America's Cup: Round Robin Two

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Source: www.americascup.com

A win in this second Round is still worth two points, but there are other significant differences.

Only one flight of races is scheduled per day, which will allow the Race Committee to set longer courses, to better prepare the challengers for what one of them will eventually face in the America’s Cup Match. If matches are lost due to weather, there might be some two flight days as the series goes on.

Round Robin Two will be a pure battle of survival. Only the top four challengers at the end of this Round Robin will advance to the Semi Finals. For the rest, this 11 days of racing will be the last of their Louis Vuitton Cup.

That places the pressure on Victory Challenge and Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team, who are three points out of fourth place. Today, Victory Challenge has a race it must win over Shosholoza on the north race area, while Mascalzone Latino will see if it can repeat a second surprise win over Emirates Team New Zealand on the south race course.

America's Cup: Round Robin Two

Flight 1

In Flight One of Round Robin Two BMW Oracle Racing and Luna Rossa had what were billed as routine races against the two bottom teams United Internet Team Germany and China Team. True to form skipper Chris Dickson’s San Francisco-based team got ahead early on the first beat and pulled away to finish 3:17 ahead, but the race was more dramatic between the Italians and Chinese.

A late dial up in the pre-start resulted in Luna Rossa starting nearly 30 seconds behind. Luna Rossa slowly dragged past China Team up the beat, but the Chinese rounded only 18 seconds behind the powerful Italian team. Luna Rossa extended down the run, rounded the leeward gate but as they began their upwind leg, China Team had to quickly gybe to avoid them as they had just started to drop their spinnaker. This caused the Chinese to drape the spinnaker over the side of the boat. It filled with water, stopping the boat for precious seconds before they let it run free in the water behind them. From then onwards, Luna Rossa romped away to get its first two points on the board for Round Robin Two.

There was also leeward gate action in the much closer battle between Victory Challenge and Team Shosholoza. After an early advantage to the Swedes, Shosholoza pulled ahead in the latter part of the first beat to round 31 seconds ahead at the weather mark. After swapping the lead twice on the run, Team Shosholoza was ahead coming into the leeward gate, pressed up close to the wind, following a big wind shift to the right. That’s when the end of their spinnaker pole broke. The South Africans managed to stay ahead on the third leg, but their 16 second lead at the weather mark was not enough. With Shosholoza unable to use a spinnaker pole, Victory Challenge was able to overhaul them on the final run to win by 52 seconds.

America's Cup: Round Robin Two

Flight 2

Few would have expected BMW ORACLE Racing, leader after Round Robin One, to fall to the bottom ranked boat, China Team. But after showing better speed in the pre-start and early up the first beat, the headsail pulled out of the headfoil on the American boat. The BMW ORACLE Racing team eventually solved the problem and raised a genoa for the second upwind leg, but by then the deficit was too great, and China Team picked up an unexpected two points.

The French Areva Challenge led Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team for the entire first beat rounding just 8 seconds ahead at the top mark. Just short of the leeward gate, Areva helmsman Sebastian Col luffed Mascalzone hard and in the process managed to put a penalty on the Italians for failing to keep clear. The Italians slipped around in the process, but were down a penalty. Areva had just pulled ahead by the weather mark where the Italians attempted to get rid of their penalty by luffing the French but the Umpires judged both boats clean. On the final run Mascalzone pulled ahead but not far enough to carry out their penalty turn in time, Areva earning a welcome win.

At the helm of +39 Challenge, Iain Percy did a great job locking Desafío Español 2007 out at the committee boat in their pre-start. The Italian team started ahead and after a prolonged tacking duel up the first beat, +39 sailed the Spanish off to the right side of the course rounding the weather mark 23 seconds ahead. +39 were looking comfortable with a 29 second advantage at the leeward gate until they broke their headsail sheet early on the next beat allowing the Spanish to regain ground. The Italians remained ahead but rounded the top mark for a second time with a precarious 9 second advantage. On the run, the Spanish were able to roll past +39 Challenge within sight of the finishing line to take the win by just one second.

Team Shosholoza got ahead of United Internet Team Germany on the first beat and extended around the course to finish 1:23 ahead. Similarly after edging ahead of Victory Challenge on the first beat Luna Rossa managed a comfortable win, ahead by 27 seconds when they crossed the finishing line.

America's Cup: Round Robin Two

Flight 1 – Matches 4 and 5

The final matches from Flight 1 were held following Flight 2 on the south race course. In the race between Emirates Team New Zealand and Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team there was a massive tacking battle up the beat, the two boats evenly matched, until the New Zealanders benefited from a shift to help them around the weather mark. Emirates Team New Zealand extended down the run but almost lost their advantage on the second beat when a shift caused the Italian team to draw level. The New Zealanders rounded the top mark 33 seconds ahead and were safe for their victory when the spinnaker pole broke on the Italian boat, knocking a crew member overboard. He was grabbed and hauled back on board and the team proceeded to follow the Kiwis across the finishing line.

+39 Challenge had its second close race of the day, this time against the French Areva Challenge. The two boats were neck and neck up the first beat with +39 pulling ahead to round 17 seconds ahead at the weather mark, a lead they maintained at the leeward gate. But following a tacking duel on the second beat Areva pulled ahead to round the weather mark 7 seconds in advance. +39 kept it close on the run and in the latter stages managed to roll past to windward. After both boats put in a hasty final gybe for the line, the halyard came loose on +39’s spinnaker causing it to bulge forward in front of the boat, dragging across the back of FRA 93, resulting in the Italian team picking up a penalty. But by this stag, close to the finishing line, the race already belonged to the French.


Results

America's Cup: Round Robin Two

Flight 1

Team

Points

Team

BMW Oracle Racing

2

0

United Internet Team Germany

Victory Challenge

2

0

Team Shosholoza

Luna Rossa Challenge

2

0

China Team

Emirates Team New Zealand

2

0

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

Areva Challenge

2

0

+39 Challenge


Flight 2

Team

Points

Team

Team Shosholoza

2

0

United Internet Team Germany

BMW Oracle Racing

0

2

China Team

Luna Rossa Challenge

2

0

Victory Challenge

Areva Challenge

2

0

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

+39 Challenge

0

2

Desafio Espanol 2007


America's Cup: Round Robin Two

Temporarily ranking of America’s Cup

 

Team

Races

Won

Bonus points

Round Robin 1

Round Robin 2

Total points

1

BMW Oracle Racing

12

10

3

18

2

23

1

Luna Rossa Challenge

12

10

3

16

4

23

3

Emirates Team New Zealand

11

8

4

14

2

20

4

Desafio Espanol 2007

11

8

3

14

2

19

5

Victory Challenge

12

7

2

12

2

16

6

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

12

6

2

12

0

14

6

Team Shosholoza

12

6

2

10

2

14

8

Areva Challenge

12

6

1

8

4

13

9

+39 Challenge

12

2

2

4

0

6

10

United Internet Team Germany

12

1

1

2

0

3

11

China Team

12

1

1

0

2

3




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