Malm÷, Sweden. BMW ORACLE Racing defeated the Luna Rossa Challenge team today to finish the Louis Vuitton Act 6 regatta as top challenger in the fleet and 2nd overall. America’s Cup defender Alinghi went through the series undefeated to take the top prize. The final day of this regatta saw the fleet competing in perfect conditions off Malm÷ with a 10-12 knot breeze, sunny skies and flat water showing the yachts to best advantage. The four top teams
all raced against each other today and, in securing its place as top
challenger, BMW ORACLE Racing led the Italian team from start to finish, winning by a convincing margin.
Race Summary: – USA-76 vs. ITA-74
Starting in perfect sailing conditions of 10 to 12 knots of breeze and flat water, USA-76 very quickly stamped its authority on the match when they crossed ahead of Luna Rossa Challenge on starboard for a split tack start. Immediately tacking across onto port to cover the Italians, the two crews engaged in a spirited tacking duel, but by the third cross USA-76 was able to come across on port tack and pass clear ahead of ITA-74 on starboard. Having gained control of the right hand side of the course, USA-76 repeatedly forced the Italians to tack away and led around the first mark with a 26 second
advantage. On the downwind leg, the Italian team made a slight gain, but, as the two yachts rounded opposite marks at the leeward end, USA-76 was still 24 seconds in front. On the second windward leg, USA-76 totally dominated and extended out to a 1 minute 19 second lead, finally crossing the finish line 1 minute 5 seconds in front.
Ian Burns, BMW ORACLE Racing navigator: “At the start, I think we were both a bit surprised at how strong the current was. We were aware we had to get a move on to get back to the startline. We had a strong start. “We both wanted the right, so we were not surprised when the Italian team immediately ducked under our stern and went to the right. “
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