Official Race Reports
ONEWORLD DRIFTS TO THE TOP AFTER A TOUGH DAY OF RACING
A postponement for the day on Juliet course meant only two of four matches were completed for Flight Five. The two delayed matches will be sailed at the end of Round Robin One.
The race conditions were very difficult for the afterguards, with light, shifty winds, moving from the southeast at the start, to the north by the middle of the race. Shifts of up to 50-degrees on a leg weren’t uncommon, and early in the racing, advantage lines moved with alarming frequency
OneWorld Challenge jumped to the top of the leaderboard with its victory over Team Dennis Conner. The Seattle Yacht Club challenger remains undefeated after four matches. Conner’s Stars & Stripes dropped its third consecutive match.
Equal on four points with OneWorld is Alinghi after a tough match with the GBR Challenge. But the Swiss entry has one loss on its scorecard and has yet to sit out its lay day.
Oracle BMW Racing will now race Örn at the end of Round Robin One. Also postponed was the all-Italian match up between the Prada Challenge and Mascalzone Latino.
LOUIS VUITTON CUP ROUND ROBIN ONE, RACE FIVE
ALINGHI (SUI-64) BEAT WIGHT LIGHTNING (GBR-70) – DELTA 04:33
Wight Lightning (GBR-70) representing the Royal Ocean Racing Club got the slightly better start at the pin end and both boats headed hard left off the starting line. Russell Coutts positioned Alinghi (SUI-64) close to the right of the British boat and initially lost out as Ian Walker’s team got into stronger winds first. Coutts took the lead 15 minutes into the race by getting into a ‘lee bow’ position and ‘bouncing’ the Brits off in the wrong direction to the new shift. Coutts was able to use his starboard tack advantage to push the British boat out past the layline, and led them around the first windward mark 21 seconds ahead.
Alinghi gained further on the run in stronger winds on the east side of the track. Wight Lightning’s problems were compounded when Chris Main, up the mast to kick the battens through the gybe, burst the sail, tearing a vertical split of up to one metre in the upper part of the mainsail.
The wind died after rounding the leeward mark and Coutts’ crew made a big tactical gain by tacking off to the left towards a building northeasterly sea breeze. After a short term loss, Alinghi opened up a big lead by getting to the new wind first. The light winds slowly backed further and further to the left, before settling in the northwest. Alinghi covered the GBR Challenge boat’s every move, utilising their local knowledge well to win by a handsome margin.
ONEWORLD (USA-67) BEAT STARS & STRIPES (USA-66) – DELTA 01:21
The delta in this match belies the lopsided nature of it. The Seattle Yacht Club’s OneWorld Challenge, USA-67, gained control early on the first beat then mastered the maddeningly shifty and fluctuating winds to survive. The breeze shifted from 135 degrees at the start through north and to 322 degrees for the run to the finish. The race committee had more excitement changing the marks than the sailors did changing sails.
OneWorld, with James Spithill at the helm, led by 1:57 at the windward mark. Ken Read, skippering Stars & Stripes, charged back on the run and closed to 16 seconds as OneWorld flew a Code Zero-type asymmetric spinnaker. But OneWorld stretched back to 1:21 at the next windward mark and was never threatened again.
(USA-76) VS. ÖRN (SWE-63) – RACE POSTPONED
LUNA ROSSA (ITA-74) VS. MASCALZONE LATINO (ITA-72) – RACE POSTPONED