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Alinghi clean sweeps Louis Vuitton act 6 America's Cup lead-up

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August 30, 2005

Alinghi clean sweeps Louis Vuitton act 6 America's Cup lead-up

Alinghi clean sweeps Louis Vuitton act 6 America's Cup lead-up

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August 31, 2005 Since 1851, the America’s Cup has transcended the sport of sailing to become a symbol of the pursuit of excellence. So it has been interesting to watch as the lead-up races to the next America’s Cup to be held in 2007 in Valencia, Spain play out. Racing for the 32nd America’s Cup (Valencia) began with a series of Louis Vuitton Acts in 2004. The competition continues in 2005 and 2006, with several more Louis Vuitton Acts in Malmo-Skane (Sweden), Trapani (Sicily), and Valencia, the Host City of the 32nd America’s Cup. Currently, ACT 6, a series of seven days of match racing in Malmo Sweden has just concluded with the Defender, Team Alinghi, clean sweeping (11-0) and maintaining an unbeaten record in the 2005 match racing season under helmsman Jochen Schuemann . Act 7, a series of fleet races over three days begins on Friday.

Alinghi may be well ahead of the challengers, but there’s plenty of competition in the challenger fleet. BMW ORACLE Racing had to beat Luna Rossa in the last match race to ensure second place and that’s just what they did. BMW Oracle Racing ultimately won all its races except for the match with Alinghi while Chris Dickson’s Emirates Team New Zealand grabbed third in a tie-break.

Tuesday’s loss to the Swiss capped a tough week for the Kiwis. The Emirates squad salvages third on the points table, winning the tie-break by virtue of a victory over Luna Rossa. But losses to Alinghi and BMW ORACLE Racing, as well as a surprise fall to +39, showed the Emirates squad still has work to do to get to the top of the ladder again. As for Luna Rossa, losses to the three teams ahead of it were tempered by a perfect record against the rest of the fleet. But the Italians have to start beating the top three teams to take the next step.

The +39 Challenge and Shosholoza are the other big winners on the week. For the Italians, an equal fifth on points (sixth after the tie break) is a great result. This team has come along way from its first efforts in Valencia in 2004, and is climbing the learning curve faster than anyone else at the moment. Similarly, Shosholoza was rewarded for its efforts with two wins – the first ever for South Africa. Still struggling at times, Shosholoza is nonetheless moving in the right direction.

Flight Eleven

This match between the home Swedes and Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia was for seventh place. Italian skipper Vasco Vascotto saw his counterpart Magnus Holmberg spin out under him from the dial-up and escape. Both boats started on starboard tack with speed with the Italians on the right hand side. That’s where Vascotto found a handy right-hand shift that lifted him a boat length clear. Some tidier crew work by the Italians kept them in front and secured seventh place on the points table.

Shosholoza and China Team fought hard in this battle to stay off the bottom of the table. The Chinese looked good early when Shosholoza helmsman Chris Law was again assessed a penalty in the pre-start for not keeping clear. But the South Africans used the penalty to turn the tables in the pre-start and blocked the China Team skipper Pierre Mas from starting on time. Although China Team closed the gap early, a poor spinnaker drop and leeward gate rounding allowed South Africa to extend away. The men on Shosholoza executed a perfect spinnaker drop and penalty turn to win the race, and finish off the bottom of the points table for the first time in the 32nd America’s Cup.

At the top of the table, each position between second and fourth was there for the taking for three teams. BMW ORACLE Racing could guarantee its best finish of the year with a win over Luna Rossa. That’s exactly what Chris Dickson and his men did. The Americans led off the start line, but Luna Rossa had the power of the right. It wasn’t long however before Dickson had extended enough that he could cross the bow of the Italian boat clearly, and the BMW ORACLE Racing squad never looked back.

+39 Challenge capped a great week of racing with a win over United Internet Team Germany. The start looked difficult for Italian skipper Iain Percy early on with German skipper Jesper Bank pushing to hold the Italians out. But Percy was able to put his bow down and was able to build speed ahead of the starting gun, crossing the line with pace. He converted this into a dominant position early, and Bank didn’t have the speed to threaten him.

Although Alinghi didn’t have anything material at stake in this contest, the Swiss were gunning for a perfect record, and perhaps looking to make a statement to the Kiwis as well. It was a close race off the starting line, but Alinghi was able to use superior speed and height to slowly pull ahead upwind. The Swiss escaped clear ahead of Emirates about halfway up the leg and Team New Zealand couldn’t climb back into it.

Spanish skipper Karol Jablonski won his race in the pre-start pushing K-Challenge above the layline for the starting line. When French skipper Thierry Peponnet gybed to escape, Jablonski simply turned up for the line. Peponnet found himself tacking directly behind the Spanish boat and pinned in a difficult and slow position off the starting line. From there Desafío Español could taste fifth place overall, and raced on to secure it with the victory.

Racing resumes after two days off in the Malmö-Skåne Louis Vuitton Acts with the Fleet Racing of Act 7 on Friday.

Malmö-Skåne Louis Vuitton Act 6 Points

Team Points Alinghi 11 BMW ORACLE Racing 10 Emirates Team New Zealand 8 Luna Rossa 8 Desafío Español 2007 6 +39 Challenge 6 Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team 5 Victory Challenge 4 K-Challenge 3 United Internet Team Germany 2 Team Shosholoza 2 China Team 1

In 2007, a fleet race event will precede the Louis Vuitton Cup, the winner of which will then race the Defender, Team Alinghi, in the America’s Cup Match in Valencia.

Flight 11

Mascalzone Latino–Capitalia Team (ITA 77) beat Victory Challenge (SWE 73), delta 1:01 BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) beat Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74), delta 1:11 Alinghi (SUI 75) beat Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82), delta 2:03 Team Shosholoza (RSA 83) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta 0:43 +39 Challenge (ITA 59) beat United Internet Team Germany (GER 72), delta 0:51 Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67) beat K-Challenge (FRA 60), delta 0:20

Flight 10

+39 Challenge (ITA 59) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta 2:05 Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67) beat Team Shosholoza (RSA 83), delta 1:43 K-Challenge (FRA 60) beat United Internet Team Germany (GER 72), delta 0:47 BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) beat Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82), delta 0:24 Alinghi (SUI 75) beat Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team (ITA 77), delta 1:07 Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74) beat Victory Challenge (SWE 73), delta 0:39

Flight 9

Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67) beat +39 Challenge (ITA 59), delta 3:22 China Team (CHN 69) beat K-Challenge (FRA 60), delta 1:09 United Internet Team Germany (GER 72) won, Team Shosholoza (RSA83) did not start BMW ORACLE Racing (USA76) beat Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA77), delta 1:39 Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82) won, Victory Challenge (SWE 73) did not finish Alinghi (SUI 75) beat Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74), delta 0:25 Flight 8

Alinghi (SUI 75) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta 3:11 BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) beat Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67), delta 1:56 Victory Challenge (SWE 73) beat United Internet Team Germany (GER 72), delta 1:20 +39 Challenge (ITA 59) beat Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82), delta 1:06 Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team (ITA 77) beat K-Challenge (FRA 60), delta 1: 06 Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74) beat Team Shosholoza (RSA 83), delta 1:12

Flight 7

BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta 1:51 Alinghi (SUI 75) beat United Internet Team Germany (GER 72), delta 1:45 Victory Challenge (SWE 73) beat Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67), delta 1:21 Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82) beat K-Challenge (FRA 60), delta 1:12 Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74) beat +39 Challenge (ITA 59), delta 1:44 Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA77) beat Team Shosholoza (RSA83), delta 0:47 Flight 6

EmiratesTeam New Zealand (NZL82) beat Team Shosholoza (RSA 83), delta 1:21 Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74) beat K-Challenge (FRA 60), delta 0:21 +39 Challenge (ITA 59) beat Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA 77) delta 0:50 BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) won, United Internet Team Germany (GER 72) DNS Alinghi (SUI 75) beat Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67), delta 1:01 Victory Challenge (SWE 73) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta 1:28

Flight 5 Alinghi (SUI 75) beat BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76), delta 1:29 +39 Challenge (ITA 59) beat Victory Challenge (SWE 73), delta 0:16 K-Challenge (FRA 60) beat Team Shosholoza (RSA 83), delta 1:24 Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82) beat Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74), delta 0:30 Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA 77) won, United Internet Team Germany (GER 72) DNS Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta 0:55 Flight 4

Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74) won, Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67) retired United Internet Team Germany (GER 72) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta 6:32 EmiratesTeam New Zealand (NZL82) beat Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA77),delta 2:58 Alinghi (SUI 75) beat beat K-Challenge (FRA 60), delta 1:04 +39 Challenge (ITA 59) won, Team Shosholoza did not start BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) won, Victory Challenge (SWE 73), retired

Flight 3 Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74) beat United Internet Team Germany (GER 72), delta 1:40 Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82) beat Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67), delta 0:33 Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA 77) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta 1:09 Alinghi (SUI 75) beat +39 Challenge (ITA 59), delta 1:45 BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) beat K-Challenge (FRA 60), delta 1:12 Team Shosholoza (RSA 83) beat Victory Challenge (SWE 73), delta 1:20

Flight 2

Alinghi (SUI 75) beat Team Shosholoza (RSA 83), delta – 3:07 Victory Challenge (SWE 73) beat K-Challenge (FRA 60), delta 0:24 BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) beat +39 Challenge (ITA 59), delta 1:48 Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67) beat United Internet Team Germany (GER 72), delta – 1:14 Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74) won, Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA 77) retired Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta 0:32

Flight 1

Alinghi (SUI 75) beat Victory Challenge (SWE 73), delta – 0:54 BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) beat Team Shosholoza (RSA 83), delta – 1:33 K-Challenge (FRA 60) beat +39 Challenge (ITA 59), delta – 0:38 Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82) beat United Internet Team Germany (GER 72), delta 1:39 Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67) won, Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA 77) retired Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta – 1:38

Programme

Malmö-Skåne Louis Vuitton Act 7 – September 2 – 4, 2005 Trapani Louis Vuitton Act 8 – September 29 – October 5, 2005 Trapani Louis Vuitton Act 9 – October 7 - 9, 2006 Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 10 – May 4 – 15, 2006 Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 11 – May 18 – 21, 2006 Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 12 – June 15 – 25, 2006 Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 14 – April 3 – 7, 2007 (Fleet Race – is to be called Louis Vuitton Act 14 to avoid using ‘13’)

Louis Vuitton Cup April 18 – June 12 (Louis Vuitton Cup Final June 1 – 12), 2007

32nd America’s Cup Match June 23 – July 7 (including three off days and three reserve days), 2007

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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