After a disappointing ACWS regatta in Newport, Rhode Island, Emirates Team New Zealand has taken second place in the first season of the America's Cup World Series.
The crew, skippered by Dean Barker, entered the event in second place overall, just four points adrift of Oracle Team USA Spithill, needing only to pick up a combined four places on the Americans in the match and fleet racing to be tied for first overall.
Sadly, it was not to be. Barker and company sustained catastrophic damage to their wing-sail after capsizing in the match-racing quarter finals against Artemis Racing. This was the first time an AC45 had capsized while using one of the new wing-sail extensions, which are added to the boats in light airs. The extra portion of wing filled up with water which made righting the boat much more difficult. This resulted in the rest of the wing filling with water as it lay submerged for over an hour, causing significant damage to the Mylar membrane.
ETNZ were then forced to purchase some segments from Race Management and use others from a spare wing-sail to repair their own in time for the final fleet race. They were able to effect repairs in time, yet battled in the light conditions and were unable to find the groove. Despite sailing well in the last two of nine legs, they finished the last fleet race of the season in fourth place.
Emirates Team New Zealand finished the season in second overall in the fleet racing behind Oracle Spithill and third in the match racing behind Artemis Racing and Oracle Spithill. They amassed a total of 93 points to finish in second overall, nine points off the pace set by James Spithill of Oracle Team USA.
The teams now look ahead to the first event of the 2012-2013 season which will take place in San Francisco, from August 21-26.
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