Trofeo Desafío Español in Valencia
November 9, 2008
It took a while for the breeze to build today, but by 1:30 there was just enough to get things moving. The P.R.O. wanted to get two races in if at all possible.
Wind, light and shifty early on, slowly built and backed throughout the afternoon, although never really stabilized with quite large shifts. It was interesting to see the boats finding their sweet spots at slightly differing points. Well, all apart from Alinghi anyhow, who seemed to be in a league of their own.
Alinghi was a little tight to weather of Team Origin and was the first to head right. There followed a nice tacking duel by all the boats up the first beat. Luna Rossa lead at the first mark, followed by Alinghi, Team Origin and Desafío Español
The first run saw the boats put in one long gybe on starboard before coming across at the end of the leg. Alinghi gybed first, quickly followed by Luna Rossa. But the Italians weren’t quite quick enough and Alinghi managed keep the lead round the bottom mark. Luna Rossa in second was followed by Team Origin and Desafío Español
As the breeze slowly freshened, Alinghi reached inside their box of tricks, found yet another gear, and eased away up both the second beat and down the final run to win. Team Origin clung to Luna Rossa but never really threatened, though both pulled away on Desafío Español.
Luna Rossa tacked first, but Alinghi climbed up underneath Team Origin and the British saw they couldn’t live there and tacked off. Alinghi seems to be able to point that much higher -- one wonders if they have a “go where I like” button in their box! Team Origin managed to cross ahead of Luna Rossa with Desafío fourth.
Alinghi seemed as if they were on overdrive, and just extended their lead. Behind, there was a three-way battle between Luna Rossa, Origin and Desafío which continued down the run. Luna Rossa went to the left mark, with Desafío Español and Team Origin going right. As Desafío came in to the mark on starboard they made up a bit of ground on Team Origin who had to cede position at the mark.
As Team Origin start to move away on port, they threw a dummy tack, Desafío went to cover and Team Origin went back to port but unfortunately it took a small eternity to get the genoa sheeted, and the boat back up to speed, costing Origin dearly. Some practice is still needed in the Team Origin camp.
The positions remained, but as while waiting to see who would benefit most as Desafío and Origin split down the run, Origin’s kite halyard broke, and from that there was no way back. Alinghi eased home in first, followed by Luna Rossa, Desafío and Team Origin
A Good Afternoon’s Racing
The striking thought in watching Alinghi this weekend was not how good they were, but how much better they must have been last year when they were on full song, and just how good Team New Zealand were to give them such a run for their money, and for giving us such a great battle.
So it was a tantalizing warm up for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series; a small aperitif before Auckland. I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to that series with bated breath. This was a very gentlemanly affair. I’m not sure it will be so polite in Auckland when the gladiators return. I can’t wait….
Crisp for CupInfo
Links of Interest:
Watching: ACC Machines Up Close
Curtain Raiser: The Beast Awakens in Valencia
Crew Lists (pdf format)
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