Luna Rossa ITA 74 Will Race One World USA 67
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
DECEMBER 8, 2002
SEMIFINALS START TOMORROW - LUNA ROSSA ITA 74 WILL RACE ONE WORLD USA 67 IN BEST OF SEVEN SERIES
This morning the skippers attended the opening press conference of the Louis Vuitton Cup 2002-2003 semifinals, scheduled to start tomorrow, Monday December 9.
During the traditional toss of the coin ceremony where the skippers pick the colour for the start of the first match, Peter Gilmour (OneWorld) picked yellow, corresponding to the right hand side of the line. Francesco de Angelis, therefore, will enter tomorrow's starting box from port.
Four teams will compete in the semifinals in a best of seven series with the following pairings: - Alinghi (SUI 64) versus Oracle BMW Racing (USA 76), both qualified as semifinalists at the end of the quarter finals. - Prada Challenge (ITA 74) versus OneWorld Challenge (USA 67), having both advanced to the semifinals from the quarter finals repechage.
The winner between Alinghi and Oracle will advance directly to the Louis Vuitton Cup finals, scheduled to start on January 11, 2003. The finals will be raced on a best of nine series. The losing team will proceed to the semifinals repechage, starting on December 20, raced on a best of seven series. The winner between Prada and OneWorld will advance to the semifinals repechage, whilst the loser will be eliminated from the Louis Vuitton Cup. The winning team from the repechage round will advance to the finals, the loser will be eliminated from the Louis Vuitton Cup.
Francesco de Angelis, skipper of Luna Rossa, said today: "For the semifinals we have chosen Luna Rossa ITA 74, the yacht that we have raced most with and that has undergone quite a series of modifications over the last week. The unstable weather conditions didn't make our training easy in the past week. However, we were able to sail in strong winds and this enabled us to test various set ups and sail configurations. This has proved to be particularly interesting as the weather forecast for the coming week indicates quite strong winds. We were also able to sail in light air and verify a number of modifications that had been carried out. At the same time we collected good indications for other work still under way".
Starting from tomorrow, every day the Race committee will give the start to two matches. The first start of the day will not be before 13:15 pm local time. All matches will be sailed over the 18.5 miles windward-leeward course.
CALENDAR FOR TOMORROW - DECEMBER 9
Match 1 Alinghi SUI 64 versus Oracle BMW Racing USA 76
Match 2 OneWorld USA 67 versus Luna Rossa ITA 74
WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW
Wind from SW 12kts increasing to 18-21kts. Mainly sunny.