Oracle go one up

Future not looking bright for OneWorld following day one of Semi Final Repechage in Auckland

Friday December 20th 2002, Author: Louis Vuitton Media Centre, Location: Australasia
Louis Vuitton Cup - Semi Final Repechage - Day 1

Semi final repechage - 20-28 December
Best of seven Oracle BMW OneWorld*
Score 1 0
Race 1 04:08
Race 2
Race 3
Race 4
*will be deducted one point due to ACAP ruling

After a short delay caused by a big wind shift, racing in the Semi Final Repechage of the Louis Vuitton Cup began in light winds on the Hauraki Gulf. It was a beautiful afternoon for racing, with light, shifty conditions challenging the afterguards on both boats.

OneWorld helmsman James Spithill did a nice job on the pre-start, and early in the race, the OneWorld Challenge blue boat twice crossed ahead of the sleek, black Oracle BMW Racing.

But Cameron Dunn, high up the Oracle BMW mast looking for wind, called for his team to cross to the left side of the race course, if given the opportunity. On the second cross, OneWorld let USA-76 switch sides, and the Oracle BMW crew made a nice gain on the left, taking the lead, and sailing in front from there to the finish.

Although OneWorld closed the gap ahead of the final run, Oracle BMW Racing skipper Chris Dickson held his nerve and streaked away for the win.

OneWorld is in a difficult spot now, already one point down starting the series due to an earlier Arbitration Panel penalty. Oracle BMW Racing has to win three more races to win the series, while OneWorld needs five victories.

The winner of the Semi Final Repechage advances to face Alinghi in the Louis Vuitton Cup Final, with race one scheduled for 10 January. The loser of the Repechage is eliminated from further competition.

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