Luna Rossa sail into quarter-finals

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The National Staff Italy's Luna Rossa beat China Team by one second yesterday to stay among challengers at the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series sailing regatta. Luna Rossa carried a penalty throughout the race after being trapped into an infringement 30 seconds before the start by the world match racing champion Ian Williams. The Italian yacht led by 14 seconds at the first mark, 19 seconds at the second and 24 seconds at the third, but approached the finish line needing to complete a 360 degree turn to discharge the penalty.

Luna Rossa dropped their spinnaker and accomplished the turn just before crossing the finish line, slipping across with their bow narrowly ahead of the Chinese yacht. Several minutes passed before the winner of the race could be determined. They will race BMW Oracle Racing of the US in the quarter- finals, while Britain's TeamOrigin, which beat France's Pataugas K-Challenge in the other sail-off, will race Italy's Damiani Italia Challenge.

Elsewhere, the Emirati teenagers Ahmed Ismail and Taher al Tahar shared the joy of victory when their five-strong team Duboat U 18 - captained by Fredric Jacobs - won the division three title in the cruiser class in the Jumeirah regatta, one of the regular events in the UAE sailing calendar. Niamh Thome took the Laser 4.7, Harry Bone-Knell the Optimist Cadet, Nick Frisk the Laser standard and Charles Allan the Open in the several categories of the event worked over two days in Dubai.

* With agencies Picture on s14