Americans finish 2d; Italy is next
VALENCIA, Spain -- American entry BMW
Emirates Team New Zealand topped the Louis Vuitton standings by defeating BMW Oracle Racing yesterday. The Kiwis won by 1 minute 34 seconds in the 11th flight race to finish with 38 points, one more than BMW Oracle Racing, which had led since the April 20 first race.
The first-place finish allowed Emirates Team New Zealand to pick fourth-place Desafio Espanol for the best-of-nine semifinals, which start Monday.
"It's a little bit of choose your poison," Kiwis skipper Dean Barker said. "It's always difficult when you look at the different teams and the results you've had. In a match-racing event you choose a team you feel you're most comfortable against."
Despite the loss to the Kiwis, BMW Oracle Racing skipper Chris Dickson said his team would be ready for third-place Luna Rossa of Italy.
Dickson said the challengers series promised to yield a tough adversary for Alinghi.
"The challenger group as a whole is very, very strong. I think we're all stronger today than three weeks ago when we started round-robin racing," Dickson said.
Luna Rossa finished with 35 points after winning by 1:54 over Desafio Espanol, which ended with 29.
With four days until the start of the next series, not all were rushing back out .
"We'll take two days off to gather energy," Karol Jablonski said. "What you haven't done in 2 1/2 years you're not going to finish in two days."
Also on "Romeo," Mascalzone Latino finished sixth after beating fifth-place Victory Challenge by 38 seconds.
On the "Juliet" course, +39 Challenge of Italy beat United Internet Team Germany by 30 seconds for its third straight win, and Shosholoza beat Areva Challenge by 14 seconds to finish seventh.
Last-place China Team raced its final match on Tuesday, losing by 1:57 to +39 Challenge.
The America's Cup final against defending champion Alinghi will be June 23-July 4.