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Alinghi loses tactical battle against Luna Rossa
Evening News Act 10 Day 3

Alinghi loses tactical battle against Luna Rossa and wins against France

Brad Butterworth, tactician on board the Defender, Alinghi, said it this morning as he stepped aboard before the match against Luna Rossa Challenge: "It will be very difficult, we will have to start well, get the side of the course that we want and sail well all the way around to win.

They are a good team with a good boat, so it will be a hard race to win." The light air pre-start did not go the way of Alinghi, who came in on port from the left hand side. James Spithill on the helm of Luna Rossa Challenge did an "excellent job" according to Butterworth. Both boats scrambled for an advantage, both crossing the line early and returning to re-cross.

Luna Rossa took an early advantage leading the Swiss over by 2 seconds. They split tacks at the outset, Alinghi taking the left and Luna Rossa the right. Alinghi rounded the 1st windward mark behind by 7 seconds and hunted the Italians down under spinnaker, the delta at the bottom was 1 minute to Luna Rossa.

Alinghi clawed the Italian boat back on the second upwind leg sailing the right hand side of the course and gaining from a right hand shift to snatch the lead back from Luna Rossa coming into the mark.

The Italian boat did a good job of keeping Alinghi out at the 2nd windward mark and led around by 21 seconds to extend the lead to 34 seconds at the finish. The word from the Defender's camp and Butterworth is:

"Luna Rossa sailed a tidy race, we had our chances and couldn't convert them into advantages." It was a good exercise in observation, as Peter Holmberg, one of Alinghi's helmsmen, but as part of the crew rotation, sailing as strategist for today's match, pointed out:

"It's a good measure of how they have done, they have a new boat and we have our old one still, so it's important for us to measure how we are against a new boat and also for our team to see how we are against the competition."

Alinghi met the French team Areva Challenge for match 5 of flight 6 and dominated in the pre-start, leading the French team over the line by 5 seconds. The Swiss team took the first cross and extended the lead to 54 seconds at the 1st windward mark, holding a comfortable advantage all the way round to finish 2 minute 18 seconds ahead.

Ashore, Alinghi is the team of the day and will be on stage tonight to be presented to the public.


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