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LVC Finals break bad-luck streak—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 23 Aug 2013
34th America’s Cup - Louis Vuitton Cup Final - Luna Rossa Challenge © Luna Rossa/Studio Borlenghi/Borlenghi-Butto
For fans of America’s Cup sailing, the past week has been a trying one. A series of mechanical failures turned the first three races of the Louis Vuitton Cup (LVC)Finals into a war of attrition, not tactics, and then winds exceeding the Coast Guard-enforced limits caused three races to be cancelled. Fortunately, this bad luck changed on Wednesday, with the RC getting in two full races, sans any mechanical issues. For Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) this worked out just fine, but it’s safe to say that the sailors aboard Luna Rossa Challenge didn’t enjoy their time as much as their Kiwi rivals.

Luna Rossa demonstrated great improvement in both races, but unfortunately for the Italian-flagged syndicate, it’s painfully obvious that ETNZ’s second-generation boat is substantially faster than the shared first-generation platform that both teams initially used, and which Luna Rossa then optimized for the LVC.

'The positive is that we improve more and more every day, but I’m starting to get upset because it would be great to have another four or five months,' said Max Sirena, Luna Rossa’s skipper. 'We’re not that far from these guys, but the Cup is in a couple of weeks.' ?

While it’s questionable exactly how 'close' the Luna Rossa squad is to ETNZ’s drum tight teamwork (as evidenced by the high percentage of successfully executed foiling gybes and other high-level maneuvers), the fact remains that ETNZ now has four wins to Luna Rossa’s single point (which they earned when ETNZ suffered an electrical problem and had to seek outside assistance from a chase boat). Given that the LVC Finals are a best-of-thirteen affair, the writing is clearly on the wall.

'We’re stoked to come away with a couple of wins,' said Davies. 'The Italians have picked up their game. They had a close second race, it was proper match racing – covering and protecting a side of course. We’ll have another day ashore tomorrow, but there’s still plenty more performance to get out of this boat.' ?

Racing continues this weekend, with a single race scheduled for both Friday and Saturday, and two races (if a ninth race is needed) on Sunday, so stay tuned to the website for more LVC news, as it unfurls, and be sure to comb this issue for the latest media reports from Wednesday’s successful double-header.

Meanwhile, several top international events are poised to unfurl this weekend, including the Finn Gold Cup (Tallinn, Estonia), the Farr 40 Worlds (Newport, Rhode Island) and the New York Yacht Club’s Invitational Cup (also in Newport, Rhode Island), so be sure to get the full details, inside this issue.

Also inside, be sure to check out the wrap-up reports from the CORK Olympic Classes Regatta, the ongoing Dragon Gold Cup and the PWA Alacati World Cup.

And finally, don’t miss ace lensman Carlo Borlenghi’s great image gallery from Wednesday’s LVC Finals racing.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

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