Two more bullets for Alinghi and the Desafío Trophy in their pocket. Alinghi, the 33rd America’s Cup Defender, put on an excellent performance and even if this event only gives bragging rights it seems they were not as rusty as the other three teams. The last two races of the Desafío Trophy were again sailed under light and shifty conditions and the America’s Cup Defender won both. Hadn’t been for the three ripped spinnakers in the opening race of the event, Alinghi would have gone with a perfect score.
Race 1Following the week’s pattern, the first race got underway under very light and shifty conditions. Alinghi pocketed their fourth victory in the event, after staging a nice comeback from behind. The Defender chose to go to the right side of the course while the other 3 boats opted for the left. Luna Rossa got better pressure and led the first beat rounding the 1st top mark in front of Alinghi. Yet, right after the first gybe, they decided to go left while Alinghi, Team Origin and Desafío sailed on the left. By the time the fleet reached the leeward gate, Alinghi was ahead of Luna Rossa. They held on to a comfortable lead until the finish line.
Regardless of whether the results of this regatta are meaningful or not, Desafío’s performance, here last in the last stretch, was far from encouraging. Valencia, 9 November 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis>
Race 2Just like the rest of the week the breeze had picked up and the race committee didn’t before giving a new start. Unfortunately, I was only able to watch part of the first beat but, surprise, surprise, Alinghi won again. The left was the favored side and all 4 boats opted for it. Alinghi had a clear start and immediately leaped to the front. From afar, SUI-100 could be seen to be comfortably ahead in the beat and was first to hoist the spinnaker. As it finally turned out, Murray Jones helmed her to her fifth consecutive victory.