Team Alinghi Victorious Over Mascalzone
ROUND ROBIN 2 - FLIGHT 3
TEAM ALINGHI VICTORIOUS OVER MASCALZONE
Only one of the planned two races took place today. The day concluded with a victory for Alinghi against Mascalzone Latino. The race against Prada was postponed the Italians having suffered gear damage.
AUCKLAND - October 29, 2002 - Team Alinghi was well in control from the start of the race against the Italians onboard Mascalzone Latino. The Swiss team was never worried, as they led the match from start to the finish. Alinghi concentrated sooner on picking the right wind shifts than strictly controlling the adversary. Russell Coutts and his team defeated the Italians with a 2 minute, 11 second lead. The race took place in perfect conditions: 15 knots of wind under a brilliant blue sky.
The pre-start was very tame, starting in wind conditions in the upper limits of 17 knots. Alinghi controlled the start and helmsman Vincenzo Onorato was reluctant to engage the Swiss in the typical circling and battle for control. The boats hit the line simultaneously, with Alinghi to the right of Mascalzone Latino. The breeze was shifty during the first beat, and the Swiss led the Italians with a delta at the first mark of 53 seconds. Then the wind stabilized at 15 to 18 knots from the southwest. The Italians made up three seconds on the downwind run and rounded the first leeward mark only 50 seconds behind. For the rest of the race, Alinghi relentlessly extended on the chasing boat, leading at the second windward mark by 1:47.
Alinghi's second race of the day, Flight 4 against Prada Challenge, was cancelled. The Italians reported winch problems that developed during their first match against the French team Areva, a race that Prada eventually won.
QUOTES FROM THE BOAT
FRANCESCO RAPETTI, MASTMAN - The first half of the first upwind leg was shifty. Mascalzone sailed a little better and played the shifts well for the first two tacks. As soon as we started to play the shifts also, we got ahead. It was a good warm up, but two legs is not very long to race.
ALLAN COUTTS, GRINDER - It was quite shifty up the first beat and Brad picked some nice shifts. We had a good start, but it's never in the bag, especially when it's as shifty as it was out there. We learn something new every day we go racing.
ENRICO DE MARIA, GRINDER - We got a nice shift in the pre-start dial-up and then we bore away onto port, then followed Mascalzone as we tacked back around to the line and we had a strong start. We hit the first two shifts badly, but upwind we had good boat speed so we were pleased. Once you are in front, it is easier to extend the lead.
REASONS FOR POSTPONEMENT
Today Alinghi's second race of the day against Prada Challenge was postponed as a result of gear failure on the Italian boat. As soon as Prada finished their race against Areva, they requested a postponement and vessel inspection by the umpires. Ken McAlpine, Technical Director of the ACC Class was satisfied that Prada had suffered damage to the yacht. How is it that a team can retire from a race without being disqualified? In most other sports, for example Formula 1 car racing, a technical failure means the team must accept a loss.
However, the Louis Vuitton Cup is exceptional. The object of the game is to select the most worthy challenger to meet the defender of the America's Cup. On a day like today where two races are scheduled, there is a provision in the rule that states that if a boat sustains damage in the first race of the day, so that it is not in the same condition that it was in at the beginning of the first race, it is entitled to a postponement of the second race. The point is to avoid disqualifying a strong team on a technicality.
In section 8.3 of the Notice of Race and Conditions, the rule states that should a yacht incur damage before the end of the first race in a day when it is scheduled to race in two races, that yacht may be excused from starting in the second race if an inspection of the yacht is conducted by the umpires of the match in which the yacht just competed to determine the nature extent and cause of the damage sustained and whether the yacht is able to start the second race in a reasonable state of readiness as existed for the first race of the day. If the umpires are satisfied that the yacht is not in a reasonable state of readiness as a result of unintentional damage, the yacht and its competitor in the second race will be excused from racing in the second race and their race will be postponed.
RESULTS OF THE DAY
Alinghi defeated Mascalzone
Latino (2 mins 11 sec)
Prada defeated Areva (1 min 04 sec)
One World defeated GBR Challenge (1min 05 sec)
Victory defeated Stars & Stripes (13 sec)
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Team Alinghi is flying the Swiss flag, and carrying the colours of the Société Nautique de Genève. UBS, Infonet, Audemars-Piguet and Riri are its proud sponsors.