Alinghi Amongst The Forerunners

Published: Fri 11 Oct 2002 07:44 PM
Alinghi took the advantage over Oracle BMW racing and steadily increased the delta over the course of the race. Tomorrow for her last race of round robin 1, Alinghi will face the Swedish syndicate, Victory Challenge.
AUCKLAND - OCTOBER 11, 2002 - From the start, in the prevailing light airs, Alinghi made sure that Oracle's back was up against the wall. The Swiss team dominated the pre-start by positioning themselves to leeward of their adversaries. As both boats headed for the committee boat end of the line, they came close to touching. Alinghi, as the right of way boat sought a penalty, but the judges deemed there to have been no incident and flew their green flag. Shortly after the start Russell Coutts didn't hesitate to assert his position, luffed the Americans and forced them to tack away
The Swiss challenger opted for the left hand side of the course anticipating a windshift, while Oracle was forced to stay 200m further to the right. This decision paid, and Alinghi picked up the shift first. Oracle ended up above the lay line and lost precious seconds in bearing away for the mark. The Americans passed the first windward mark 32 seconds behind.
The delta between the 2 challengers continued to increase, up to 1 minute 41 seconds at the 4th mark. The impeccable tactics from the Swiss afterguard ensured they anticipated the multitude of windshifts, and covered their rivals to avoid the Americans picking up a favorable shift. 1 minute 43 seconds separated the boats at the finish line.
ENRICO DE MARIA, GRINDER - "We recovered our lead after a slightly late start with smooth tacks and good tactics. When I say 'good tacks', I mean that our speed out of the tack and our pointing angles were good."
CURTIS BLEWETT, FOREDECK - "I don't think there is a great difference in the speeds of the two boats, and I'm sure we're going to have tougher races against Oracle."
The measuring committee arrived at the Alinghi base this evening to weigh-in SUI 64. Over the course of the event, regular spot checks are made on all the racing boats to ensure they comply with the rules. The maximum weight for the entire boat including sails, other removable gear and the sailors is 25 tonnes. In addition the combined weight of the 16 crewmembers must not exceed 1450kg
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