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24 April 2007, 03:13 pm
Shosholoza Down Luna Rossa
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Louis Vuitton Cup 2007
Valencia, Spain

Sea breeze conditions returned to Valencia on Tuesday allowing two full flights of races to be completed at the Louis Vuitton Cup. There was plenty of action on the race course where the South African Team Shosholoza earned an impressive victory over Luna Rossa Challenge.

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The Italian Luna Rossa team began the day undefeated, but eventually lost both races on the day, dropping their second match of the afternoon to BMW ORACLE Racing. By the end of racing on Tuesday, it was the American boat that would be at the top of the table, undefeated in five matches.

As expected, the battle to be included in the top four challengers is fierce. Only the top four will qualify to advance to the Semi Finals and three teams currently occupy that spot, with Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team, Victory Challenge and Shosholoza all on 8 points from three Louis Vuitton Cup victories. The home team, Desafío Español 2007, sits one point further back.

Flight 4

Team Shosholoza claimed the scalp of Luna Rossa in perhaps one of the most significant matches of Round Robin One. At the helm of the South African entry, Paolo CIAN (ITA) was able to edge ahead on the left of Luna Rossa off the starting line, and with the Italian team showing no speed advantage upwind, skipper James SPITHILL (AUS) instigated a tacking duel. However the South Africans, showing considerable poise, lost nothing from this duel to lead around the weather mark. The South Africans showed the way down the run and made no mistakes in their crew manoeuvres. After a lengthy tacking duel up the second beat, the Shosholoza crew kept their cool and the Italian team were unable to do anything than follow the South African underdogs all the way to the finish.

The Shosholoza match upstaged what many assumed would be the fight of the day between Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team and Desafío Español, who are felt to be the most likely contenders for the all-important final place in the four team Semi Finals. After an aggressive pre-start between helmsmen Karol JABLONSKI (POL) on the Spanish boat and Jes GRAM-HANSEN (DEN), starting helmsman for the Italians, the Spanish controlled the start and the first beat, bouncing the Italian team beyond the starboard layline, pulling out a lead the Latin Rascals were unable to recover.

In other matches, Emirates Team New Zealand comfortably beat Areva Challenge, the Kiwis sailing safely and confidently, while Victory Challenge were unable to match the speed of BMW ORACLE Racing, and Jesper BANK's (DEN) skill prevailed in United Internet Team Germany's against China Team, where one crewman fell over board and had to be picked up by a chase boat.

Flight 5

The best match of Flight 5 took place between Luna Rossa Challenge and BMW ORACLE Racing. This was previewed as a battle between undefeated teams, but by the time this second match of the afternoon for both teams started, Luna Rossa had already fallen to Shosholoza. This was a close race all the way around and after an aggressive pre-start, both boats raced out to the left side of the course, with BMW ORACLE Racing in a more powerful position to the right. Skipper Chris DICKSON (NZL) converted tactically powerful advantage into an 8-second lead at the top mark. This tiny margin was only just extended to 15 seconds when the teams reached the top for the second time and Luna Rossa was able to attack on the final run to the finish. But in the event, DICKSON held his nerve and the Americans remained undefeated by virtue of a 6-second victory.

The other matches in Flight 5 were not as close, with +39 Challenge falling behind in the pre-start and Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia extending the rest of the race. Emirates Team New Zealand out-sailed the Spanish to win by 1:12, while Victory Challenge had more pace than United Internet Team Germany. And Shosholoza won its second victory of the day by beating China Team.

Louis Vuitton Cup - Scheduled Races for Tuesday

Flight 4

1. Emirates Team New Zealand beat AREVA Challenge. 1:55
2. Desafío Español 2007 beat Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team . 0:39
4. United Internet Team Germany beat China Team. 4:01
5. Team Shosholoza beat Luna Rossa Challenge. 0:36
6. BMW ORACLE Racing beat Victory Challenge . 1:18

Bye - +39 Challenge

Flight 5

1. Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team beat +39 Challenge. 1:12
2. Emirates Team New Zealand beat Desafío Español 2007. 1:12
4. Victory Challenge beat United Internet Team Germany. 0:56
5. BMW ORACLE Racing beat Luna Rossa Challenge. 0:06
6. Team Shosholoza beat China Team. 2:05

Bye - AREVA Challenge

Louis Vuitton Cup - Round Robin One - Provisional Leaderboard
Pos Team Bonus Points Matches Sailed Matches Won Pts
1 BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 98) 3 5 5 13
2 Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 92) 4 4 3 10
3 Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA 94) 3 5 3 9
4 Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia (ITA 99) 2 4 3 8
4 Team Shosholoza (RSA 83) 2 5 3 8
4 Victory Challenge (SWE 96) 2 5 3 8
7 Desafío Español 2007 (ESP 97) 3 4 2 7
8 Areva Challenge (FRA 93) 1 4 2 5
9 United Internet Team Germany (GER 89) 1 5 1 3
10 +39 Challenge (ITA 85) 2 4 0 2
11 China Team (CHN 95) 1 5 0 1

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). Image, Shosholoza caused the shock of the day in Valencia:© Team Shosholoza
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