LVC updates and Grand Prix news—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

34th Americas Cup Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup
© Luna Rossa/Studio Borlenghi/Borlenghi-Butto
Emirates Team New Zealand continued their absolute rout of the Louis Vuitton Cup Round Robin series, defeating Luna Rossa Challenge for a fifth straight time on Sunday by a delta of three minutes and 21 seconds. By posting this win, Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) has cemented their spot as the top challenger and earned the right to skip the Louis Vuitton Cup (LVC) Semi-Finals round (August 6-15) and instead meet the winner of this contest on the starting line for the LVC Finals (August 17-30).

This means that the LVC Semi-Finals will be a death fight between Luna Rossa and Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record (CoR) for the 34th America’s Cup. For the Kiwis, it means almost three additional (and critical) weeks to modify/tweak their boat and fine-tune their already polished onboard maneuvers before entering into the final phase of the LVC. This decision by ETNZ could also serve to give Artemis Racing and Luna Rossa a chance to hone their games and bolster their confidences in a less-competitive environment.

28/07/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Louis Vuitton Cup - Race Day 13 - End of Round Robin press conference - Ian Percy (Artemis Racing)

As for Artemis Racing, the big question is one about timing, namely, when will the Swedish-flagged CoR be ready for the racecourse? 'We suffered a horrendous accident and we need to take baby steps and progress at our own speed,' said Ian Percy (GBR), Artemis’ skipper. 'It’s fantastic being on the racecourse practicing, just getting out there and seeing the boats and having a look at the start sequences is all good practice, but we don’t want to run before we can walk.'

Also of note in the LVC world, actor Tom Cruise and his son Connor joined the ETNZ crew onboard their mighty foil-borne AC72 after Sunday’s race for the cruise back to the harbor. '[Tom Cruise] was seriously buzzing as we blasted around the Bay at over 40 knots, although this was a far cry short of his 'Top Gun' days!' reported Dean Barker, ETNZ’s skipper.

Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing sailing on San Francisco Bay, July 30, 2013

Get the full LVC report, including video footage of the Cruises aboard ETNZ’s AC72, as well as images and footage of Artemis sparing with the Defender, Oracle Team USA, inside this issue.

Meanwhile, at the 52 Super Series event that’s currently taking place at the 32nd annual Copa del Rey Mapfre regatta, the American-flagged 'Quantum Racing' managed to disrupt 'Ran’s' otherwise unblemished collection of bullets in the final race of the event to edge out their Swedish-flagged rival by one point.

PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN - 30 JUL: during day one of 32 Copa de Rey Mapfre de Vela at Real Club N·utico de Palma on July 30 2013 in Palma, Spain. Photo by Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series

'We did quite good work today,' said Terry Hutchinson, 'Quantum Racing’s' tactician. '[The crew] had the boat going really nicely through the water. The middle race was a bit of a disappointment because we had a 50-meter lead at the last top mark but lost it to 'Ran Racing'-who have just been on fire–on the last run. But we sailed a nice bounce back race then, the guys nailed the start and we stuck to our guns. Everyone kept taking a step out to the right to the pressure line, but we were happy with the middle and the upper left and low and behold it worked. We had a nice lead at the top.'

2013 Copa del Rey

More, inside, including a great image gallery, compliments of photographer Max Ranchi.

Also inside, get the full report from the hotly contested 420 Worlds, get the latest scoop on the 470 class’ 50th anniversary celebrations and read about the 29er Worlds.

34th America’s Cup Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup
© Luna Rossa/Studio Borlenghi/Borlenghi-Butto

Finally, spend some time enjoying ace photographer Carlo Borlenghi’s great image gallery of the Sunday’s LVC Round Robin race between ETNZ and Luna Rossa.

May the four winds blow you safely home,