America's Cup: +39 Challenge scores its first points

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Source: www.americascup.com

April 26


Desafío Español won both its races on Thursday to climb higher up the leaderboard, while BMW ORACLE Racing remains undefeated at the Louis Vuitton Cup. Near the top of the table, Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge beat Emirates Team New Zealand to remain in the top three on the points table.

Racing conditions were excellent with an Easterly wind of 10 knots blowing across the race areas. The conditions were gusty and shifty, leaving plenty of passing lanes for the tacticians to discover. And the Umpires were busy on Thursday as well, with penalties the deciding factor in a number of races.

America's Cup: +39 Challenge scores its first points

Flight 8

The first match saw United Internet Team Germany pick up an unexpected penalty in a pre-start port/starboard incident. While Desafío Español won the early advantage and took the favoured right, the Germans regained ground later on the first beat to round the weather mark 13 seconds behind. The Germans once again chose the correct side going left on the run and ended up just 9 seconds astern at the leeward gate. On the second lap the speed of ESP 97 along with superior tactics prevailed, and the Spanish finished 52 seconds ahead.

Areva Challenge and Victory Challenge provided dramatic action in their match. The Swedes gained the upper hand in the pre-start causing Areva to start 15 seconds behind. The French team entered into a tacking duel with the Swedes up the right side of the beat. Areva was allowed to take the right and during the tacking duel the Swedes picked up a penalty for tacking too close. Matters went from bad to worse when Areva pulled ahead on the race course, to round the weather mark with a 7 second advantage. The Swedes pulled in front on the second beat, rounding the weather mark 9 seconds ahead, but still holding a penalty. Magnus Holmberg and his team outgunned the French on the run and were just able to carry out their penalty turn in time to squeeze across the finishing line ahead of the French.

The duel between Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team and Team Shosholoza was no less tense. After an early advantage to the Italians, a tacking duel at the latter stage of the first beat saw the Italians lead around the weather mark just 8 seconds ahead. The Italians sailed well on the run extending their lead to 38 seconds on the run after the South Africans ripped their spinnaker. However another prolonged tacking duel on the third beat saw the South Africans recover once again to round with an 8 second deficit. An ambitious gybe set at the second mark rounding momentarily delayed Shosholoza who once again began closing on the Italians down the left side of the course. But just out from the finish, Shosholoza ripped another spinnaker and could only watch as Mascalzone Latino sailed on to victory.

+39 failed to threaten BMW Oracle Racing in their match and China Team did not start its match against Emirates Team New Zealand, after returning to shore with technical difficulties, allowing the Kiwis two easy points.

America's Cup: +39 Challenge scores its first points

Flight 9

The bad news in this match started early for Dean Barker when the Italian boat put a penalty on the New Zealanders early in the pre-start, after the Umpires judged the Kiwis hadn’t kept clear in the dial-up. The two split at the start with Luna Rossa heading out to the left gaining the advantage. The Italians pushed the New Zealanders out beyond the starboard layline, luffing them up beyond the weather mark, eventually rounding just 10 seconds ahead. Emirates TNZ lost more on the run rounding 26 seconds astern. But on the final run, they edged ahead of the Italians. However their margin wasn’t large enough to complete a penalty turn and after a failed attempt to luff Luna Rossa in an effort to offset the penalty, they finished 48 seconds astern after completing their penalty turn.

In their match with BMW ORACLE Racing, Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team pulled out a small lead when they were first to catch a favourable shift on the beat. The result was a prolonged tacking duel. After a brief respite in the middle of the beat, the tacking duel resumed and during this the Italians picked up a penalty for tacking too close. On the port layline into the weather mark BMW ORACLE overtook the Italians to leeward to round the top mark 20 seconds ahead. Mascalzone Latino didn’t lose heart repeatedly gybing down the run, but the Americans then began to show their greater horsepower to win by 1:38.

After their rig and appendage issues and with no wins in Round Robin One, +39 Challenge put up a strong showing against Team Shosholoza. Following an intense tacking battle up the first beat the South Africans rounded the weather mark 13 seconds ahead. +39 continued to hound the South Africans on the run rounding the gate mark on their transom but were ultimately unable to get past Shosholoza who won by 26 seconds.

Victory Challenge led Desafío Español out of the start, but was outpaced by the Spanish on the left of the beat and despite the Swedes splitting from the Spaniards on the final leg enabling them to draw level, Desafío put two more points on the board winning by 35 seconds.

China Team once again forfeited their race, due to keel problems, handing Areva Challenge two easy points.


April 27

America's Cup: +39 Challenge scores its first points

Today it was challenging day for the Race Committee at the Louis Vuitton Cup on Friday, when the gradient Easterly breeze flirted around the seven knot lower limit for racing for much of the afternoon. On the northern most course racing started on time in nine knots of wind and the two scheduled matches in both Flights 10 and 11 were completed.

It was a different story for the matches scheduled on the southern race area, where the wind was never suitable for racing. The race officials brought the Juliet race course up to the north race area, but the wind was no better and Matches 4, 5 and 6 were postponed for the day. The remaining matches in Flight 10 and Flight 11 are now scheduled for Saturday.

That means the top six teams on the leaderboard all have critical matches left to sail to complete Round Robin One. The matches that were raced on Friday were important for the bottom teams on the ranking, and no less exciting for that. +39 Challenge had a great day, earning its first four points of the regatta, while the French Areva Challenge suffered a heartbreaking setback in its match against Shosholoza, the Umpires judging it didn’t execute its penalty turn properly at the finishing line, allowing the South Africans to win the race.

America's Cup: +39 Challenge scores its first points

Flight 10

The match between Areva Challenge and United Internet Team Germany took place on its own. Due to further technical troubles with its keel China Team did not start its race against +39 Challenge on the north course.

The French and German match was a game of gains and losses with the French leading up the first beat through a tacking duel which culminated in a collision between the two boats up by the windward mark. Two penalties were awarded, the Umpires judging each team to be partially at fault for the collision. The effect of the double penalties was that neither team emerged burdened by a penalty turn. Jesper Bank managed to slip ahead coming out of the incident, and led into the weather mark. The United Internet team led comfortably down the run rounding the leeward gate 30 seconds ahead. Areva Challenge did well on the right hand side of the second beat, its FRA 93 seeming to handle the increased chop of the waves better than United Internet Team Germany’s GER 89, to the extent that by the weather mark they rounded 38 seconds ahead. The German team were unable to challenge the French further and Areva went on extend down the run, winning with a final delta over one minute.

America's Cup: +39 Challenge scores its first points

Flight 11

In the match between United Internet Team Germany and +39 Challenge, both teams urgently needed to get points on the board. Throughout the first beat the lead shifted to and fro between the boats. At the weather mark Jesper Bank’s German team rounded 29 seconds ahead as +39 gybe set around, heading for the left side of the run. On this leg Iain Percy’s team gained enough ground to squeeze inside the Germans at the leeward gate rounding just 3 seconds astern.

On the second beat, the racing remained equally close and at the weather mark +39 were just 11 seconds behind. Once again Ian Walker, tactician for +39 chose the left side of the run and finding better pressure on this side of the course slowly extended, level and then ahead. Having rounded all three marks in the lead, United Internet Team Germany reached the finish line 57 seconds astern of the Italian team.

Given its form earlier in the series Team Shosholoza were favourites for its race against Areva Challenge. Both boats were approaching the starting line early causing Team Shosholoza to circle around, losing speed, as their French rivals spun behind the Race Committee boat. As the French hit the line with speed, the South Africans remained stalled and ended up crossing the starting line 31 seconds behind Areva.

Impressively Paolo Cian and the South African team fought back up the beat, with Areva covering them tack for tack. The South African team showed superior boat speed, caught up with Areva and by luffing the French team, put a penalty on FRA 93, as the Umpires judged the Areva squad failed to keep clear. Shosholoza rounded the weather mark 30 seconds ahead. On the run the tables turned once again as the South Africans exploded their third spinnaker in two days. The French overtook to round the leeward gate 25 seconds ahead. Areva comfortably led around the weather mark for the second time and down the final run extended enough to attempt to carry out the penalty turn before Shosholoza finished.

In the event, Areva had enough time to round the end of the finish line and appeared to win, crossing just ahead of Shosholoza. But in executing the turn, the French boat (mast) never fully passed back on to the course side of the finishing line as the Rules demand, and thus, they didn’t finish the race, giving the win going to Team Shosholoza.


Results

America's Cup: +39 Challenge scores its first points

Flight 8

Team

Points

Team

Desafío Español 2007

2

0

United Internet Team Germany

Victory Challenge

2

0

Areva Challenge

China Team

0

2

Emirates Team New Zealand

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

2

0

Team Shosholoza

BMW Oracle Racing

2

0

+39 Challenge


Flight 9

Team

Points

Team

Desafío Español 2007

2

0

Victory Challenge

Emirates Team New Zealand

2

0

Luna Rossa Challenge

Areva Challenge

0

2

China Team

Team Shosholoza

2

0

+39 Challenge

BMW Oracle Racing

2

0

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team


America's Cup: +39 Challenge scores its first points

Flight 10

Team

Points

Team

Areva Challenge

2

0

United Internet Team Germany

+39 Challenge

2

0

China Team

Luna Rossa Challenge

postponed

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

Emirates Team New Zealand

postponed

Victory Challenge

BMW Oracle Racing

postponed

Desafio Espanol 2007


Flight 11

Team

Points

Team

+39 Challenge

2

0

United Internet Team Germany

Team Shosholoza

2

0

Areva Challenge

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

postponed

Victory Challenge

Luna Rossa Challenge

postponed

Desafio Espanol 2007

Emirates Team New Zealand

postponed

BMW Oracle Racing


America's Cup: +39 Challenge scores its first points

Temporarily Ranking

Ranking

Team

Races

Bonus points

Round Robin 1

Total points

1

BMW Oracle Racing

8

3

16

19

2

Emirates Team New Zealand

8

4

12

16

3

Luna Rossa Challenge

8

3

12

15

3

Desafio Espanol 2007

8

3

12

15

5

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

8

2

12

14

6

Victory Challenge

8

2

10

12

6

Team Shosholoza

10

2

10

12

8

Areva Challenge

10

1

8

9

9

+39 Challenge

10

2

4

6

10

United Internet Team Germany

10

1

2

3

11

China Team

10

1

0

1


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