Chris McCain / Staff
Luna Rossa at the tailgate of the New Zealand team during Thursday’s training session.
The New Zealand national team looked impressive again as the British and US rivals were absent when the second round of official America’s Cup training sessions were held in Auckland on Thursday.
Emirates Airline New Zealand made a show of strength as they were left to fight against record-breaking competitor Luna Rossa in a late afternoon session due to strong winds.
The rehearsal begins under the regulator’s eyes again, and the New Zealand team dominated the opening exchange. In the second “race”, they were in complete control against the Italians and in their third match, they used starling’s speed to fix them.
The training session took place on Thursday again at Course E off the Bucklands Beach area, and the readable amount of these early workouts remains to be seen, but Te Rehutai’s speed is still a standout feature.
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The absence of other competitors was a disappointment and a special blow to the INEOS UK team led by Sir Ben Ainsley.
This leaves them with no work on board this week after failing to start their first training session last Tuesday when they were damaged the previous period. This is thought to be a problem with their mast, forcing them to return to their base in a painfully slow traction.
While American Magic made a strong start to that initial session, they ran into some problems lagging behind, with speculation focusing on their helm area.
The shed doors of both unions were closed Thursday as beach crews worked overtime on repairs.
Their next target is Friday’s official training races, but they might be skeptical.
There are other training races scheduled for Mondays and Tuesdays prior to the start of the World Series and the Christmas Cup boat race on December 17-20.
They will be desperate to solve their problems through these limited opportunities to align these boats against each other after previous boat races in Italy and Britain were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The inaugural training session showed how the crew needed to hone their game for action races as they battle their starting routines against another boat for the first time.
Team Emirates NZ
The America’s Cup defenders know there is a lot of work to do that the concept of racing has been proven in official practice.