Alinghi won both races on the final day of the Trofeo Desaf?-o Español to secure an emphatic win in the America's Cup class regatta in Valencia.
The Alinghi sailing team raced SUI100, the 32nd America's Cup winning boat, to five wins out of six this weekend in Valencia, winning the AC class trophy of the Trofeo Desafío Español, Club Náutico Español de Vela's annual regatta. The Swiss won both races on the final day, followed by Luna Rossa. The Italian team sailed very well this weekend with a brand new afterguard.
This three-day regatta heralds a return to racing for the AC Version 5.0s after a long sojourn ashore and has given the teams some much desired America's Cup Class racing.
Four America's Cup Class yachts raced alongside the 80-strong fleet of cruiser-racers fighting for the Trofeo Desafío Español in the light autumn conditions off Malvarossa beach that last year saw one of the greatest battles in America's Cup history between Team New Zealand and Alinghi, who won the trophy for a second time. This weekend there was less at stake, but it was no less ferocious, with ex-Alinghi helmsman Peter HOLMBERG
(ISV) at the helm of Luna Rossa, triple Olympic gold medallist Ben AINSLIE
(GBR) steering TeamOrigin and Paul CAYARD
(USA) at the helm of Desafío Español. After a few glitches and torn spinnakers on Friday, the Alinghi crew settled in and Murray JONES
(NZL), standing in for helmsman Ed BAIRD
(USA), steered consistently to win the event.
Brad BUTTERWORTH (NZL), team skipper and tactician onboard praised MURRAY's performance: "The competition has been very good and Murray JONES has done a great job, we have won five of the six races and have had a good time doing it. SUI100 is a very fast boat and it has been good fun to get back on the water and racing."
JONES says of his first AC regatta as helmsman: "It was fun to be out there racing, to get the boat out with the boys in the CNEV annual regatta. We sailed well and it was a matter of team work as it was my first go on the helm and it was the guys around me that helped me out the whole way around each race, they made it easy."
The best fight of the day involved TEAMORIGIN and Desafio Español, who were battling for third place. The Spanish team got to the race course eager to win and were ahead at the first cross. However AINSLIE demonstrated he can be fast on any boat, overhauling the Spaniards to take third place overall.
Final Overall Results
(After six races)
1. Alinghi (3-1-1-1-1-1), 8 points
2. Luna Rossa (2-4-2-2-2-2), 14 points
3. TEAMORIGIN (1-3-4-3-3-4), 18 points
4. Desafío Español (4-2-3-4-4-3), 20 points