BMW ORACLE Racing maintained its winning momentum with three wins from three starts in the opening round of the Louis Vuitton Cup, posting a come-from-behind win over the South African Shosholoza team in Valencia today.
BMW ORACLE Racing navigator, Peter Isler, commented: 'It is never fun to be behind, but I was really impressed at how our team handled the situation. There was a lot of confidence on board and they just kept plugging away until they got back into the lead.'
The score puts BMW ORACLE Racing on top of the leaderboard with Luna Rossa Challenge. Both teams have nine points, three points clear of the next competitors. Racing was slightly delayed today as the officials waited for a light 7-8 knot breeze to stabilise. Only one flight of matches was completed as the breeze dropped away towards the end of the afternoon.
Race One summary: USA 98 had to come from behind to defeat the South African Shosholoza Team, which led around the first two marks by 27 and 21 seconds respectively. USA 98 overtook on the second windward leg and led around the final mark by 38 seconds, stretching to a 47 second lead at the finish line.
Peter Isler quotes: 'After the start, we were ahead, but then Team Shosholoza got to the right hand side of us. The right kept coming through on the first windward leg and they got ahead. It was impressive sailing by the South Africans.
'When we are behind, we obviously do everything we can to close the gap. We were watching the South Africans out of the corner of our eye as they went around the leeward mark (where they let their spinnaker trail in the water and had to cut it away). At that mark, our guys did a great take down. I think we would have made a gain there anyway, even if the South Africans had done a normal rounding.
'On the second windward leg, we kept plugging away. We got a little shift and moved into the lead.'