Update from Valencia
The Spanish finally did it today. The Swedish lost their race to Team New Zealand despite a great start by Magnus Holmberg and leading around the top mark. The Kiwi boat was just better suited to the 10 knots winds of today and got inside the Swedes at the bottom mark, took the right side up the second beat and that was it.
The Spanish actually lost their match to BMW Oracle but several hundred meters but because the Swedes also lost, the Spanish celebrated their first entry into the Louis Vuitton Semi finals after four attempts. The horns and fireworks were going off like the 4th of July over here as the Spanish boat came back into the America’s Cup Harbor.
+39 beat China team easily and the French disposed of the Germans. In the Italian derby, Luna Rossa beat Mascalzone in a similar fashion to NZL vs. Victory. Mascalzone helmsman Jes Graham Hansen got a great start over James Spithill but the leaner Luna Rossa just had too much speed for the high prismatic Mascalzone in today’s 10 knots.
What is left for tomorrow’s last flight of Round Robin Two is the big showdown: BMW Oracle vs. Emirates Team New Zealand. The winner will win the Round Robins and have the right to chose their opponent for the semi finals. The forecast is for 10-12 knots of wind so it should make for a great match.
The other matches of the day are: Desafio vs. Luna Rosa, Mascalzone vs. Victory, +39 vs. Germany and Shosholoza vs. Areva.
All four semi finalists are racing in two matches tomorrow so we may have a preview of the semi finals.
I unfortunately will miss the race as I am flying home for a few days with my family. No report tomorrow.
There has been some great racing in these two round robins but in the end, their aren’t any real surprises in the top four. Sure Victory or Mascalzone could have been there, but they did not win the races they had to win. So the teams will have four days off then the battles resume on Monday May 14. It will be interesting to see what the semi finalists are able to do in these four days to improve their performance.
TNZ and BMW will race for sure tomorrow as they have something to fight for. But will Luna Rossa and Desafio? Would they be better served with 25% more time to prepare for the semis? Even just one more day of rest? You will know before me. Enjoy!