Posted at 9:50 a.m., Tuesday, June 5, 2007
New Zealand moves within a win of yachting rematch
Associated PressVALENCIA, Spain Emirates Team New Zealand moved within one victory of an America's Cup rematch with Alinghi by beating Luna Rossa to take a 4-0 lead today in the Louis Vuitton Cup final.
After the two boats started uneventfully with a split, Luna Rossa overtook the Kiwis due to a light but erratic wind on the first upwind lap for the Italians' first lead in the final. After being crossed by Luna Rossa, Emirates Team New Zealand had a tack to port that pushed it higher up the course and into the lead for good.
Trailing by 19 seconds around the first marker, the Italians needed help from the shifting winds. But the NZL-92 yacht was faster and widened the gap before crossing the finish line ahead by 52 seconds.
The Italians have trailed around every marker in the best-of-nine series. Only one team BMW Oracle Racing has managed to win a race after trailing around the first gate in 17 challengers series matches since the start of the semifinals.
The Kiwis can sweep Luna Rossa just as they did in the 2000 America's Cup with a fifth-flight victory tomorrow.
The winner sails against Alinghi in the best-of-nine America's Cup final starting June 23.