Last weekend the first final races between the Italian team Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand took place. Like the entire Louis Vuitton Cup, they went under the motto «no second boat». This time, the reason for that was the headline breakdowns.
On Saturday, even before the cannon went off, the Italians had difficulty with the centreboard of the AC72 catamaran. Right before the starting line the guys tried to fix the problems and seemed to cope and started, but the problem came back after passing the first sign. The race was expected to be won by the New Zealanders, but the conditions for victory were unforeseen. But Saturday's drama did not end there - ETNZ got even more. During the maneuver on the third sign the boat dived» sharply «forward and two crew members were overboard, where they were picked up by the rescue boat. No one, thank God, was hurt.
This freezing moment looked like this:
On Sunday, the crews switched roles as losers. The standard start for these rivals is the kiwi lead, the Italians are behind. But in the third segment, when the New Zealanders were 400 meters ahead of the opponent, their boat is slowing down. As it became clear later, the hydraulic control system flew. The crew couldn't fix the breakage without a support boat, and as soon as they got help from the shore, they were disqualified immediately. The Luna Rossa helmsman, Chris Draper, noticed that this is «not the way they want to earn points», but once they get their hands on it, it's a sin to refuse.
The score is 1:1, and at the Louis Vuitton Cup it's a good tradition not to beat the opponent, but just get to the finish line.