Oracle - one race from victory

After day three of Louis Vuitton Cup semi final repechage in Auckland

Sunday December 22nd 2002, Author: Louis Vuitton Media Centre, Location: Australasia
Louis Vuitton Cup - semi-final repechage - day 3

Semi final repechage - 20-28 December
Best of seven Oracle BMW OneWorld*
Score 3 0
Race 1 04:08 -
Race 2 0:03 -
Race 3 0:55
Race 4
*will be deducted one point due to ACAP ruling

Today's win was the eighth in a row by USA-76 over USA-67 since the Louis Vuitton Cup regatta began in October, leaving Oracle BMW the task of winning just one more race to progress to the finals.

Today's race began with some close action in the pre-start in which OneWorld came off worse by the time the starting gun was fired. Not only did the Seattle team carry a penalty, but they were over the line at the start.

Despite these two set backs which saw them trailing Oracle BMW from the start, OneWorld went on to sail a skilful first leg and managed to haul back much of Oracle's initial lead. By the first leeward mark the lead had been reduced to just 8 seconds. This turned out to be the closest that the pair got for the remainder of the race.

Oracle BMW Racing USA-76 went on to beat OneWorld USA-67, leaving Oracle at match point, with OneWorld staring elimination squarely in the face. Five straight wins are required to stay in the competition.

"It was very shifty out there," said Oracle's navigator Ian Burns shortly after crossing the line. "Either side of the course paid but if you got caught in the middle you could lose, so it was a very difficult day today."

See page two for the post-race debriefing by Chris Dickson and Peter Gilmour

Crew lineups today

USA-76 OneWorld USA67
Bow Geordie Shaver Bow Alan Smith
Mid Bow Grind Bill Bates Mid-Bow Don McCracken
Mast/Grind David Brooke Mast Matthew Mason
Pit Matt Smith Pit Jeremy Scantlebury
Starboard Grinder Mark McTeigue Grinder Andrew Taylor
Port Grinder Phil Trinter Grinder Craig Monk
Mid Grinder Brian McInnes Trim Joe Newton
Spinnaker Trim/Grind Robbie Naismith Tail Tatsuya Wakinaga
Genoa Trim Bob Wylie Main Grind Kazuhiko Sofuku
Traveller Tactics Cameron Dunn Main Trimmer Don Cowie
MainTrim Mike Sanderson Strategist Ben Durham
Aft Grind Eric Doyle Runner Richard Dodson
Afterguard Tommaso Chieffi Helmsman James Spithill
Afterguard Ian Burns Tactician Charlie McKee
Afterguard Peter Holmberg Navigator Kevin Hall
Skipper Chris Dickson Skipper Peter Gilmour
17 th Person Keith Turner (Guest of HP Sponsor) 17 th man -

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