Desafio fell today but not before a valiant effort. The first Spanish team to make the semi finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup went to the 7th race, further than the almighty BMW Oracle Racing.
Dean Barker got a great start today against Karol Jablonski and the Kiwis were on their way. In reality, both helmsman made some mistakes in the prestart and I am sure that made James Spithill, helmsman of Luna Rossa, smile a bit.
18 knots of wind and 4 foot waves were the order of the day. The Spanish were taking on a lot of water on the first windward leg and in a scene very similar to the Kiwis in the first race of the Americas Cup 2003, the Spanish were bucketing to get water out of the cockpit.
The Spanish are now retired from the 2003 competition snd surely will be back to build on this campaign. I am impressed with how much this team has grown in the last 5 months. My compliments to them!
Now we will see a rematch of the 1992 Louis Vuitton finals, Team New Zealand vs. Italy. This Italian team looks strong to me. Certainly stronger than Il Moro looked prior to the finals in 1992. The first race will be very interesting and we will all be trying to draw conclusions from that. In reality, these series can be very long and changes of fortune can happen.
Both teams will be trying a few things this week and getting the boats set up in what they think is their best mode to confront their rival and relative to the weather forecast. A bit of rest will be necessary too.
So back to work for a week for all the spectators. See you on June 1.