Victory’s Örn has been sailing a busy schedule, with two matches against Mascalzone's ITA 72 yesterday and one against Le Défi Areva's FRA 79 today

Victory’s Örn has been sailing a busy schedule, with two matches against Mascalzone’s ITA 72 yesterday and one against Le Défi Areva’s FRA 79 today.

“We’re happy, we’ve got what we wanted from the matches. It was further confirmation that Örn is really fast”, says Mats Johansson, who is also project leader for Victory Challenge. Meanwhile, especially after the second match against Mascalzone Latino yesterday, he admits: “We’ve had to learn the importance of the starts and we’ll work even harder on them.”

These matches against the two most recent arrivals from Europe are an important part of the preparations ahead of the America’s Cup, which starts with the Louis Vuitton Cup challenge series in just under three weeks time.

“We want to sail against the other teams as much as possible. If us challengers are going to give Team New Zealand a real match in the final of the America’s Cup next year, we’ll have to be as well prepared as possible. In the matches today and yesterday, we wanted the opportunity to sail against the new generation boats that have arrived in Auckland. This gives us the necessary depth in our knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses.”

Against Le Défi Areva today, the French took the lead after the start. But with increasing wind, Örn was able to gain on FRA 70 and took a stable lead that increased on the downwind leg.

“Le Défi was forced to give up after that due to a problem of the type that inflicts us all with these extreme boats”, says Mats Johansson. Different kinds of breakdowns will also happen once the competition sailing starts.

Victory Challenge has switched helmsmen on Örn during these two days, Jesper Bank and Magnus Holmberg have been steering one day each.

Orm did not race yesterday or today. After some minor adjustments of the boat – which is also something that must be done on new America’s Cup yachts – today was used for new structural testing.