85 F
Cruz Bay
Wednesday, July 24, 2024


With only a couple of races left to sail, the six semi-finalists for the Louis Vuitton Cup have been decided. The biggest surprise is the elimination of early favorite Young America representing the New York Yacht Club. Both Stars and Stripes, with Virgin Islander Peter Holmberg and America True with Virgin Islander Ben Beer are headed to the next level of competition.
The six teams moving forward from the three round robin run offs are, the Italian team, Prada, both San Francisco teams, America One and America True, the Nippon Challenge from Japan, Team Dennis Conner aboard Stars and Stripes, and the French Team, Le Defi that filled the coveted sixth and last spot.
It took a run of five straight victories by the French team, skippered by last year's Marriott Frenchman's Reef Match Race winner Bertrand Pace to dislodge Young America from a spot in the semi- finals. There is some controversy. The victory that will push the French over the top will come because America True, having secured a spot, will not sail their match against Le Defi.
America True Riley says it was a difficult decision not to sail and she understands it won’t be a popular one in New York. "What's best for us, and our project is to get the boat, with the mast down, ready to go to make some changes. I don't feel we'll be painted as the villain."
"I hope that I don't make enemies for life," she said. "I think the bottom line is that we're a competitor –– it's not a popularity contest, it’s a competition."
The French need only sail around the course alone to mathematically eliminate Young America. The last match scheduled is between the French and Young America.
A statement issued from the Young America camp reads: "Certainly we had hoped that America True would give the French a fair race on the water…Young America will complete its races in Round Robin Three as long as we have opponents."
Teams will be making changes to rigs, sails and boats before the next races start. Summer is beginning in the Southern Hemisphere and winds are generally expected to become lighter.
The semi finals start with all six teams counted as equals with no points carrying over. Each team will race the other competitors two times with the top two advancing to the finals, there is nothing to gain by holding back at this point.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.