Sunday turned out to be a very good day in Valencia for the 4 teams that continue training in view of the Louis Vuitton Pacific series, starting in less than 2 weeks. The initial weather forecast called for a light breeze early in the morning, dropping down to 5-6 knots at noon and completely dying in the afternoon. Instead, what we had was the opposite. After a light start at 9pm, under blue and clear skies, the breeze built up throughout the morning, reaching 14-15 knots early in the afternoon. As a result, K-Challenge with Alinghi and Shosholoza with Luna Rossa were able to carry out a number of pre-starts as well as 3-4 full races, on short courses, emulating the ones that will be used in Auckland.
Valencia Sailing was aboard FRA-93, the K-Challenge yacht. The French team held its second day of training on the America’s Cup boat, after a very long absence from the Valencian waters. Nevertheless, FRA-93 had been sailing throughout the week, crewed by newcomers Greek Challenge. The French will train in Valencia on Monday and Tuesday and then leave for Auckland.
K-Challenge – AlinghiThe French had the America’s Cup Defender as their sparring partner. The two teams had 4 pre-starts and then carried out a full race, won by Alinghi. One absence on SUI-100 was Brad Butterworth.
K-Challenge trains with Alinghi. Grinder Virgilio Torrecilla is one of the many sailors from Desafío that will be scattered almost through the entire fleet in Auckland. Valencia, 18 January 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Shosholoza – Luna RossaThe South Africans trained today together with the Italians, very close to the beach and the race course used by Alinghi and K-Challenge. In fact, the breeze allowed for the two courses to be almost parallel to the beach, allowing for a great spectating opportunity. I was not able to fully watch their races but I counted 3, and, unless I missed any result, Luna Rossa won all of them with ease.