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Monday, April 30, 2007

Shosholoza keep their end of the deal

For a very cool flash animated webpage that explains the roles of each team member on an America's Cup boat, go here.

Another day of racing in Round Robin #2 is complete, and Team Shosholoza has kept up their performance to stay in the hunt for a semi-final berth. Fortunately for them, the other players also "cooperated" so that 4th place does not remain too far out of reach.

The giant-slaying award for today goes to Team China, the lowest ranked team in the Cup. They handed Team BMW Oracle a loss due to two very remarkable incidents. First, BMW Oracle suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure as they blew their head sail. The result can be compared to a runner operating at 75% power instead of his or her full power.

Second, and no less remarkable than the first, China Team finished the race. This team was a late entry onto the scene and this has been evident in the Louis Vuitton Cup as they have suffered three "DNS" and a "DNF." So the fact they they were able to finish this race was a massive achievement for them, made even bigger due to the size of their opponent.

In the middle of the board the French boat Areva Challenge (8th place) helped Shosholoza by defeating the Italian Mascalzone Capitalia (5th), while the other Italian boat Luna Rossa Challenge (2nd) defeated the Swedish Victory Challenge (6th). Both of these defeats were crucial for Shosholoza as Mascalzone Capitalia and Victory Challenge currently occupy 5th and 6th places above Shosholoza's 7th.

Tomorrow Shosholoza will need all their strength and luck, for they must race BMW Oracle. As China Team showed today against BMW Oracle, nothing is guaranteed. . .however, the other teams dicing for the semis face "easy" races tomorrow:

Desafio Espanol (3rd) vs. Areva Challenge (8th)
Emirates Team NZL (4th) vs. +39 Challenge (9th)
Victory Challenge (5th) vs. China Team (10th)

Visit the America's Cup homepage for the complete ranking and racing schedule.