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Close clash as Alinghi beats the Rascals by 8 Secs

www.alinghi.com
Evening News Act 10 Day 2
2006-05-12
Close clash as Alinghi beats the Rascals by 8 seconds

The Alinghi Vs Mascalzone-Latino Capitalia Team was the match to watch today. The Italians on ITA77 fought hard in the pre-start, crossing the line ahead of Alinghi by two seconds. Alinghi went out to the right hand side of the course, Mascalzone to the left.

At the first windward mark-rounding Alinghi led by 23 seconds, only to be rolled by Mascalzone half way down the leg. Grant Simmer, MD and design coordinator said: "We were surprised by the boat speed in the light conditions, particularly downwind, but Mascalzone-Latino Capitalia Team were able to jibe more efficiently than us."

The Italian team led Alinghi around the bottom mark by 25 seconds and the two boats split, Alinghi to the right and Mascalzone to the left. The fight really began at the top mark as Alinghi wrestled the lead back from the Italians to round eight seconds ahead.

On the final downwind leg, it was close racing with the lead swinging back and forth with the shifting breeze between the Defender and the Italian challenger. Alinghi battled to maintain the advantage and cross the line eight seconds ahead.

Brad Butterworth, tactician onboard comments on the day: "It's always tactically challenging, the lighter the breeze, the more difficult it is to stay in contact with the other boat. When you tack, you lose a lot. So this is a light air regatta and I think it's going to be like that for the rest of the week."

The Alinghi Vs +39 match was less nail-biting. Alinghi kept the pressure on in the pre-start crossing the line two boat lengths ahead. The Swiss team extended the lead over the Italian challenge – who were also hampered by a pre-start double penalty - and sailed a comfortable race to win by 1 minute 16 seconds at the finish.

Tomorrow, the Defender will meet the first of the three new generation boats with Luna Rossa Challenge's ITA86 in match 5 of flight 5.Ernesto Bertarelli, syndicate head and runner/strategist, comments on the upcoming match:

"I'm looking forward to the match on Saturday against Luna Rossa Challenge with their new boat. It will be interesting to see their performance."

Brad Butterworth also commented on tomorrow's race against Luna Rossa:

"It will be the same, 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 and they have a good boat. It will be a hard race to win."

ENDS

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