America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ on top - but not without drama

Emirates Team New Zealand winning in the third race of day four of the America’s Cup World Series in Cascais, Portugal.

Emirates Team New Zealand finished another good day on the water on Day 4 at Cascais with a solid match-race win over Artemis Racing (Sweden).

Dean Barker, Ray Davies, Winston Macfarlane, James Dagg and Glenn Ashby, had earlier won two of the three fleet races, giving them a second straight overall win for the day.

The day was not without its drama. The catamarans are not the only new feature of the 34th America’s Cup. In the first fleet race, Emirates Team New Zealand was penalised twice for sailing outside the race course boundaries.

The boundaries are monitored electronically. Lights fitted to the yachts’ cross beams flash as the boundary nears. The faster they flash, the closer is the boundary.

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The penalties are delivery electronically too. Rather than the penalty turn of old, yachts discharge the penalty by slowing down which is monitored electronically by the umpires. When the umpires are happy the yachts are signalled.

Today Barker was penalised twice when the instruments on the yacht showed he was inside the course. Barker said after the race that they did not know why they were being penalised.

'When we got the second penalty the on-board instruments showed we had 50m to go to the boundary. We did not know what was going on.'



He said: 'We have learned that there was a fault in the system ... teething troubles in a complex system that is so new. The race organisers have a very strong technical team working to make the system flawless. I think everyone expects that it might take a little time.'

Commenting on the racing so far, Barker said the Emirates Team New Zealand boat showed good speed most of the time.'We are going well and our crew work has been great. We are learning every day and We’re pleased with the progress we are making.

'Everyone here is making mistakes and it’s coming down to who makes the fewest mistakes.'

Emirates Team New Zealand in the second race of day four of the America's Cup World Series in Cascais, Portugal. 11/8/2011

The race format is also new: At the end of the day’s fleet racing, the top six competitors are paired in match races – first on fleet-race leader board races second, third races fourth and fifth races sixth.

Emirates Team New Zealand shore crew at Cascais worked through the night to repair damage caused yesterday in a pre-start collision. The AC45 was damaged in the aft port hull when Oracle 5 hit. Oracle 5 was penalised for the port-starboard incident; Dean Barker was late for the start but climbed through the fleet to finish fourth. Inspection at the end of racing revealed damage was extensive; one section required immediate work to prevent water getting into the core. The rest of the damage will be repaired at Plymouth, venue for the next AC45 World Series regatta.
Results from Race Day 4 attached.



Emirates Team New Zealand rounding the top mark in the third race of day four of the America's Cup World Series in Cascais, Portugal. 11/8/2011