Champs or Chumps?
Maybe both. The match between BMW Oracle and the Swiss team ended in win for Alinghi that puts them straight into the challenger final, whilst BMWO will have to fight it out again. Anarchist Glenn described how the race went, in this thread on AC Anarchy:
“Start box action was fairly tame, Alinghi did enter on port and managed to cross BO, possibly due to bias, both wanted committee boat, and although BO got it they were about a boat length behind and in Alinghi bad air so bailed out soon after, with Alinghi covering tack for tack up the first beat.
Action 2/3rd of the way up saw possible penalty call against Alinghi as BO tried to create overlap during an Alinghi slam dunk tack, but was flagged away.
Alinghi lead at top mark by about 12sec and kept that all the way to the gates, at the gates Alinghi opened up a 90m lead, due to them taking a gate that had a 30m bias on it! but as soon as BO went around Alinghi went over and closed them down, even moving away from the favored side of the course to do it. up the beat Alinghi kept it close and controlled, top mark delta was about 8sec.
Big gain to Oracle on the run when they almost got an overlap down wind to the finish, and lead was about 10m to Alinghi. Alinghi went on to win by about 40m.
Seems Alinghi can keep the game tight, and step it out when they need to. Not too many passing lanes, but as a commentator said, there never will be when the boat in front keeps it close.”
Second “match of the day” was the one that gave Ben Ainslie the opportunity to prove that he should have helmed for ETNZ in AC 32 and maybe he did. TeamOrigin led off the start line by a narrow 8m margin and, although Dean Barker threw in tack after tack, Ainslie matched every one to lead at the top mark. Coming downwind, the Brits wouldn’t be drawn into a gybing duel and kept the lead at the gate. Going upwind TeamOrigin extended the lead to 100 meters, but with ETNZ wasn’t giving up easily. Barker did manage to get back, but it was Ainslie in control and the Brits won, albeit by a mere 6 seconds.
In today’s other race, Vasco Vascotto helmed Damiani Italia to victory over fellow Italian team, Luna Rossa. Pic of the BMW Oracle versus Alinghi match by Chris Cameron and more, from all the teams,can be found right here.