Emirates Team New Zealand conquers Luna Rossa Challenge
Now that there’s more than one boat racing, it’s time to get the cameras rolling and watch these behemoth Cats fly.
Whether or not you are of the camp that misses the days of the monohul, or – like me, wish that the powers that be had stuck with the 45s to include more teams, I think we can all agree that it’s a ton of fun to watch these cats fly.
After the official judgement was given (on the controversial ruling and safety issues) allowing all the teams to get on with the racing, the first actual race was finally run.
The decision made by the International Jury upheld protests by Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge that the Regatta Director alone could not change some of the regatta rules, even if he was acting in the best interests of all the sailors. In effect, it stated that the teams must adhere to the AC72 Class Rule as well as to the 37 safety rules established following the Artemis Racing capsize that resulted in the tragic death of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson in May.
Let the Racing Commence!
Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge are familiar partners in the America’s Cup arena. The two teams contested the 2000 America’s Cup Match, were finalists in the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup Final, and have shared a design package and many hours of training together in the lead up to the 2013 America’s Cup.
Over the weekend, on Saturday – the familiar foes contested the first two-boat race of the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, and the reigning champions from New Zealand came out on top.
Skipper Dean Barker and the Emirates Team New Zealand crew made today’s race look effortless. With the wind blowing around 17 knots, Emirates Team New Zealand held up Luna Rossa in the pre-start and then sailed away to win by nearly five and a half minutes on the 15.47-nautical-mile course.
The Kiwis completed the course in 43 minutes, 52 seconds. They recorded a top speed of 42.33 knots (48 mph), compared to Luna Rossa’s 39.95 knots (46 mph).
Stay tuned for more AC34 action!
Video and news update courtesy of www.americascup.com.