The eighth and ninth flight of the eliminatory Louis Vuitton Round Robin 1 took place today in Valencia.
On the Romeo course (north) winds were from the east at 7-9 knots, skies overcast and calm seas. In the second series of races (ITA 94 was bye in the first) Luna Rossa faced off against Emirates Team New Zealand.
At the pre-start Spithill enters from starboard and capitalizes on a late entry on Barker’s part hounding the kiwi boat which responds late and then incurs in a penalty. The two boats cut the line on the end on starboard tack with NZL 92 to leeward of ITA 94.
Luna Rossa approaches the first cross on starboard, but Emirates Team New Zealand passes in front of her bow b 30 meters and sails towards the right hand side of the course. The afterguard on ITA 94 decides to bet on the left side of the course and the two boats separate. When Luna Rossa tacks the choice proves to have been right and ITA 94 is in the lead.
Close to the starboard layline Luna Rossa sails to windward of her opponent and James Spithill pushes Dean Barker over the layline, forcing him beyond the mark. ITA 94 has a lead of 10 seconds. At the beginning of the first run NZL 92 gibes toward the right. When the two boats meet up again at the center of the course the margin has decreased but at the end Luna Rossa stretches out and prepares to round the leeward gate with a 70 meter advantage.
De Angelis and his afterguard choose the starboard mark while Emirates Team New Zealand rounds the left one 26 seconds later. Up the second beat a tacking duel takes place, but Luna Rossa continues to remain in control and is first at the weather mark with a 13 second delta. The Race Committee decides to change the course due to a rotation of the wind which is also decreasing in strength. The two boats begin their final run.
Thanks to Luna Rossa’s afterguard’s good interpretation of the race course ITA 94 continues to lead for two thirds of the leg when a wind hole slows her down and allows NZL 92 to pull ahead. The Kiwis can’t stretch out enough to offload their penalty and decide to wait for ITA 94 to try to corner her. Luna Rossa passes the lurking Kiwis and cuts the finishing line with a 48 second final delta.
Luna Rossa’s navigator Michele Ivaldi shared his thoughts about the race: 'At the start James was able to capitalize on a moment of indecision on the Kiwis part and then close in on them gaining the upper hand. At the first windward mark we were in a strength position that allowed us to push them out and round the buoy first.
When they passed us on the run we were even more relaxed. The only important thing was not accumulating more than a 30 second delta. At the end they prepared the same trap we would have had the tables been turned. But we ready for that move and were able to cross their bow at full speed.'
1. Runner/Trimmer - Francesco de Angelis 2. Helmsman - James Spithill 3. Tactician - Torben Grael 4. Navigator - Michele Ivaldi 5. Afterguard - Ben Durham 6. Traveller - Andrew Horton 7. Runner - Magnus Augustson 8. Main Trimmer - Jonathan McKee 9. Main Grinder - Gilberto Nobili 10. Trimmer - Joe Newton 11. Trimmer - Christian Kamp 12. Grinder - Andrew Taylor 13. Grinder - Emanuele Marino 14. Pitman - Simone de Mari 15. Mast - Shannon Falcone 16. Mid-bow - Massimiliano Sirena 17. Bow - Alan Smith
'Louis Vuitton Cup' - Round Robin 1 - Flight 8
Desafío Espanol 2007 (ESP 97) wins against United Internet Team Germany (GER 89) Victory Challenge (SWE 96) wins against AREVA Challenge (FRA 93) Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 92) wins against China Team (CHN 95) Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA 99) wins against Team Shosholoza (RSA 83) BMW Oracle Racing (USA 98) wins against +39 Challenge (ITA 85)
'Louis Vuitton Cup' - Round Robin 1 - Flight 9 Desafío Espanol 2007 (ESP 97) wins against Victory Challenge (SWE 96) AREVA Challenge (FRA 93) wins against China Team (CHN 95) Team Shosholoza (RSA 83) wins against +39 Challenge (ITA 85) BMW Oracle Racing (USA 98) wins against Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA 99) Bye United Internet Team Germany (GER 89)
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