Kiwis beat Italians to keep Americas Cup lead

4th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

4 June 2007, VALENCIA - Emirates Team New Zealand relied on superior speed to beat Luna Rossa and extend its lead to 3-0 in the Louis Vuitton Cup final after losing the start for the first time.

4 June 2007

VALENCIA - Emirates Team New Zealand relied on superior speed to beat Luna Rossa and extend its lead to 3-0 in the Louis Vuitton Cup final after losing the start for the first time.

Luna Rossa helmsman James Spithill outmaneuvered counterpart Dean Barker after a long dial-up to start on the left after entering on starboard, although the Kiwis appeared to be happy with the right side.

The ITA-94 yacht started on the opposite side from which it entered for the third straight race.

The Italians held a four-second advantage across the start line as the NZL-92 boat was forced to tack and started slowly.

But Emirates Team New Zealand took advantage of its position to use a strong right-hand wind shift to take the lead and increase it until crossing the finish 1 minute, 38 seconds ahead of Luna Rossa.

Emirates Team New Zealand can clinch its place in the America's Cup against defending champion Alinghi with two more wins in the best-of-nine challengers series.

The water was calmer than Saturday's race with the wind down, so the race committee pushed the spectator fleet back to ensure it didn't become choppy and affect the first marker.

The teams surveyed both sides right up to the start as a sudden left-hand shift pushed through.

The boats moved up the left on a long starboard tack, but the Kiwis were faster and pushed into a commanding position that threatened to force the Italians out past the left layline.

After a slight tacking duel up the top half of the first upwind, the Kiwis rounded the marker with a 40-second lead.

The Italians immediately gybed after rounding the gate, but Barker covered his opponent _ as he has throughout the challengers series _ gybing to port layline to increase the lead to 55 seconds after the first downwind lap.

The Italians were more than 200 meters behind by the third leg, but stayed with the Kiwis who only increased their lead again in the final downwind lap because of their faster yacht.

The losing time matched Luna Rossa's biggest in 29 challengers series races.

The fourth flight of racing resumes Tuesday.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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