Desafío Español 2007 enjoyed their first victory today upon winning against the Italian team +39 in their first match race of the Louis Vuitton Cup. In the regatta the Spanish team led on each turn and finished the race 2.45 minutes ahead of their rival. The team only had one regatta as they were not drawn in the first flight of the day.
In the pre-start, Desafío Español 2007 fought a close duel with the Italian boat in a manoeuvre which resulted in the Spanish team being penalised - a move that they had to carry out before the end of the regatta. At one minute into the race, the Spaniards positioned themselves on the right hand side, close to the Committee boat and windward of the Italians and, as they turned into the wind they gained a lead of a length. This advantage was maintained throughout the first moves against the wind. ESP-97 continued along the right hand side and before having covered the first third of the course they turned to mark their opponent. With both being in the centre of the course the Spanish team increased their advantage and when they reached the right line they took advantage of their lead to cancel the penalization imposed in the pre-start and continued to lead, arriving at the top marker half a minute ahead of their opponent.
Whilst going downwind on the right hand side, the Spanish team continued to increase their lead on a regatta course where the wind was unstable on occasion, forcing tactics to play an important role. After changing course on a couple of occasions ESP-97 headed towards the leeward marker increasing their lead over their rival by another ten seconds.
On the second leg upwind, which was more closely fought than the earlier moves, Desafío Español 2007 continued to mark their opponent and increase their lead, comfortably finishing the third leg and moving into the final leg with an advantage of almost a minute. On the second downwind leg, again along the right, the Spanish team continued to put more distance between them and their opponent and crossed the winning line 2.45 minutes ahead of the Italian team, thus gaining their first victory. With this win, Desafío Español 2007 gains two points in the general ranking of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
In the rest of the match races, in the first flight Mascalzone won against Emirates Team New Zealand; Areva against +39; BMW Oracle over Germany; Victory Challenge over Shosholoza and Luna Rossa against China Team. In the second flight Mascalzone won against Areva; Shosholoza against Germany; BMW Oracle over China Team and Luna Rossa over Victory Challenge.
Tomorrow in the first flight Desafío Español 2007 is drawn against Areva and in the second flight against Mascalzone Latino.
Enrique Cameselle, mastman, commented: 'In the pre-start Karol told us his intention was to gain the right hand side of the regatta course. Whilst we were moving into this position +39 saw what our intention was and managed to push us into having a penalty imposed, but we still managed to move to the right which was what we wanted. Normally one waits until the end of the race before clearing the penalty but we saw that the wind conditions were not very good so when we had sufficient distance between us and +39 we cancelled the penalty so that we could continue without that pressure over us.
Classification Round Robin 1:
1 BMW Oracle - 7
1 Luna Rossa Challenge - 7
3 Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team - 6
4 Desafío Español 2007 - 5
5 Emirates Team New Zealand - 4
5 Victory Challenge - 4
5 Team Shosholoza - 4
8 Areva Challenge - 3
9 +39 Challenge - 2
10 United Internet Team Germany - 1
10 China Team www.desafioespanol2007.com