Louis Vuitton Cup - Semifinals - Day 1: Luna Rossa beat BMW Oracle by huge difference
It was undoubtedly a day where crew had to keep their eyes open and play the shifts and pressures and this is exactly what Luna Rossa did and beat the challenger of record by an incredible 2min 19sec.
After an even start both boats went on a long drag race on starboard tack when halfway through, BMW Oracle decide to go to the right while Luna rossa stick to the left. What an erroneous move did it prove for Chris Dickson and his crew. The correct side was the left and the Italians were helped by a 15-degree lefty at the layline. Luna Rossa rounded the top mark 52 seconds ahead of the Americans and it seemed as if they could hold on to their lead. Both boats separated once again and this could have lost Luna Rossa their advantage. USA-98 went to the right-hand side of the course and was pushed by a strong puff of wind while Luna Rossa stayed on the center. Halfway through the 1st downwind leg BMW Oracle had made incredible progress and caught up with the Italians. Chris Dickson too advantage of his dominant position and forced Luna Rossa to the left gate, dropping their spinnaker early and dragging it. The Italians came out of the game on the left and BMW Oracle on the right, a mere 7 seconds behind.
Once again, boats split apart with the Italians on the left and BMW Oracle going to the right. This helped Luna Rossa who at a point were 400 meters and rounded the top mark 1min 21sec ahead of BMW Oracle. The final leg was a repeat of the previous one and once again the Italians got all the correct shifts. Their advantage at the finish line was an enormous 2min 19sec.
This is the second consecutive big match for BMW Oracle to be completely off the track. Listen to Peter Isler, commenting on the race at the press conference following the races. You can pause or stop the interview with the control buttons, just like with any other music player. You can also move to any point of the file by clicking on the grey bar:
My apologies for providing just a small number of substandard photos but the media boat's navigation instructions have been radically altered and it now only follows the prestart and finish of each day's second race.
Prestart of the race between Luna Rossa and BMW Oracle. Valencia, 14 May 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
The start was even with Luna Rossa taking the left. Valencia, 14 May 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Both boats held a long drag race on starboard tack. Valencia, 14 May 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Luna Rossa's lead at the top mark was almost a minute. Valencia, 14 May 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
At the start of the last leg Luna Rossa's lead further increased. Valencia, 14 May 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Luna Rossa comfortably leading BMW Oracle in the last stretch before the finish line. Valencia, 14 May 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing