INDEPENDENT NEWS

Americas Cup - French Make It To Semi Finals

Published: Wed 15 Dec 1999 08:30 PM
French Claim Spot in Semi-Finals - Dennis Conner Steers Stars & Stripes
Le Défi was rewarded for winning seven consecutive matches in Round Robin Three of the Louis Vuitton Cup. Today, the French sailed around the course safely and confirmed the last Semi-Final berth.
Four matches were sailed today, and only two where both boats started. Young America and Le Défi both sailed the course alone for their wins. Dennis Conner sailed on Stars & Stripes and steered all the way around the course for the first time in round three losing a close match to Bravo España. Idaten continued to impress with another win, this time beating Abracadabra.
After a 10 minute delay, the matches were sailed in ideal conditions, an eight
to ten knot breeze from the South, sunny skies over the Hauraki Gulf.
LOUIS VUITTON CUP ROUND ROBIN THREE RACE 10
BRAVO ESPAÑA BEAT STARS & STRIPES - DELTA 00:35
Bravo España (ESP-47) finished the Louis Vuitton Cup in style, with a win over Stars & Stripes (USA-55). Luis Doreste on the Spanish boat held Dennis Conner, steering Stars & Stripes, above the line after the pre-start dial up. But Conner tacked away, and Doreste couldn't hook in to leeward, so both hit the start line on port tack with Spain to windward. Doreste tacked away after the start and held the right all the way up the first beat. It was a close leg, neither boat able to cross ahead on the top section until near the mark, when Spain gained on the last shift to round ahead. Bravo España showed speed downwind, stretching away from Stars & Stripes, but Conner closed on the second upwind leg and held tight until the final top mark when Spain again gained on the last shift, and held the lead across the finish line.
IDATEN BEAT ABRACADABRA - DELTA 00:42
Sailing in its last race in the Louis Vuitton Cup, Abracadabra (USA-50) steered by Chris Larson, won the start but lost the lead twice to Peter Gilmour steering Idaten (JPN-52) in the race that followed. Larson made a nicely timed start at the pin, with Gilmour ahead on his starboard bow. In danger of starting early, Gilmour tacked away on port and dipped momentarily just below the line before starting two seconds behind Abracadabra. The Americans led on the first cross and chose to go right on a right-hand shift, only to see their lead evaporate as the breeze kicked back more than 30 degrees to the left. Idaten led around the top mark but Abracadabra pulled level again on the first run to take over and show the way, nine seconds in front, round the leeward mark. The Japanese went right again on the second beat, pressing hard until another right shift gave them the edge to overtake and lead again. They extended gradually on the last three legs.
LE DÉFI WON, AMERICA TRUE DID NOT START
Le Défi sailed the course alone, the win confirming a place in the Semi-Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup for the French.
YOUNG AMERICA WON, YOUNG AUSTRALIA DID NOT START
Young America sailed the Atlantic course alone. Young Australia has withdrawn from the Louis Vuitton Cup.
LUNA ROSSA, BE HAPPY DID NOT START
Luna Rossa did not start its match against be hAPpy. The Swiss be hAPpy has withdrawn from the Louis Vuitton Cup.
Article provided by Louis Vuitton Cup Media Centre
Selwyn Manning - Scoop Auckland
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