Louis Vuitton

Russia take lead in Final of Louis Vuitton Trophy

Russia's SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team were unstoppable Saturday, winning their semi-final match 2-0 and then defeating Emirates Team New Zealand in their first final match.The two semi-final races in light air marked the first time in America’s Cup history that a Russian-flagged boat has reached the final of a Louis Vuitton-sponsored event. The winds were light all day and Jablonski and his crew had to wait into early evening before their race against Emirates Team New Zealand.In race 1 of the Final the Kiwi skipper Dean Barker deftly avoided a pre-start dialup, negating the starboard tack entry advantage of the Russian boat but Jablonski and his Kiwi tactician Rod Dawson won the pre-start battle and the start. The Kiwis came back to dominate the first three legs until the Russians took over at the last top mark.Jablonski was aggressive in the pre-start as the teams circled, almost getting a hook on the Kiwi boat and forcing them away towards the committee before he made a speedy start at the pin. The Kiwis tacked to start on starboard close to the committee. Dean Barker gained slowly on a long drag race well beyond the port tack layline and held Jablonski out to round the top mark first.They were level at the end of the run and the Russians worked the left to cross ahead of the Kiwis on port approaching the weather mark. Ray Davies, ETNZ tactician said: "It was a bit disappointing. A really good start and good first beat. We had a bad gybe set, but were still comfortably ahead. The left gate was closer, but it wasn't a nice rounding. We took the favoured gate but coughed up quite a lot. He was getting good pressure on the left and we protected the wrong side on the second beat... Those guys sailed a really good race... We let ourselves down a bit. It wasn't our smoothest day on the water."Final Race One: SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team def. Emirates Team New Zealand, 00:34Semi-final ResultsSemi-final One: Emirates Team New Zealand def. Artemis, 2-1Semi-final Two: SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team def. All4One, 2-0

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