STARS & STRIPES BEAT LUNA ROSSA
by Selwyn Manning
The big race of the day today was Mr Americas Cup, Dennis Conner's win over the previously unbeatable Luna Rossa. The win to Conner's Stars & Stripes yacht broke a winning spell for the Italian Prada team. Luna Rossa lost the match by 1 minute 51 seconds.
Prada's leading yacht Luna Rossa emerged from the Americas Cup challenger series, Louis Vuitton Cup, unbeaten in all weathers. The Italians have been in Auckland New Zealand, training and sailing on the gulf in all weathers and tides. This experience showed through in round robin one.
But Team Prada is still leading the overall results sheet with 22 points, followed by AmericaOne (skipper Paul Cayard) with 20 points.
The regatta between Luna Rossa and Stars & Stripes started in a 17 knots breeze; the Italian boat crossed the line at the port end 1 second ahead of her rival, who kept the right.
The two skippers sailed for a few minutes on opposite tacks, then Ken Read (helmsman of Stars & Stripes) tacked back.
The wind shifted first to the right then to the left.
At the first windward mark Luna Rossa lead by 31 seconds, but during the first run Ken Read took advantage of a big wind shift underneath a strong rain squall which greatly reduced the visibility.
The Americans managed to get the lead and rounded the mark 11 seconds ahead.
During the following beat Stars & Stripes increased their lead to 24 seconds; at the leeward mark they were 1 minute 5 seconds ahead and at the last windward mark they were 57 seconds in front of Luna Rossa.
In the last run the wind decreased to 10-12 knots and the two boats hoisted the asymmetrical spinnakers. Stars & Stripes crossed the finish line 1 minute 51 seconds ahead of Luna Rossa.
Francesco de Angelis, skipper and helmsman of Luna Rossa, said: "During the first run there was a big wind shift underneath a squall of rain.
"It was quite tough to see the leeward mark and we thought it was more to the right. Ken (Read) got the lead there and then sailed a very good race. We had no other opportunity during the race to overtake him".
The race proved a fact hard learnt by New Zealand's KZ7 team in Freemantle: never under-estimate Dennis Conner, or his Stars & Stripes team.
Challenge, Azura broke its mast today while leading in its
race against AmericaOne.
The mast snapped high up off the deck just after the yacht gybed during the second downwind leg. Trouble began when Azura gybed in 25 knot winds in front of AmericaOne before the mark. Azura was inflicted a penalty turn. At that moment the runner tail slipped off the winch caused the mast to fall over.
Azura was towed back to the marina. No crew members were injured.
The Swiss team FAST2000 raced alone today as their rival Young America had to forfeit the race as a penalty for making a mid-round yacht substitution after the extensive structural damage suffered by USA 53.
The International Jury acknowledged that USA 53 is unfit to continue racing in this round. Young America should race USA 58 against the French team tomorrow, whilst repairs on USA 53 will commence soon as the team plans to sail the boat some time in December.
Young Australia 2000, who destroyed her headsail during the race against Abracadabra 2000, issued a protest against the Race Committee for allowing the race to go on in strong wind conditions.
THE RACING TODAY - RACE 4 of Round Robin
1st Match Abracadabra 2000 wins over Young Australia 2000 (6 minutes 19 seconds)
2nd Match (Young America) vs FAST2000 (FAST2000 races alone)
3rd Match AmericaOne wins over Nippon Challenge (Nippon retires from the race)
4th Match Team Dennis Conner wins over Prada Challenge (1 minute 51 seconds)
5th Match America True wins over Le Defi (59 seconds)
NOT RACING Spanish Challenge
RESULTS AFTER DAY FOUR OF ROUND ROBIN 2 (4
points per win)
22 pts - ITA 45 (Luna Rossa)
20 pts - USA 49 (AmericaOne)
16 pts - USA 53 (Young America)*
14 pts - USA 51 (America True)
13,5 pts - JPN 44 (Asura)
12,5 pts - USA 55 (Stars & Stripes)
12 pts - USA 54 (Abracadabra 2000)
9 pts - ESP 47 (Bravo Espana)**
8 pts - SUI 59 (be hAPpy)
6 pts - FRA 46 (6eme Sens)
1 pt - AUS 31 (Young Australia 2000)
*Young America not racing as per rules.
**Bravo Espana was not racing today as per calendar.
NW, 13-20 knots, with some shifts in the afternoon. Mostly sunny in the morning. Warm and humid. NE swell up to 2 metres and easing; seas moderate this afternoon.
THE RACE COURSE
Windward-leeward format, 18.5 nautical miles; six legs, three upwind and three downwind; the first and the last legs are 3.25 miles long, the others 3.00 miles.
THE RACING TOMORROW - RACE
5 of Round Robin two
1st Match Prada Challenge vs Spanish Challenge
2nd Match Team Dennis Conner vs Nippon Challenge
3rd Match Le Defi vs Young America
4th Match America True vs Abracadabra 2000
5th Match Young Australia 2000 vs FAST2000
NOT RACING AmericaOne
THE WEATHER TOMORROW
W winds, 20-25 knots. Mostly cloudy with a few showers.