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Dramatic finish with SWE 96 supreme

'Victory Challenge lost against Desafio Espanol
Louis Vuitton Cup Round Robin 1. Day 11, race 9.'    Victory Challenge ©Photo Oskar Kihlborg

What a spectacular finish. It could not have been more dramatic. Victory Challenge closes in on the finishing line, but has still not taken the penalty. Magnus Holmberg masters the penalty and wins against Areva Challenge with just five seconds.

Desafío Español starts on the northern course against United Internet Team, and the German boat gets a penalty in the pre-start.

On the northern course it is Victory Challenge vs. Areva Challenge in the second match.

China Team will not start in its third match. It had to break its match yesterday, so victory went to Emirates Team New Zealand.

The start on the southern course have been postponed. This time, however, it is not due to lack of winds, but waiting for the wind direction to stabilise.

Magnus Holmberg is off to a magnificent start against Areva Challenge, who is forced to tack behind the start boat while Järv starts alone.

Victory Challenge is already 80 metres into the first beat when Areva Challenge crosses the starting line 15 seconds later.

A tacking duel takes place on the first beat, where Magnus Holmberg defends the right side while Areva Challenge tries to get back into the match.

Desafío Español and United Internet Team are also in a tacking duel up by the top mark. The duel is much closer, but Desafío Español has the advantage since the German boat has a penalty.

Magnus Holmberg stops taking part in the tacking duel and continues his course towards the right layline all the while Areva Challenge is getting closer. They are now 80 metres apart.

Victory Challenge tacks again closer to the layline, and a new tacking duel takes place.

Magnus Holmberg is in control of the match, though Areva Challenge has not given up. The French boat attacks more aggressively, and Victory Challenge gets a penalty.

Not just that, Areva Challenge now has a marginal lead.

Areva Challenge rounds the top mark seven seconds ahead of Victory Challenge.

A bit down the first run, Magnus Holmberg gybes and Areva Challenge allows a big separation. According to Virtual Eye, which is controlled by the GPS senders on the boats, the distance is halved from two boatlengths to one.

Victory Challenge gybes. The boats cross, and Areva Challenge is ahead by just under two boatlengths.

Areva Challenge rounds the bottom gate ten seconds ahead of Järv.

Areva Challenge has rounded the left marker, Victory Challenge the right one.

Järv is on course towards the right layline, the French boat towards the left. Since Areva Challenge now also tacks to the left, the distance has decreased.

According to Virtual Eye, Victory Challenge catches up quickly and passes.

The problem is that Järv must be between 180 and 200 metres ahead in order to be able to take the penalty and still cross the finishing line ahead Areva Challenge.

According to Virtual Eye Victory Challenge is now leading by 20 metres.

The breeze, which was eleven knots at the beginning of the match, is now down at nine.

Magnus Holmberg tacks to the left and when the boats meet Areva Challenge is once again slightly ahead.

And it remains so next time they meet.

Now the boats are on a parallel course towards the top mark and there is not much separating them. Järv is once again in the lead, this time by 17 metres.

It is now time for a start on the southern course. First out is Mascalzone Latino against Team Shosholoza.

In the match between Areva Challenge and Victory Challenge, the boats are now at the left layline in order to tack up by the top mark.

Järv is in the lead.

Järv rounds nine seconds ahead of Areva Challenge.

Victory Challenge leads by two boatlengths at the beginning of the last run.

The lead increases to three, but it is still too little to carry out the penalty.

Magnus Holmberg gybes, and the Frenchman does the same.

The lead is now just over 90 metres, and increases to 100 metres.

At the same time, Desafío Español beats German United Internet Team by 52 seconds since Jesper Bank took his penalty by the finishing line.

Järv’s lead has now increased to 110 metres, but it is still too little to have time to take the penalty.

The lead is not 120 metres. What a drama just before the finishing line.

The lead is increased further, and is now 130 metres.

Magnus Holmberg and his crew do a great job under the circumstances.

But the lead is still too small to be able to take the penalty.

Something exceptional happens at the finishing line: Magnus Holmberg goes around the left goal buoy with perfect precision and makes it across the finishing line five seconds ahead of Areva Challenge.

It is as spectacular and fantastic a victory as could ever be, especially considering that the lead should actually have been too small for Magnus Holmberg and his crew to do what they did.

Louis Vuitton Cup round robin 1 - day 11 – 26-04-2007
Flight 8
Northern course
ESP 97, Desafío Español, Spain - GER 89, United Internet Team, Germany
Start: Desafío Español 00:01
1st beat: Desafío Español 00:13 (+00:12)
1st run: Desafío Español 00:09 (-00:04)
2nd beat: Desafío Español 00:22 (+00:13)
Goal: Desafío Español 00:52 (+00:30)
Total time: 01:16:59

SWE 96, Victory Challenge, Sweden - FRA 93, Areva Challenge, France
Start: Victory Challenge 00:15
1st beat: Areva Challenge 00:07 (+00:22)
1st run: Areva Challenge 00:10 (+00:03)
2nd beat: Victory Challenge 00:09 (+00:19)
Goal: Victory Challenge 00:05 (-00:04)
Total time: 01:17:23

CHN 95, China Team, China - NZL 92, Emirates Team New Zealand, New Zealand
China Team does not start.

Southern course
ITA 99, Mascalzone Latino, Italy - RSA 83, Team Shosholoza, South Africa
Start: Team Shosholoza 00:01
1st beat: Mascalzone Latino 00:08 (+00:09)
1st run: Mascalzone Latino 00:46 (+00:38)
2nd beat: Mascalzone Latino 00:08 (+00:38)
Goal: Mascalzone Latino 01:56 (+01:48)
Total time: 01:29:25

USA 98, BMW Oracle Racing, USA - ITA 85, +39 Challenge, Italy
Start: +39 Challenge 00:00
1st beat: BMW Oracle Racing 00:38 (+00:38)
1st run: BMW Oracle Racing 00:52 (+00:14)
2nd beat: BMW Oracle Racing 01:46 (+00:54)
Goal: BMW Oracle Racng 02:14 (+00:28)
Total time: 01:25:27

Bye: ITA 94, Luna Rossa Challenge, Italy

Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 13, day 1
32nd Americas Cup, Valencia, Spain. -  Victory Challenge ©Photo Oskar?nid=33046 Kihlborg  

by Bert Willborg/Victory Challenge


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6:56 PM Thu 26 Apr 2007 GMT

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