Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Louis Vuitton Cup - Round Robin 2 - Day 3: Preview

Good morning from windy, cold and cloudy Valencia. The low system hovering over northeastern Spain has brought winter back but provided good gradient breeze for yesterday's and, hopefully, today's races. As Dean Barker said, this feels like a hurricane when you compare it to the windless days a couple of weeks ago.

The wind came in yesterday, a full 15 knots, and what surprises and upsets did it bring. BMW Oracle's gear failure and stunning defeat by the Chinese, broken spinnaker poles and torn spinnakers and a Spanish victory in the last second.

The matches today will probably give the bigger teams the chance to further distance themselves from the rest but no race will be a walkaway. For the match of the day we choose Desafío Español against Areva. The Spanish must win this one if they want to further consolidate their fourth position. Victory Challenge is just 3 points behind them and with a theoretically very easy race, any slip from the Spanish will be music to their ears.

In any case, hold on to your seats because as we are writing this (11am), it's really blowin' in Valencia!!

Louis Vuitton Leaderboard after Round Robin 2 - Flight 2
Weather forecast
A low develops to the northeast of Valencia bringing gradient wind from the northwest and plenty of it. Meteorologists expect westerly winds 15 knots from the start, veering slightly in the afternoon. The will be extensive cloud cover to start, breaking up later in the day. No rain is expected by the organizers of the 32nd America's Cup. Finally, temperature should hover around 19 degrees.

Racing Schedule Flight 3
Desafío Español - Areva Challenge: 24 hours ago our prediction could have been much different, expecting a clear victory of the Spanish team. After yesterday's excellent performance, the French team might not be an easy prey for Desafío Español.
+39 Challenge - Emirates Team NZ: We shouldn't hold our breath, Dean Barker will helm NZL-92 clearly ahead of the Italians.
United Internet Team Germany - Luna Rossa: James Spithill and his crew shouldn't have any problems with this match.
China Team - Victory Challenge: After yesterday's surprising and spectacular Chinese victory over BMW Oracle even this match is not sure any more. Add to that the fact that today's weather conditions might be very similar to yesterday's and everything could happen to any boat of the fleet.
Shosholoza - BMW Oracle: The Challenger of Record will certainly not be using the B-Team in this match and the South Africans will try to score another valuable upset in order to stay in the race for the semifinals.



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