If the weather allows, there will be some fantastic racing at the UBS Trophy in Newport on Saturday. Both the Owner-Driver series, and the Pro-Driver series have come down to a 'winner take all' final race.
Following a protest on Friday evening by the BMW ORACLE Racing team, the Jury for the UBS Trophy has ruled that the results from yesterday's Owner-Driver race will stand. Team Alinghi had beaten BMW ORACLE Racing in that match, which the Race Committee had decreed would be worth two points. The result leaves Team Alinghi and BMW ORACLE tied at two points each, in the Owner series.
However the Jury also ruled that there would be one final match on Saturday, to break the tie, and determine the overall winner of the Owner-Driver series at the UBS Trophy.
"The race committee advised both boats that only race 3 would be sailed on Friday,"
said Chris Dickson, BMW ORACLE Racing CEO and skipper. "We took this to mean the fourth race would be sailed on Saturday. So we were surprised when the race committee advised us upon arriving to shore that the Owner Driver Series was over and Alinghi had won that series. After all, we had won two of the three races and one remained. BMW ORACLE Racing sought and were granted redress from the International Jury to sail the fourth and final race today."
After looking at the point totals in the Pro-Driver series, the Jury also ruled that the teams would sail only the final race in the series, to be worth seven points (the result of the penultimate match, previously scheduled for three points, would not be able to influence the overall standings, so it has been cancelled). Again, the winner of this last race will also win the Pro-Driver series at the UBS Trophy.
At this time, the Pro-Driver race is the first match scheduled at 12:30, and it will be followed by the Owner-Driver race. There will be no start after 16:30 Saturday.
The current situation then, is as follows.
BMW ORACLE Racing leads the Pro-Driver series 9 points to 6, with one match remaining worth seven points.
BMW ORACLE Racing and Team Alinghi are tied in the Owner-Driver series with 2 points each, with one match remaining.
The weather situation is similar to Friday, with heavy fog blanketing the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. The forecast is calling for South winds of 5 knots, waves one foot or less, with a chance of showers. Fog reducing visibility to one nautical mile or less.
If there is no racing on Saturday, due to the weather, BMW ORACLE Racing would win the Pro-Driver series, and Team Alinghi would capture the Owner-Driver series, by virtue of the tie-break formula (the winner of the last race).