Team New Zealand claim another crushing win

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 08:24 29/07/2013

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Another race brought another crushing victory for Team New Zealand over Luna Rossa today as the Kiwis continue to be the benchmark syndicate at the America's Cup regatta in San Francisco.

Team New Zealand lined up against the Italians for the fourth and final time in the round-robin phase and came away with a clean sweep, winning by 3min 21s this time.

That represented an improvement by Luna Rossa who were thrashed by more than seven minutes last week.

But despite some new hardware on their silver boat, they are still wallowing in the wake of Team New Zealand in terms of speed and crew work.

And that was apparent from the get-go today.

Skipper Dean Barker was back at the helm after being rested yesterday.

He managed to get the better of his rival Chris Draper again with some aggressive tactics in the prestart.

Aotearoa hit the line just ahead of the Italians and then used its sheer speed to blast away to an eight seconds lead on the short first leg.

Once again, that margin simply got bigger and bigger the longer the race went on in winds that built to average around 18 knots.

There was going to be more interest off the water than the monotony of what occurred on the bay today.

The three challenging syndicates were due to front a press conference where Team New Zealand were expected to announce their plans for the elimination phases of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

They have already qualified for the final but have the option of giving that up and sailing either Luna Rossa or Artemis in the semifinals if they want more racing practice.

The feeling was they would take advantage of their qualification for the best of 13 finals that start on August 17 and use the downtime to further develop their boat, searching for the speed to ensure they are not only the challenger champions but have the package to lift the America's Cup off holders Oracle in the match that matters most in September.

Team New Zealand's leads at the marks:

1: 8s

2: 26s

3: 1m 35s

4: 1m 56s

5: 2m 50s

6: 3m 8s

Fin: 3m 21s

Emirates Team New Zealand crew list: Skipper/helmsman: Dean Barker, Tactician: Ray Davies, Wing trimmer: Glenn Ashby, Trimmer: James Dagg, Pit: Jeremy Lomas, Bow: Adam Beashel, Grinders: Winston MacFarlane, Rob Waddell, Grant Dalton, Chris McAsey, Floater grinder: Derek Saward.

Luna Rossa Challenge crew list: Skipper/pit: Max Sirena, Helmsman: Chris Draper, Tactician: Francesco Bruni, Wing trimmer: Xabi Fernandez, Trimmer: Pierluigi de Felice, Bow: Nick Hutton, Strategist/grinder: Giles Scott, Grinders: Lele Marino, Simone de Mare, David Carr, Freestyle: Marco Montis.

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- Fairfax Media

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