Team New Zealand wins America’s Cup pre-regatta
VALENCIA: Team New Zealand won the second pre-regatta for the 2007 America’s Cup on Tuesday because it was ahead in the standings when the final day of racing was canceled due to light wind. Team New Zealand, routed by Alinghi of Switzerland in the 2003 America’s Cup, finished with 11.5 points, one point ahead of Italy’s Luna Rossa. San Francisco-based BMW Oracle Racing was third in the match-race competition, and Alinghi was fourth.
Principal race officer Peter Reggio managed to get the first flight of races started on schedule in a light westerly breeze, but the wind soon died, and the leg time limit of 40 minutes expired for all of the matches. The race committee and the teams stayed out on the Gulf of Valencia most of the afternoon in hope that the wind would build enough to allow racing, but racing was canceled.
Each team was awarded one-half point for matches not raced. Luna Rossa, which lost to Team New Zealand in the 2000 America’s Cup, was the only top team to beat the Kiwis in this regatta. Le Defi of France was fifth, followed by K-Challenge of France, +39 of Italy and Team Shosholoza of South Africa. The next pre-regatta will begin Thursday, featuring four days of fleet racing. The pre-regattas will help determine seeding for the 2007 America’s Cup, which will be sailed at Valencia. ap