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Oneworld Usa 67 (3) Luna Rossa Ita 74 (1)


Race Four And Five Of Semifinals - Oneworld Usa 67 (3) Luna Rossa Ita 74 (1)

After yesterday's third postponement in a row due to high winds, today the Race Committee was able to complete match four and match five of the Louis Vuitton Cup 2002-2003 semifinals.

With their fourth match Alinghi today beat Oracle BMW Racing by 4-0, thus advancing to the Louis Vuitton Cup Final scheduled to start on January 11, 2003. Oracle will have to face the winner between OneWorld and Prada (currently scoring 3-1) in the repechage round, scheduled to start on December 20 with a best of seven series.

The first match between Luna Rossa ITA 74 and OneWorld USA 67 starts at 10:45 after an initial postponement by the Race Committee. Rod Davis, at the helm of ITA 74 for the start, crosses at centreline with OneWorld to windward. The wind shifts slightly to the right favouring USA 67 whose bow is 5-10 metres ahead of ITA 74. The two yachts sail to the left on a long starboard tack. There are 17-20 knots of wind. Luna Rossa reaches the port lay line and tacks with OneWorld. At the first mark rounding USA 67 is leading by 11 seconds.

First run downwind. OneWorld gybes immediately after the mark, Luna Rossa follows. USA 67 is sailing with a spinnaker, ITA 74 with a gennaker. Francesco de Angelis chases USA 67 initially trying to get an overlap, then attacking with a series of gybes. James Spithill covers and at the second mark rounding he is still in the lead as Luna Rossa trails by 17 seconds.

Second and last beat upwind. Luna Rossa heads to the left, while OneWorld defends the right and extends her lead benefiting from a right hand shift. At the last mark rounding USA 67 is leading by 1 minute and 10 seconds.

Second and final run downwind. Both crews hoist the spinnaker. Francesco de Angelis has little chance of closing the 300 metre plus gap on USA 67 during this last leg. The wind shifts to the left and both crews have to gybe only once to lay the finish line. OneWorld goes to win match four of the semifinals with a comfortable lead of 58 seconds.

The second match of the day between Luna Rossa ITA 74 and OneWorld USA 67 starts at 13:25. There are approximately 20 knots of wind. A few seconds before the gun both boats tack and cross the line on port tack, with USA 67 to leeward of ITA 74. A few minutes later both boats tack back and sail across to the left side of the course. At the first cross USA 67 has the right of way and tacks on the bow of ITA 74, forcing her to bounce back to the left. The wind is very shifty and the boats are sailing bow to bow. Two thirds up the leg Luna Rossa tacks and heads to the left of the course, while OneWorld keeps to the right. Spithill covers loosely and gains 100 metres thanks to a right hand wind shift. The wind is now at 13 knots. USA 67 rounds the first mark 32 seconds ahead of Luna Rossa.

First downwind run. Both crews hoist the gennakers. Luna Rossa has to fill a gap of 200 metres. The wind increases to 15 knots. Two thirds down the run ITA 74 gybes and heads to the right. OneWorld keeps to the left and extends her lead. At the second mark rounding USA 67 leads by 50 seconds.

During the spinnaker drop on Luna Rossa part of the sail falls in the water and the crew struggles to get rid of the trailing sail. During this manoeuvre the speed of ITA 74 drops dramatically and at the beginning of the second beat USA 67 has gained an advantage of over 300 metres on Luna Rossa. USA 67 keeps a loose control over ITA 74 and comfortably defends her lead. The wind is up to 22-23 knots. At the last mark rounding Luna Rossa is trailing by 1 minute and 51 seconds.

Second and final downwind run. Both crews hoist the spinnaker. For Luna Rossa, now trailing by over 700 metres, there are no options of closing the gap. OneWorld goes to win her second match of the day over Luna Rossa by 2 minutes and 32 seconds.

TODAY'S RESULTS - every victory equals 1 point

RACE 4 Match 2 OneWorld USA 67 wins against Luna Rossa ITA 74 (58" lead) Match 1 Alinghi SUI 64 wins against Oracle BMW Racing USA 76 (48" lead)

RACE 5 Match 2 OneWorld USA 67 wins against Luna Rossa ITA 74 (2' 32" lead)

SCOREBOARD Alinghi (4) - Oracle BMW Racing (0) OneWorld * (3) - Prada Challenge (1)

* One point penalty applied to OW (Arbitration Panel decisions, December 9 and 12, 2002).

RACE COURSE Windward leeward, 12.5 miles long; four legs total, two windward legs and two downwind legs; first and last legs are 3.25 miles, the remaining two are 3.00 miles.

WEATHER CONDITIONS TODAY Wind from SSW 13-16 knots increasing to SW 17-20 knots. Cloudy with afternoon sunny breaks. Chance of a few showers.

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, Steve Erickson, replaced by Daniele Bresciano in the second match. 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 17

RACE 6 Match 2 OneWorld USA 67 versus Luna Rossa ITA 74

RACE 7 Match 2 Luna Rossa ITA 74 versus OneWorld USA 67

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW Wind from W 7-10 knots becoming 15 knots. Cloudy. A few showers.

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