Brad Butterworth and Jochen Schuemann

Brad Butterworth and Jochen Schuemann

Alinghi again

As final day of Act 7 of the America's Cup is canned due to fog offf Malmo

Sunday September 4th 2005, Author: Peter Rusch, Location: Scandinavia
The perfect weather couldn't last, and although the 32nd America's Cup had a good run with the Malmö-Skåne Louis Vuitton Acts, fog and light wind on the final day of the schedule meant the last race was cancelled.

It was a disappointing end to what has been a fabulous two weeks in Malmö. Up to this point, the weather has ensured close, thrilling action on the water and sunshine has brought throngs of spectators down to the America's Cup Park. On Saturday, 26,000 people came to the Park to enjoy the racing, and in the evening, a concert and fireworks show was the ideal way to end the day.

This morning, Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio issued a postponement ashore, keeping the fleet on the dock for the morning, waiting for the wind to increase and the fog to lift. Neither situation ever really materialised. The wind at times got up to near seven knots, but never stabilised at that strength and visibility on the race course was often less than 100 metres. At 13:00, racing was cancelled.

The cancellation means the series stands completed with three races sailed. Under the Notice of Race the Malmö-Skåne Louis Vuitton Act stands as a regatta after just one race. And with three races on the scorecard, the results of Act 7 will be included in the Louis Vuitton Ranking of Challengers for the purpose of determining bonus points ahead of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

Thus after three fleet races in the Louis Vuitton Act 7, Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing sit atop the leaderboard with identical records. As such, the tie-breaking formula favours the team which finished better in the last race sailed, and that's Alinghi, giving the Swiss a sweep of the Malmö-Skåne Louis Vuitton Acts 6 & 7.

"I think from the outside looking in you'd have to say that's pretty nice," said Brad Butterworth, tactician and vice-president of Alinghi, commenting on the double victory in Acts 6 and 7 moments before the prize-giving ceremony in the America's Cup Park. "As a reflection on the team as whole, I'm pretty proud to be a part of this team. But I wish it was 2007 and not 2005!"

Luna Rossa sits alone in third position, and Emirates Team New Zealand, with race finishes compared to Desafío Español, gets the nod to finish in fourth position, leaving the Spanish in fifth.

A win yesterday saw K-Challenge rocket up the leaderboard to finish the regatta in sixth place. Germany's fifth place in the first race gives it the advantage over +39 for seventh and eighth position respectively.

The fleet is rounded out by Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia, Shosholoza, the home heroes, Victory Challenge and China Team. Each of these teams will be disappointed they didn't have an opportunity to improve their standing with a race today.

As soon as racing was cancelled for the day, the massive operation of packing up the America's Cup roadshow began. The 12 teams will take apart their boats, fill their shipping containers and get ready to pack everything for loading aboard the M/V Schippersgracht. The ship is scheduled to depart for Trapani on Thursday, arriving on 14 September. Racing in the Trapani Louis Vuitton Acts is scheduled to begin on 29 September.

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