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Americas Cup - Prada Leads Table As RR2 Ends

LOUIS VUITTON CUP - ROUND ROBIN TWO IS OVER

Round Robin two of the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Selection Series ended after three previously cancelled matches were re-sailed from Race 6 of 14 November. Team Prada's yacht Luna Rossa completed the Round Robin yesterday with a total of 46 points, leading the overall results sheet.

The Race Committee gave the start of the three matches today in ideal sailing conditions, with 15 knots of wind, moderate seas and sunny sky. Later in the day the wind increased to 20 knots with stronger gusts.

AmericaOne won the race against Le Defi by 48 seconds after a tough battle which saw the French leading from the start up to the second beat upwind.
Nippon Challenge beat Young Australia 2000 by 4 minutes 12 seconds.

Abracadabra, racing against the Spanish, broke the boom before the start and asked for a postponement of 45 minutes; they managed to fix the problem and sailed an exciting race, with both yachts suffering other gear failure. In the first downwind run the spinnaker halyard broke on Abracadabra, but soon after the Spanish lost their spinnaker in the water after a bad drop; in the last beat upwind the Spanish broke tha jib halyard and had to complete the leg with the mainsail only, whilst the Hawaiians had four broken battens in the mainsail. Abracadabra finally crossed the finish leading Spain by 17 seconds.

The third Round Robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup will start on 2 December, through to 12 December (11 racing days with reserve days up to 24 December); each yacht will receive 9 points per win; each challenger will race each other once; pairings will be decided in a draw ceremony prior to the start of the Round Robin; the warning signal will not be made before 12.00 local time daily.

The six challengers with the highest cumulative point scores in Round Robins I, II and III will advance to the Semi-Finals, starting on 2 January 2000 through to 19 January; each challenger will race each other twice; each win will be worth 1 point. The two challengers with the highest point score in the Semi-Finals will advance to the Finals which will start on 25 January through to 13 February; like the America's Cup Match itself, the racing format will be on a best of nine match series, i.e. the first team to score five victories wins the series.

Team Prada will be training in the next two weeks with both IACC yachts Luna Rossa, ITA 45 and 48. Thirty-six hours before the start of the third Round Robin each team will announce which boat they will sail in the series.

THE LAST DAY'S RACING OF RR2 - Races re-sailed from 14 November
1st Match AmericaOne wins against Le Defi (48 seconds)
2nd Match Nippon Challenge wins against Young Australia 2000 (4 minutes 12 seconds)
3rd Match Abracadabra 2000 wins against Spanish Challenge (17 seconds)

RESULTS AT THE END OF ROUND ROBIN 2 (4 points per win)
46 pts - ITA 45 (Luna Rossa)
38 pts - USA 51 (America True)
36,5 pts - USA 55 (Stars & Stripes)
36 pts - USA 49 (AmericaOne)
29,5 pts - JPN 44 (Asura)
24 pts - USA 58 (Young America)*
17 pts - ESP 47 (Bravo Espana)
16 pts - USA 54 (Abracadabra 2000)
14 pts - FRA 46 (6eme Sens)
9 pts - AUS 31 (Young Australia 2000)
8 pts - SUI 59 (be hAPpy)
*The International Jury stripped Young America from the point awarded after the race of 17 November (from which the American team retired because of technical failure).

THE WEATHER
SW winds, 15 - 20 knots, gusting in the afternoon; sunny with cloudy periods in the afternoon. NE swell 0.5-1metre easing; wind waves SW 0.5-1 metre developing; sea becoming rough late in the 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.


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