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America's Cup- Challengers have first practice race in San Francisco

by on 14 Jun 2013
Emirates Team New Zealand AC72, NZL5 and Luna Rossa in their first practice race in San Francisco. 13/6/2013 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa have squared off in the first unofficial practice race of the 34th America's Cup Regatta, sailing over the full course. For the first time two AC72’s lined up and raced on the course that will be used for the Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup regattas which start in just over three weeks. Emirates Team New Zealand lined up with their long-time sparring partners Luna Rossa in a couple of races in typical Bay conditions of winds averaging 13-15 knots. 'It’s first to actually line up here in the same stretch of water with another team,' said skipper Dean Barker after stepping off the AC72 at the end of the day. 'It definitely gets your attention and, without question, it lifts the intensity. And that’s all you can ask for.' But there was more to the day than just lining up and racing another boat says Grant Dalton, 'We really have to learn the venue. And the only way to learn it is to race another boat or you don’t know whether or not you are going the right way. So sailing against Lunas Rossa is invaluable for us.'

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