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Luna Rossa Proves Unbeatable In All Weather

Luna Rossa completed today the first Round Robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup (the challenger selection series for the XXX America's Cup) with two victories.

The racing was carried out under limit weather conditions, with a Northeasterly wind of 18-20 knots and gusts up to 21 knots; the Race Committee decided to postpone the racing to the afternoon.

Luna Rossa (ITA 45, the yacht designed by German Frers, Doug Peterson and David Egan) sailed today almost alone. The French of Le Defi BTT (skipper Bertrand Pace), who had to race against Prada in the first match, didn't show up on the race course. However the Race Commitee, in accordance with the Race Conditions, gave the start and Luna Rossa had to complete the course even without her rival. The same thing happened to Bravo Espana against the Swiss who decided not to sail in order to finish the rapair work on their boat.

In the second race Abracabra 2000 (skipper John Kolius) suffered some technical failure on the rudder and asked for a postponement just before the start. The Race Committee didn't accept the request and carried out the starting procedure. Luna Rossa took the lead and finished the race 5 minutes and 58 seconds in front.

Many teams showed their protest flag today against the Race Committee who did not accept all the requests for postponement. The protests which have been accepted and will be discussed by the International Jury tonight came from Young Australia 2000 (for a broken batten) and Abracadabra (for problems to the rudder).

Young America (skipper Ed Baird) suffered problems on the mast and could not fix it in time for the start of the race even with the 45 minutes delay granted by the Race Committee. Young America managed to start almost 30 minutes (time limit for crossing the start) after rival Dennis Conner.

AmericaOne's races against Young America and Young Australia 2000 have been postponed to tomorrow. Yesterday afternoon the International Jury granted AmericaOne an additional 24 hours to complete repairs to its boat which was damaged in a collision with Dennis Conner last Saturday. Dennis Conner's boat was inflicted a penalty turn for infringing Rule 11 (on the same tack overlapped) but the Jury later decided to protest him for a Rule 14 (avoiding contact) infringement, and deducted half a point from his overall score in Round Robin 1.

Tomorrow Round Robin 1 ends with the awaited race between AmericaOne (skipper Paul Cayard) and Young America (skipper Ed Baird); AmericaOne will also race against Young Australia 2000 (skipper James Spithill).
Round Robin 2 will start on 6 November. The pairings will be the same as in Round Robin 1, with each yacht entering the start from the opposite side than in Round Robin 1.

RACE 10 - Not racing Abracadabra 2000
1st match Nippon Challenge wins over America True (1 second lead)
2nd match Team Dennis Conner wins over Young America (Young Am. started late)
3rd match Spanish Challenge wins over FAST2000 (FAST2000 not racing)
4th match Prada Challenge wins over Le Defi BTT (Le Defi not racing)

RACE 11 - Not racing Le Defi BTT
1st match Prada Challenge wins over Abracadabra 2000 (5 minutes and 58 seconds)
2nd match America True wins over Spanish Challenge (Sp. Ch. retired)
3rd match Team Dennis Conner wins over Young Australia (YA 2000 not racing)
4th match Nippon Challenge wins over FAST2000 (FAST2000 not racing)

10 pts - ITA 45 (Luna Rossa)
7 pts - USA 53 (Young America)*
7 pts - USA 49 (AmericaOne)*
6 pts - USA 51 (America True)
5,5 pts - JPN 44 (Asura)
5 pts - ESP 47 (Bravo Espana)
4,5 pts - USA 55 (Stars & Stripes)
4 pts - USA 54 (Abracadabra 2000)
2 pts - FRA 46 (6eme Sens)
1 pt - AUS 29 (Young Australia 2000)*
0 pts - SUI 59 (be hAPpy)
i*Young America and Young Australia 2000 will each sail their last race against AmericaOne tomorrow.

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