Especially the hosts, because the New Zealand team won both races against Luna Rossa and advanced 5-3. The defending champion only missed two wins in the race to retain the oldest sports trophy in New Zealand.
In the first race of the day, the Italian competitors had a better start and defended the lead in the first two of the scheduled six matches. In winds of 10 to 12 knots, the New Zealand team had a bit of luck choosing a course, and were able to take the lead thanks to the higher top speed – with a smaller intro – and won by 58 seconds. This was the first change in driving in the entire previous racing series.
Nothing works without chips
Then the second race began again with the wind landing with the advantage of the Luna Rossa, in addition, the New Zealand team fell from the chips (wings on either side of the boat) into a wind pit. At the second turning point, the Challenger was advancing 2.2 km. The New Zealanders narrowed the gap to 1.7 km (4:05 min), but the race seemed to be over.
When Luna Rossa fell out of chips at the other end of the tournament, luck was back. Because the Italians had to allow minute by minute without their boat regaining speed again. The New Zealand team made up for the deficit completely, taking the lead by 3:55 at the end of the race, which was reduced to five stages.
“It was an unbelievable fight.”
“This was definitely the strangest race I have ever seen,” said Peter Burling, captain of Tem New Zealand. “To be four minutes late and then win four minutes is unbelievable.” Blair Took agreed that “what a race” after the team’s second point that day. “It was an unbelievable fight. We went down that first track behind the wind. They (Luna Rossa, Note) missed and fell off the chips. But we came back relatively quickly and sailed a great race since then.”
Jimmy Spethyl, one of the two helm captains of Luna Rossa, was disappointed of course: “The conditions were very tough. We sailed a good race, unfortunately we got rid of the chips. Then we got stuck at the turning point for a long time trying to find enough pressure. We know we can win races. We’ve been in difficult situations before and the boys are not going to hang their heads. ”The next two races are on the show on Tuesday and they can really decide.
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