Emirates Team New Zealand managed to maintain their Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series series lead in Chicago today after a tough regatta that tested the entire fleet.
Going into the event Emirates Team New Zealand held an eight point lead over Oracle Team USA, the Kiwis leave Chicago with a ten point advantage over Land Rover BAR who is now tied with Oracle Team USA.
The regatta was perhaps Emirates Team New Zealand’s toughest regatta yet, finishing in 4th place- the first event the team has finished off the podium.
“It was really tough out there,” said skipper Glenn Ashby. “The wind was up and you look along the start line and there are no easy beats. We have been saying it all along, and the results of this regatta show just how good all of the teams are. We finished 4th, you are never satisfied with that, but if there is any consolation we managed to beat Oracle again, and increase our lead overall so that’s good.”
The full schedule of three races was sailed on ‘Super Sunday’ meaning Emirates Team New Zealand’s win in yesterday’s ‘substitute race’ counted for nothing.
The wind had swung around over night to the north blowing down Lake Michigan as blustery 12- 14 knots today gusting up to 20 knots at times, perfect conditions for high action in front for the large Navy Pier crowd.
Ashby said in the lead up to the regatta that starting well was going to be the key to succeeding on the tight enclosed race course, and certainly that was the telling factor today, one which Emirates Team New Zealand didn't quite manage to nail.
“The racing was super tight, we had a pretty tough day, a few things didn't quite swing our way which we were hoping would.” said helmsman Peter Burling.
The boat that rounded the first mark in front extended their lead throughout in each of the three races, while the rest of the fleet battled it out for vital positions in each and every race.
“We have done such a small amount of training in these boats, it is super hard to put together a consistent performance in such tight racing,” Burling continued.
“We have a lot to work on but we are really happy to extend our overall lead and beat the guys we are fighting against, especially Oracle Team USA.”
The next Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event is in Portsmouth, UK on July 23rd & 24th.
LOUIS VUITTON AMERICAS CUP WORLD SERIES CHICAGO RESULTS
LOUIS VUITTON AMERICAS CUP WORLD SERIES OVERALL STANDINGS
EMIRATES TEAM NZ 295