Related News

Home » Sports » Sailing

Alinghi outwits Oracle to take challenger final

AMERICA'S Cup-holder Alinghi beat BMW Oracle Racing by 1 minute, 7 seconds yesterday to clinch the best-of-three final 2-0 and earn the right to race Team New Zealand in the Pacific Series regatta finals.

Alinghi won the opening race by 1 second on Wednesday and made a third race unnecessary when it outsailed Oracle in the second race off Auckland.

The best-of-seven race finals series against host and former Cup-holder Team New Zealand is set for today and tomorrow.

Swiss Alinghi added intrigue to the series when it finished yesterday's race flying a red protest flag and indicated it intended to lodge a formal protest over the format of the series.

The protest concerned the supposedly identical Team New Zealand yachts, NZL-84 and NZL-92, in which match races have been conducted. Alinghi contended NZL-92 was faster than NZL-84 but withdrew its protest when it won a draw which will allow it to sail NZL-92 in the final.

Team New Zealand insists there is no significant speed difference between the yachts.

Alinghi, with American Ed Baird at the helm, clearly won the start yesterday, led comfortably at the first mark and by almost 200 meters after the first downwind leg.

Oracle, helmed by three-time America's Cup-winner Russell Coutts of New Zealand, could do nothing to bridge the gap in the last two legs as Alinghi thrived in a steady 15 knot breeze.

"We were in quite a nice position today and had plenty of time to assess the options coming on the final approach to the start," he said. "We burned up a little too much time."

The win meant Alinghi emerged from a group of nine America's Cup syndicates to challenge Team New Zealand for the overall title. The teams clashed in the 2003 America's Cup final off Auckland, when Alinghi won 5-0, and in the 2007 final off Valencia, Spain, when the Swiss won 5-2.

Coutts said Oracle was happy with the series format. "I thoroughly enjoyed the racing over the last few weeks. It's a fantastic event and in these economic times the idea...where all the teams race in borrowed boats, rather than shipping boats all around the world is frankly a commercial reality."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend