Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Louis Vuitton Cup - Semifinals - Day 3: Preview

Good morning from hazy Valencia. The city woke up covered with a dense haze and cloud that could probably hinder the development of the breeze. It is probable we won't enjoy yesterday's excellent conditions.

We are now in the third day of the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals and two things are getting clear. Firstly, Emirates Team NZ appears to be one level above Desafío Español, in boat speed, crew work, boat handling and tactics. Despite their irrefutable efforts, the Spanish will have a very hard time winning more than a race or two against the kiwis. After all, their stated goal, since the beginning, in the 32nd America's Cup was to reach the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals and having reached that, anything they achieve from now on will come as a bonus.

Secondly, the other semifinal between BMW Oracle and Luna Rossa will be much closer than previously thought and will give the opportunity to millions of TV viewers to watch exciting America's Cup sailing. Races can go to one team or another and they both have to sail perfectly in order to win. James Spithill has shown he is a match racing maestro twice in yesterday's race (once in the prestart and then in the luffing game 150 meters from the top mark) but that will not be enough to stay ahead of the Americans. USA-98 is a fast boat and that's the reason Torben Grael takes these huge gambles and doesn't cover the Americans.

Today, the order of the two matches rotates once again as do the entry sides in the prestart box. The first match, starting at 3pm, will be Luna Rossa against BMW Oracle, while Emirates Team NZ and Desafío Español will face each other 10 minutes later, at 3:10pm.

Weather forecast
According to the official weather forecast, a light easterly sea breeze early in the afternoon veers towards to the southeast at 8-10 knots. High cloud will be present throughout the day and may restrict heating on land and with it the further development of the sea breeze. It's going to be a dry day and temperature is expected to reach 24 degrees.

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



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