Longest round robin in history
It was fourth time lucky as at last the last match of the Louis Vuitton Cup's first Round Robin finally got underway between the two Italian teams - the mighty Prada and Mascalzone Latino.
At the start there was a glimpse of one of those much loved occasions in the otherwise predictable entity that is the Louis Vuitton Challenger series when the underdog got ahead. Paolo Cian at the helm of the Latin Rascals got the advantage over their big brother, the mighty Prada at the start crossing an impressive 19 seconds ahead.
Within seconds thought it became evident who the class act was as Prada took the favoured right hand side of the course and easily overhauled Vincenzo Oronato's team. They also simply seemed to be faster and the overall consensus is that after a week of intensive surgery on their boat Prada's new mainsail and new bow have contributed to a distinct improvement in their performance since the first Round Robin.
In the 9 knot winds, Prada reached the weather mark in first place ahead by 49 seconds and extended to 1:33 by the leeward mark - on the shorter course of 12.5 miles (just two laps instead of three).
Although their improved boat speed seemed to be paying off, it was also extremely shifty on the race course and it was Prada who made the most of the conditions. It was they who kept a man up the mast for the duration of the race and this particularly paid when halfway up the second beat in the centre of the course and with Mascalzone split to the RH side they picked up and were able to exploit a massive 40-50degree lift.
At the conclusion Prada romped home 4:28 minutes ahead no doubt giving the team the confidence they needed prior to lining up against fellow heavyweights Oracle later today in their first race of the second round robins.
The result is that Prada finishes round robin one level pegging with Team Dennis Conner and GBR Challenge.
Final results of Round Robin One
|Pos||Syndicate||Raced||Alinghi||OneWorld||Oracle||Team DC||GBR||Prada||Victory||M Latino||Le Defi||Total|
|1=||Alinghi||8||L: 0:10||W: 1:43||W: 1:10||W:4:33||W: 1:32||W: 0:25||W: 7:08||W: 4:48||7|
|1=||OneWorld||8||W: 0:10||W: 0:40||W: 1:21||W: 3:22||W: 1:11||W: 0:59||W: 5:43||W: 0:21||7|
|3||Oracle||8||L: 1:43||L: 0:40||W: 1:58||L: 0:36||W: 0:42||W: 10:45||W: 2:03||W: 2:52||5|
|4=||Team DC||8||L: 1:10||L: 1:21||L: 1:58||W: 0:20||W:35||L: 0:33||W: 1:36||DNS||4|
|4=||GBR||8||L: 4:33||L: 3:22||W: 0:36||L: 0:20||L: 0:22||W: 0:48||W: 0:54||W: 0:13||4|
|4=||Prada||8||L: 1:32||L: 1:11||L: 0:42||L: 0:35||W: 0:22||W: 2:35||W: 4:28||W: 5:52||4|
|6||Victory||8||L: 0:25||L: 0:59||L: 10:45||W: 0:33||L: 0:48||L: 2:35||W: 0:35||W: 1:06||3|
|8||M Latino||8||L: 7:08||L: 5:43||L: 2:03||L: 1:36||L: 0:54||L; 4:28||L: 0:35||W: 5:19||1|
|9||Le Defi||8||L: 4:48||L: 0:21||L: 2:52||DNS||L: 0:13||L: 5:52||L: 1:06||L: 5:19||0|