Louis Vuitton Cup - Finals - Day 3: Preview - Win or bust
Good morning from Valencia where Luna Rossa's crew are now facing a win-or-bust day. If yesterday's race was a must win then if they lose this one as well, they should expect some really painful welcoming party from Patrizio Bertelli, the Italian team's owner, when the boat returns to the base in the afternoon.
Who is to blame on the Italian side for their performance in these two races of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals? Should we blame the Italians at all or are the New Zealanders simply superior? After all one of the two teams must win. Or is it just too early to think it's all over. One thing is for sure, James "Spitfire" Spithill hasn't been able to do his prestart magic against the kiwis in the first race and when he did in the second race the price to pay was too high.
Today everybody expects much lighter winds, a boon for Luna Rossa. Psychology could also play a very important role. Spithill can enter the start box fired up and Barker a touch overconfident, giving the Australian the opportunity to reach his full potential. Before we hang the Luna Rossa crew we should at least wait to see how they sail today. If they lose for the third time in a row, they will certainly need the divine intervention from San Francesco, or as the Italians say, "San Francesco pensaci tu".
"San Francesco pensaci tu". Photo copyright Gianni Armiraglio
Today's weather forecast isn't encouraging at all. According to the event organizers, a slack pressure system over Spain slows the pace. A light northerly gradient early in the day is expected to develop into a light southeasterly sea breeze 6-8 knots. High cloud cover will move in later in the afternoon and it's going to be a dry and warm day although maximum temperatures will reach just 24 degrees.
In fact, yesterday afternoon, in the press conference following the races, Ray Davies mentioned that "Clouds" (nickname of Roger Badham, meteorologist of Emirates Team NZ) had some doubts about whether wind would be strong enough to hold any racing today. "Clouds" is thought to be the best meteorologist in the America's Cup, hence his nickname.