Friday, June 08, 2007

Luna Rossa and Alinghi trained off Malvarossa beach on Friday

Official racing in Valencia came to an end on Wednesday when emirates Team NZ scored their fifth consecutive victorious race, won the Louis Vuitton Cup and sent Italy's Luna Rossa back to their team base with the worst score in the event's history.

Still, less than 48 hours after the last official race, the finalist together with defender Alinghi resumed their sailing activity off Valencia's Malvarossa beach. The two teams trained for a couple of hours under moderate to light conditions in front of large fleet of happy spectators. In fact, spectator program organizers were scratching their heads on Thursday, trying to figure out how to fill the gap left after the precipitated end of the Louis Vuitton Cup. I counted around 50 spectator yachts, a very respectable number for a Friday afternoon with no official races.

Racing got off at 3pm, similarly to was has been done in the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals and finals and of course what will take place in the America's Cup itself. Both teams were racing with their A-crews. Luna Rossa was sailing with ITA-94, helmed by James Spithill, while Alinghi was using SUI-100, helmed by Ed Baird. Although there is no official statement from Alinghi, it seems that the worst-kept secret in Valencia is the fact that Baird will also be at the helm in order to defend the America's Cup two weeks from now.

Three starts took place and the corresponding races were abandoned after different degrees of completion:

First race
The first race was actually only a prestart and ended at the first cross. It went to Alinghi's favor after a long dialup.

Second race
The second aborted race was also "won" by Alinghi. After a split start, Alinghi went to the right and benefited from an enormous right shift and when the two boats crossed for the first time, they were ahead by more than ten boatlenghts. Shortly after, the race was abandoned.

Third race
This one started after the race committee reset the starting and top mark due to a right shift of approximately 20 degrees. Actually, the race wouldn't have taken place in an official day since wind speed was at the limit, barely over 7 knots. Presumably, Alinghi won that start again but Luna Rossa benefited from a righty and rounded the top mark around 8 boatlenghts ahead of Alinghi. Luna Rossa also gained on the dowinwind leg but wind had dropped to 6.5 knots. The race stopped at the leeward gate where Alinghi torn their spinnaker after it was caught in the jumper.

Alinghi tear their spinnaker at the leeward gate during their practice race against Luna Rossa. Valencia, 8 June 2007. Photo copyright Tom Ehman / BMW Oracle Blog

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3 Comments:

At 2:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done to Luna Rosa for training with Alinghi. You all have very short memories about how you were treated by the New Zealand public.There is a saying though what goes round comes round. I am glad to see Alinghi training with them. We just beat then 5-0. Go ETNZ it's us against the big money world. TEAM will always win above anything else'
These comments will probably not be approved

 
At 2:47 AM, Blogger Geoff Lord said...

Good commentary on the trial races between Luna Rossi and Alimghy on Friday 8th June. Can anyone in Valancia give an opinion as to the competitiveness of Alinghi.The results seem to indicate Luna Rossi is better than Alinghi in light wind. Team NZ is better than Luna Rossi in light wind. Does this bode well for Team NZ if the AC races are run in light breeze in two weeks time?
Geoff Lord from Brisbane

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger Rob said...

This is going to be very interesting. I doubt either boat will run to a clean sweep but just wonder how much more raw boatspeed can be wrung out of the ACC boats after the previous couple of years of development. It seems likely that sails will be the area where most gain is likely to come... we'll see in a few days.

 

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