BMW ORACLE Racing opened its account in the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup with two convincing wins in Valencia today.
After losing four days of racing through lack of wind, the pattern was interrupted enough for organisers to complete two full flights of matches today.
USA 98 made its racing debut today in the best possible way, with wins over United Internet Team Germany and China Team – both with convincing margins of two minutes or more. Racing took place in a breeze that hovered just above the minimum starting strength of 7 knots for most of the afternoon.
BMW ORACLE Racing navigator Peter Isler commented: 'It was a great racing debut for USA 98. We were proud to bring home two wins for the whole team after four years of hard work.' Race One summary:
The two yachts started on starboard tack in breezes that were just above the 7-knot lower limit for racing. Skipper Chris Dickson and the USA 98 crew were to leeward of the German yacht and slightly ahead. USA 98 established an early lead, rounding the first mark 44 seconds ahead and then stretching the margin on every leg to take the victory gun by 2 minutes. Race Two summary:
The two yachts came off the line on starboard tack at the Committee Boat end of the line with Chris Dickson and the USA 98 crew to leeward and ahead. USA 98 quickly established a sizeable advantage over the China Team, leading around the first mark just short of a minute ahead and then rolling out to a very convincing 4min 36 second lead at the finish.
Peter Isler quotes: 'We could not have asked for a better way to start the Louis Vuitton Cup. It was a great day. The crew did a nice job and the boat performed really well. The big question today was how would everybody react after four days of no racing and waiting for the wind. I think we got high marks for that. The boat felt fast and we were pleased with the performance.' Team Standings after day one (note: Louis Vuitton bonus points have not been included)
1 BMW ORACLE Racing (4pt)
1 Mascalzone Latino Capitalia (4pt)
1 Luna Rossa Challenge (4pt)
2 Victory Challenge (2pt)
2 Team Shosholoza (2pt)
2 Areva Challenge (2pt)
2 Desafio Espanol (2pt) *
3 Emirates Team New Zealand (0pt) *
3 United Internet Team Germany (0pt)
3 +39 Challenge (0pt)
3 China Team (0pt)
* These teams had byes today and only sailed one match each.