Louis Vuitton Cup - A fresh start and upsets

Emirates Team New Zealand NZL92 gets into a dial up with Mascalzone Latino ITA99 for their start in the first race on Day five of the Louis Vuitton Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand / Photo Chris Cameron ETNZ ©

First day of racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup and first upset when Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team beat Emirates Team New Zealand. Mascalzone leading off the line and going right, Team NZL had no answer and the Italian team finished 15 seconds ahead at the line.

In the second flight Team Shosholoza entered the history books, putting South Africa’s first ever point on a Louis Vuitton Cup scoreboard when they led United Internet Team Germany around the race track to win by a comfortable 1:10.

Pumped-up home team Desafio Español 2007 flew into the pre-start box and straight into the losing end of a port-starboard incident with +39. However they recovered and finished a comfortable 2:45 ahead.

Racing got underway on time on the south course where BMW Oracle Racing and Luna Rossa scored predictable wins respectively over United Internet Team Germany and China Team.

The closest race was between evenly matched Victory Challenge and Team Shosholoza. Paolo Cian at the helm of the South African boat won the start causing Victory Challenge to tack away.

Victory was bounced out to the starboard layline by Shosholoza but the two boats remained neck and neck up the beat, with Victory just managing to hold on to round the top mark 16 seconds ahead. Despite the South Africans remaining close the Swedish team were able to extend particularly down the final run to win by 46 seconds.

Louis Vuitton Cup ranking after Day 1 - 20 Apr 2007
ACM2007
The biggest upset came on the north course.

In the match between Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team and Emirates Team New Zealand the Italians benefited from choosing the right out of the start and pulled ahead, Dean Barker and his crew were unable to challenge them on the first beat.

They rounded the top mark 19 seconds ahead.

The Kiwis appeared to have a small speed edge on the run, reaching the leeward gate on the Italian’s transom, but Vasco Vascotto and team sailed their own race for the next to legs and led Emirates Team New Zealand across the finish line ahead by just 15 seconds, proving their semi-finallist potential.

Flight two was squeezed in despite the wind going light towards the latter stages of the afternoon on the north course.

While there was no overturning of the form book as there was in Flight 1, Team Shosholoza entered the history books, putting South Africa’s first ever point on a Louis Vuitton Cup scoreboard when they led United Internet Team Germany around the race track to win by a comfortable 1:10.

BMW Oracle Racing’s match against China Team was decidedly one sided, Chris Dickson and his crew leading Pierre Mas’ Franco-Chinese team from the start, to finish a massive 4:36 ahead.

The margin was not so large for the match between Victory Challenge and James Spithill’s crew on board Luna Rossa. Magnus Holmberg at the helm of the Swedish entry got the better of Spithill in the start and was able to keep his Red Bull sponsored boat ahead for much of the first beat. However eventually the speed of Luna Rossa prevailed, the Italian team getting another two points on the board, finishing ahead by 1:07.

The most aggressive pre-start of the day was when Desafio Español 2007 flew into the pre-start box and straight into the losing end of a port-starboard incident with +39.

However the Spanish led out of the start and with their better boat speed had pulled out a large enough margin to carry out their penalty turn as they rounded the top mark, ithout losing their lead. +39 tried valiantly but the Spanish extended as the wind went light on the final run to cross the line 2:45 ahead.

Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team proved again that their ITA 99 has pace. While skipper Vasco Vascotto kept it close in their match with the French Areva Challenge team, they were barely challenged and crossed the finish 1:41 ahead, and scoring their second win of the day.
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