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30 June 2007, 05:54 pm
Match Point Alinghi
Team boss Ernesto BERTARELLI salutes the Alinghi fans
Team boss Ernesto BERTARELLI salutes the Alinghi fans

America's Cup Match 2007
Valencia, Spain

Alinghi came from behind for the second consecutive day to beat Emirates Team New Zealand on Saturday afternoon on the waters off Valencia. The Swiss Defender put in a strong, controlled performance on a difficult sea breeze day to move within one race of successfully defending the America's Cup.
Hundreds of spectator boats crowded the race course to witness the win. SUI 100 led early in this race, but halfway up the first beat, Emirates Team New Zealand was able to squeeze up to the Defender, and force Alinghi to tack. When the boats next converged, it was NZL 92 who had gained on the left to lead around the first mark. The Kiwis held on for the run, but on the second upwind leg it was Alinghi's turn to find the shift, making a gain on the right side of the race course. The Kiwis tried to fend them off with lee bow tacks, but could not make the third one stick, and Alinghi grabbed a lead it would never relinquish.

The Swiss Defender has won the last three races of the Match to grab a 4-2 lead in the series. One more win will see Alinghi hoist the America's Cup again, its first defence a success. For Emirates Team New Zealand, it is a difficult loss. The Kiwis now need to win the next three races to win the America's Cup.

Match 6 - Alinghi beat Emirates Team New Zealand - DELTA 0:28

It was yet another tense pre-start between the teams, with Ed BAIRD (USA) taking Dean BARKER (NZL) into a long dial-up. After waiting for what seemed an age, Alinghi accelerated on to starboard into a tack, New Zealand bearing away into a gybe and succeeding in getting across the bow of SUI 100.

Alinghi

were chasing the Kiwis, who gybed across the bow of their opponents - just - with the Umpires green-flagging the incident. At start time both boats made excellent starts with BAIRD claiming the right-hand end of the line.

Both boats paralleled each other for minutes and minutes, getting ever closer to the port tack lay line with the Kiwis in danger of being carried to the edge of the course. However a small left-hand wind shift enabled BARKER to squeeze up to Alinghi and bounce the Defender away to the right. NZL 92 tactician Terry HUTCHINSON (USA) held on for a minute before tacking over to the right.

When a small left-hand shift came through, the Kiwis lifted away from the Swiss and led around the first mark by 14 seconds. Downwind the Swiss boat looked very fast and Alinghi spent the run threatening to pass the Kiwis, whose saving grace was its better gybes.

At the bottom gate, BAIRD steered the boat aggressively deep towards the starboard leeward mark, making a bee line for the right while the Kiwis - still leading - took the left. The gap at this stage was 11 seconds to the Kiwis, who held on for a couple of minutes before tacking to parallel Alinghi out to the right. Alinghi was looking stuck out there, but when Alinghi skipper Brad BUTTERWORTH (NZL) sensed a slight shift to the right, he called for a tack, and the game got a lot tighter. A tacking duel ensued, with the Swiss gaining on every tack until they managed to force New Zealand to tack to leeward.

The boats tracked each other up to the windward mark, with the Defender now 16 seconds ahead. Alinghi was pulling distance on the Kiwis again, so HUTCHINSON called for a series of gybes, gaining on every occasion until Alinghi disengaged and allowed a couple of splits to develop. Towards the bottom of the course New Zealand converged on Alinghi and had pulled to within two boatlengths of the leader. HUTCHINSON went for one last split to see if the right-hand side would yield something special to get them in front, but it was not to be; Alinghi gained and sailed across the finishing line 28 seconds ahead.

America's Cup Match

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Alinghi 1 0 0 1 1 1 4
Emirates Team New Zealand 0 1 1 0 0 0 2

The America's Cup Match and Challenger/Defender Series are designated as ISAF Special Events. For more information on the America's Cup, the Louis Vuttion Acts and the teams competing, visit the official America's Cup website - www.americascup.com.

For a complete list of all the news about the America's Cup 2007 CLICK HERE.

ACM 2007 (As Amended By ISAF)
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