Trofeo Desafío Español in Valencia

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The America's Cup Beast Awakens

November 7, 2008


Photo: ©2008 Gilles Martin-Raget

And what news of the regatta ?  

No surprises to see Desafío Español and Alinghi afloat, but  the TDE brought a few new wrinkles with Team Origin in the ACC fray for the first time, and Luna Rossa reappearing, now with Peter Holmberg at the wheel in place of Francesco de Angelis and James Spithill.  

Two fleet races were held Friday, though starts were delayed due to light winds. In the first, Team Origin quickly found their feet with their borrowed steed, with Alinghi suffering from a number of torn spinnakers and dropping to third.  Luna Rossa capitalized on the failures and passed the 2007 America’s Cup winner on the last leg despite the rapid recovery efforts of the Alinghi crew.

Second race was Alinghi’s turn to win, flipping the tables on Team Origin. Desafío Español pushed Team Origin back to third and Luna Rossa brought up the rear. 

The current schedule is for more fleet racing Saturday, followed by some match racing on Sunday.  

Undoubtedly the results from this weekend will be far from meaningful, but the racing serves as good practice, and a chance for some teams and crew to get up to speed in the ACC class before the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in Auckland early next year.

Maybe the days of the Version 5 ACC yachts are not over yet? One wonders whether a suitable compromise in the current discussions regarding new boats would be to allow teams to build one new V5 each, making it convenient and affordable to use the old boats as training partners? Would the design costs for refining further within the V5 rule be much different from a ground up design of a new boat? And somewhere along the way, a team needs a training boat of similar design to measure itself against.

But whatever the outcome of politics, to me, what is meaningful is that they are afloat in the first place.

--- ©2008 John Crisp for CupInfo

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