21 Mar 2010

Team NZ win to stay in contention for Louis Vuitton final

8:28 am on 21 March 2010

In a thriller that's kept Team New Zealand's hopes alive in the Louis Vuitton Trophy Regatta in Auckland, the hosts won their second semi-final match against Azzurra on Friday - by completing a penalty turn right on the finish line to win by two seconds.

Carrying the penalty incurred in the pre-start, Dean Barker and his crew led all the way to the finish, but with the penalty turn still to be done.

On-course commentators were saying they would need at least a 200 metre lead to successfully complete the turn.

The telemetry was showing only a 135m lead as they approached the finish line.

They dropped the gennaker and went into the 360 deg turn around the pin end of the line with Azzurra approaching fast.

And just as it looked like they would not make it, Team New Zealand's bow crossed the line, right on the nose of the fast-approaching Italians.

However two seconds were enough to give them a win and another chance of making the final.

In the first race Team New Zealand lost to Azzurra after problems with their sail cost the New Zealander's heavily, eventually losing by 18 seconds.

Italy's Mascalzone Latino has gone through to the final, beating the Swedish team Artemis 2 - 1 in their semi-final.