Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Louis Vuitton Cup - Round Robin 2 - Day 11: Preview

Good morning from sunny, very warm and festive Valencia. It is not often that one sees a whole city celebrating an important victory in sailing. After a painful three weeks the Louis Vuitton Cup round robins come to an end today and for the first time a Spanish team will be present in the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals.

The schedule in the north race course is once again thrilling. In what might very well be a preview of the Louis Vuitton Cup final, BMW Oracle and Emirates Team NZ will face off for the round robin leadership. Whoever wins the race will lead the score table and will be able to chose their opponent in the semifinals. One doesn't have to be a match race specialist to guess that both of them would most probably choose Desafío Español as their opponent.

The other two races, Luna Rossa against Desafío Español and Victory Challenge facing Mascalzone Capitalia, have no immediate scoring interest, other than bragging rights of course. If Victory Challenge win their match and Desafío Español lose theirs, just one single point will separate fourth from fifth, exactly the extra bonus point the Spanish have from the Louis Vuitton Acts.

Similarly, if Emirates Team NZ beat BMW Oracle their extra bonus point will have put them on the top spot and the 4 bonus points will account for 11% of their total points, far from negligible. It turns out the Louis Vuitton Acts were far from simple "exhibition regattas" and play a considerable role in shaping the leaderboard. Maybe the Defender and Challenger of Record of the 33rd America's Cup should give thwm even more weight next time.

Louis Vuitton Leaderboard after Round Robin 2 - Flight 10
Weather forecast
The weather forecast is getting delightfully monotonous and repetitive. According to the 32nd America's Cup organizers, high pressure builds over Spain, heat builds and sea breeze continues. Winds will start as a very light northwesterly gradient that veers through east to south east as sea breeze develops 10-12 knots. Little, if any, cumulus cloud is expected. It is going to be another dry and warm day with temperatures reaching 28 degrees.

Here is the forecast by Chris Bedford, BMW Oracle meteorologist, as always, courtesy of the BMW Oracle Blog.

weather forecast 20070509_bmwPreview

Race schedule Flight 11
Victory Challenge - Mascalzone Capitalia: After their defeat by the kiwis yesterday, Victory Challenge have been mathematically eliminated. Still, this might be a very spectacular race.
Desafío Español - Luna Rossa: Will the euphoric Spanish beat James Spithill and his crew? It might also be the last time these two teams face each other in the 32nd America's Cup. It is also interesting to see that ITA-94 was issued a measurement certificate yesterday, probably related to a new mast the Italian team received recently.
BMW Oracle - Emirates Team NZ: A preview of the final?
United Internet Team Germany - +39 Challenge: A victory by +39 Challenge will at least allow them to end their 32nd America's Cup campaign with a series of three consecutive wins.
Areva Challenge - Shosholoza: Both teams have been eliminated since a couple of days but still the winner of the match will finish seventh in the overall rankings.



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