Two of the more fancied teams went crashing out of the Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta off Dubai. Failing to make the cut were the Artemis team, from Sweden, and the Synergy team from Russia as the leader, BMW Oracle is joined in the semi-finals by Emirates Team New Zealand, the Franco-German All4One, and the comeback kids from Italy, Mascalzone Latino.
Oracle will choose its semi-final opponent on Thursday as racing takes a day off and an America’s Cup team conference takes over the Dubai International Marine Club.
Unhappy with the Artemis performance was its tactician, Iain Percy, who now moves on to Malaysia for the Monsoon Cup decider on the World Match Race Tour. He will rejoin skipper Ben Ainslie, who has followed up an Olympic test regatta in Fremantle with the Sunseeker Australia Cup match race in Perth.
If Percy was unhappy with the Louis Vuitton result, he is even more upset that the world governing body, the International Sailing Federation, has decided to drop the Star keelboat, in which he is defending Olympic champion, from the 2016 line-up.
“It probably doesn’t affect me, but has ISAF gone crazy,” he asked? The decision to retain a mixed 470 dinghy was, he said: “Bizarre. If there were only one sailing event in the Olympics it should be the Star or the Laser singlehander. The whole problem with the situation seems clear to everyone except ISAF.”