Sport | Sailing

Emirates Team New Zealand defend Audi MedCup title

Finish third in Cagliari with skipper praising opposition's hard work

  • Staff Report
  • Published: 00:06 September 27, 2010
  • Gulf News

Smooth sailing
  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Emirates Team New Zealand set up the season with a win at Cascais, Portugal, in May, winning three races as well as the key coastal race and gaining a lead of 20 points.

Dubai: Emirates Team New Zealand became the first team to successfully defend their Audi MedCup title as the 2010 series came to an earlier than expected end.

With three of the regatta's 11 races cancelled, Emirates Team New Zealand finished the Cagliari regatta third behind Matador and Audi A1.

Emirates Team New Zealand Skipper Dean Barker acknowledged the strength of the opposition, "We had to work very hard and never felt comfortable or secure. We didn't win as freely as we did in 2009. Crew work and tactics had to be spot on and reliability was tested over and over again."

Emirates Team New Zealand set up the season with a win at Cascais, Portugal, in May winning three races as well as the key coastal race and gaining an initial lead of 20 points. Then followed a fourth place at Marseille in France; the series then moved to Spain with a second place at Barcelona and a first place at Cartagena. Barker commented, "We were planning to finish the season with a flourish. We needed two more races today if we were to improve our position on the leader board. It was a very hard regatta and Matador sailed so well — they couldn't do anything wrong."

Barker said he was proud to be part of a great team,

The team are now preparing for the Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta, which will take place in Dubai from November 12-17.

Gulf News