AC34: Kiwis win with one arm behind back

Published on July 21st, 2013

San Francisco, CA (July 21, 2013) – The Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series matched Emirates Team New Zealand against Luna Rossa Challenge, with the Kiwi team demonstrating dominance in all departments to win by 2:20 minutes. Conditions were 16-18 knots of wind from South-West, flat sea, and ebb tide of 2 knots.

The Italians appeared to be in control at the start, leading their opponent toward the line. But with room to leeward, Kiwi skipper Dean Barker bore off and accelerated below the Italians for an even start. However, the Kiwi jump on the acceleration peddle gave them a slight lead at the first turn, which they quickly extended to 250 meters on the run.

The excitement of the race occurred on the first upwind leg when the New Zealand jib halyard clip broke, leading the crew to jettison the sail and continue the remaining four and half legs on wing alone.

“It’s one of those frustrating, annoying things,” said Barker. “We’ve never ever had an issue with the attachment of the jib before, but as is normal, when you start racing things like this happen.”

The Kiwis had a 300 meter lead at the time, and while the delta narrowed as the jib was pulled down and released from the boat, the Italians could not eliminate the gap. The race was never close after that, with a boundary penalty on the second weather leg pushing the Italians back to 750 meters. Average speed around the course was 24.19 (NZL) to 23.77 (ITA).

The two teams will meet again on July 23. Current race standings.

Click here for video replay and the VirtualEye race statistics.

Editor’s note:
Watching the races live on YouTube (subject to territorial rights-holder restrictions) will continue until the network broadcast begins with the Challenger Finals and continues to the America’s Cup Match. Broadcasts will occur as long as both scheduled teams compete. In New Zealand, broadcast rights holder TVNZ is hosting all the races on their website.

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