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Emirates Team New Zealand secure Louis Vuitton Cup finals spot


Job done. Emirates Team New Zealand’s demolition of Italy’s Prada-backed Luna Rossa means that the Kiwis have already secured one of the finalist slots in the challenger series Louis Vuitton Cup as they seek to win the America’s Cup .

The margin in the latest race was seven minutes and 14 seconds, which means that, officially, the Italians failed to make the time limit of a five-minute margin to record a finish. Luna Rossa, with British Olympic medallist Chris Draper at the helm, was well behind at the start and, despite their Star Wars baddies crew uniforms, slipped further and further behind. 

The Swedish challenger Artemis Racing has launched its new boat, two and a half months after the training capsize which destroyed its earlier boat and led to the death of double British Olympic medallist Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson.

Many tests have been carried out on the structure ashore. It will now complete a further series of tests before joining the Louis Vuitton Cup elimination races to determine the sole challenger to the holder, the locally-based Oracle Racing USA.

Artemis, whose sailing director is Simpson’s Olympic partner and himself a gold medallist in his own right, Iain Percy, hopes to be able to race by at least 6 August and could even take to the race course earlier if all goes well.