For day 2 of the Louis Vuitton Cup Quarter Finals, the sun was out, seas were negligible, and the breeze held steady in pressure if not direction; perfect conditions for racing. The second day of the quarter finals was more about consolidation than confrontation, and while flags flew, none of them resulted in a penalty.
It looks as though the Swedes are more than capable of taking the French in four straight, as long as they keep their game faces on and sail clean; Victory beat Le Defi for the second day in a row, and by another wide margin. A blown kite on Le Defi took far too long to replace, highlighting the crew work issues that have plagued the French Challenge throughout the Louis Vuitton Cup. Victory def. Le Defi by 1m:10s.
Team Dennis Conner managed to avoid getting sucker punched on the starting line Thursday and that made all the difference. If the New York YC syndicate keeps out of the penalty box, USA-77 has enough boatspeed to win this series; Stars & Stripes crossed the finish line 1m:17s ahead of Wight Lightning.
Prada lost to Alinghi for the second time, but by only 8 seconds. Luna Rossa showed amazing speed on the downwind legs but was unable to pass the Swiss Challenge. Despite the 2 scalps in Alinghis belt, Prada is dangerous, perhaps more so than Russell Coutts bargained for when they chose the Italians at the end of Round Robin 2. Alinghi def. Prada by 17 seconds.
The intense Oracle/OneWorld rivalry is no secret, and thats one of the reasons that these two teams may provide some of the best entertainment in the quarter finals. Another close race today, with Oracle taking the first cross and holding off OneWorld just enough to win, despite a broken spinnaker pole on the final set of the day. Oracle def. OneWorld by 17 seconds.
Alinghi def. Prada by 8 seconds
Oracle def. OneWorld by 17 seconds
Victory def. Le Defi by 1m:10s
Stars & Stripes def. Team GBR by 1m:17s