Two boats that are talk of the town tonight, share their overall position too
You can treat it as a slip up by a team that should know better, a fluke, or lucky break for an underdog, but one fact remains, a win is a win. While Iain Percy and his 39 team don’t think that beating Emirates Team New Zealand marks their entry into the big boys league, there is no doubt that taking such a serious scalp is a big deal for a small team.
In the opening moments of the second race of the day, Percy’s team had been handed an opportunity on a plate by Emirates Team New Zealand who found themselves early at the start by the smallest of margins. Bearing away and re-crossing the line cost them eight boat lengths, a modest margin perhaps given the speed of the Kiwi boat. But Percy, bolstered by the additional confidence that his tactician Ian Walker is providing him with and the solid weather info that his wind spotter Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson was sending back down to deck level, was quick to capitalise on the Kiwi’s slip up.
In shifty conditions, the blue and orange brigade made the best of their hand to maintain their lead over the Kiwis for a full lap, an impressive feat in itself given that 39 is the oldest boat in the fleet.
On the second round they managed to hold onto their lead despite the black boat breathing down their necks all the way to the finish line. Having taken two wins on the previous day and now a win against a big gun, had Percy’s team turned a corner in this event?
“It’s still the same, the facts are the facts but, in a big team one big win is a boost and that can keep everyone motivated and positive and can turn the cycle. Hopefully it will give us a boost that will last a few months.”
For the Kiwis the loss means little on paper as it’s still possible to win the regatta, but to do so they have to beat Alinghi as well as winning their other matches. Nevertheless, losing doesn’t sit well with any of the big boys.
“Shooting yourself in the foot. That’s what you call that,” said ETNZ tactician Terry Hutchinson. “We talked a couple of days ago about staying crisp and not making simple mistakes, but that’s what we did today. We can’t have a lapse of concentration like that. But you have to keep the hammer down. You can’t take the approach of: ‘we’ve got a faster boat so we won’t push it too hard,’ because that’s when it comes back and bites you.”
The other talk of the day was of the Swedes who have been living life dangerously in front of a home crowd, 25,000 of them this weekend and those were just the spectators and visitors to the America’s Cup park. Thousands more were watching on the live TV that runs for six hours a day in four countries, and then there was Prince Carl Philip, riding as 18th man and watching every move. No pressure then?!
Their first race saw Victory Challenge trailing the Spanish for the first half but some shrewd weather spotting, along with some impressive downwind speed, saw them restore their honour by the finish. Their second match was a simpler affair as they dispatched their ex-skipper Jesper Bank aboard the German entry.
All of which leaves the Swedes in 5th overall, just outside the big boys league, a realistic position for this fast learning team. For 39 equal 5th is a bonus for an equally fast learning team.
BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta 1:51
Alinghi (SUI 75) beat United Internet Team Germany (GER 72), delta 1:45
Victory Challenge (SWE 73) beat Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67), delta 1:21
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82) beat K-Challenge (FRA 60), delta 1:12
Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74) beat 39 Challenge (ITA 59), delta 1:44
Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA77) beat Team Shosholoza (RSA83), delta 0:47
Alinghi (SUI 75) beat China Team (CHN 69), delta 3:11
BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) beat Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 67), delta 1:56
Victory Challenge (SWE 73) beat United Internet Team Germany (GER 72), delta 1:20
39 Challenge (ITA 59) beat Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82), delta 1:06
Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team (ITA 77) beat K-Challenge (FRA 60), delta 1: 06
Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 74) beat Team Shosholoza (RSA 83), delta 1:12
Malmö-Skåne Louis Vuitton Act 6 Points Leaderboard
Emirates Team New Zealand 7
BMW ORACLE Racing 7
Luna Rossa 7
39 Challenge 4
Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team 4
Victory Challenge 4
Desafío Español 2007 3
Team Shosholoza 1
United Internet Team Germany 1
China Team 0
****** LIVE AUDIO ******
Follow the action live from Malmo as Richard Simmonds, Mark Covell, Andy Green and Matthew Sheahan report live from the course.
To listen to the daily commentary log on to the official site at;