Archive | April, 2007

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Louis Vuitton Cup – Round Robin 2 – Day 2: Luna Rossa dominate Victory Challenge

Posted on 30 April 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Match racing virtuoso James Spithill and his crew didn’t have great problems in beating Victory Challenge in the north course’s second race. After an aggressive prestart, the Italians started the match with a lead of 3 seconds over the Swedes. The first leg was a tough fight and the boats sailed less than two boat lengths apart. James Spithill from leeward edged in without losing speed and managed to push Luna Rossa’s dirty air on Victory’s sails. At the point Luna Rossa lead the race, rounded the top mark with a 12-second advantage and stayed ahead until the end, crossing the finish line almost half a minute before Victory Challenge.

Victory Challenge in the prestart of the race against Luna Rossa. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Prestart of the race between Victory Challenge and Luna Rossa. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Immediately after the start Victory Challenge sails towards the right. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

At the approach of the leeward gate, Luna Rossa had increased their lead over Victory Challenge. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Crew work aboard Luna Rossa’s ITA-94 was flawless. Here they round the leeward gate. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

On the contrary, a spinnaker problem at the leeward gate cost Victory Challenge precious time. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Despite the gains achieved in the last leg, the Swedes couldn’t reach Luna Rossa. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Luna Rossa cross the finish line, pocket two points and share the top spot on the leaderboard with BMW Oracle. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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Louis Vuitton Cup – Round Robin 2 – Day 2: BMW Oracle’s shocking defeat by China Team

Posted on 30 April 2007 by Valencia Sailing

The Dragon’s son beats the American eagle should read tomorrow’s headlines in the sport sections of the Chinese newspapers. Not only did China Team score their first victory in the Louis Vuitton Cup, they did it against the leader BMW Oracle.

It was supposed to be the day’s dullest and least interesting race but it turned out into one of the most interesting and spectacular. China Team must have entered the start box with a mindset of losing by the lowest margin possible while BMW Oracle lined up their so called “B Team” and for the first in the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup, USA-98 was helmed by Sten Mohr.

It was indeed a one-sided match till halfway through the first leg when the genoa sail pulled out of the headstay foil on USA-98. The Americans tried to hoist a second genoa but to no avail. They were forced to continue the first upwind leg with just their mainsail. That mishap gave the Chinese the chance to build an enormous advantage over BMW Oracle. The Americans fixed the problem during the first downwind leg and sailed with the genoa in the second upwind leg and despite gaining more than 1 minute on each of the 2 legs, that was not enough and crossed the finish line more than 3 minutes behind China Team.

This is the second time BMW Oracle suffer from this type of failure in a very short time. As recently as three weeks ago, USA-98 went through the exact same failure in Louis Vuitton Act 13 and the crew were unable to hoist the genoa twice.

Prestart in the race between China Team and BMW Oracle. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

China Team got squeezed at the start. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Both boats went to the right and BMW Oracle started increasing their lead. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Far away in the course, the unthinkable takes place, severe gear failure on BMW Oracle’s USA-98. We then learned it was a repeat of the failure in Act 13. Sorry for the picture but we were not allowed to go further upwind due to the other two simultaneous races on the same course. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Far away and coming downwind, yes downwind, China Team’s CHN-95. After their recent mishaps in spinnaker drops and given their 5-minute lead over BMW Oracle, the Chinese decided to play it safe and dropped the spinnaker hundreds of meters before reaching the leeward gate. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

A photo for the history books. China Team’s CHN-95 starting their upwind leg while BMW Oracle were downwind, hundreds of meters from the leeward gate. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

BMW Oracle also avoided all unnecessary risks and dropped their spinnaker far away from the leeward gate. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Despite their evident speed advantage, BMW Oracle was unable to reach the Chinese. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The Dragon’s Son a few hundred meters before his first victory in the 32nd America’s Cup. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Without any doubt the happiest moment for China Team in their 3-year long journey in the 32nd America’s Cup. They cross the finish line 3:15 minutes ahead of BMW Oracle Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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Louis Vuitton Cup – Round Robin 2 – Day 2: BMW Oracle’s shocking defeat by China Team

Posted on 30 April 2007 by Valencia Sailing

The Dragon’s son beats the American eagle should read tomorrow’s headlines in the sport sections of the Chinese newspapers. Not only did China Team score their first victory in the Louis Vuitton Cup, they did it against the leader BMW Oracle.

It was supposed to be the day’s dullest and least interesting race but it turned out into one of the most interesting and spectacular. China Team must have entered the start box with a mindset of losing by the lowest margin possible while BMW Oracle lined up their so called “B Team” and for the first in the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup, USA-98 was helmed by Sten Mohr.

It was indeed a one-sided match till halfway through the first leg when the genoa sail pulled out of the headstay foil on USA-98. The Americans tried to hoist a second genoa but to no avail. They were forced to continue the first upwind leg with just their mainsail. That mishap gave the Chinese the chance to build an enormous advantage over BMW Oracle. The Americans fixed the problem during the first downwind leg and sailed with the genoa in the second upwind leg and despite gaining more than 1 minute on each of the 2 legs, that was not enough and crossed the finish line more than 3 minutes behind China Team.

This is the second time BMW Oracle suffer from this type of failure in a very short time. As recently as three weeks ago, USA-98 went through the exact same failure in Louis Vuitton Act 13 and the crew were unable to hoist the genoa twice.

Prestart in the race between China Team and BMW Oracle. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

China Team got squeezed at the start. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Both boats went to the right and BMW Oracle started increasing their lead. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Far away in the course, the unthinkable takes place, severe gear failure on BMW Oracle’s USA-98. We then learned it was a repeat of the failure in Act 13. Sorry for the picture but we were not allowed to go further upwind due to the other two simultaneous races on the same course. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Far away and coming downwind, yes downwind, China Team’s CHN-95. After their recent mishaps in spinnaker drops and given their 5-minute lead over BMW Oracle, the Chinese decided to play it safe and dropped the spinnaker hundreds of meters before reaching the leeward gate. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

A photo for the history books. China Team’s CHN-95 starting their upwind leg while BMW Oracle were downwind, hundreds of meters from the leeward gate. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

BMW Oracle also avoided all unnecessary risks and dropped their spinnaker far away from the leeward gate. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Despite their evident speed advantage, BMW Oracle was unable to reach the Chinese. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The Dragon’s Son a few hundred meters before his first victory in the 32nd America’s Cup. Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Without any doubt the happiest moment for China Team in their 3-year long journey in the 32nd America’s Cup. They cross the finish line 3:15 minutes ahead of BMW Oracle Valencia, 30 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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wxmon1_bmwPreview

Louis Vuitton Cup – Round Robin 2 – Day 2: Preview

Posted on 30 April 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Will the second day of Round Robin turn out to be better than the first one? Although half of the scheduled races were carried out yesterday, it was under light and very shifty conditions. BMW Oracle and Luna Rossa had two easy races that allowed to gain 2 more points each while Shosholoza further distanced themselves from the semifinals after suffering a spinnaker pole breakage and losing a race they were leading against Victory Challenge.

The races from the south course cancelled yesterday are now scheduled to take place after flight 2. The match of the day will face Mascalzone Capitalia and Emirates Team New Zealand. Can the Rascals repeat their surprising victory against the kiwis? Another top-three team is also facing one of the serious contenders for the fourth place. Luna Rossa must beat Victory Challenge who will be fighting hard for the two points.

At least, it is encouraging to read that most forecasts coincide in that the day promises a good and steady seabreeze.

Louis Vuitton Leaderboard as of 29-04-2007
Weather forecast
America’s Cup organizers expect today a good sea breeze day, dry and warm. Winds will start as south westerlies 5-7 knots, then building and backing to southeast 8-10 knots. Some cloud are forecast inland but the day will be dry.

Here is the forecast by BMW Oracle’s meteorologist Chris Befdord, as always courtesy of the BMW Oracle Blog.

wxmon1_bmwPreview

Racing Schedule Flight 2
Shosholoza – United Internet Team Germany: After their defeat against Victory Challenge, Shosholoza have almost lost all chances of advancing to the semifinals. If they lose this one then the first South African America’s Cup challenger can start packing up for the trip back to Cape Town on May 9.
BMW Oracle – China Team: Easy two points for BMW Oracle.
Luna Rossa – Victory Challenge: The Swedes will certainly try to win the race and produce a major upset.
+39 Challenge – Desafío Español: The Spanish shouldn’t encounter any problem against the Italian team.
Areva Challenge – Mascalzone Capitalia: The first race of the day for Mascalzone Capitalia should be much easier than the second one and the French shouldn’t be much of hurdle in the Italian’s race to the semifinals.

Racing Schedule Flight 1
Emirates Team NZ – Mascalzone Capitalia: The match of the day, rescheduled after it was cancelled yesterday. If Mascalzone Capitalia repeat their victory in round robin 1 they will place themselves closer to the semifinals and do BMW Oracle and Luna Rossa a favor.
Areva Challenge – +39 Challenge: Interesting match in the bottom of score table.

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wxmon1_bmwPreview

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Louis Vuitton Cup – Round Robin 2 – Day 2: Preview

Posted on 30 April 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Will the second day of Round Robin turn out to be better than the first one? Although half of the scheduled races were carried out yesterday, it was under light and very shifty conditions. BMW Oracle and Luna Rossa had two easy races that allowed to gain 2 more points each while Shosholoza further distanced themselves from the semifinals after suffering a spinnaker pole breakage and losing a race they were leading against Victory Challenge.

The races from the south course cancelled yesterday are now scheduled to take place after flight 2. The match of the day will face Mascalzone Capitalia and Emirates Team New Zealand. Can the Rascals repeat their surprising victory against the kiwis? Another top-three team is also facing one of the serious contenders for the fourth place. Luna Rossa must beat Victory Challenge who will be fighting hard for the two points.

At least, it is encouraging to read that most forecasts coincide in that the day promises a good and steady seabreeze.

Louis Vuitton Leaderboard as of 29-04-2007
Weather forecast
America’s Cup organizers expect today a good sea breeze day, dry and warm. Winds will start as south westerlies 5-7 knots, then building and backing to southeast 8-10 knots. Some cloud are forecast inland but the day will be dry.

Here is the forecast by BMW Oracle’s meteorologist Chris Befdord, as always courtesy of the BMW Oracle Blog.

wxmon1_bmwPreview

Racing Schedule Flight 2
Shosholoza – United Internet Team Germany: After their defeat against Victory Challenge, Shosholoza have almost lost all chances of advancing to the semifinals. If they lose this one then the first South African America’s Cup challenger can start packing up for the trip back to Cape Town on May 9.
BMW Oracle – China Team: Easy two points for BMW Oracle.
Luna Rossa – Victory Challenge: The Swedes will certainly try to win the race and produce a major upset.
+39 Challenge – Desafío Español: The Spanish shouldn’t encounter any problem against the Italian team.
Areva Challenge – Mascalzone Capitalia: The first race of the day for Mascalzone Capitalia should be much easier than the second one and the French shouldn’t be much of hurdle in the Italian’s race to the semifinals.

Racing Schedule Flight 1
Emirates Team NZ – Mascalzone Capitalia: The match of the day, rescheduled after it was cancelled yesterday. If Mascalzone Capitalia repeat their victory in round robin 1 they will place themselves closer to the semifinals and do BMW Oracle and Luna Rossa a favor.
Areva Challenge – +39 Challenge: Interesting match in the bottom of score table.

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T-Systems Minute 29-04-2007

Posted on 29 April 2007 by Valencia Sailing

In today’s T-Systems Minute, Marc Lagesse, navigator of Team Shosholoza, describes his team’s disastrous race against Victory Challenge. Despite having sailed very well and lead during three quarters of the race, the South Africans lost after being overtaken in the last half of the final leg.

Having broken their spinnaker pole at the leeward gate and without sufficient advantage, Magnus Holmberg and his crew were able to easily overtake them and finish a minute ahead of them.


Video shot and produced by Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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T-Systems Minute 29-04-2007

Posted on 29 April 2007 by Valencia Sailing

In today’s T-Systems Minute, Marc Lagesse, navigator of Team Shosholoza, describes his team’s disastrous race against Victory Challenge. Despite having sailed very well and lead during three quarters of the race, the South Africans lost after being overtaken in the last half of the final leg.

Having broken their spinnaker pole at the leeward gate and without sufficient advantage, Magnus Holmberg and his crew were able to easily overtake them and finish a minute ahead of them.


Video shot and produced by Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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Louis Vuitton Cup – Round Robin 2 – Day 1: Luna Rossa easily beat China Team

Posted on 29 April 2007 by Valencia Sailing

A match figuring these two opponents should normally be a non event but today’s race had its share of odd sights, such as James Spithill trailing the Chinese by 30 seconds at the start. Of course, Luna Rossa caught up with China Team, passed them on the first upwind and rounded the top mark just 18 seconds ahead of them.

The Chinese crew’s inexperience was evident when at the leeward gate they started dropping their spinnaker and had to quickly gybe to avoid Luna Rossa who were at the beginning of the upwind leg after rounding. This caused the spinnaker to get stuck around the hull, dragging the boat and finally the crew had to abandon it. Obviously, Luna Rossa won the race by a very important margin. Still it is encouraging to see the Chinese progressing, albeit at small steps.

This must be an unusual sight. Luna Rossa trailing China Team at the start by almost half a minute. Valencia, 29 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

China Team gybing and dropping the spinnaker at the same time. Valencia, 29 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

China Team rounding the leeward gate. Valencia, 29 April 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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