Archive | June, 2006

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The T-Systems minute – Day 9

Posted on 30 June 2006 by Valencia Sailing

In today´s “T-Systems Minute”, Dee Smith, manager and tactician of Team Shosholoza, comments on the day’s two races against Desafío Español 2007 for the semifinals in the second division. The first race was a very close one, with Shosholoza beating the Spanish team by 4 seconds while in the second one the Spanish crossed the finish line comfortably ahead of Team Shosholoza. Saturday’s race is extremely important, as the winner will face Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team for the first place of the second division.

Video shot and edited by Pierre Orphanidis

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Louis Vuitton Act 12 – Day 9 – 2st Semi-final : Majestic recovery by Alinghi secures them spot in final

Posted on 30 June 2006 by Valencia Sailing

First Division

Alinghi – Luna Rossa : 1 – 0
What an incredible comeback by Alinghi and what a stupid way to lose an incredible early advantage by Luna Rossa. The prestart was very even and a few seconds before the gun went off both boats raced to the start line but to the enormous surprise of everybody, because of an entirely unforced error, Alinghi crossed a second before time. While James Spithill and his crew sailed away, Peter Holmberg had to steer SUI-75 back to the starting line and recross it, resulting in a 33-second gain for the Italians. It looked like it was over for the Swiss Defender of the America’s Cup, but conventional thinking was not what Peter Holmberg and his crew did.

Not only did Alinghi manage to eat away seconds in all legs of the race but a great call by Brud Butterworth aboard SUI-75 and a childish error by Luna Rossa to allow a tremendous separation from their opponent resulted in Alinghi turning over the game and winning by 29 seconds. The Swiss turned the left wind shift into their advantage and ridiculed the Italians. Their spot at the finals of the first division is now secured.

Second Division

Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team – Victory Challenge : 1 – 0
The second Italian-Swedish confrontation turned out to be quite easy for Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team. Helmed by Jes Gram-Hansen in prestart and Flavio Favini during the rest of the race, ITA-77 was always ahead of the Victory Challenge, increasing their lead in the first three leg and despite a final push by Victory Challenge, the Italians finished 47 seconds ahead. Just like Alinghi in the first division, Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team will be one of the finalists in the second division.

Desafío Español – Team Shosholoza : 1 – 0
Unlike the previous race, Shosholoza was no threat for the Spanish team. Despite starting well and gaining an early advantage of a couple of boatlenghts, Shosholoza could not keep it as the Spanish called tactics correctly, positioning themselves on the correct side of the course, especially in the last leg, and winning by 35 seconds. Tomorrow´s race between them will decide who fights against Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team for the first place of the second division.

Third Division

There was no change from the first round of semi-finals, earlier in the day. The Italian +39 Challenge secured their spot in tomorrow´s battle for first place in third division, after beating United Internet Team Germany by more than a minute, without feeling any threat during the race. The second spot in the final went to Areva Challenge who beat China Team, but with great sweat. The Chinese team was ahead in the first downwind leg but a poor spinnaker drop in the leeward gate resulted in a tremendous drag and loss of the race.

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Louis Vuitton Act 12 – Day 9 – 2st Semi-final : Majestic recovery by Alinghi secures them spot in final

Posted on 30 June 2006 by Valencia Sailing

First Division

Alinghi – Luna Rossa : 1 – 0
What an incredible comeback by Alinghi and what a stupid way to lose an incredible early advantage by Luna Rossa. The prestart was very even and a few seconds before the gun went off both boats raced to the start line but to the enormous surprise of everybody, because of an entirely unforced error, Alinghi crossed a second before time. While James Spithill and his crew sailed away, Peter Holmberg had to steer SUI-75 back to the starting line and recross it, resulting in a 33-second gain for the Italians. It looked like it was over for the Swiss Defender of the America’s Cup, but conventional thinking was not what Peter Holmberg and his crew did.

Not only did Alinghi manage to eat away seconds in all legs of the race but a great call by Brud Butterworth aboard SUI-75 and a childish error by Luna Rossa to allow a tremendous separation from their opponent resulted in Alinghi turning over the game and winning by 29 seconds. The Swiss turned the left wind shift into their advantage and ridiculed the Italians. Their spot at the finals of the first division is now secured.

Second Division

Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team – Victory Challenge : 1 – 0
The second Italian-Swedish confrontation turned out to be quite easy for Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team. Helmed by Jes Gram-Hansen in prestart and Flavio Favini during the rest of the race, ITA-77 was always ahead of the Victory Challenge, increasing their lead in the first three leg and despite a final push by Victory Challenge, the Italians finished 47 seconds ahead. Just like Alinghi in the first division, Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team will be one of the finalists in the second division.

Desafío Español – Team Shosholoza : 1 – 0
Unlike the previous race, Shosholoza was no threat for the Spanish team. Despite starting well and gaining an early advantage of a couple of boatlenghts, Shosholoza could not keep it as the Spanish called tactics correctly, positioning themselves on the correct side of the course, especially in the last leg, and winning by 35 seconds. Tomorrow´s race between them will decide who fights against Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team for the first place of the second division.

Third Division

There was no change from the first round of semi-finals, earlier in the day. The Italian +39 Challenge secured their spot in tomorrow´s battle for first place in third division, after beating United Internet Team Germany by more than a minute, without feeling any threat during the race. The second spot in the final went to Areva Challenge who beat China Team, but with great sweat. The Chinese team was ahead in the first downwind leg but a poor spinnaker drop in the leeward gate resulted in a tremendous drag and loss of the race.

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Louis Vuitton Act 12 – Day 9 – 1st Semi-final : Order reestablished, amazing Shosholoza win over Desafío Español

Posted on 30 June 2006 by Valencia Sailing

Order was re-established in the first semi-finals of the day, with BMW Oracle beating Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa losing against Alinghi. The day´s most exciting race took place in the second division where Shosholoza kept a very thin lead over Desafío Español throughout the race and despite a very bad gybe at the final stretch made a last-second run and won by 4 seconds.

First Division

Emirates Team New Zealand – BMW Oracle : 1 – 0
This time around BMW Oracle played it by the book and tried to avoid the kind of tactical errors of the previous races. The pres-start procedure was very tight and both teams left on time with a very small advantage for the Kiwis who went to the left. During the first leg both boats were neck and neck and a luffing incident took place a few hundred meters before the top mark but Emirates Team New Zealand avoided getting the penalty. BMW Oracle rounded the top mark 17 seconds ahead of the Kiwis and managed to increase their lead by a couple of seconds in each leg. In the final downwind leg, BMW Oracle got the correct wind shift and finished 35 seconds ahead of their opponent.

Luna Rossa – Alinghi : 0 – 1
Alinghi took revenge of their defeat two days ago, although it was amuch close race than the other semi-final of the first division. Although Luna Rossa had a 2-second advantage at the start line, Alinghi was mush faster and rounded the top mark 22 seconds ahead of Luna Rossa. Although at some points of the downwind legs the Italians managed to close the gap, they were never really able to reach the Swiss team. The bottom line was that it was a story of Alinghi going musch faster upwind while Luna Rossa seemed a rocket downwind. If the Italians manage a lead in the first leg and don´t make any errors they might be able to beat once again Alinghi.

Second Division

Victory Challenge – Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team : 0 – 1
The race was decided before the starting gun went off as Jes Gram-Hansen, helmsman of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team during prestart, squeezed and trapped the Victory Challenge boat right of the committee boat, forcing them to turn around and waste a precious 25 seconds. This difference proved to big for the Swedes to recover, although they did manage to considerably diminish the Italian lead, that went from 46 seconds at the first mark to 15 seconds to the finish line.

Team Shosholoza – Desafío Español : 1 – 0
The weakest team of the division dealt a blow to Desafío Español. At the start, the South African team had a very small lead but during the first leg both boats were neck and neck. Shosholoza rounded the top mark 7 seconds ahead and after another very close downwind leg they rounded the leeward gate a mere second ahead of the Spanish. Their lead increased in the final upwind leg, but a very poor gybe halfway through the final leg allowed Desafío Español to overtake Shosholoza. Nevertheless, Tomaso Chieffi’s excellent helmsmanship gave Shosholoza the chance to gybe ahead of the spanish and cross 4 seconds ahead.

Third Division

It was the third division that finally proved to have the most predictable and comfortable wins. United Internet Team Germany finished 1:11 minutes behind +39 Challenge, while Areva Challenge beat China Team by almost a minute.

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Louis Vuitton Act 12 – Day 9 – 1st Semi-final : Order reestablished, amazing Shosholoza win over Desafío Español

Posted on 30 June 2006 by Valencia Sailing

Order was re-established in the first semi-finals of the day, with BMW Oracle beating Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa losing against Alinghi. The day´s most exciting race took place in the second division where Shosholoza kept a very thin lead over Desafío Español throughout the race and despite a very bad gybe at the final stretch made a last-second run and won by 4 seconds.

First Division

Emirates Team New Zealand – BMW Oracle : 1 – 0
This time around BMW Oracle played it by the book and tried to avoid the kind of tactical errors of the previous races. The pres-start procedure was very tight and both teams left on time with a very small advantage for the Kiwis who went to the left. During the first leg both boats were neck and neck and a luffing incident took place a few hundred meters before the top mark but Emirates Team New Zealand avoided getting the penalty. BMW Oracle rounded the top mark 17 seconds ahead of the Kiwis and managed to increase their lead by a couple of seconds in each leg. In the final downwind leg, BMW Oracle got the correct wind shift and finished 35 seconds ahead of their opponent.

Luna Rossa – Alinghi : 0 – 1
Alinghi took revenge of their defeat two days ago, although it was amuch close race than the other semi-final of the first division. Although Luna Rossa had a 2-second advantage at the start line, Alinghi was mush faster and rounded the top mark 22 seconds ahead of Luna Rossa. Although at some points of the downwind legs the Italians managed to close the gap, they were never really able to reach the Swiss team. The bottom line was that it was a story of Alinghi going musch faster upwind while Luna Rossa seemed a rocket downwind. If the Italians manage a lead in the first leg and don´t make any errors they might be able to beat once again Alinghi.

Second Division

Victory Challenge – Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team : 0 – 1
The race was decided before the starting gun went off as Jes Gram-Hansen, helmsman of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team during prestart, squeezed and trapped the Victory Challenge boat right of the committee boat, forcing them to turn around and waste a precious 25 seconds. This difference proved to big for the Swedes to recover, although they did manage to considerably diminish the Italian lead, that went from 46 seconds at the first mark to 15 seconds to the finish line.

Team Shosholoza – Desafío Español : 1 – 0
The weakest team of the division dealt a blow to Desafío Español. At the start, the South African team had a very small lead but during the first leg both boats were neck and neck. Shosholoza rounded the top mark 7 seconds ahead and after another very close downwind leg they rounded the leeward gate a mere second ahead of the Spanish. Their lead increased in the final upwind leg, but a very poor gybe halfway through the final leg allowed Desafío Español to overtake Shosholoza. Nevertheless, Tomaso Chieffi’s excellent helmsmanship gave Shosholoza the chance to gybe ahead of the spanish and cross 4 seconds ahead.

Third Division

It was the third division that finally proved to have the most predictable and comfortable wins. United Internet Team Germany finished 1:11 minutes behind +39 Challenge, while Areva Challenge beat China Team by almost a minute.

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Louis Vuitton Act 12 – Day 9 – Preview: First day of semi-finals

Posted on 30 June 2006 by Valencia Sailing

Good morning from hot and sunny Valencia. Unlike yesterday and the day before, when there were some brief showers in various parts of the Valencia metropolitan area, the skies this morning are blue and clear. According to the weather forecast from Chris Bedford, meteorologist of BMW Oracle, we should expect the sea breeze to develop late in the morning and reach 9 to 13 knots.

What makes this day competely different from the previous ones, in addition to the fact we are having semi-finals and finals for the first time, it’s that both race areas have been squeezed into the north race course. As of today, the Valencia Yacht Club is holding their annual Copa de la Reina regatta and will be using their traditional race course, coinciding with the America’s Cup south course. As a result, all races today and during the weekend will take place in the area off the Malvarosa beach. Undoubtedly, it will be a great show for spectators and beach goers.

As far as racing action is concerned, the 12 teams have been divided into 3 divisions according to their rank in the round robins and will race the semi-finals today and tomorrow. The first team of each semi-final to win two races moves on to the final while the defeated teams will face each other in a petit-final to decide third and fourth position within each division.

First Division
As it was to be expected, the first division consists of the Big Four (Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa, Alinghi and BMW Oracle). The top team of the division, Emirates Team New Zealand, got to choose their opponent and decided to race against BMW Oracle. July Ash, the authorative and exhilarating reporter of the New Zealand Herald here in Valencia, in today’s report writes that according to helmsman Dean Barker, the Kiwis decided to race against BMW Oracle not because they felt they were the weakest team but because “we are at a phase in our campaign where we are trying to finalise the design for our second boat. To do at least two more races against Oracle – we feel we can get more out of that than racing the other two teams.”

In order to give Dean Barker and the rest of the New Zealand crew, as well as our readers, a small hand in finding out what could USA-87, the brand new BMW Oracle boat, be hiding, we publish the following two photos of the boat, taken two days ago during the break between the two races.

The shadow of USA-87´s keel is visible in this shot, albeit not with absolute clarity. At first view, it doesn´t look like anything revolutionary, although it might be too early to judge. What is intriguing is the really long bulb. More photos will be taken on the weekend. Valencia, 28 June 2006. Photo by Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

By now it is absolutely clear that USA-87 has a stern rudder. Valencia, 28 June 2006. Photo by Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

It will be also extremely interesting to watch the race between Luna Rossa and Alinghi. Just two days ago, James Spithill and the rest of the Italian team’s crew put on a formidable performance against the Swiss Defender of the America’s Cup.

Second Division
The fact that it is the second division doesn´t diminish the interest at all, on the contrary, we will have very close racing here as well. The first team of the division, Desafío Español, did not hesitate in choosing Shosholoza as their opponent for the semi-final. The South African challenger managed to sneak into the division after a three-way tie with Areva Challenge and +39 Challenge. The other match of the division, facing Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team and Victory Challenge will undoubtedly be the most closely watched race.

Third Division
Last, but certainly not least, the third division will have its share of thrills, especially between Areva Challenge and +39 Challenge. Areva Challenge chose to race against China Team in their semi-final. If both Areva and +39 move on to the final of the division, the race will promise to be exciting between these teams fighting with their aged yachts, soon to be retired.

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Louis Vuitton Act 12 – Day 9 – Preview: First day of semi-finals

Posted on 30 June 2006 by Valencia Sailing

Good morning from hot and sunny Valencia. Unlike yesterday and the day before, when there were some brief showers in various parts of the Valencia metropolitan area, the skies this morning are blue and clear. According to the weather forecast from Chris Bedford, meteorologist of BMW Oracle, we should expect the sea breeze to develop late in the morning and reach 9 to 13 knots.

What makes this day competely different from the previous ones, in addition to the fact we are having semi-finals and finals for the first time, it’s that both race areas have been squeezed into the north race course. As of today, the Valencia Yacht Club is holding their annual Copa de la Reina regatta and will be using their traditional race course, coinciding with the America’s Cup south course. As a result, all races today and during the weekend will take place in the area off the Malvarosa beach. Undoubtedly, it will be a great show for spectators and beach goers.

As far as racing action is concerned, the 12 teams have been divided into 3 divisions according to their rank in the round robins and will race the semi-finals today and tomorrow. The first team of each semi-final to win two races moves on to the final while the defeated teams will face each other in a petit-final to decide third and fourth position within each division.

First Division
As it was to be expected, the first division consists of the Big Four (Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa, Alinghi and BMW Oracle). The top team of the division, Emirates Team New Zealand, got to choose their opponent and decided to race against BMW Oracle. July Ash, the authorative and exhilarating reporter of the New Zealand Herald here in Valencia, in today’s report writes that according to helmsman Dean Barker, the Kiwis decided to race against BMW Oracle not because they felt they were the weakest team but because “we are at a phase in our campaign where we are trying to finalise the design for our second boat. To do at least two more races against Oracle – we feel we can get more out of that than racing the other two teams.”

In order to give Dean Barker and the rest of the New Zealand crew, as well as our readers, a small hand in finding out what could USA-87, the brand new BMW Oracle boat, be hiding, we publish the following two photos of the boat, taken two days ago during the break between the two races.

The shadow of USA-87´s keel is visible in this shot, albeit not with absolute clarity. At first view, it doesn´t look like anything revolutionary, although it might be too early to judge. What is intriguing is the really long bulb. More photos will be taken on the weekend. Valencia, 28 June 2006. Photo by Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

By now it is absolutely clear that USA-87 has a stern rudder. Valencia, 28 June 2006. Photo by Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

It will be also extremely interesting to watch the race between Luna Rossa and Alinghi. Just two days ago, James Spithill and the rest of the Italian team’s crew put on a formidable performance against the Swiss Defender of the America’s Cup.

Second Division
The fact that it is the second division doesn´t diminish the interest at all, on the contrary, we will have very close racing here as well. The first team of the division, Desafío Español, did not hesitate in choosing Shosholoza as their opponent for the semi-final. The South African challenger managed to sneak into the division after a three-way tie with Areva Challenge and +39 Challenge. The other match of the division, facing Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team and Victory Challenge will undoubtedly be the most closely watched race.

Third Division
Last, but certainly not least, the third division will have its share of thrills, especially between Areva Challenge and +39 Challenge. Areva Challenge chose to race against China Team in their semi-final. If both Areva and +39 move on to the final of the division, the race will promise to be exciting between these teams fighting with their aged yachts, soon to be retired.

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The T-Systems minute – Day 7

Posted on 28 June 2006 by Valencia Sailing

In today´s “T-Systems Minute”, Mark Sadler, skipper of Team Shosholoza, comments on the day’s race against Luna Rossa and very close race against Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team. Team Shosholoza has been chosen by Desafío Español 2007 for the first race of the semifinals in the second division, starting Friday.

Video shot and edited by Pierre Orphanidis

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