Even when it appears over on the water, Act 5 hasn't finished
In a closing race that couldn’t have been scripted better, the final race of Act 5 proved to be a cliff-hanger right up until the last few metres to the finish line.
The Swedish Victory team, who had sailed an impressive race once again, trailed the home town heroes the Spanish throughout the race. The Spanish finished on a high and won today’s race with the Swedes rolling in third, pipped at the post by Mascalzone Latino Capitalia who had also sailed an impressive race.
Yet none of this mattered as the Swedes should have been able to celebrate overall victory in Act 5 from a third place. But it wasn’t that simple.
Straight after racing the Swedes had to head back into the protest room to continue the hearing that had been adjourned from this morning to establish whether the team had been in breech of the class rules when their boat failed a measurement check after yesterday’s race. (See previous story.)
Meanwhile, behind them there was plenty more action as a photo finish between Luna Rossa and Alinghi made the difference between second and third, the Italian team taking the runner-up slot by just a few centimetres after the Swiss had appeared to come from nowhere on the last run.
Behind them, Emirates Team New Zealand, who had not enjoyed a clear view of the course all day, came in to finish fourth overall.
But the big team to have a dose of the downs today was BMW Oracle who blew out their kite on the first downwind leg and took an age to hoist a replacement which cost them dearly. Finishing 10th on the race course today, the result dropped them to the bottom of the big boys league to finish 5th overall in Act 5.
For a team that had looked more at ease in Act 4 and assuming that they’d like to get into the winning habit early, the fleet racing has been a disaster for this team and on past performance, when things go awry, sparks fly. Be prepared to changes in the line up for the next stop in Malmo.
And on that subject, it’s back to the Swedish nail biter. Victory here in Valencia would mean a huge boost for the team and the Act 6 & 7 in late August.
But for the moment, the fate of the team hangs in the balance. News as soon as we get it.
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