Sailing: Barrington conducts Irish gig

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They departed at breakfast eastwards out of the Solent and then played the triangles between Nab Tower and the east end of the Isle of Wight, where they were revelling in a 15 to 18-knot south-easterly breeze and bright sunshine.

With a combined budget estimated at nearly €8m (£5.75m), the three Irish teams have dominated so far and with three inshore races and an offshore to go, can now concentrate on their own civil war for the silverware.

Having been pipped by a British team in 2004, revenge seems certain and the man who has spearheaded the effort, Colm Barrington, is enjoying his new 50-foot Magic Glove so much he could say yesterday: "Most of all I want Ireland to win and if my Ireland Orange team is to be beaten I would rather it was by another Irish team."

In Valencia, Team New Zealand took the scalp of the America's Cup holder, Alinghi, of Switzerland, in their round-robin match race and then beat the California-based BMW Oracle to go into this weekend's semi-finals and finals of the latest America's Cup warm-up regatta with a perfect score.

Luna Rossa, of Italy, added to Alinghi's woe, planting a penalty on them and beating them around the course to take second place overall and faces Alinghi again in the semi-finals.