BMW Oracle Racing fall to All4One

America's Cup defender's record receives a blemish at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai

Sunday November 21st 2010, Author: Keith Taylor, Location: United Arab Emirates

The mighty BMW Oracle Racing, who to date have previously only been beaten to a race win in a 1 second margin photo finish, had their near perfect run shattered today after they suffered a cruel loss to the Franco-German All4One team. 

All4One whose helmsman Sebastien Col won the start and staved off determined American attacks, especially on the first three

"We got two points for that race today," said skipper, Jochen Schümann. "It's a big win in that second Round Robin. BMW Oracle Racing was obviously very strong so far, so I would say it's almost 'bonus points'. There is nothing to lose, only to win points, which basically count really against teams that are more even with us. So it gives us now realistic chances to make it to the semis, which is our goal here."
Helmsman, Sébastien Col added: "We really sailed a solid race. The key point has been the first downwind leg, where we defended very well. We were leading at the first mark, and then we defended well with a few close gybes, which was kind of our weakness at the beginning of the event. After a day like this one, we will really feel better to control our competitor downwind. Then on the rest of the race we really expressed ourselves. Our strength is really when we have the opportunity to play with the wind shifts these days, because we can gain straight away, and we showed it one more time today. James Spithill and I are from the same generation. We raced together very often in the youth world championships, or on the match racing circuit. He had an exceptional career these past four years. We know each other for a long time, and it's always nice to get a win against him."

Ian Moore, navigator of the American boat agreed that All4One had done an outstanding job. “It was a little disappointing to lose the first race, but give credit to All4One. They started well and sailed impeccably well. We see a lot in these races that if you win the start it helps to go on and win the race, and that’s what they did.

“But you can’t let it get you down. You’re going to lose races in a tournament as long as this and we rallied in the second race. Jimmy got a fantastic start and our tactician John Kostecki did a nice job calling the race and picking the shifts.”

The mighty BMW Oracle Racing made up for their first major loss by later demonlishing Artemis in a near-flawless race to maintain their margin at the top of the leaderboard. The American team now holds a four and a half point lead on 13 points, but behind the leaderboard at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai remains tightly-packed after this second day of competition in Round Robin Two.

In fact Artemis proved the hard luck story of the day also losing their match with Synergy Russian Sailing team, even though the Russians were penalised for a collision in the pre-start. In one of the most heavily fought races seen in Dubai this week that saw numerous lead changes, Synergy skipper Francesco Bruni attacked and gained the lead before surrendering it while unwinding his penalty. He then fought his way back to finish first, only to lose his two points following the two point deduction for hard contact. Given each win in this round is worth two points, their performance today has dropped them from third place overall to fourth having started the day just one and half points behind second place.

Synergy helmsman Francesco Bruni was incensed with his performance and of receiving the two point penalty. "I am very disappointed with myself and how I am reacting," he said following the race with Synergy. "I just heard we had a two point deduction. Team NZ only had a half point [for their collision on day one here]. I am just having a nightmare of a week. I should have protected the right in a better way on the second beat. The guys are doing just great. I shouldn’t be here this week."

Racing resumes tomorrow afternoon with race boats now scheduled to leave the dock at 1300 and the earliest warning signal at 1345.

Race organisers aim to complete the Round Robin competition on Tuesday. There will be a lay day on Wednesday followed by fleet racing on Thursday. The semi-finals and finals will be raced on Friday and Saturday.

Blow by blow

Flight One, Race One, All4One def BMW Oracle Racing Team, 00:45 -
This was only the second race the Americans have lost. Sebastien Col had the starboard advantage at the entry, went nose-to-nose in a protracted dialup above the line against James Spithill, and led back to start at the pin on starboard. Coming into the top mark Spithill was pressing hard but the French/German alliance held the Americans out above the mark and led by eight seconds. Oracle stayed close and on the attack but Col held his nerve and pulled away on the last two legs.

Flight One, Race Two, Synergy Russian Sailing Team def Artemis Racing, 00:26 –
A collision before the start saw the Russian team facing a four point loss – two penalty points for hard contact in the collison and the prospect that Cameron Appleton and Artemis Racing would win the match and go up two points. Synergy’s Francesco Bruni sailed the race of his life to lead on the first beat, unwind the penalty at the top mark and hold off Appleton on the second beat to win the race and two points that were wiped out by a two point loss for hard contact.

Flight Two, Race One, Emirates Team New Zealand def Mascalzone Latino Audi, 00:10 – The Kiwis claimed the right at the start and despite early gains by Gavin Brady, steering Mascalzone Latino Audi, it was Dean Barker who led around the top mark. Brady remained in close contact as the breeze softened with the approaching sunset and it was only on the final run that the New Zealand team could feel comfortable about an imminent win.

Flight Two, Race Two, BMW Oracle Racing def Artemis Racing, 01:03 – The presence of team owner Torbjorn Tornqvist onboard was not sufficient to save Cameron Appleton and the Swedish from a sound defeat at the hands of James Spithill. After a protracted dialup, Spithill returned to start on the left on starboard with Artemis trailing by a few metres at the committee and also on starboard. Spithill was able to cross his opponent on the port tack half way up the beat and extended from there on every leg.

Provisional Results after Day Two of RR2:

1. BMW ORACLE Racing, 11-2, 13 pts
2. Emirates Team New Zealand, 7-5, 8.5 pts
3. All4One, 5-7, 6 pts
4. Artemis Racing, 5-8, 5 pts
=5. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 5-7, 4 pts *
=5. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 4-8, 4 pts *

* A scoring penalty has been assessed by the umpires

In Round Robin One, each team sailed every other team twice, with each win worth one point.

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