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28 September 2005, 12:00 pm
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America's Cup 2007
Trapani, Italy

The 2005 racing season for the 32nd America's Cup concludes with the Trapani Louis Vuitton Acts in Italy where racing is scheduled to begin on Thursday. The twelve America's Cup teams have been training on the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean off the western tip of Sicily for over a week already, and many took part in the official practice race day in light winds yesterday afternoon.
The racing in Trapani will determine the 2005 Louis Vuitton ACC Season Champion. Going into the racing, the Defender, Alinghi (SUI), has a commanding six point lead over its closest rival, BMW ORACLE Racing (USA), but the American team is just one point clear of Emirates Team New Zealand, and the top Italian team Luna Rossa. There are close battles up and down the points table, with many of the teams separated by just one or two points.

Luna Rossa will share the spotlight here with the two other Italian teams, +39 Challenge and Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team. All three are competing on home waters for the first time in the history of the America's Cup.

'For us it's very special to be sailing here. Sicily hasn't really been considered a hotbed of top class sailors in Italy, but this shows that we have arrived. People even recognize us when we leave the dock. It's very gratifying and motivating for us and the entire team,' said Giuseppe LEONARDI, one of five Sicilians on the +39 team.

'The atmosphere is really very good, very hot for all of us Italians,' said Daniele BRESCIANO, a grinder on Luna Rossa. 'This would be the right place for us to have a great result. The people in the city are marvellous and very supportive. There's a bit more pressure though. On Sunday when we were training, there were about 20 small boats all around us when we were sailing. One of them even pulled up alongside and offered us sweets!'

'This is an important moment for us because it will allow many Italians to enjoy firsthand the unique atmosphere of the America's Cup,' concluded Vincenzo ONORATO, the leader of Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team.

The opening press conference with each of the twelve skippers will take place on Wednesday morning at 1030 hours local time in Trapani (UTC +2). Audio from the press conference will be streamed live at www.americascup.com.

The first warning signal for the races is scheduled to sound at 1230 on Thursday afternoon, with racing beginning at 1240.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, +39 Challenge Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team will race in Acts 8 & 9 on their home waters:© Carlo Borlenghi/ACM 2005
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