Emirates Team NZ- Battle looms for a last-race decider in ACWS Venice

Emirates Team New Zealand in the first race on day three in Venice. America’s Cup World Series Regatta Venice. 19/5/2012

It’s tight at the top of the fleet race leader board at the America’s Cup World Series after three days of racing at Venice. Tomorrow’s final race, which will decide the championship, is wide open.

Only three points separate the top four yachts – Energy (44) the two Luna Rossa yachts (43) and Emirates Team New Zealand (42).

Emirates Team New Zealand finish the first race on day three in Venice. America's Cup World Series Regatta Venice. 19/5/2012
Behind them Oracle 4 (38) and Artemis and Team Korea each on 37.

Tomorrow’s race is worth 30 points to the winner, 20 to second, 15 for third, 12 for fourth and 10 for fifth.

So with conditions expected to be pretty much as light and shifty as they have been all regatta, a good start, good tactics and more than a little luck will decide who’s fleet race champion.

Racing today was largely conducted at a brisk walking in a breeze that rarely got above seven knots. A flying hull was a fairly rare sight.

It was great day for the spectators. Venetians were out of force on the water, hundreds, perhaps thousands of boats lined the narrow course corridor. The shore line and vantage points, from the start to the finish line off St Marks Square, was were packed with spectators.

Emirates Team New Zealand was third, in race 1, making the most of a good start and what little breeze there was. Luna Rossa Swordfish won, with Oracle 4 second 57s behind and New Zealand 1.07 from the lead.

The second race today was one a course shorted because of the light wind at the leeward mark, but increased to 12 legs. That increased the crews’ work load and also turned the day’s form guide upside down.

Luna Rossa Swordish, winner of the first race, finished last. Artemis won and Luna Rossa Piranha was second. Emirates Team New Zealand was sixth .