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Magnificent And Crucial Win For Alinghi



Facing the American syndicate OneWorld, Team Alinghi showed grace under pressure and won by 29 seconds, claiming top position in the rankings. .

AUCKLAND - 24 October, 2002 - The match between Alinghi and OneWorld was an intense race, with the American syndicate having won all of their races thus far in the Louis Vuitton Cup series, as well as defeating Alinghi by only 11 seconds in Round Robin 1. This time the Swiss team had decided beforehand to sail their own race.

The match started with great tension, as OneWorld helmsman James Spithill (23 years old) is known for his talent as a match racer and aggression in the pre-start, the same qualities that have made the reputation of Russell Coutts. The jousting maneuvers were fierce as the two battled for control. Alinghi's veteran helmsman gained the upper hand when the wind shifted slightly in their favor and with a new push of speed, crossed in front of OneWorld. The boats then bore off, turning down around the mark and then going straight for the pin end of the line. OneWorld nailed the start with perfect timing. Closer to the middle of the line, Alinghi was slightly behind and to windward.

Alinghi immediately tacked onto port, concentrating on reading the wind up the course. The boats sailed on separately on split tacks, tacking over twice before they met in the middle. The critical moment of the match was the first cross, which Alinghi won by just a few meters. The Swiss boat had decided against trying to control the opposition, and instead sailed their own race. Tactician Brad Butterworth showed confidence and expertise in reading the weather conditions in the Hauraki Gulf.

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On the downwind runs OneWorld, dominated for the first time in this regatta, picked up some shifts and managed to gain on the lead boat. However, the Swiss focused on picking the course they wanted, controlling the race, and winning by 29 seconds.




WARWICK FLEURY, TRIMMER - The whole race was pretty close and it was nerve wracking. It was quite shifty out there, and that makes it difficult to cover too closely. OneWorld got a couple of shifts and claimed back some distance on us. It is a nice win to have after they beat us in the first round robin. But it's still early days and we have a lot of work ahead.

DEAN PHIPPS, MAINSAIL TRAVELLER TRIMMER - We decided before the start that we would sail our own race. We've always felt we had good, quick boat speed, and today we sailed really well together. It's still early days and the next step is crew work and sail handling, and we still have work to go. The critical moment was right after the start, we lifted straight away on a nice shift and then on the first half of the beat we crossed in front of OneWorld.

SIMON DAUBNEY, GENOA TRIMMER - In the match before this one against OneWorld, we had several opportunities that we didn't take. It goes without saying, we wanted our revenge. This was a fantastic match in exceptional conditions.


Orn defeated Areva (1 min 19 secs)
Oracle BMW defeated Mascalzone Latino (2 mins 40 secs)
Alinghi defeated One World (29 secs)
Prada defeated Stars & Stripes (41 secs)

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Team Alinghi is flying the Swiss flag, and carrying the colours of the Société Nautique de Genève. UBS, Infonet, Audemars-Piguet and Riri are its proud sponsors.

© Scoop Media

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