Luna Rossa is in the Louis Vuitton Finals. Desafio lives for another day!
Today BMW Oracle made a change. Chris Dickson was off the boat and Sten Mohr took his place as helmsman. Little change for the American boat. The nice thing was to see Larry Ellison back onboard, supporting his team. It was even nicer to see him congratulating his crew after the race, surely a tough moment for all. Dickson showed for the press conference and offered sincere congratulations to the Italians. He stated that in his opinion they were beaten in many areas this week and that no one thing stood out as a glaring weakness of BMW Oracle. Needless to say he got many probing questions on this subject. He also stated that Ellison has already stated that he will continue pursuing the Cup but has not decided who will be involved, Dickson included.
At the start today James Spithill got the better of Mohr, taking the favored end of the line. The boat did the work from there and the crew never missed a step. The final delta was 33 seconds. A moderate celebration has erupted at the Italian base and two days off is the order of Francesco de Angeles, leader of the team.
With their backs against the wall, the Spanish won a very close race against Team New Zealand. A slightly better start for Karol Jablonski gave the Spanish a 30 meter lead early and the Spanish never relinquished the lead. The biggest lead was 80 meters, so it was hand to hand combat all the way but the Spaniards pulled it off. Fifteen seconds was the margin at the finish. It is a beautiful thing in sport to see a team, confronted with mortality, that raises its game and lives for another day.
I am still getting some medical treatment for my elbow from Pablo, the Desafio physiotherapist and the sailors, whom I worked with for two months, asked me to come down to the dock this morning to wish them well. It was a big moment as you would expect. Would they be heading out for the last race of their campaign? They answered the question magnificently.
So a 7th race will be necessary on Tuesday for this semi-final. Probably most people expected Team New Zealand to win this series 5-0 or 5-1. Probably TNZ expected that too. That is why they chose the Spanish, rather than either of the other two. We will see if it was a good choice.