One World Usa 67 Beats Prada
Race One Of Semifinals - One World Usa 67 Has The Best Over Luna Rossa Ita 74 In Action Packed Race
After yesterday's postponement due to the high winds, today the Race Committee is able to fire the starting gun for race one of the Louis Vuitton Cup 2002-2003 semifinals, raced on a best of seven series.
The match between Luna Rossa ITA 74 and OneWorld USA 67 starts on time at 13:25. With an aggressive pre-start circling Rod Davis, at the helm of Luna Rossa, forces James Spithill to tack away of the line 30 seconds before the gun. USA 67 has to tack back and trails by 5 seconds behind ITA 74 at the start.
The weather conditions on the race course are ideal today, with a 16-20 knots SW breeze and moderate seas.
First beat upwind. The two boats proceed on the same tack for half of the leg, with ITA 74 to leeward of USA 67. The breeze shifts slightly to the right favouring OneWorld. At the first cross USA 67, having the right of way, forces Luna Rossa to bounce back to the left. Throughout the rest of the beat the two boats cross each other with the same pattern, with the Americans aggressively defending the favoured right hand side of the course. At the first mark rounding USA 67 is 10 seconds ahead of Luna Rossa.
First spinnaker run. Francesco de Angelis chases USA 67 trying to gain the overlap. Luna Rossa powers past OneWorld in the bottom part of the leg on the approach to the mark. Luna Rossa squeezes in on the inside and rounds the second mark with a 3 seconds advantage over OneWorld.
Second upwind beat. Luna Rossa sails to the right, while USA 67 keeps to the left. The wind, that in the previous upwind leg had shifted to the right, this time goes to the left, favouring the Americans. Halfway through the beat the two boats swop sides and Luna Rossa fills the gap on USA 67.
The wind keeps shifting, this time to the right, and towards the top mark USA 67 is able to gain two boat lenghts over ITA 74. At the third mark OneWorld is 20 seconds ahead of Luna Rossa.
Second spinnaker run. Exactly as in the previous run Francesco de Angelis powers downwind trying to gain the overlap from astern. Luna Rossa has a good downwind speed edge over USA 67. Halfway through the leg Luna Rossa fills the gap and overtakes OneWorld, gaining the leeward berth. Having the right of way, Francesco de Angelis luffs on USA 67, but the spinnaker pole on the Italian boat snaps in two. OneWorld takes advantage of the situation and while the crew on Luna Rossa is struggling to free the bow from the broken pole, James Spithill gybes and overtakes ITA 74. At the mark rounding the spinnaker of Luna Rossa drops in the water, and USA 67 stretches away, leading by 18 seconds at the bottom mark.
Third and final beat upwind. Initially Luna Rossa follows OneWorld, then Francesco de Angelis, with Torben Grael calling the tactics, heads to the left of the course. James Spithill sails on to the right extending his lead. At the last mark rounding OneWorld is leading by 1 minute and 10 seconds.
Third and final spinnaker run. A few meters after the top mark, the spinnaker on USA 67 expoldes in two and the American crew has trouble getting the sail back on board as it trails in the water. Luna Rossa, now using a spare spinnaker pole, is able to get closer to USA 67 who has hoisted a new spinnaker. Francesco de Angelis cannot bridge the gap with OneWorld and crosses the finish trailing by 47 seconds behind the American boat after a race that saw four lead changes and a number of incidents.
TODAY'S RESULTS - every victory equals 1 point
RACE 1 Match 1 Alinghi SUI 64 wins against Oracle BMW Racing USA 76 (1' 11" lead) Match 2 OneWorld USA 67 wins against Luna Rossa ITA 74 (47" lead)
SCOREBOARD Alinghi (1) - Oracle BMW Racing (0) OneWorld * (1) - Prada Challenge (0)
* One point penalty to be applied to OW (Arbitration Panel decision, December 9, 2002).
RACE COURSE 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 SW 17-20 knots. Mostly cloudy with a few showers in the morning. Becoming mainly sunny.
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.
CALENDAR FOR TOMORROW - DECEMBER 11
RACE 2 Match 2 OneWorld USA 67 versus Luna Rossa ITA 74 Match 1 Alinghi SUI 64 versus Oracle BMW Racing USA 76
WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW Wind from NW 17-20 decreasing to WSW 15-18. Cloudy, periods of rain.