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BMW Oracle Racing wins to start second stage

VALENCIA, Spain -- BMW Oracle Racing beat United Internet
Team Germany by more than 3 minutes Sunday to open the second stage
of Louis Vuitton Cup racing that will select a challenger to
defending champion Alinghi in the America's Cup this summer.

The Americans, who won eight of their nine races in the first
round of the challengers' series, defeated the Germans by 3
minutes, 17 seconds on the "Romeo" course and now lead the
standings with 23 points. Luna Rossa of Italy, which beat
last-place China Team by 2:57 on Sunday, is second with 21 points.
Emirates Team New Zealand is third with 18 points.

"Some are easy and some are hard, but today was one of the
easier ones," BMW Oracle Racing mid-bowman Tony Kolb said. "Every
race is a real race and we have to stay serious."

Racing on the southern "Juliet" course was postponed until
Monday because erratic wind delayed sailing for much of the
afternoon.

The unpredictable weather is expected to continue through next
week. BMW Oracle Racing and Luna Rossa, which have been in Valencia
since 2004, might have an advantage in adapting to the conditions.

"We've got a good handle on these conditions," BMW Oracle
Racing tactician Gavin Brady said. "It'll turn into a real drag
race ... it's going to come and it'll change the event
dramatically."

The top four finishers after the second round-robin stage will
advance to the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals on May 14-24.