The local heroes, Desafío Español 2007 (ESP) got off to a strong start, beating the first ever German team to race in the America's Cup. The Spaniards later fell to Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA), who likely feel at home in Valencia, having sailed here longer than any other team.
Other highlights in the first pairings included a tight match between BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) and Sweden's Victory Challenge, who put in a credible performance against one of the strongest teams at the Cup.
The new German challenger did not wait too long to earn its first win at the America's Cup. After falling to the Spanish team, United Internet Team Germany surprised K-Challenge (FRA) with a strong performance in the second flight of races, in what many are calling the match of the day. German skipper Jesper BANK (DEN) made a nifty move at the first windward mark; approaching bow to bow on starboard tack he was able to sneak inside the French boat and round ahead. From there BANK extended away, sailing aggressively to victory by 1:02.
The first flight of matches started on time at 1410 hours local time with K-Challenge leading Emirates Team New Zealand off the starting line of the North (ROMEO) course. The Kiwis soon recovered their form however, and the season champion from last year was able to hold back the French challenge. Although the wind was good for racing at the start with a moderate eight to ten knot easterly, it eased a little over the course of the race with matches on both courses finishing in light six to eight knot breezes.
In the Italian derby in flight one, Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team performed well, but succumbed to Francesco DE ANGELIS (ITA) and his Luna Rossa Challenge. Mascalzone picked up a penalty on the first beat, and lost time completing its turn before the finish, so the race on the water was closer than the final finish time indicated.
China Team had a difficult welcome to the America's Cup, paired against the Defender for its first match, and the BMW ORACLE Racing powerhouse in the second. Alinghi (SUI) taught the newcomers that the Cup is a hard game to play, beating them by nearly seven minutes. By comparison, the Chinese stuck closer to the American team, but still fell by over one minute.
Also having a difficult day were the South Africans. They are racing a new boat that sailed for the very first time yesterday - and only for a couple of hours at that - and it showed. Italy's +39 Challenge showed no mercy however, beating them convincingly. The South Africans then fell to Alinghi in another one sided match.
Racing at the Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts is scheduled to continue today, with two more flights of racing on the calendar. The first warning signal is scheduled to sound at 1400.
Emirates Team New Zealand beat K-Challenge - delta 0:5
Luna Rossa Challenge beat Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team - delta 3:24
Desafío Español 2007 beat United Internet Team Germany - delta 1:59
BMW ORACLE Racing beat Victory Challenge - delta 0:51
+39 Challenge beat Team Shosholoza - delta 5:24
Alinghi beat China Team - delta 6:48
Emirates Team New Zealand beat Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team - delta 2:27
United Internet Team Germany beat K-Challenge - delta 1:02
Luna Rossa Challenge beat Desafío Español 2007 - delta 1:12
Victory Challenge beat +39 Challenge - delta 1:51
Alinghi beat Team Shosholoza - delta 3:34
BMW ORACLE Racing beat China Team - delta 1:39
Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 4 Standings
1. Alinghi (SUI), 2 points
1. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA), 2
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 2
1. Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA), 2
5. Victory Challenge (SWE), 1
5. +39 Challenge (ITA), 1
5. United Internet Team Germany (GER), 1
5. Desafío Español 2007 (ESP), 1
9. K-Challenge (FRA), 0
9. Team Shosholoza (RSA), 0
9. Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team (ITA), 0
9. China Team (CHN), 0