Team New Zealand to Face Oracle in America’s Cup Sailing Series

Photographer: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Oracle Team USA trains on the San Francisco Bay on August 24, 2013 in San Francisco. Close

Oracle Team USA trains on the San Francisco Bay on August 24, 2013 in San Francisco.

Close
Open
Photographer: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Oracle Team USA trains on the San Francisco Bay on August 24, 2013 in San Francisco.

Team New Zealand won the Louis Vuitton Cup to earn the right to challenge Oracle Team USA for the America’s Cup, sailing’s most prestigious trophy.

The Kiwis beat Italy’s Luna Rossa in the first of two scheduled races yesterday on a fog-bound San Francisco Bay to take an unbeatable 7-1 lead in the best-of-13 challenger series.

It’s the fifth time in the past six editions of the America’s Cup that two-time champion Team New Zealand will vie for the trophy. Oracle’s 2010 victory returned the cup to the U.S. for the first time in 15 years. The best-of-17 title series on San Francisco Bay is scheduled to begin Sept. 7.

“We’ve come here to win the America’s Cup, so winning the Louis Vuitton Cup is all part of the preparation,” Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker said on the series website. “The guys are extremely focused. We came short in Valencia in 2007 and we’ll give it our all now in the next few weeks to make sure we’re as ready as can be.”

Team New Zealand led by about 200 meters (650 feet) after the first mark and by 700 meters as it headed through gate two yesterday. By the time the Italian team reached the third gate, near the Golden Gate Bridge, it trailed by 2 kilometers and almost three minutes.

The Kiwis passed gate four and zipped downwind to complete the 10.3 nautical mile course in 33 minutes, 49 seconds, 3:20 faster than Luna Rossa. Team New Zealand averaged 21.3 knots (24 mph) and reached a top speed of 41.2 knots.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas at dmcluskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.