BMW Oracle Racing now lead Team Alinghi 7 points to 4 at the UBS Trophy in Newport

After three days of spectacular sailing weather for the UBS Trophy in Newport Rhode Island, the clouds and showers rolled in yesterday, but rain failed to dampen the fortunes of BMW Oracle Racing. The team took the first of two races off vaunted America’s Cup defender Team Alinghi maintaining its lead in the series 7 points to 4.

BMW Oracle Racing skipper Chris Dickson commented: “The first race was close and we were pleased with the win. In the second race, it was tough to come from behind when Alinghi did not make any mistakes. They sailed a good race.”

The front that brought the weather to Newport and the accompanying windshifts caused a brief delay in the start of race one. When the course was set, the wind had settled into the southerly direction that has prevailed all week. Alinghi won the start by a small margin setting the stage for an uphill battle for BMW Oracle Racing. But the 32nd America’s Cup Challenger of Record tacked over to the right toward the center of the course and America’s Cup Defender, Alinghi, didn’t cover.

It appeared the Swiss yacht had a slight advantage moving up the beat, but when the boats converged at the weather mark, BMW Oracle Racing gained the inside position and rounded first and from there never relinquished their lead.

BMW Oracle Racing helmsman Gavin Brady “I think it’s incredibly even out there, which is pretty encouraging for us. It’s coming down to the winning the starts and reading the shifts right. We’re improving our teamwork and the level of racing out there, which is the ultimate goal and where we really want to be.”

On the first run, BMW Oracle Racing set a symmetrical spinnaker while Alinghi chose an asymmetrical. On the way down to the first leeward mark, BMW Oracle Racing opened up a sizeable lead rounding 36 seconds ahead. The team held that margin over the next two legs of the race and finished 39 seconds ahead.

Alinghi gained the favoured committee boat end of the start line in race two and held onto the lead throughout. The Alinghi lead was 13 seconds at the first weather mark. On the first run, BMW Oracle Racing was poised to close the gap, but Alinghi sailed high approaching the leeward mark and blocked them from gaining the inside advantage. The yachts rounded the mark with eight seconds between them.

But after a fierce tacking duel up the second weather leg, Alinghi had solidified its lead and the race was essentially over. The final separation at the finish was 24 seconds. With a lay day today, the teams are looking to the start of the Owner Driver races on Thursday.