Jesper Bank clinched the first victory with his team at the America's Cup Act 10 in Valencia, on the second day of racing. After a dramatic race, he steered GER 72 over the finish line 21 seconds ahead of Shosholoz. At the beginning everything looked like the feared clear defeat against the South Africans, who showed good speed yesterday despite two defeats.
But against the Germans, starting helmsman Cian was able to take a relaxed windward position with the shot with enough distance to leeward. Even Chieffi, who took over the steering wheel after the start and with the better close-hauled speed, never ran the risk of having to give up this position. He reached the windward mark with a lead of over a minute.
But then Shosholoz coughed away unperturbed after the windward buoy. “The wind was as far to the left as it was not all day. We thought he wouldn't shoot any further,”says strategist and skipper Mark Sadler. But that was a mistake. The wind turned ten degrees further and also set in on the left, so that the Germans caught up the entire lead.
At the leeward gate they were able to push their bow into the three-length circle in front of the opponent and push Shosholozin into the outer curve. A spectacular cross followed with tight turning duels and Team Germany was only just able to prevent the faster South Africans from breaking through. "At the cross we have clear speed disadvantages compared to the new U-shaped boats," says technology boss Eberhard Magg. "But the big belly helps when turning."
Both boats went bow to stern around the windward buoy. But then Team Germany played its good downwind speed and the better jibe technique.
Despite this drama, the duel between the underdogs was not the race of the day. Karol Jablonski at the wheel of the Spanish boat made sure of that with King Juan Carlos as the 18th man on board. In the second race he was up against the big favorites LunRoss and he got off to an excellent start against Match Race World Champion James Spithill.
He started with a 50 meter lead after he had pushed the opponent over the lay rail to the leeward start bucket. However, he caught a penalty from the Finnish referee Marianne Middelthon because he should not have reacted in time to a windward maneuver by the Italians.
With that the race would actually have been over. But contrary to expectations, Jablonski was able to extend the lead with the fast ex One World ship and execute the penalty on the second cross. He saved a much-acclaimed 32-second lead at the finish line.
This defeat of LunRoss shows once again that the new ships cannot automatically record victories. BMW Oracle and Team New Zealand kept their clean slate, but also showed periods of weakness from time to time.
Just like Alinghi. The Swiss are not sailing as superior as usual. In the first race they won just 8 seconds ahead of the greatly improved Mascalzone Latino CapitaliTeam with the Danish start helmsman Jes Gram Hansen. The Swiss had changed the team to eight positions compared to the previous day. Jochen Schümann was not on board, but Syndicate boss Ernesto Bertarelli.
1 BMW ORACLE Racing beat United Internet Team GermanyDELT02: 102Victory Challenge beat Team ShosholozaDELT02: 193Emirates Team New Zealand beat ArevChallengeDELT01: 294LunRossbeat +39 ChallengeDELT01: 085Desafío Español 2007 won, ChinTeam did not finishCHN - DNF6Alinghi beat Mascalzone Latino CapitaliTeam DELT00: 0
1 Emirates Team New Zealand beat Victory ChallengeDELT01: 392United Internet Team Germany beat Team ShosholozaDELT00: 213BMW ORACLE Racing beat ArevChallengeDELT01: 094Alinghi beat +39 challengeDELT01: 165Mascalzone Latino - CapitaliTeam beat ChinTeamDELT02: 056Desafío Español 2007 beat LunRossaDELT00: 34