A free team-building exercise!

“That was a good team building exercise!” With those words Paul Cayard, skipper of the Swedish boat Artemis summed up their Louis Vuitton Trophy race today with Britain’s TEAMORIGIN, one that was more akin to a bar brawl.

Packed with protest flags, incidents and flogging sails at three marks of a four-leg course, this close-fought duel went ultimately to Artemis and her helmsman Terry Hutchinson on a series of umpire calls.

Asked to explain all that happened, Cayard simply said: “We should have had to pay for that (team building), but luckily the Brits paid for it for us!”

Britain’s skipper Ben Ainslie had attempted to gybe across the Artemis bow coming into the finish, Cayard said. “But it gave us an opportunity to come in and start a bit of a war with them. Terry did a great job managing the war. And then we had a bit on down there with the kite and everybody just got into it and somehow we got the win!”

The race was one of seven packed into a long, incident-filled day of racing on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour that that passed without breakdown, or damage to boats, sails or sailors.