Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) continue to dominate international sailing headlines with the unblemished picket fence (now read: 1-1-1-1-1-1-1) that they’re building on their scorecard in the ongoing Louis Vuitton Cup. Today, ETNZ met Luna Rossa on the water for the third time this summer and the results were even more decisive than during their previous two encounters, with the Kiwis crossing the finishing line a whopping seven minutes and 19 seconds ahead of their Italian-flagged rivals.
'In general, today there were no glaring mistakes, but we know we can keep doing better,' said ETNZ’s skipper, Dean Barker. 'We go out there to race as hard as we can every time. It’s not a case of getting in front and cruising. The level we’re trying to achieve is still well above where we are now. There are a lot of improvements we can do to the boat with systems and management.'
The simple fact that the Kiwis are this far ahead of their closest rival and are still talking about upping their game is no doubt making an impression on Artemis Racing and the Defender, Oracle Team USA. For their part, the Italians are well-aware of the performance gap that they will have to overcome if they want to face Oracle on the September 7 starting line for the first race of the 34th America’s Cup.
'We’ve got an awful lot to work on,' said Giles Scott, a grinder on Luna Rossa. 'Although the delta still seems substantial, we’re moving forward and things are getting better. But clearly we’ve got a lot to do to get to where we need to be. We can’t hide from the fact that, at the moment, the Kiwis are the class act.'
As with so many LVC races, today’s contest was decided in the final seconds before the start, where Barker wrested decisive control of the game from Chris Draper, Luna Rossa’s helmsman. 'We had a nice entry and they were a little late, so we ended up close on their stern after the jibe,' reported Barker. 'We probably could’ve gone harder at the line a bit earlier, but we wanted to make sure we put them in a tough spot.'
The prestart ploy worked and Luna Rossa spent the entire race watching ETNZ’s wake. Get the full race debriefing, as well as plenty of great LVC image galleries, inside this issue, and be sure to stay tuned to the website for the latest news from Artemis Racing, who is expected to test sail their recently launched, second-generation AC72 for the first time in the next few days.
Meanwhile, US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee has announced their selection process for the 2014 U.S. Youth Worlds Team. According to the latest reports, interested sailors must have competed and scored in two qualification events, with the upcoming 2013 U.S. Youth Championships (August 12-16) serving as the first qualification event (the other event is class-specific).
'We are pleased to announce that the 2014 U.S. Youth Worlds team will be selected based on a two-event selection series that gives young U.S. sailors a fair shot at team qualification,' said Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. 'All the events involved in qualification, starting with next month's U.S. Youth Sailing Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas, are high-quality U.S. events.' More, inside.
Also inside, get the latest news from the ongoing Transpac Race, the Optimist Worlds, the NACRA 17 Worlds, the PWA Fuerteventura World Cup and the upcoming Dragon Gold Cup.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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11:36 PM Tue 23 Jul 2013GMT
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