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5 October 2004, 10:15 am
Act Two Kicks Off Today In Spain
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America's Cup
Valencia

Eight teams representing six countries take to the stage today for the first two flights of match racing to mark the start of the Louis Vuitton Act 2.
Of the two newcomers to the Act format, both are Italian yet each comes from a very different background.

Luna Rossa has a wealth of Cup experience to draw upon having competed in the last two America's Cup events, an important factor given their first opponents of the day, Act 1 winners BMW ORACLE.

The second Italian team, +39 face equally tough opponents for their first ever America's Cup race as they square up to the current Cup holders Team Alinghi. But while this particular Italian team may be short on Cup experience, few would question their ability to pick things up quickly with a crew that includes four Olympic medallists from the last two Olympic Games.

The third start of the day sees the two French teams, Le Defi and K-Challenge going head to head in what could well prove to be a close match. During Act 1 in Marseille K-Challenge demonstrated how quickly the team had come to grips with their boat handling, while LE DEFI was clearly more at home when it came to match racing.

The fourth start of the day sees Emirates Team New Zealand pitched against the South African Team Shosholoza. In the last few months both have at times questioned whether they would be able to realise their goal of competing in the Acts.

For the South Africans, the huge task required to pull all the necessary elements together proved the biggest challenge, while for the Kiwis, coping with the crisis of a damaged boat in Marseille and a spare boat on the other side of the world tested their character. Yet both are here and ready to race.

Four matches in the second flight are scheduled after the completion of the above races.
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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