Each of the six teams at the Marseille Louis Vuitton Act enjoyed a well deserved day off on Wednesday, after three hard days of fleet racing. The strong winds have been tough on the crews and equipment, and Wednesday's respite was a welcome break.
The term 'day off' is a bit of a misnomer in the America's Cup. The shore crews were still very busy on Wednesday, preparing the boats for Thursday's match races, while the sailors spent the day shifting their mental gears for the one-on-one duel of the match race after several tough days of fleet racing.
Some of the other America's Cup teams not participating on the water in Marseille were on site at the AC Park on Wednesday, taking in the atmosphere, and looking at the arrangements in anticipation of Acts 2 and 3, which begin in Valencia, Spain on the 5th of October.
On Wednesday morning, the Race Committee released the pairings for Thursday's matches. There are two flights of three matches scheduled. Each match will be raced on the same race course, starting at 10-minute intervals, with the first pair scheduled to start at 12:40.
Teams will earn six points for each match race victory, and no points for a loss. The match racing points are added to the points won in the fleet races to obtain a total score. The winner of the Marseille Louis Vuitton Act will be the team with the most points at the conclusion of racing on Saturday.
The weather outlook is for an easier day on Thursday after the heavy load conditions earlier in the week. BMW ORACLE Racing's John KOSTECKI said his team saw a 32-knot gust on Tuesday, adding "the boat got really quiet at that point," with the crew hoping everything would hold together.
The forecast for Thursday calls for light and variable winds in the morning, building through the early afternoon to a 7 to10-knot Southeasterly; quite a change from the spectacular 18 to 25-knot winds enjoy ed on the Rade Sud earlier this week. The outlook for Friday is for stronger winds again, with 15 to 20-knot Southeasterlies forecast.
Marseille Louis Vuitton Act 1 - Match Race pairings, Thursday 9 September
Match One Team Shosholoza (RSA 48) vs. K-Challenge (FRA 57)
Match Two Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82) vs. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76)
Match Three LE DEFI (FRA 69) vs.Team Alinghi (SUI 64)
Match One Team Shosholoza (RSA 48) vs. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 82)
Match Two Team Alinghi (SUI 64) vs. K-Challenge (NZL 82)
Match Three BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 76) vs. LE DEFI (FRA 69)
Marseille Louis Vuitton Act - Points Table
Team (Finishing Positions) Total points
1. BMW ORACLE Racing Team (3, 1, 1, 1) 22 points
2. Team Alinghi (1, 2, 3, 2) 20 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (2, 3, 2, 3) 18 points
4. K-Challenge ( 4, 4, 5, 4) 11 points
5. Team Shosholoza (5, 5, 4, 6) 8 points
6. LE DEFI (6, 6, 6, 5) 5 points