Sunday, May 13, 2007

Louis Vuitton Cup - Semifinals - Day 0: Skippers conference

The Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals start tomorrow afternoon but earlier this morning took place the press conference of the 4 skippers that will be racing, vying for a spot in the finals.

The whole event was of quite ceremonious character and, as it was expected, no breath taking news was to be learned. A coin was tossed in order to decide upon the entry side of the yachts in the first race of tomorrow. Emirates Team NZ and Luna Rossa got lucky and will enter the start box from the favored starboard side, in their respective races against Desafío Español and BMW Oracle. Obviously, the entry sides will be alternating every day. In each of the semifinals, the first team to win 5 races moves to the finals and, if the weather allows it, organizers have scheduled a rotation of three days of racing followed by an off day, until a team reaches the 5 victories.

A repeating pattern in the declarations of all four participants in the conference was the respect they had for their respective adversaries. There was the usual talk that everyone was prepared for a series that stretches to 9 races. As far as their program in this 4-day break was concerned, they all had a mix of relax, training, strategy planning and obviously modifications to their boats, some of them requiring a new certificate to be issued. According to the official Race Committee website, Luna Rossa's ITA-94 was issued an ACC Certificate on the 9th and 7th of May while BMW Oracle's USA-98 was issued a certificate on the 6th of May. According to Chris Dickson, skipper of the Challenger of Record, their team's boat will start racing tomorrow with another certificate issued.

Let's hope the winds are on our side on Monday...

The four semifinalists. Valencia, 13 May 2007. Photo copyright Carlo Borlenghi / ACM



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