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High Drama At The Americas Cup.

ac1It took two races but at last there was some real drama in the America's Cup racing on Sunday during the second race. A halyard broke early on the first upwind leg against Luna Rossa. The crew struggled to control the flapping sail, eventually giving it up and dumping the $20,000 sail in the water where upon the Team NZ chase boat moved in quickly to clear the sail from the water, forcing Luna Rossa to tack away Even so, the broken halyard looked to be a real opportunity for Luna Rossa to shine and possibly win this race but it was not to be. The lack of headsail seemed to make little difference on the bearaway, and none at all to her foiling performance and Team New Zealand beat Luna Rossa by 2min 20s securing their second win.

The victory in the third race on Teusday ensures that Team New Zealand will win the round robin portion of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series. They can now choose whether they advance directly to the LV Cup Final or they can pick their opponent for the semifinal round. As of yet, we have no indication from the Kiwis what their decision will be.

In the three races against Luna Rossa, the Kiwis won by more than five minutes in its first race, more than two minutes in the second and more than seven minutes this Tuesday. Their impressive and polished control of the high-tech 72-foot catamaran, especially its ability to remain lifted on its hydrofoils as it jibes downwind, is incredible. This manuever is critical because keeping the pontoons lifted out of the water reduces drag and therefor slows down minimally during the turn and keeps the momentum and speed going. Apparently Team Oracle has yet to master this manuever consistently and that remains the question: Is Oracle, the defender fast enough to beat the challenger, Team New Zealand? 

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