May 24, 2007

America's Cup - Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Finals End, Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand reach Final

The best of nine, first to five semifinals ended yesterday with Emirates Team New Zealand finally going into the Final of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the last stage for the Challenger selection of the 32ND America's Cup.
The semi finals went always according to plan and only one day Tuesday was cancelled, with the intelligence flag put ashore due to rough weather conditions and winds going from 20 up to 35 knots and waves from 2 to 3 metres in height. This cancellation effected only the NZL92 vs ESP97 match as the Luna Rossa vs Oracle Match concluded on Sunday.
The Luna Rossa Challenge vs Oracle was the biggest surprise of the semi finals with a staggering win of 5-1 from ITA94. No one would have predicted this result, especially after seeing the great performance of the Americans on USA98 during the Round Robin stages, more surprising and amazing it is when one sees that the Italian challenger was always ahead in every bow turn during the races. The point awarded to the USA Challenger during match 2 was in a certain way a mistake by the Italian team due to a big separation in the last down wind leg. Still as Oracle's Skipper Chris Dickson has said Luna Rossa showed good upwind speed and enough down wind speed to handle the situation. The other match between top challenger Emirates Team New Zealand and the locals home team of Desafio Espanol concluded with a 5-2 result. Still the Spanish seemed happy with this result as there main aim was to reach the semifinal and after that was to win or take some races from top rated challenger New Zealand, something they managed very well in doing in Race 3 and 6 of the semifinals. Still the Spanish has to be proud as they have showed a superior pace then in the Round Robins stages. Now it's up for the last two titans Luna Rossa Prada Challenge vs Emirates Team New Zealand on the Final Match which starts on the 1st June in a best of nine first to five duel. Winner will challenge defender Alinghi in the 32nd America's Cup Final.
Picture copyright Lunarossachallenge Cup Magazine

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