Valencia, Spain. BMW ORACLE Racing opened the 2007 America’s Cup class season with a dramatic come-from-behind win in the first race of the Louis Vuitton Act 13 fleet racing regatta in Valencia today. Racing was marked by extremely difficult wind conditions, with regular rain squalls sweeping across the course and playing havoc with the wind direction. After the completion of Race One, racing was abandoned for the rest of the day because of the unstable breeze.
“The conditions were very tricky,“ said BMW ORACLE Racing navigator, Peter Isler. “After the start, the after guards really had to improvise their tactical decision-making as thunderstorms building over the land moved across the course and disturbed the sea-breeze.”
Race One summary – After a perfect time on distance start at the pin end of the line, USA 87 saw its chances fade in the early stages as the wind shifted right and favoured the rest of the fleet. However, skipper Chris Dickson and the crew did a great job of hauling themselves back into contention, moving up from 10th place at the first mark to 7th at the third mark rounding. Then, by picking the shifts and executing a very demanding move by simultaneously gybing and changing spinnakers, they moved into a decisive lead on the final downwind leg to win the opening race by 3 min 34 secs.
Quotes from Peter Isler
“Today provided a good example that the race is never over until it is over. While we are obviously pleased to take the win, not too much can be read into today’s result. The positions at the mark roundings were dictated much more by windshifts than boatspeed. It is just another confirmation that Valencia is a very tricky place to sail.
“We did not learn too much today because of the conditions, but over the next six races, we hope to gain little snippets of performance read-out from the boats around us.
On the simultaneous gybe and spinnaker replacement while crossing in front of Alinghi: “The crew work and boat handling was great all day. We needed to plant that gybe exactly in the right spot in front of Alinghi. Then we added to the degree of difficulty by calling for a simultaneous spinnaker peel. The guys came up with the goods and we made a big gain.”
Team Standings after 1 race:
1 BMW ORACLE Racing (12pt)
2 Team Shosholoza (11pt)
3 Mascalzone Latino Capitalia (10pt)
4 Alinghi (9pt)
5 Emirates Team New Zealand (8pt)
6 United Internet Team Germany (7pt)
7 Luna Rossa Challenge (6pt)
8 Desafio Espanol (5pt)
9 Areva Challenge (4pt)
10 +39 Challenge (3pt)
11 China Team (2pt)
12 Victory Challenge (1pt)
Comments are closed.