Wednesday, 4 February 2009

LVPS: Damiani Italia Challenge Loses to BMW ORACLE Racing but has Gold Fleet Status

BMW ORACLE Racing leads Damiani Italia Challenge downwind. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Damiani Italia Challenge.

by Gabriele Cutini (in translation)

With the ending of the fifth day of racing the first Round Robin of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series has concluded. For Damiani Italia Challenge, against BMW ORACLE Racing the day was characterized by the bright sun and the mid-light wind. A defeat resulted that, in fact, changes little or nothing for the continuing adventure in New Zealand.

The qualification to the second round robin, that in this event means to be admitted the Gold Fleet and to have the certainty of remaining in competition at least until the fourth of the round robins, had been gained by beating Pataugas by K-Challenge yesterday.

After two consecutive victories, for the men of Vasco Vascotto the the ambitions of Damiani Italia Challenge were up against the binomial composed of Russell Coutts and Hamish Pepper, helmsman and tactician of BMW ORACLE Racing.

Danmiani Italia Challenge and BMW ORACLE Racing split tacks. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Damiani Italia Challenge.

The Stars and Stripes crew, at the head of the regatta in the immediately succeeding phases, did not leave anything to chance, alternating control of the opponent in the match race with some calculated risk. This was management of competition that did not leave space for the return of Damiani Italia Challenge. However, they raced in the attempt to recover the ground lost.

Thanks to the point gained in the slow racing of the New Zealand morning, BMW ORACLE Racing finished just behind Emirates Team New Zealand's first place with a full score in Round Robin A. Damiani Italy Challenge closed to the third place, to equal points with K-Challenge, but ahead of them in virtue of the success obtained in their direct clash.

The next races will take place on Thursday with the commencement of the first flights of the second Round Robin, that will see the teams divided into Gold and Silver Fleets. Damiani Italia Challenge is against Emirates Team New Zealand and, in the successive days, Alinghi, BMW ORACLE Racing, Luna Rossa and TEAMORIGIN.

Quotes from the boat:

Greatest Bortoletto, navigator of Damiani Italy Challenge: "BMW ORACLE Racing chose the right hand side of the course, the part that they had chosen during the circling. The first important decision was at the first crossing when they crossed two lengths in front. From that moment they always maintained the control of the race. We had to search for the means to recover. In the second crossing, however, they had extended again and it became impossible for us to harass them".

Cristian Griggio, pitman of Damiani Italy Challenge: "At the start BMW ORACLE Racing was enough in control on the Time on Distance and managed to take the right, perhaps because we pushed a little to have the left. After the start the control alternated on the wind shifts. It showed that splitting was a little risky. Unfortunately, in the second meeting, we did not manage to remain in contact and the race finished there".

Damiani Italia Challenge

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