Kiwis opt out of further racing and choose direct route to Louis Vuitton Cup final


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The Independent Online

The Kiwis have chosen to bypass the semi-final stage of the Louis Vuitton Cup elimination trials to challenge for the America’s Cup. By winning the preliminary round robin, Emirates Team New Zealand exercised its right to choose between selecting a semi-final opponent or going direct to the final.

That means that the Prada-backed Italians in Luna Rossa will line up against the Swedish challenger Artemis Racing on 6 August for a best of seven on San Francisco Bay.

The Swedish team, whose director of sailing is British Olympian Iain Percy, has just launched its second 72-foot wing-powered catamaran after its original boat broke up while training, leading to the death of Percy’s Olympic partner, Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson. Testing of the new boat has yet to be completed and a decision on whether to race at all will only be taken when those tests are satisfactorily completed.   

Emirates Team New Zealand beat the Prada-backed Luna Rossa by a reduced margin of 3min 21sec on a chilly San Francisco Bay.

Both boats were continuing to test new equipment packages and combinations and the gap between the two was far from the worst that the Italians have suffered in previous confrontations.       

British Olympian Leigh McMillan continued his winning ways in the Porto grand prix of the Extreme Sailing Series, taking Oman sail’s The Wave to victory for the second year in succession.

Second was Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi skippered by Morgan Larson with a second Swiss team, Realteam, skippered by Jérôme Clerc third. 

Ed Wright took silver in the Finn singlehander European championship at Warneműnde, Germany after the final day’s racing was called off because of a lack of win.

Winner was Vasilij Zbogar of Slovenia, with Andrew Murdoch of New Zealand third.