Tue, Jun 28, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge secures fleet-racing event

AP , VALENCIA, SPAIN

Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge won the Louis Vuitton Act 5 fleet-racing regatta on Sunday after Sweden's Victory Challenge was disqualified from an earlier race on a technical issue.

Victory Challenge appeared to have won the regatta, but had to wait until a jury decision was issued several hours after racing concluded to learn it had been disqualified from race four on Saturday.

It was a heartbreaking setback for Victory Challenge, which impressed observers with its strong performance.

After the measurer found an unusual amount of water in the bilge of SWE-63 during a routine inspection after the fourth race, the Race Committee was obliged to protest the Swedes for a rules infringement. The jury had no choice but to disqualify Victory Challenge.

Luna Rossa Challenge and America's Cup holder Alinghi were tied on points, but the Italians won the tiebreaker by virtue of having the best result in an individual race, a win in race four.

Victory Challenge fell from first to sixth overall.

"I don't have a preference for match racing or fleet racing," Luna Rossa skipper Francesco de Angelis said. "My only preference is for winning."

Alinghi had won Act 4.

Team New Zealand was third, San Francisco-based BMW Oracle Racing was fourth and Mascalzone Latino was fifth.

The Louis Vuitton Acts are a prelude to the 2007 America's Cup, which will be held in Valencia.

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