Team New Zealand won the eighth America’s Cup regatta. Leading the 5-3 competition against their main Italian rival Luna Rossa, the team led by Peter Burling could be crowned on Tuesday March 16 if they win again.
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The title holders won with 58 seconds in the first regatta against the Italian challenge Luna Rossa. But in the second race, as this fourth day seemed to be heading for a tie again, with a win on either side, fate struck Luna Rossa. The crew led by Jimmy Spithill were up to 4 minutes 27 ahead, with Team New Zealand unable to lift the hull of their sailboat, when the wind died down in Auckland harbor. Like the day before, when the weather forced the cancellation of today’s races.
Luna Rossa then found herself in her turn with the hull in the water, deprived of the speed of her foils, while Peter Burling’s crew managed to make their boat take off again. To make matters worse, the Italian challenge missed a maneuver and received a penalty for going out of bounds. The Kiwis had only to catch up, to finally win with 3 minutes 55 in advance. “It must have been the weirdest race I have ever seen”, released the skipper of Team New Zealand. “Going from four minutes behind to win with a four minute lead is pretty incredible. A sloppy maneuver from Luna Rossa and it was over.”
Leading 5-3, the New Zealanders can now be crowned on Tuesday, provided they win both races.