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Valencia, Spain - 2006-05-16

Today was the last day of Louis Vuitton Act 10 in Valencia. The regatta closed with a victory by Areva Challenge over China Team and a match conceded to +39 Challenge.

For the two races of the day, the start was the key.

In the race against China Team, good management of the starting sequence made it possible to give the team the tactical advantage. AREVA Challenge immediately took the lead by three boat lengths and continuously widened the gap, finishing 1 minute 48 seconds ahead.

On the other hand, in the match against +39 Challenge, Thierry Peponnet did not have a strong start due to a bad call in the afterguard. FRA 60 was two seconds too early for the start, which forced AREVA Challenge to re-start correctly.

Thierry Peponnet, skipper and helmsman of AREVA Challenge, reviews the race against the Italians: “it was an error on my part that made us early for the start. In spite of the three length deficit, we fought well and the team gave it their all. We succeeded in catching up on several occasions, but it was never quite enough. We finished 31 seconds behind them.”

He continues: “if one takes stock of this Act 10, we missed precious training time (beginning only 18 days before the regatta). But the positive point is that we now will be able to progress on the sporting level thanks to the time that we will spend on the water. All the teamwork before this Act was very important. There was a very good level of focus and everyone worked hard. The prospects are excellent for the future, especially when we receive our new boat.”

On the design side, AREVA Challenge gave thanks to Act 10 because several of the teams sailed new boats. The design team took every opportunity to study and take note of the new boats on the course.
Dimitri Nicolopoulos, coordinator of the design team, explains: “the benefit of beginning the new boat so late is that we can still make modifications according to what we’ve observed during these Acts. It is especially interesting to note that Alinghi still sailed their old boat for Act 10.”

Louis Vuitton Act 11, fleet racing, will begin Friday.
The forecast is difficult to make. It depends on the capacity of the boat to sail the course, but tactically, the afterguard of AREVA Challenge will be aggressive and make radical decisions. If the team chooses the correct side of the course (advantageous for the wind), then all will be well. If not, racing will be difficult.
Modifications will be made before racing begins on Friday. Improvements will be made to the boat in order to move up in the rankings.
AREVA Challenge finishes the Louis Vuitton Act 10 in the 10th place.

Stephanie Nadin

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