Good breeze and protests

Day three of the Louis Vuitton semi-finals brings excitment on the Hauraki Gulf

Thursday December 12th 2002, Author: Louis Vuitton Media Centre, Location: Australasia
Semi Finals 9-16 December
Best of Seven
ALINGHI
ORACLE BMW
ONEWORLD*
PRADA
Score
3
0
2
1
Race 1
1.11
0.48
Race 2
0:29
0:20
Race 3
0:46
0:33
Race 4
Race 5
Race 6
Race 7
*will be deducted one point due to ACAP ruling

A Northerly 14-17 knot breeze brought heavier sea conditions to the Gulf, and provided plenty of challenges for the sailors, who revelled in the harsh conditions and provided one of the most exciting race days of the Louis Vuitton Cup with close-action starts, lead changes, and penalty calls featuring front and centre in the racing.

For the second consecutive day, the Hauraki Gulf was a dark, grey and gloomy place to sail as strong Northerly winds deposited warm, moist air over Auckland on Race Day Three.

Oracle BMW Racing skipper Chris Dickson put himself at the wheel of USA-76, leaving Peter Holmberg ashore and installing John Cutler as tactician in a shake-up to his afterguard. The move seemed to pay dividends early, but in the end, Alinghi earned its third consecutive victory and is now one win away from a berth in the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals.

In the other pairing, OneWorld again looked vulnerable to Prada's downwind speed, but a penalty call approaching the leeward mark went against the Italians, and gave the OneWorld crew the breathing room it needed to earn its second win on the water.

See pages 2 and 3 for individual race reports

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