More of the same. 4-0 for Team New Zealand
Luna Rossa did everything correctly today. The weather team asked for the right and James Spithill got it. Not only that, the right hand end of the line was favored by a boat length. Emirates Team New Zealand seemed strangely happy with the left. At the first cross, Luna Rossa was ahead 4 boat lengths. Luna tacked on TNZ and forced them back left. The next cross was going to be about three boat lengths but Luna Rossa tacked short of the Kiwi track. This allowed the Kiwis to “live” on port and stay in the same wind as Luna Rossa. From there, the Kiwi machine took over. Sailing closer to the wind, the three boatlength lead for the Italians shrank steadily and eventually the Kiwis grabbed the lead. At the first windward mark it was a three boat length lead for TNZ.
On the first run, Luna Rossa stayed close waiting for their chance to pounce on the first gybe of the Kiwis. But by the time the gybe occurred the Kiwis had stretched out to a four boat length lead and that was enough to keep the Italians from taking their wind. The second half of the race was a procession.
Is it all over? Pretty much. The forecast for tomorrow is more of the same. Kiwi weather. I would be looking for Jesse James Spithill on the starting line tomorrow. Luna Rossa will have the right on the entry and this needs to be leveraged to the max. I would be looking for some blood to be spilt. It’s now or never. No point in holding back. If Luna Rossa lets the Kiwis sail on their own, it will be over. They need a penalty and a shut out on the start, then they need to tack all over the Kiwis and finally take the favored side. Then maybe.
If not, it will be party time in New Zealand and we will be heading to a rematch of the 2003 America’s Cup finals with roles reversed…Alinghi defender and Emirates TNZ challenger.
Up to now, the only country that has won the Louis Vuitton Cup twice is Italy; 1992 and 2000.
Tomorrow, New Zealand may join Italy in that statistic.
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