Team New Zealand off to a flyer in the Audi MedCup

It took Emirates Team New Zealand an opening race to clear its throat and then the defending champions of the Audi MedCup series were in full harmony to finish second in the second race and solo supremacy to win the third.

On the opening day of the last of the five regattas which make up the series they returned to the dock holding 54.5-point lead over their nearest rivals, the 2008 champions from America, Quantum. Back-to-back titles will be hard to throw away.

Britain's Team Origin, which has been using the series as part of its America's Cup preparations, managed a seventh and two fourths after skipper Ben Ainslie flew from a crunch meeting over the whole future of the team.

His only problem was to sleep over in Milan before taking an early morning flight to Sardinia. The team chief and principle backer, Sir Keith Mills, has to consider whether to start pouring money into the development of a 72-foot wing sail catamaran while still seeking major outside sponsorship of a campaign which could easily swallow up €100m. over the next three years.

Ainslie and his talented crew, including fellow Olympic gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, could still grab a podium slot for the 2010 MedCup season, which finishes on Saturday.

He trails Quantum, which has announced that it is to build a new boat for next season, by16.5 points, a bridgeable gap. "We battled hard today," said Percy. "but things didn't fall our way. We can still finish in the top three. But a lot will depend on the coastal race, which counts 1.5 points and where we have often struggled. But we are due a good one."

Quantum is skippered by Terry Hutchinson but he, in theory, would leave the circuit to join the Swedish team Artemis and concentrate on its own America's Cup challenge. He is, however, yet another top sailor who is waiting to see exactly which way the dice will fall, despite the presence in Cagliari of fellow American Ed Baird in full Quantum gear.

Ashore, both the organisers and the sponsors of the MedCup insist that the doom-mongers are being led by the nose and promise a statement later this week.

Listen: Stuart Alexander talks to series organiser Nacho Postigo:





Right-click here and click "Save target/link as..." to download



Alongside their deliberations, a posse of America's Cup challenge team representatives, including Grant Simmer, ceo of Team Origin, is due to fly in for a meeting on Thursday which will consider, among other things, how to fill the two places which the challengers can nominate for the America's Cup Race Management board.

Britain is believed to favour people like the immediate past chief executive of the Royal Yachting Association, Rod Carr, and New Zealand lawyer Jim Farmer. But there are those who favour candidates who are entirely independent from any national or team affiliations.

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Company decides to go for simply scary after criticising other sites for 'creepy and targeted' advertising

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
News
news

Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past