Revenge came both sweet and easy for Emirates Team New Zealand when winning a second consecutive Louis Vuitton Trophy on its home waters of the Waitamata Harbour today.
Said Louis Vuitton chairman and ceo Yves Carcelle presenting the trophy: “Now, I hope the America’s Cup will revive.”
In a foreshortened final, ETNZ beat, largely untroubled, the Italian team Mascalzone Latino 2-0 in the best of three and showed even more the value of pre-event training and continuity. Having lost the November event in Nice, ETNZ was always the team to beat.
But others are making progress, not least both Mascalzone Latino and Azzurra from Italy, and the Artemis team from Sweden. Britain’s Team Origin has yet to develop into the well-oiled machine it wants to be, and should be, but had the consolation of using the time when knocked out of the competition to go and play with a new TP52 designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian and soon to be on its way to the Audi MedCup circuit in Europe.
Joining them there will be ETNZ and Artemis among others, while the next Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta will be in La Maddalena, Sardinia, in May. Skipper Ben Ainslie has a busy programme ahead and will also have to pick for the Audi circuit his best 12 from the 17 that crewed the bigger America’s Cup boat.
ETNZ has a similar problem and every indication is that chief executive Grant Dalton will drop himself from what was 15 for the TP 52s last year, along with his heir apparent Kevin Shoebridge. Skipper Dean Barker will be in charge of the on-the-water teams.
By a margin of nearly two days, France’s Franck Cammas and his 10-man crew smashed through the 50-day barrier, set a new record for sailing around the world and triumphantly lifted the Jules Verne Trophy on their return to Brest today.
The 135-foot trimaran’s time of 48d 07hr 44min 52sec knocked 2d 08hr 35min off the old record set by Bruno Peyron’s 120-foot catamaran Orange II in 2005 and made a mockery of the original target of 80 days, which inspired the name of the trophy.
Grant Dalton looks to the future with Stuart Alexander