Halloween came to the Hauraki Gulf a day late as today was one of the stranger days of this Louis Vuitton competition. With the end of Round Robin 2 drawing near, and some places in the next round all but assured, a few teams appeared to be thinking ahead somewhat. The biggest surprise of the day was the French team scoring their first win over OneWorld. The Seattle syndicate has struggled slightly in Round Robin 2, after sweeping their eight matches in Round Robin 1, but this was still a major upset. The French had yet to record a win heading into the match and were the leading candidates to be packing up their base and heading home after the two round robins. OneWorld, with Kelvin Harrap at the helm and Morgan Larson calling tactics, practically handed the win to Le Défi by sailing over the spinnaker during the first leeward mark rounding. The other big surprise of the day was the return of Dennis Conner to Louis Vuitton competition. Conner took the helm for Team Dennis Conner’s match against Mascalzone Latino and showed little rust, defeating the Italian syndicate by a little over a minute. TDC’s second match of the day, against Oracle BMW Racing didn’t go as well. With Ken Read at the helm, Stars & Stripes barely missed hitting the committee boat right after the gun and trailing by nine seconds at the top mark. Oracle, with Peter Holmberg on the wheel, was able to hold off Stars & Stripes on the run and record an 18-second win. This win, combined with a victory for Oracle over Alinghi in the afternoon made for a banner day for Larry Ellison’s team. Other matches saw Victory Challenge defeat GBR Challenge and GBR Challenge beat Le Défi Areva.
Press Conference Highlights
** Bill, why did Dennis decide to come and steer the boat?**
Bill Trenkle Dennis wanted to steer the boat.
Why today? Not yesterday? Not the first day of the Louis Vuitton Cup?
Bill – Were trying to improve every day that we go sailing and one of the things that we really havent tapped into well enough probably is our most valuable resource, Dennis Connor. Its very hard sometimes for a sailor to get a good feel for whats really going on without taking the helm and sailing around the racecourse. It was decided that the first race today was a great race for Dennis to take it round the racecourse, see how it feels, get an overall impression of how the boat is sailing, how the boat sails are set up, and then turn back over to Kenny for the second race.
Luc, you were behind OneWorld at the bottom mark after the first round. Can you tell us how you got through them? Was it a mistake on their part?
Luc Pillot Some people saw the mistake we did today, but if we won the match against OneWorld its because they had problems around the bottom mark. Thats how it works. Sometimes you win a match because you did everything very well, sometimes its because the opponents make mistakes. We had problems with the bottom mark, today it was OneWorld. For sure, we did a lot of improvements ourselves in this part of the game and since the beginning of the second round robin we have been safer in this maneuver at the bottom mark.
Round Robin 2, Flight 8 Results
Victory Challenge def. GBR Challenge by 1m:1s
Le Défi Areva def. OneWorld by 57s
Oracle BMW Racing def. Alinghi by 4s
Team Dennis Conner def. Mascalzone Latino by 1m:9s
Prada had the day off
Round Robin 2, Flight 4 Results
Oracle BMW Racing def. Team Dennis Conner by 18s
GBR Challenge def. Le Défi Areva by 14s
Alinghi vs. Prada abandoned due to heavy wind.
Results through Nov. 1
Alinghi (11-2) 11 points
OneWorld (11-3) 10 points
Prada (10-4) 10 points
Oracle BMW Racing (9-4) 9 points
Victory Challenge (7-7) 7 points
GBR Challenge (7-8) 7 points
Team Dennis Conner (6-9) 6 points
Mascalzone Latino (1-14) 1 point
Le Défi Areva (1-13) 1 point
Racing Schedule for Nov. 2
Round Robin 2, Flight 9
Le Défi Areva vs. Mascalzone Latino
OneWorld vs. Prada
Victory Challenge vs. Alinghi
Oracle BMW Racing vs. GBR Challenge
Team Dennis Conner has the day off
Remaining Makeup Matches
Le Défi Areva vs Oracle BMW Racing
Prada vs. Alinghi
Victory Challenge vs. Oracle BMW Racing
Alinghi vs. GBR Challenge
Team Dennis Conner vs. OneWorld