BMW Sinks, Desafio Swims

News brief, 5/21/07

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Gilles Martin-raget/ Bmw Oracle Racing

On the eve of its do-or-die match against Luna Rossa Challenge, which led the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals series 4-1, BMW Oracle Racing imploded under the pressure of imminent failure, removing CEO Chris Dickson from his role as skipper and helmsman and filling the vacancies with helmsman Sten Mohn and skipper Gavin Brady. The desperation changes effected no new results, however, as the American team lost the match to the flawless Italians. Guided by tactician Torben Grael and helmsmen James Spithill, ITA 94 led USA 98 around every mark in the series."This is not the exit we had hoped for," said Dickson, whose team was among the favorites to face Alinghi in the 32nd America's Cup. "Looking back, there is nothing immediate that I would leap to change. If I could pinpoint the reason for this outcome, I would have changed it. There is no one cause. It was a matter of a few little things making the difference."Dickson offered his congratulations to the Italian team, which awaits the outcome of the semifinals series between Emirates Team New Zealand and Desafio Espanol.The Spanish pulled off a close victory over the Kiwis on Sunday. Both boats crossed the starting line on port, with NZL 92 splitting off to the left and ESP 97 going right. When the teams converged near the windward mark, the Spanish had a small lead, which they maintained throughout the race. The Kiwis lead the series 4-2, and the next race takes place on Tuesday.