Emirates Team New Zealand wrapped up the Louis Vuitton Cup final on Sunday with an emphatic light-air win over Luna Rossa Challenge.
Dean Barker and crew threaded their way through a fog-shrouded San Francisco Bay to win by 3m 20s.
Emirates Team New Zealand goes through to Challenge Oracle for the America’s Cup, with the first race on September 7.
New Zealand won the start and was never threatened. Luna Rossa, though, acquitted themselves well in the final series and the 7-1 score line reflected less sailing time in the AC72 than Emirates Team New Zealand.
Their development programme was several months behind that of ETNZ and, in the end, time on the water was probably the decider.
It has been good working with them over the past 18 months ashore and as a training partner.
Luna Rossa announced today they will sail with us in the final build-up for the America’s Cup. They will help Dean Barker and the sailing crew test modifications that will be made this week and keep sharp with some race training.
Barker said after racing today that it had been the most difficult day on the water on the water they had encountered in the Louis Vuitton Cup with the fluky and shifting breeze and sailing in and out of the fog.
“We’ve in San Francisco to win the America’s Cup, so winning the Louis Vuitton Cup is all part of the preparation.
“The team is extremely focused. We came up short in Valencia in 2007 and we’ll give it our all now in the next few weeks to make sure we’re as ready as can be.”
Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena: “Again Emirates Team New Zealand did a great job. They managed the pre-start and the race well. They are a really strong team and I’m looking forward to seeing them racing in the match.
“We started this team late and the main goal for us was to do well in this Louis Vuitton Cup. We are proud of what we achieved. No one was putting us in the Louis Vuitton Cup Final one and a=half years ago.
‘I’m proud of all the work done by the team. I said to the guys just before the finish that today starts the new challenge for the next America’s Cup. We’re going to be stronger next time.
Louis Vuitton Cup Final Standings
1. Emirates Team New Zealand – 7
2. Luna Rossa Challenge – 1
Race 8 Performance Data
· Course: 5 Legs/10.26 nautical miles
· Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 33:49, LR – 37:09
· Delta: ETNZ +3:20
· Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.9 NM , LR – 12.3 NM
· Average Speed: ETNZ – 21.27 knots (24 mph), LR – 20.04 knots (23 mph)
· Top Speed: ETNZ – 41.19 knots (47 mph), LR – 38.73 knots (44 mph)