Luna Rossa And One World Advance To Semifinals
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
NOVEMBER 29, 2002
END OF QUARTER FINALS REPECHAGE - LUNA ROSSA AND ONE WORLD ADVANCE TO SEMIFINALS
With today's racing the Louis Vuitton Cup 2002-2003 quarter finals repechage, raced on a best of seven series, is over.
The Italians of Prada Challenge won by 4-0 over the Swedes of Victory Challenge, thus advancing to the semifinals. Same scores for OneWorld who, by defeating Team Dennis Conner 4-0, qualifies for the semifinals. Victory Challenge and Team Dennis Conner are thus eliminated from the Louis Vuitton Cup. The semifinals are scheduled to start on December 9 and will be raced on a best of seven series.
Of the initial nine challenging teams only four are still in the competition: Alinghi who advanced directly to the semifinals with Oracle BMW Racing at the end of the quarter finals, Prada and OneWorld. Five teams have been eliminated so far from the 2002-2003 Louis Vuitton Cup: the Italians of Mascalzone Latino (who were out at the end of Round Robin Two), Le Defi Areva and GBR Challenge (both defeated in the quarter finals), Victory Challenge and Team Dennis Conner (eliminated today, at the end of the quarter finals repechage).
Today's match between Luna Rossa ITA 74 and Orm SWE 73 starts on time at 13:15. After an aggressive pre-strat circling Rod Davis, at the helm of ITA 74 for the start, crosses the line at the pin end at full speed, 1 second ahead and to leeward of Orm. The Swedes cannot hold their position to windward and are forced to tack away to the right. The wind shifts slightly to this side of the course giving a one boat length edge over ITA 74.
Magnus Holmberg, helming Orm, is now in a strong position to defend the favoured right side of the course. The two yachts proceed neck to neck for most of the beat. In the last part of the leg, Luna Rossa closes the gap and the two yachts, on the same tack, converge until Orm is forced to tack away to the right. ITA 74 opts not to cover and sails to the left lay-line, while the Swedes go for the opposite one. Luna Rossa is now leading by one boat length and is able to cross in front of Orm right before the mark. Francesco de Angelis rounds the top mark 15 seconds ahead of the Sw edes.
First downwind run. Francesco de Angelis and his crew consolidate their lead, displaying good tactical decisions and playing well the wind shifts.
Luna Rossa also appears to have a slight speed edge over Orm. At the leeward mark the Italians are leading by 26 seconds. Second beat. Francesco de Angelis defends his lead. Orm attacks with a tacking duel but Luna Rossa is quick to respond, keeping a very close control over her opponent. ITA 74 rounds mark number three 32 seconds ahead of Orm.
Second downwind leg. Orm is able to gain 5 seconds on this leg. At the fourth mark rounding Luna Rossa is 27 seconds ahead of her opponent. Third and final beat. Shortly after the leeward mark Victory runs into trouble with a headsail problem and is forced to sail bareheaded for several minutes loosing precious seconds. At the end of the leg Francesco de Angelis is leading by 1 minute and 28 seconds.
Final downwind run. For the Swedes there is not much hope left of closing the 400 metres plus gap over Luna Rossa. Francesco de Angelis and his crew win by 1 minute 37 seconds the fourth consecutive match against Victory Challenge, thus qualifying for the semifinals of the 2002-2003 Louis Vuitton Cup.
TODAY'S RESULTS - every victory equals 1 point
Romeo - Match 2 Luna Rossa ITA 74 win against Orm SWE 73 (1' 37" lead)
Romeo - Match 1 OneWorld USA 67 win against Stars & Stripes USA 77 (1' 00" lead)
FINAL SCOREBOARD OF QUARTER FINALS REPECHAGE
OneWorld Challenge (4) - Team Dennis Conner (0)
Prada Challenge (4) - Victory Challenge (0)
Windward leeward, 18.5 miles long; six legs total, three windward legs and three downwind legs; first and last legs are 3.25 miles, the remaining four are 3.00 miles.
WEATHER CONDITIONS TODAY
Wind from ENE 4-7 knots, increasing to 12-14 knots. Mostly cloudy.
TODAY'S CREW ON LUNA ROSSA 1. Bowman, Paolo Bassani 2. Mid bowman, Massimiliano Sirena 3. Mastman, Simone de Mari 4. Pitman, Cristian Griggio 5. Left grinder, Massimo Galli 6. Right grinder, Romolo Ranieri 7. Upwind trimmer, Lorenzo Mazza 8. Downwind trimmer, Andrew Hemmings 9. Mainsail trimmer, Sean Clarkson 10.Center grinder, Massimo Gherarducci 11.Helmsman, Francesco de Angelis 12.Tactician, Torben Grael 13.Afterguard, Rod Davis 14.Downwind grinder, Daniele Bresciano 15.Strategist, Michele Ivaldi 16.Navigator, Matteo Plazzi 17. 17th Man, Tuan Allsop *
* Old time friend of Vernon Neville (athletic trainer of team Prada). Tuan, 30 years old, is originally from South Africa and is now a New Zealand citizen. He is a former top level judo player.