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K-Challenge contre Piu 39

K-Challenge against Piu 39


Trapani, Sicily - 2005-10-02

The fourth day of racing in the Trapani Louis Vuitton Act 8 was a good one for K-Challenge. The French team won both races today: the first against the Italians of +39 Challenge, and the second against the China Team.

“It was a positive day for the team, with two more wins that were necessary for us to maintain a strong overall position. Although the success was a result of the entire team, it is in particular thanks to two very good starts. It is now necessary to seek every last point so we can hold onto 5th place and maybe even move up in the overall standings,” comments Stephan Kandler, CEO of K-Challenge.

Thierry Peponnet’s team indeed had two very good starts. The first was against +39 Challenge, where K-Challenge started at the leeward end of the line because the team wished to protect the left side of the course. In addition, K-Challenge started slightly ahead of the Italians, who were forced to tack away.

The second part of the race was a bit more exciting: +39 Challenge rounded the first mark behind K-Challenge, but started to make a comeback downwind. Near the end of the run, the spinnaker on K-Challenge exploded and tore to pieces. The spinnaker was cut away so it could be picked up by the tender, allowing for a quicker recovery by the race boat. At the same time, +39 Challenge gained a lot of distance on the French team, but failed to make a quick spinnaker drop. K-Challenge again took the lead, but had a small problem with their genoa. The genoa problem was rapidly sorted out while +39 Challenge was still working with their spinnaker. K-Challenge went on to win the race by more than 3 minutes.

In the second race against China Team, K-Challenge had a very good start, with better speed than its competitor. The team was able to stay on the favoured side of the course while protecting its lead. The final distance between the boats was 1 minute, 18 seconds.

Sebastien Col, Tactician, comments: “Thierry had two very good starts today. We were able to control our adversaries and take the lead in both races. After the start, it was a question of managing each race to protect the lead. We are very glad to win these two points, but there still remain 4 matches, 2 of which are against “large” teams (Alinghi and Luna Rossa.)”

Dawn Riley, General Manager, concludes: “Today’s races were very important to us. We managed them really well and are happy with the results.”

Tomorrow, K-Challenge will face Victory Challenge and Luna Rossa.

Stephanie Nadin

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