Emirates Team New Zealand sailing on race day one at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, UK
© Hamish Hooper

Race day one at Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series proved to be a solid debut sailing for Emirates Team New Zealand in an official America’s Cup race for new Helmsman Peter Burling.

It has been a long time coming for the young World Champion and his 49er crew Blair Tuke who signed with the team over 18 months ago.

“Its something we have been waiting for for a long time,” said Burling. “It was pretty cool, for us we just love being out on the water and being able to measure ourselves against the best sailors in the world.”

Finishing the day in a close second position overall behind Land Rover BAR after a 3rd and a 1st was a satisfactory place to be for Emirates Team New Zealand. Both teams were battling it out at the front of the fleet for the majority of the day’s racing in what Burling described as “an incredibly shifty and puffy breeze” which was 7- 12 knots right in the difficult cross over between foiling or not foiling in the AC45F’s.

The first race of the day Emirates Team New Zealand started well, rounding the first mark in 3rd position. Following the preconceived game plan they gybed early separating from the fleet and into better breeze and a big lead by the bottom mark. Land Rover BAR snuck by on the second downwind, and then Oracle Team USA overtook in a contentious move rounding the final mark.

“We sailed well enough for a second in the first race but annoyingly had to settle for 3rd after the final mark rounding.” Said Burling

In race two Emirates Team New Zealand had a good start up the line above Land Rover BAR. Again following the pre race game plan, but this time to continue all the way to the boundary from the first mark hooking into an uncommon bit of bit of pressure to again round the bottom mark in first place.

This time playing the shifts well, keeping their red Omega bows in front all the way around the track to take the bullet and 2nd place overall.

When asked what was the key to the day Burling responded simply, “Keeping in breeze. Things are easy when you are in the breeze.”

Tomorrow’s final two races are double points races so still plenty to happen in this first Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event. Throw in a forecast of 17- 23+ knots and this regatta is still anyone’s game.



1) Land Rover BAR   (19 points)

2) Emirates Team New Zealand (18 points)

3) Oracle Team USA (16 points)

4) Groupama Team France (13 points)

5) Softbank Team Japan (13 points

6) Artemis Racing (11 points)


VIDEO here