Thursday, April 26, 2007

Louis Vuitton Cup - Round Robin 1 - Day 11: Preview

Good morning form cloudy and cold Valencia. The weather has radically changed in the last 24 hours and it is becoming quite similar to the cold and rainy days we had earlier in the month during Louis Vuitton Act. Maybe this will help us get nice gradient winds, waves and incidents. Funnily, Dean Barker described the feeling in the flight 7 as being in a hurricane when compared to the calm of the previous days. Still the cold front changed wind patterns yesterday and the south race area was located much further to the south and closer to the coast than usual.

The leaderboard is very tight and without any doubt THE match of the day takes place in the north race area, between Luna Rossa and Emirates Team NZ, in the second flight of the day. I won't risk any predictions but I will surely be on the media boat to watch it! In the first flight, in the southern course, the most important match will be between Mascalzone Capitalia and Shosholoza. If the Italians win they will eliminate an important hurdle in their quest for a position in the semifinals but on the contrary the South Africans will seriously compromise their own.

Weather forecast
If today's forecast holds true we might have the chance to watch exciting racing later in the afternoon. A weak cold front stalls over the area and brings gradient breeze and risk of rain. According to the organizers of the America's Cup winds will be mainly easterly 10-12 knots backing slightly by the end of the day towards the northeast and decreasing. We should expect cloudy skies for most of day with risk of rain later. Temperatures have dropped and it is much cooler than of late.

Racing Schedule Flight 8
Desafío Español - United Internet Team Germany: An easy start for the Spanish team and an opportunity to earn two valuable points.

Victory Challenge - Areva Challenge: It can be an interesting match although so far in this round robin the Swedes have clearly shown their superiority.

Areva Challenge - Luna Rossa: No race should be taken lightly, but Areva Challenge shouldn't be a threat to Luna Rossa.

China Team - Emirates Team NZ: Two easy points for the Kiwis.

BMW Oracle - +39 Challenge: Two easy points for the challenger of record against an Italian team whose boat is really struggling.

Racing Schedule Flight 9
Desafío Español - Victory Challenge: A very interesting and close match. If it's the Spanish team's second victory for the day, their place in the semifinals will be cemented.

Emirates Team NZ - Luna Rossa: THE match of the day. No comment..

Areva Challenge - China Team: It shouldn't be difficult for the French to get the two points.

Shosholoza - +39 Challenge: The South Africans MUST win this match in order to stay in the race.



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