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Alinghi wins Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 11

Alinghi leads the 'big four' at the top, winning Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 11

Valencia, 21 May, 2006 - Good racing conditions, a large spectator fleet, a packed America's Cup Park and the Defender rising to the occasion - this was the scene on Sunday in Valencia at the conclusion of Louis Vuitton Act 11.

On the race course, the Swiss Defender, Alinghi, won its third of the five fleet races. Behind them, BMW ORACLE Racing and Luna Rossa made gains over the course of the race to crowd the top of the leaderboard.

The 'Latin Rascals' of Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia had another good day, securing fifth place overall, while Shosholoza confirmed that the improvement it has shown over the course of the last four Acts is genuine, finishing in the top half of the standings again.

For United Internet Team Germany, Victory Challenge and the home Desafío Español squad, Act 11 was one they'd rather forget, with each finishing lower than they'd wish on the points table. China Team didn't race on Sunday after suffering structural damage to their boat on Saturday afternoon.

Following the racing, Alinghi was presented with the Louis Vuitton Act 11 trophy in front of a boisterous crowd during a 'docking ceremony' at the America's Cup Park.

RACE FIVE
The teams trailing first place Alinghi knew they would have their work cut out for them and BMW ORACLE Racing skipper Chris Dickson seemed to be the most eager to take on the job, luffing the Swiss boat and pushing it towards the start line. But in the event, the Americans were too eager, and Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio judged the bow of USA 87 broke the startline a fraction early, and Dickson had to restart, putting him well behind the fleet.

The big four teams all worked their up the left side of the race course, while United Internet Team Germany and Desafío Español hit the right hand side hard. Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia and Alinghi worked up near the middle at the top mark it was the Swiss, sailing smartly and conservatively who emerged with the lead.

But Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia was close behind with the Kiwis chasing them. BMW ORACLE Racing moved all the way up to sixth place, a brilliant recovery from their starting error.

Iain Percy's +39 Challenge continued to excel in the fleet contests, rounding the top mark in fifth place while the Spanish, Swedes and Germans died out on the right side of the course.

The teams split through the leeward gate and when they reconvened at the top mark for the final time, the top places were nearly identical, with the Americans having clawed up into fourth place. But on the final run, Emirates Team New Zealand, BMW ORACLE Racing and Luna Rossa all surged past Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia, with the latter squeezing across just one-second in front.

On the final points table, Alinghi is the runaway leader, with Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand finishing equal eight points back. The Italians win the tie-break to take second place, with the Kiwis third and BMW ORACLE Racing fourth, just two points ahead of Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia team.

Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 11 - Provisional Results and Leaderboard
(finishing position / points scored)

Position 1 2 3 4 5 Total
1 Alinghi (SUI 75) 6/7 1/12 1/12 3/10 1/12 53
2 Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 86) 10/3 2/11 3/10 1/12 4/9 45
3 Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 84) 4/9 7/6 2/11 5/8 2/11 45
4 BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 87) 9/4 6/7 4/9 2/11 3/10 41
5 Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia (ITA 77) 2/11 10/3 5/8 4/9 5/8 39
6 Team Shosholoza (RSA 83) 5/8 5/8 6/7 8/5 8/5 33
7 Areva Challenge (FRA 60) 7/6 4/9 8/5 7/6 7/6 32
8 +39 Challenge (ITA 59) 3/10 12/1 7/6 6/7 6/7 31
9 Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 65) 8/5 3/10 10/3 9/4 9/4 26
10 Victory Challenge (SWE 63) 1/12 8/5 11/2 10/3 11/2 24
11 United Internet Team Germany (GER 72) 11/2 11/2 9/4 11/2 10/3 13
12 China Team (CHN 79) 12/1 9/4 12/1 DNF/0 DNF/0 6

Louis Vuitton Challengers Ranking - Provisional


BMW ORACLE Racing 10 9 11 11 11 11 22 18 - - 103 1 4
Emirates Team New Zealand 11 10 10 9 11 10 20 22 - - 103 1 4
Luna Rossa Challenge 9 11 10 10 11 7 20 22 - - 100 3 3
Desafio Espanol 2007 8 5 8 9 6 9 16 8 - - 69 4 3
Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team 6 8 6 4 4 3 12 16 - - 59 5 2
Victory Challenge 8 7 5 2 7 5 16 6 - - 56 6 2
+39 Challenge 6 4 8 6 6 6 8 10 - - 54 7 2
Areva Challenge 6 6 4 7 8 1 8 12 - - 52 8 1
Team Shosholoza 1 2 3 3 4 8 10 14 - - 45 9 1
United Internet Team Germany 3 3 3 6 2 4 4 4 - - 29 10 1
China Team 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 - - 13 11 1

______________

Note to editors:

Since 1851, the America's Cup has transcended the sport of sailing to become a symbol of the pursuit of excellence.

The official partners LOUIS VUITTON, ENDESA, SANTANDER, ALCATEL and the America's Cup share a heritage rich in passion, innovation and extraordinary human achievement.

The 32nd America's Cup enjoys the support of Nespresso, Adecco, Ford, El Corte Inglés, Estrella Damm, Grupo Leche Pascual and Coca-Cola; our Supporters, and valuable contributors to the America's Cup.

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 May 2006
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 LEGENDS.

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