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Chinese upset BMW Oracle Racing in Louis Vuitton Cup racing

Chinese upset BMW Oracle Racing in Louis Vuitton Cup racing

China Team upset Louis Vuitton Cup leader BMW Oracle Racing on Monday for its first win in America's Cup challengers series racing.
BMW Oracle Racing was in control at the start and pinned the Chinese yacht out to the right behind its heel to build a 200-meter lead.
But the Americans lost their headsail halfway on the first upwind lap and the CHN-95 yacht sailed past the USA-98 boat before the headsail blew out again, forcing BMW Oracle Racing to finish the upwind legs with a single sail as the Chinese won with ease by 3 minutes, 5 seconds.
"Coming back to earth with two points from BMW Oracle Racing is not a miracle because I know these things can happen in sailing," China Team skipper Pierre Mas said. "But it rewards all of the efforts of the team."
The Americans' second loss in round-robin match racing means they are tied with Italian syndicate Luna Rossa at the top of the standings with 23 points. The Italians beat Victory Challenge of Sweden by 23 seconds, also on the northern "Romeo" course.
The Americans could only use the mainsail on the first windward leg, so the headstay foil will be repaired overnight to be ready for the third-flight race against Shosholoza of South Africa on Tuesday.
"A small piece didn't do its job today, which meant bad luck for us and bad luck for the team because we didn't get the points," said BMW Oracle Racing helmsman Sten Mohr, who replaced skipper Chris Dickson for the race.
"It was difficult to read the wind direction. It was quite shifty, with winds changing to 45-50 degrees, and that usually isn't too much for these boats to handle."
Emirates Team New Zealand, which had a bye in the second flight, stayed third with 20 points after beating Mascalzone Latino in a rescheduled first-flight race on the southern "Juliet" course.
The Kiwis, who lost to Mascalzone Latino in the first round-robin stage, were in control from the start and crossed the finish line 0:25 ahead.
The Italians' hopes of winning the fourth Louis Vuitton Cup semifinal place was placed in further jeopardy by losing to French syndicate Areva Challenge in the second flight.
Both boats tacked closely over the course and the Italians earned a penalty for failing to keep clear of the French FRA-93 yacht at one point. Mascalzone Latino crossed the finish slightly ahead but Areva Challenge was the winner by 2:16 since the Italians still needed to perform the penalty turn.
Desafio Espanol retained fourth place with 19 points after beating +39 Challenge of Italy by 0:01 on "Juliet."
The Spanish were pushed out behind the right race committee boat at the start but managed to keep pace with the Italians. They drew even after rounding the final windmarker after +39 Challenge blew a sail before taking over at the finish to win by less than half a boat's length.
Shosholoza beat United Internet Team Germany by 1:23 on "Romeo."
Areva Challenge finished the day perfect after beating +39 Challenge by 1:11 in the second first-flight race that was postponed from Sunday due to erratic wind.
The French yacht pulled away 40 meters from the finish when +39 Challenge lost its spinnaker. Areva Challenge, which has 13 points, trails Mascalzone Latino and Shosholoza by one.
The top four finishers after the second round-robin stage will advance to the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals, from May 14-24.
The Louis Vuitton Cup will decide which of the 11 challengers will sail against America's Cup champion Alinghi in the finals from June 23-July 4.


Updated : 2021-04-18 11:05 GMT+08:00