One World Defeats Alinghi After A Close Battle
OUND ROBIN 1- RD2
ONE WORLD DEFEATS ALINGHI AFTER A CLOSE BATTLE
Ideal conditions set the stage for a nail-biting encounter between Alinghi and One World on Race 2 of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
AUCKLAND - OCTOBER 4, 2002 - The Hauraki Gulf was the site of sunshine, a southerly breeze of 15 knots, and extremely close competition. One World had an excellent start and sailed extremely well. In the pre-start manoeuvring, One World's helmsman, 23 year old James Spithill, handled the boat brilliantly. Alinghi's timing was slightly off, and they crossed the line late. On the first upwind beat, Alinghi was on the wrong side of a windshift that went from right to left. USA-65 covered the Swiss boat to hold onto the lead, but had to fight hard to keep Russell Coutts at bay. The Alinghi team never gave up and continued to take back the seconds. But with their starting advantage, One World controlled the match.
Alinghi has proved their boat speed is powerful against the competition, and the team hasn't lost anything in the sailing of this match, the second of a nine-race series. The Swiss boat gained on every downwind leg, consistently reeling in USA-65. At the first windward mark, Alinghi was 20 seconds behind One World, but only two boat lengths and 10 seconds separated them at the finish.
QUOTES FROM THE BOAT
FRANCESCO RAPETTI, MASTMAN - " "The start was the most critical moment of the race, unfortunately we were a little late on our timing. We had a good race, we kept catching up but we have to do better crew work under pressure. In a race like this, every little detail counts. Add all the little details up, and it means ten seconds at the end. It was a very close finish, only ten seconds at the end."
SIMON DAUBNEY, TRIMMER - "There were a few moments when we could have taken an opportunity to pass, but it didn't happen. One World sailed a very good race, and they had a better start."
One of the key moments of the race is the start, which was not favorable to Team Alinghi today. The following is an explanation of the pre-start procedure:
Each competitor is delegated a side of the start line, set out by the notice of race rules and indicated by different flags. The yellow flag indicates the boat that will stat on the starboard tack, while the blue flag indicates a port tack start. The boat on starboard tack has a slight advantage, owning the right of way when the boats come together in the dial-up or first cross.
At the ten minute signal gun before the start, the maneuvering is usually very loose. At the five minute gun, the boats enter the start box, and the jostling for position begins. The competitors will try to create difference in boat speed, faster or slower, break cover, break overlap, and make every attempt to gain the controlling position and cross the start line ahead of the competitor. There are infinite possibilities that unfold, but winning the start is crucial to the outcome of the match. Even if the trailing boat is faster, it is very difficult to overtake that leading boat. On the upwind beat, the boat in front is able to control the match by covering the trailing boat, keeping them in the shadow and not allowing them to overtake in a passing lane.