From First to Dismasted, +39 Challenge Rides Act 13 Roller Coaster

News brief

April 5, 2007


Acm 2007/photo:carlo Borlenghi

In Race 1 of Louis Vuitton Act 13, +39 Challenge sailed a perfect first beat and led the 12-boat fleet for the majority of the race before dropping to 10th place. Still, the lousy finish couldn’t dim the spirits of the Italian underdogs, who were overjoyed by their short-lived success. “I’m happy with our race and with the boat, a bit less with the result,” said helmsman Iain Percy. The team spent Tuesday night fine-tuning their rig, only to watch it crack in half on Wednesday when ITA 95 collided with GER 89 on the first beat of Race 3. Although the details of the crash are still being ironed out in the protest room, the episode involved +39 Challenge converging on starboard tack with Areva Challenge and United Internet Team Germany, both on port. The Italians protested the Germans, who in turn protested the French. Irregardless of the jury decision, Germany’s helmsman Jesper Bank has already extended his sympathies to the Italian crew, saying, “We are very relieved that nobody was injured in both crews…On the water we have offered +39 Challenge every help possible.”As for the Italians, elation on Tuesday turned to determination on Wednesday. “All the work done has been burnt in a second,” said team president Lorenzo Rizzardi. “We will not give up. We are here and we want to stay here. All I can say is that the shore team is working feverishly and that we will do everything that is possible to recover this mast, that in the first two races showed a great potential.”For more about +39 Challenge, click here.


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