America's Cup - Only two races remaining

Posted on by
Source: www.americascup.com

May 5


On Saturday, the home team, Desafío Español 2007, took advantage of an earlier Jury ruling which ordered a re-sail of its match against Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team. The Spanish team won its second come-from-behind match of the day, beating Mascalzone Latino in the re-sail, following a win over Shosholoza in their Flight 7 contest.

With the two wins, Desafío Español earns four points, extending its lead for a critical top four position on the leader board to five points over the idle Victory Challenge. Only the top four challengers at the conclusion of Round Robin Two advance to the Semi Finals.

America's Cup - Only two races remaining

Flight 7
The closest match of Flight 7 was between Desafío Español and Shosholoza. After an aggressive pre-start between Karol Jablonski and Paolo Cian, both boats rolled off the middle of the line with Shosholoza very close to the starboard hip of ESP 97. A long duel followed up the first leg, but by the time they reached the top of the course there was still little separating the two boats. As they approached the port lay line, Jablonski luffed the South African boat, but it was RSA 83 who rolled around the windward mark 5 seconds ahead.

The decisive move came at the first gybe, when superior boat handling put the Spanish on to the breeze of the slower-gybing South Africans. Gradually the Spanish rolled over the top into a controlling position which they maintained and extended to 47 seconds by the finish.

James Spithill steered Luna Rossa aggressively in the pre-start and managed to get a penalty against +39 Challenge. Spit hill then stuck Iain Percy up by the Race Committee boat and as +39 fought to find room and acceleration, ITA 94 moved away nicely and sailed to an easy victory.

Jesper Bank and United Internet Team Germany made the better start against Emirates Team New Zealand as GER 89 came off the pin end of the line at speed, but the Kiwis were just too fast as the Germans never managed to capitalize on that early advantage.

America's Cup - Only two races remaining

BMW ORACLE Racing made a perfect pin-end start against Areva Challenge and the Americans raced away to victory, consolidating their position at the top of the leader board with Luna Rossa. Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team executed a great pre-start against China Team, bouncing a down speed CHN 95 off towards the Race Committee boat, and sealing the race from there.

Flight 4 – Re-sail
In the rematch following the protest between these teams two days ago, Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team wanted the right of the start line, and Desafío Español seemed surprisingly willing to hand it to them. When Jes Gram-Hansen took the black boat across the line at speed, with the Spanish two seconds back, it handed an immediate advantage to the Italians.

A tacking duel ensued, but always the advantage with Mascalzone. However, the Spanish kept it tight and rounded the top mark less than one boat length behind. Then, in an absolute carbon copy of the Spanish team’s earlier match against Shosholoza, the green boat rolled down on a deeper line, ready to pounce on a Mascalzone gybe. True enough, when the simultaneous gybe came, ESP 97 seized the initiative and stole the wind and soon after the lead.

America's Cup - Only two races remaining

A poor gybe from Mascalzone further down the run sealed their fate as the Spanish led through the leeward gate and consolidated on the final lap for an important victory.


May 6


Three teams are now secure in their position on the leader board at the Louis Vuitton Cup. On Saturday, BMW ORACLE Racing and Luna Rossa Challenge earned enough points to ensure the fifth place team couldn’t overhaul them. With its win on Sunday, Emirates Team New Zealand did the same.

America's Cup - Only two races remaining

The fourth and final Semi Final spot is currently occupied by Desafío Español 2007, who earned a great win in front of a large weekend spectator fleet on Sunday. The Spanish have won six of their seven Round Robin Two matches to build a five point cushion over Victory Challenge. The Swedish team has three matches left, with six points available. If the Swedes lose one more race, or the Spanish team earns another victory, Desafío Español will have the coveted Semi Final berth.

That doesn’t mean the remaining matches for the top teams are meaningless. Just two points separate first from third and the top finisher has the right to choose its opponent for the head to head Semi Final portion of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

Flight 8
Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team’s pre-start maneuvering has been exemplary in the Louis Vuitton Cup, but on this occasion Shosholoza helmsman Paolo Cian managed to get a penalty against his rivals after getting a ‘hook’ on the Italian boat.

America's Cup - Only two races remaining

While the Italians led up the first beat – and indeed from the start to finish – it was always a matter of whether or not they could eke out the sort of lead that would enable them to take the 270-penalty turn before the South Africans caught them.

When Shosholoza fluffed a gybe down the final run, the Italians sped away to a 150-meter lead. It looked like they might just have the gap to complete their penalty maneuver. Cameron Dunn spun the wheel as ITA 99 danced around the finish mark but it was all too late as RSA 83 came charging by under spinnaker.

The South Africans scraped past the down speed Italians for a 6-second win. Judging by the celebrations on board, the Shosholoza crew was thrilled at having beaten their mid-table rivals.

Every match from now on is a ‘must-win’ if Victory Challenge is going to topple Desafío Español from a Semi Final berth. Against Areva today it was an extremely close match up the first beat as the two boats traded tacks all the way to the windward mark. The French rounded right on the transom of SWE 96 but the killer move came when Magnus Holmberg fooled his counterpart Sébastien Col with a dummy gybe, sending FRA 93 the other way while the Swedes sailed in clear air. From there the Swedish boat stretched out a small but useful lead to the finish.

America's Cup - Only two races remaining

The other three matches were straightforward and ran to form, with Desafío Español beating United Internet Team Germany, BMW ORACLE Racing beating +39 Challenge, and Emirates Team New Zealand beating China Team.


May 7


When the week began, the Swedish Victory Challenge found itself needing to win its remaining three matches in Round Robin Two to have any hope of qualifying for the Semi Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

America's Cup - Only two races remaining

On Monday, the Swedes leapt over the first hurdle, by beating the team they are chasing, Desafío Español 2007. Each team now has two matches left. Any combination of either a Spanish win or Swedish loss will see the home Spanish in the Semi Final.

In other matches, Emirates Team New Zealand stayed in the hunt to overhaul the top point getter, BMW ORACLE Racing, with a win over Luna Rossa Challenge. BMW ORACLE Racing is one point ahead, and will face the Kiwis on the final day, potentially with first place on the line.

It was another day with great sea breeze sailing on the waters off Port America’s Cup. 10 to 12 knot Southeaster lies provided ideal racing conditions, and the teams reveled in them.

Flight 9
Desafío Español helmsman Karol Jablonski seemed to want the right at the start, and fought hard to defend that side. However, Victory made the faster start to the left, and when they tacked the Swedes had a small edge.

America's Cup - Only two races remaining

Magnus Holmberg gained a small lead around the top mark and extended down the run. However, some of the gybes from the Swedish crew looked a little poorer than those by their competition and the Spaniards closed the gap towards the leeward gate. It looked like the Swedes had left it very late to drop their spinnaker and when they attempted to bring it down, it flew out to leeward and fell into the water.

With the Spaniards just seconds behind, there was a narrow gap between the leeward mark and the spinnaker now floating on the surface. It didn’t seem to affect the course of the Spanish boat around the mark, although a red flag went up in protest from ESP 97. From there the Swedes defended their lead successfully up the final beat, but again looked shaky down the final run. Gybing late for the finish, it looked for a moment like the Swedes had opened the door to the faster Spanish boat, but they crossed the finishing line just 7 seconds ahead.

+39 Challenge had yet to post a win on the board in Round Robin Two, and it seemed unlikely they would gain one against Shosholoza. However Iain Percy did a nice job in the pre-start and led a down speed RSA 83 off the start line. By the time both boats were up to speed, ITA 85 was a boat length ahead and Percy managed to cross clear ahead of Paola Cian at the first cross, claiming the right-hand side of the course. +39 extended to a surprisingly comfortable 50 second win over the South Africans.

America's Cup - Only two races remaining

The race between BMW ORACLE Racing and Mascalzone Latino was a duel between two of the best starters in the business, and it looked as though Jes Gram-Hansen had got the better of Chris Dickson. Appearing as though he was shut out above the starboard lay line, Dickson bore away for a last-gasp attempt at hooking his bow around the stern of the Italian boat. He never managed the hook, but he got close enough to scare the black boat over the line two seconds early. By the time the Italian boat had re-started, the Americans were long gone, racing away to a 57 second victory.

Both Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge started well and fought for control up the windward leg, throwing 33 tacks at each other. The Kiwis seemed to have a slight edge of speed in the 13 knot breeze, and by the top of the beat they had used that advantage to carry the Italians past the starboard lay line. From there the Kiwis controlled the match for a 36-second win.

Areva and China Team both started well, but the speed difference soon became apparent as the French sailors moved to an untroubled lead, extending to 3 minutes 3 seconds by the finish.


Results

America's Cup - Only two races remaining

Flight 4

Team

Points

Team

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

0

2

Desafio Espanol 2007


Flight 7

Team

Points

Team

China Team

0

2

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

Team Shosholoza

0

2

Desafio Espanol 2007

Emirates Team New Zealand

2

0

United Internet Team Germany

Areva Challenge

0

2

BMW Oracle Racing

+39 Challenge

0

2

Luna Rossa Challenge


America's Cup - Only two races remaining

Flight 8

Team

Points

Team

United Internet Team Germany

0

2

Desafio Espanol 2007

Team Shosholoza

2

0

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

Emirates Team New Zealand

2

0

China Team

Areva Challenge

0

2

Victory Challenge

+39 Challenge

0

2

BMW Oracle Racing


Flight 9

Team

Points

Team

+39 Challenge

2

0

Team Shosholoza

China Team

0

2

Areva Challenge

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

0

2

BMW Oracle Racing

Victory Challenge

2

0

Desafio Espanol 2007

Luna Rossa Challenge

0

2

Emirates Team New Zealand


America's Cup - Only two races remaining

Temporarily ranking of America’s Cup

 

Team

Races

Won

Bonus points

Round Robin 1

Round Robin 2

Total points

1

BMW Oracle Racing

18

16

3

18

14

35

2

Emirates Team New Zealand

18

15

4

14

16

34

3

Luna Rossa Challenge

18

14

3

16

12

31

4

Desafio Espanol 2007

18

13

3

14

12

29

5

Victory Challenge

18

12

2

12

12

26

6

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team

18

9

2

12

6

20

7

Team Shosholoza

19

8

2

10

6

18

8

Areva Challenge

18

7

1

8

6

15

9

+39 Challenge

18

3

2

4

2

8

10

United Internet Team Germany

18

2

1

2

2

5

11

China Team

19

1

1

0

2

3


*Registration is required to post in this forum

Back to top