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A Swedish Quarter Final for LE DEFI AREVA

A Swedish Quarter Final for LE DEFI AREVA

It’s official. The syndicates ranked first and fifth after the two Round Robins have chosen their opponents for the Quarter-Finals. The Swiss-based Alinghi Challenge has chosen the defending champions, Prada, as their opponents whilst fifth-ranked Swedish Victory Challenge decided to take on LE DEFI AREVA.

"We weren’t sure who they would choose, to be honest", says skipper-helmsman Luc Pillot. "I suspect they hesitated, because we have certainly been improving and we know their style. We have raced them both here and overseas and we have beaten them too, but they have been working very hard in Auckland and it shows.

"At the moment, I think they are pulling the maximum from both their boats and even though they beat us in the Round Robins, the first leg of each match was close. We just have to get round the first mark ahead of them, and I think they’ll have a little more trouble.

"We are in the Quarter-Finals now and we intend to fight to the end. We still have plenty of scope for development and we’ll be maximising that over the next few days. We are capable of beating the Swedes. We believe that and it’s our job to action that belief on the water", he confirms.

The news came earlier than expected, with the decision deadline set for this evening for both Alinghi and the Swedish Victory Challenge. Their choices mean that the programme will run as follows:

Programme from 12 – 19 November

Top League

1: Alinghi (SUI) - Prada (ITA)
2: Oracle BMW Racing (USA) - Oneworld (USA)

Bottom League

3: Victory Challenge (SWE) - LE DEFI AREVA (FRA)
4: Stars & Stripes (USA) - GBR Challenge (GBR)

The top four teams make up the 'Double-Chance Group' for the Quarter-Finals. The two winners of the top league matches go direct to the Semi-Finals. The losers get another chance in the Quarter-Final Repechage.

The losing teams from the lower league or ‘Single-Chance Group’ will be eliminated from further competition, while the winners face the losers from the top group in the Repechage.

The Quarter-Finals is a 'first to four points', best-of-seven series.

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