Racing at the Americas Cup World Series event in Naples wrapped up today with what organisers call “Super Sunday” – a final fleet race that is worth triple points.
That sets the scene for what is essentially a winner-takes-all last fleet race.
Emirates Team New Zealand’s winning streak from yesterday did not continue and the team had to settle for 6th place, finishing the fleet racing championship third overall, behind Luna Rossa Swordfish and Oracle Team USA.
It was a disappointing way to finish the AC45 world series, the last AC45 regatta before the team reassembles in San Francisco to focus on the main event Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series followed by the Americas Cup in the AC72’s.
As they packed the AC45 away for the last time, tactician Ray Davies summed up the day: “We started behind he pack, nearly got back into it but had to settle for a third overall. That’s not why we came to Naples.”
He said the team had learned a massive amount about multihull racing from the AC45 regattas. “We learned a lot about wing trim and the dynamics of multihull sailing. We have the confidence of knowing we are right up there as far as pace is concerned.
“The AC72 is a different beast. We sail it completely differently. Now we have to see how that plays out….”
Skipper Dean Barker said the boys had been aiming to finish the “last AC45 regatta for who knows how long on a higher note. Our strengths from earlier in the week – fighting back from being down the fleet – deserted us.”
“On the positive side: We went into the last day with a good lead and we’ve had a very good week of race practice at Naples.”
Most members of the sailing team are now on their way back to New Zealand, for the pack-up and to prepare for the team’s migration to San Francisco.
America’s Cup World Series Naples Standings
1. Luna Rossa Swordfish (Francesco Bruni) – 80 points
2. ORACLE TEAM USA (Tom Slingsby) – 80
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) – 71
4. Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper) – 70
5. J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) – 65
6. Energy Team (Yann Guichard) – 58
7. Artemis Racing White (Charlie Ekberg) – 40
8. HS Racing (R. Hagara/H.S. Steinacher) – 36
9. China Team (Mitch Booth) – 30