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Alinghi wins first race of America’s Cup match

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June 22, 2007

June 23, 2007 America’s Cup Defender Alinghi won the first race of the 32nd America’s Cup Match on Saturday afternoon in the waters off Valencia. In perfect conditions for racing, with a stable 12 knot sea breeze, Emirates New Zealand skipper Dean Barker won the start, but within a few minutes, Alinghi showed enough pace to force the Kiwi boat to tack, and from there, the Swiss were in control. Alinghi is now long odds-on with bookmakers to win the best of nine race series,

Match 1 – Alinghi beat Emirates Team New Zealand – DELTA 0:35

With the advantage of starboard entry, Emirates Team New Zealand sailed into an early dial-up against Alinghi. It wasn’t an aggressive pre-start, with both helmsmen preferring to keep it clean for the first race of the Match. On the final approach to the start line, Dean Barker held the right hand side, with Ed Baird controlling the lead into the line on the left.

Both teams made very good starts, but NZL 92 was quicker to get up to speed in the lumpy, bouncy conditions. SUI 100 looked very wet and appeared to bounce around in the choppy waves, and yet after a few minutes Baird was sailing faster and forced Barker away to the right. When the Swiss tacked to go with New Zealand over to the right, they found a small left-hand windshift and moved into a lead that gave them control of the match. Around the top mark the lead was 13 seconds. The Kiwis attacked with a number of gybes downwind, but Brad Butterworth refused to be engaged in a gybing duel and SUI 100 had gained at the leeward gate, now 20 seconds ahead. However, Terry Hutchinson made the most of a bit of separation up the next windward leg and the Kiwis were snapping at the leader’s heels again. Around the final mark the Kiwis trailed by 14 seconds, not quite close enough to really threaten the increasingly confident Alinghi. Down the final run SUI 100 found an extra gear and, with Hutchinson trying a few more gybes to find something different, the Defender extended to win by 35 seconds.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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