Thursday, 12 February 2009

LVPS: Luna Rossa Challenge Loses Out to BMW ORACLE Racing

Luna Rossa Challenge loses out to BMW ORACLE Racing. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Luna Rossa Challenge.

by Luna Rossa Challenge media

02/11/2009 - Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA) vs BMW Oracle Racing (USA) – Quarter final
Wind: W 10 knots
Course: Windward - leeward of 1.4 miles (2 laps)
Luna Rossa Challenge on NZL92, BMW Oracle Racing on NZL 84

Start: Luna Rossa enters the box from the pin end; it is clear that both boats want the right. Luna Rossa escapes the control of Russell Coutts and starts on the right, windward of Oracle, at the Committee Boat, but is slightly late on the line. Oracle starts the upwind leg on starboard, on the left side of the course, Luna Rossa is on the right. At the first crossing Oracle is slightly ahead but is forced to tack to give way to Luna Rossa, who crosses on starboard. From this moment the rest of the beat develops in a tacking duel, with both boats responding to each other’s attacks and Oracle still slightly ahead. On the left lay line Luna Rossa, windward of Oracle, pushes the American boat beyond the lay line and tacks to round the mark on the inside, but Oracle is faster in its rounding.

The two boats are very close and engage in a luffing match; this results in a penalty to each competitor, and is therefore nil. Soon after, in a close gybe, Oracle makes a mistake and gets a penalty. Approaching the gate Oracle is one length ahead of Luna Rossa and both boats head towards the left mark.

At the mark Luna Rossa has to give room to Oracle and begins the second beat on the left side of the course, with a gap of 9s. Oracle tacks in control and both boats go to the left lay line with Oracle stretching her lead on Luna Rossa to 20s at the rounding.

In the second run Luna Rossa tries to keep the contact with Oracle, who progressively stretches her lead, managing to reach the finishing line with enough margin to clear the penalty and crosses the finishing line 9s ahead of Luna Rossa, who will therefore be eliminated.

Flavio Favini, coach for Luna Rossa Challenge, declared:
“It has been a difficult series; we have certainly showed some improvement from the first Round Robin to today’s elimination against Oracle. Obviously we all hoped to do better; we made too many mistakes and we need to improve our teamwork. This crew is mostly new, and has only trained together for one week prior to these series. In some of the most important moments we lacked that ‘eye-catching understanding’ that is key in match racing.”

Luna Rossa Challenge

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