team origin

Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice  – TEAMORIGIN lost the deciding semi final match today against the Italian Azzurra and again to the Russian Synergy team in the petit final to finish fourth in the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Nice.


Lighter conditions greeted the two semi final rivals for the deciding match of the best of three series. The British boat had the port entry today but managed to win the right hand side of the start after swapping with the Italians half way through the pre-start. TEAMORIGIN in the dominant starboard position and 150 metres to windward lead the pair up the first beat. The Azzurra team sailed fast, found better pressure to the left of the pair and started to move bow forwards on TEAMORIGIN. The Italians initiated a tacking duel and on the first approach achieved a strong leebow position requiring TEAMORIGIN to tack away. The second and third approaches were similar with, bit-by-bit, TEAMORIGIN losing the advantage. The weather mark was fast appearing in view and skipper Ben Ainslie attempted to live in the windward position for as long as possible and maybe even remain overlapped as the pair crossed the two-boatlength circle around the top mark. But the Italians luffed gently and slowed the pair down to almost stopped, and then, in a better position to leeward, accelerated quickly and rounded the first weather mark with a lead of 18 seconds.


The British team needed badly to do something on the run and managed to split away from the Italians, but a confident display by the Azzurra crew to stick with their side of the course and enjoy better wind saw them continue to extend.


The pattern remained the same for the rest of the race and in spite of every attempt the British team were unable to make any significant inroads into the Italian lead and crossed the finish line 29 seconds behind.


Skipper Ben Ainslie had this to say after the race: “We are obviously disappointed to lose that race. It was a close race especially up the first beat. Azzurra did a great job, and all credit to them. We fought hard all the way round but it was not to be.”

Ben continued “Reflecting on the whole regatta we have come such a long way through this event. We are disappointed not to be in the finals but we still performed really well as a team. For us it is all about building for the future so in that respect this event has been fantastic for us. We are looking forward to Auckland in March next year for sure.”


Team Principal Sir Keith Mills, who rode on board again today as 18th man, had this to say minutes after the race:  “That was a very close race up the first beat, with both teams arriving at the top mark within half a boatlength. We got an overlap and thought we had given them a penalty but the umpires did not agree. We had to slow down as we were luffed and the Italians got away from us and that was the race really. A close one, but not to be for us – a great competitor in Azzurra, they are well practised and a team that knows conditions on the Mediterranean really well.”


With their win the Italian team Azzurra advanced to the Louis Vuitton Trophy final where they will race the Emirates Team New Zealand in a best of three series that concludes on Sunday.


TEAMORIGIN then sailed the Russian Synergy team in a one-off petit final race for third and fourth place. TEAMORIGIN won the start and the right hand side of the course and led around the first mark before heading down the first run in light, light airs. Synergy rounded 24 seconds later and committed themselves to a costly gybe set and split from the leader. The British team chose not to gybe, a potentially costly manoeuvre in these extremely light conditions, allowing a big split to develop. When the pair came back together Synergy, with good momentum, sailed right through to leeward as TEAMORIGIN gybed and slowed right down allowing the Russian team to sail into an unassailable lead. TEAMORIGIN therefore finishes the Louis Vuitton Trophy in fourth place.



Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice-Côte d’Azur

Current standings

Competing teams – Country – Skipper – Record (W-L)

1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) – Dean Barker, 11-2

2. Azzurra (ITA) – Francesco Bruni, 9-5

3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) – Karol Jablonski, 8-6

4. TEAMORIGIN (GBR) – Ben Ainslie, 9-6

5. ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) – Jochen Schuemann, 5-8

6. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) – Gavin Brady, 5-8

7. Artemis (SWE) – Paul Cayard, 5-7

8. Team French Spirit – Pages Jaunes (FRA) – Bertrand Pacé, 1-11



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