Celebration at the Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 10
A Spanish celebration at the Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 10
Valencia, 12 May, 2006 - The second day of racing at the Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 10 began with a boat christening at the Desafío Español 2007 base, where ESP 88 was officially launched under the watchful eyes of His Majesty Don Juan Carlos, the King of Spain, who was among 200 guests invited to the event.
On the race course, a bright sunny day generated enough heat to build the sea breeze and racing started in 10-12-knot Easterlies, with a gentle chop on the water. The slightly stronger conditions seemed to inspire the Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team who sailed a brilliant race in the first flight of the day against Alinghi, fighting the Defender all the way around the race course right up to the finish line.
The Spanish celebrations continued after the christening. After an easy walkover win over China Team when the Chinese retired with winch problems, Desafío Español recovered from a pre-start penalty in their second match to earn a tremendous win over Luna Rossa.
There were more than a few nervous moments for the Defender, Alinghi, when the new starting helmsman for Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team, Jes Gram-Hansen sailed a strong pre-start, hitting the starting line with speed as the gun fired, a half boat length ahead of the Swiss. In fact, the Italians sailed a very strong first lap of the course, staying close to the Defender the entire time, and then rolling past Alinghi to windward on the first run to lead through the leeward gate.
In the end, the might of Alinghi prevailed, but Italian skipper Vasco Vascotto fought right to the finish, with his team supporting him with some outstanding boat handling as the boats gybed back and forth in front of the finishing line. Notwithstanding the result, this would have to be considered a very encouraging race for the 'Latin Rascals' who sailed extremely well.
The other two Italian teams, Luna Rossa and +39 Challenge battled up and down the race course. Luna Rossa helmsman James Spithill controlled the pre-start and as the gun fired, he tacked onto the privileged starboard tack, attacking +39 Challenge, who were unable to keep clear and penalised by the Umpires. From then on, although +39 Challenge was able to hold quite close to their Italian rivals, it was for naught, as down a penalty, they were unable to threaten Luna Rossa who claimed the win.
The other four matches featured expected results with BMW ORACLE Racing pulling away from a determined United Internet Team Germany who stayed close for most of the first beat before fading behind.
Desafío Español, with the King of Spain, His Majesty Don Juan Carlos aboard, had an easy match over China Team. The Spanish used superior speed to pull away over the first leg of the course, and then the Chinese retired from the race on the first run, with undisclosed problems.
In what many thought would be a close match, the South Africans all but handed a win to Victory Challenge at the start, when they crossed the starting line too early. Shosholoza had trouble with its jib when it ducked back to re-start, and by the time the team had recovered to head up the course, the Swedes were over 300-metres ahead, and were never threatened again.
Emirates Team New Zealand prevailed over a bit of its own history in this match when the team sailed the newest Kiwi boat, NZL 84, to victory over Areva Challenge, which is using the Kiwis Cup-winning yacht from 2000, now designated as FRA 60.
The best match of the afternoon was between the home team, Desafío Español 2007 and Luna Rossa. In an exciting pre-start, the Spanish gained the upper hand as the boats turned back for the starting line, charging towards the pin-end. Italian helmsman James Spithill was in a desperate position, stuck to leeward, and having to kill time or run out of room where he would be over the line early. Desafío Español helmsman Karol Jablonski was doing a great job of shepherding the Italian boat towards the line when Spithill luffed hard, utilising his last option. The Umpires ruled Jablonski didn't respond quickly enough in getting out of the way, and the Spanish were assessed a penalty, but did lead off the starting line.
After building a lead upwind, Desafío Español caught a further break when the Italian spinnaker burst and fell to the water. The Spanish gained nearly 100-metres, and built a big enough lead to take their penalty turn on the second upwind leg. Luna Rossa closed in, but couldn't make the pass, and the Spanish earned a great victory - their first win in this 32nd America's Cup over one of the 'big four'.
Two teams yet to earn a point battled when Shosholoza and United Internet Team Germany faced each other, and early on, it appeared to all be going South Africa's way. Helmsman Tommaso Chieffi and his team built what appeared to be a safe 0:34 lead on the first windward leg. But German skipper Jesper Bank found a tremendous wind shift on the first run and made the pass to lead through the leeward gate. The Germans covered closely on the second beat, and squeezed around the second windward mark ahead. Shosholoza pushed hard on the final run, but a poor gybe in the middle of the run ensured United Internet Team Germany would earn its first point of the year.
After a scare in the first race, Alinghi was able to all but win this race by the time the start gun fired. Alinghi helmsman Ed Baird had his counterpart on +39 Challenge, Iain Percy, in trouble, pushing him out to the right of the start box. Percy attempted to gybe in front of Alinghi, but Baird wouldn't let him, and as the Italians forced the manoeuvre, the Umpires assessed them a double penalty, essentially putting them out of the race. Both boats sailed the course, hundreds of metres apart, and Alinghi earned its fourth win.
In the other matches, Emirates Team New Zealand didn't have too much trouble in dispatching Victory Challenge, while Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia, still inspired from their strong performance against Alinghi, made short work of China Team. Similarly, BMW ORACLE Racing and Areva both streaked off the starting line with speed, but the new USA 87 proved too much for the much older FRA 60.
Provisional Results and Points Leaderboard
1 BMW ORACLE Racing beat United Internet Team Germany DELTA 02:10
2 Victory Challenge beat Team Shosholoza DELTA 02:19
3 Emirates Team New Zealand beat Areva Challenge DELTA 01:29
4 Luna Rossa beat +39 Challenge DELTA 01:08
5 Desafío Español 2007 won, China Team did not finish CHN - DNF
6 Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team beat Alinghi DELTA 00:08
1 Emirates Team New Zealand beat Victory Challenge DELTA 01:39
2 United Internet Team Germany beat Team Shosholoza DELTA 00:21
3 BMW ORACLE Racing beat Areva Challenge DELTA 01:09
4 Alinghi beat +39 Challenge DELTA 01:16
5 Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team beat China Team DELTA 02:05
6 Desafío Español 2007 beat Luna Rossa DELTA 00:34
Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 10 - Leaderboard
Position Matches sailed Won Points
1 Alinghi (SUI 75) 4 4 4
1 BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 87) 4 4 4
1 Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 84) 4 4 4
4 Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 65) 4 3 3
5 Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 86) 4 3 3
6 Victory Challenge (SWE 63) 4 2 2
6 Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA 77) 4 2 2
8 United Internet Team Germany (GER 72) 4 1 1
9 Areva Challenge (FRA 60) 4 1 1
10 +39 Challenge (ITA 59) 4 0 0
10 Team Shosholoza (RSA 83) 4 0 0
10 China Team (CHN 79) 4 0 0
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Racing for the 32nd America's Cup - Valencia began with a series of Louis Vuitton Acts in 2004 and 2005. The competition continues in 2006, with three more Louis Vuitton Acts in Valencia, the Host City of the 32nd America's Cup.
Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 10 - Match Racing - 11 to 18
Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 11 - Fleet Racing - 19 to 21 May 2006
Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 12 - Match Racing - 22 June to 2 July 2006
In 2007, a fleet race event - Louis Vuitton Act 13 - will precede the Louis Vuitton Cup, the winner of which will then race the Defender, Team Alinghi, in the America's Cup Match in Valencia
THE AMERICA'S CUP - THE STAGE FOR CREATING