we had to dip and essentially that was what did the damage in the last race.”
The second race of the day was another strong one for Emirates Team New Zealand, Peter Burling got off to a good start among half of the fleet who were judged to have crossed the line early rounding the first mark in third place, which is precisely where they finished.
This regatta more than any previously, was evident how strong all of the teams have become across the fleet with four teams winning races, and all teams getting podium finishes during the regatta.
“To come away from any event on top of the world series leaderboard is not a bad thing at all.” said skipper Glenn Ashby.
“You can certainly get a sense of the skill level across the board really rising and no race is easy. You just have to look at Artemis racing who won the previous event and finished last here in Oman. The margins between a good and bad event are so small, you have to keep improving and working hard to have an edge over your competitors.”
The next Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event is in New York on May 7th & 8th.
In the meantime, the team returns to New Zealand to resume their intensive testing and development program on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf.
LVACWS OVERALL STANDINGS
Emirates Team New Zealand 192
Oracle Team USA 186
Land Rover BAR 185
Softbank Team Japan 161
Artemis Racing 161
Groupama Team France 150
LVACWS OMAN FINAL RESULTS
Land Rover BAR 76
Oracle Team USA 74
Emirates Team New Zealand 70
Groupama Team France 68
Softbank Team Japan 61