Race for the Auld Mug has started

China Team on Day 1 of racing. Photo: Heike Schwab - 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup

The selection of the best challenger has begun.

The thermal breeze showed itself today after all of Valencia thought it be another day without. China Team was defeated by two to the big favorites, Luna Rossa Challenge and BMW Oracle. Mascalzone Latino created the first big sensation in doing away with Team New Zealand in a tight match.

The wind did not have favorable odds for betting people in Valencia this morning. The thermal breeze developed however at the beginning of the afternoon, the postponement flag came down and the races were started, after a slight delay, which was quickly forgotten. There was a stable 8 knot wind in the area and the carbon giants could start competition.

The third start of the day, China Team is against Luna Rossa Challenge, winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup 2000. During the starting maneuvers, China Team is on port and must give way to the Italian boat. In the light winds, which made boat maneuvers difficult, Longtze, took a penalty, and crossed the line late. Despite this, CHN95 sailed for a longtime with equal speed, gaining ground at times against the Italian boat. However, CHN95 must carry out their penalty, a 270-degree circle, which gave the victory to Luna Rossa.

Luna Rossa and Team China racing. Photo: Heike Schwab - 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup
The scenario is the reverse in the second regatta of the day. Longtze started at the same time as USA98, but cannot follow the pace set by the New Zealand skipper Chris Dickson. 'The start was good, we were on the on the line at the same time with good speed. Afterwards, their boat had an extra gear compared to Longtze! They were able to sail more than 5 degrees higher compared to us' explained Piotr Przybylski, sail trimmer.

The first clap of thunder in the Louis Vuitton Cup is an Italian one. Mascalzone Latino consolidates their excellent fleet racing Act in defeating a big favorite for the America's Cup, Team New Zealand. Beaten purely by better sailing on the part of Mascalzone, the New Zealanders are the first disappointed team of the day. Luna Rossa and BMW Oracle, invincible today, take the lead in the classification.

Damien IEHL, strategist
'Against Prada, the start was unfortunate. We wanted to get the favorable right of the course, but they stopped us. The boat was a bit slow, we could not accelerate and they took advantage of the situation in inflicting a deserved penalty. In terms of speed, we managed to get comparable speeds both upwind and down. We lost a little more time in boat handling and rounding marks but in pure speed against Prada is was satisfactory. There were moments when we gained ground on them. On the other hand, there was still a big speed difference between Oracle and ourselves, we found. It is encouraging for the next regattas against other teams thought to be weaker on paper. We now need to work on the maneuvers, gain some fluidity, and take more risks.'

First Start
Mascalzone Latino 2 - 0 Team New Zealand
+39 Challenge 0 - 2 Areva Challenge
Team Germany 0 - 2 BMW Oracle
Shosholoza 0 - 2 Victory Challenge
China Team 0 - 2 Luna Rossa

Second Start
El Desafio 2 - 0 +39 Challenge
Mascalzone Latino 2 - 0 Areva Challenge
Team Germany 0 - 2 Shosholoza
China Team 0 - 2 BMW Oracle
Victory Challenge 0 - 2 Luna Rossa
Off: Team New Zealand

1. BMW ORACLE Racing, 7 pts
1. Luna Rossa Challenge, 7 pts
3. Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team 6 pts
4. Desafío Español 2007 5 pts (-1)
5. Emirates Team New Zealand 4 pts (-1)
6. Victory Challenge 4 pts
6.Team Shosholoza 4 pts
8. Areva Challenge 3 pts
9. +39 Challenge 2 pts
10. CHN 95 China Team 1 pt
10. United Internet Team Germany 1 pt

Luna Rossa leads China Team on Day 1 of racing. Photo: Heike Schwab - 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup

China Team and Luna Rossa. Photo: Heike Schwab - 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup

Luna Rossa and Team China racing. Photo: Heike Schwab - 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup