If there were still any doubts left about the overwhelming power of Alinghi they dissipated like early-morning mist before the sun, after watching Tuesday’s action during the closing day of Louis Vuitton Act 6. Even without anything at stake, the Swiss overpowered Emirates Team New Zealand during their last race in Louis Vuitton Act 6 and finsihed at the top of the table with a perfect score. In a previous article we stated that Alinghi was running like a fine Swiss watch. We were wrong and will have to restate: Fine Swiss watches run like Alinghi.
Meanwhile, among challengers, BMW Oracle also proved their power despite the few technical glitches and some team departures. They are clearly in very good shape and promise a tough fight.
After the end of this Act there are three groups whose outlines are considerably well defined:
BIG FOUR: Alinghi, BMW Oracle, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa. Barring any extraordinary events, the winner of the 32nd America’s Cup will come from that group. In fact, with just one exception, teams of this select group were defeated only by other Big Four teams.
MID FOUR: Desafío Español, +39 Challenge, Mascalzone Latino Team Capitalia, Victory Challenge. These four syndicates have, admittedly, very slim chances in winning the America’s Cup, let alone the Louis Vuitton Cup. Nevertheless, they provide an interesting and exciting field while competing for the much-coveted fifth place. Desafío Español performed very well and got the fifth position. Hadn’t been for the childish mistake and defeat against Victory Challenge their position would have been even stronger.
Equally satisfying was the performance of +39, especially the win over Emirates Team New Zealand. Skippered by British Iain Percy, the Italian challenger is now tied with the Spanish. Mascalzone Latino Team Capitalia started with severe technical problems, but recovered and is now hopeful for the future. As for the locals, Victory Challenge, their performance did not match expectations.
BOTTOM FOUR: K-Challenge, United Internet Team Germany, China Team and Team Shosholoza. These four teams have absolutely no chances but they keep fighting. The German team was plagued by problems and clearly disappointed with its performance. The bright spot in these Acts were the first two victories ever for the South African team, one against locals Victory Challenge and another over China Team.