It's the gain game and Team New Zealand continue to make the biggest strides.
In a new class as volatile as the AC72 the pace of development is almost as fast as these giant catamarans. And given Team New Zealand's head start, everyone else is in catchup mode.
Swedish challengers Artemis have already departed, leaving just Luna Rossa in front of the Kiwis in the Louis Vuitton Cup final, a best-of-13 race series starting tomorrow.
The winner will race Oracle for the America's Cup.
Barring technical failures, that will be Team New Zealand. It might even be as clean as 7-nil.
There has been a lot of talk about the improvements Luna Rossa have made since they were thrashed four times by the Kiwis in the round-robins.
Most of it is polite theory, aimed at adding an edge to a regatta that has lacked any competitiveness because of Team New Zealand's vast superiority in such a limited challengers field.
That won't change tomorrow. While the Italians were looking better in disposing of the underdone Swedes, Team New Zealand were making even bigger gains away from the race course.
"We set a new top speed record the other day at the end of practice," Kiwi skipper Dean Barker said yesterday.
"I can't say what it is, but almost every day the boat's going faster and faster and becoming more efficient. There are pretty good smiles coming off the boat."
To have any chance, Luna Rossa helmsman Chris Draper needs to polish his work in the pre-starts where he has been beaten consistently.
The short dash to the first mark and the foiling turn into the down-wind second leg have been Barker's domain. From there it's been game over.
The shorter courses for the final - down from seven legs to five with two races a day - make that initial advantage even more important.
"Things are very different now compared to the round-robins and semifinal.
"There's greater emphasis on the start and the first reach and getting out of mark 1 in good shape," Barker said.
"We've seen it can be hard for the guy behind to gain enough leverage to attack. If you can get around the leeward gate ahead you have a very good chance to shut things down."
The Luna Rossa crew appears resigned to its fate, frustrated with a boat package that is inferior to New Zealand's second generation AC72, although there can be no excuses for its inferior crew work.
"Our boat is a first generation and the boats aesthetically look similar, but there are quite a few differences," Draper said.
"If we had the opportunity to redesign things, then there are things we would've designed differently."
Given the predictability of what lies ahead, the biggest moment at yesterday's press conference came when an American journalist asked Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena if he thought Oracle were cheats.
The scandal surrounding the cup defenders' admission they altered their smaller AC45s to help them win the last two world series titles continues to be the biggest story of this regatta.
The highly regarded Sirena did nothing to dampen that. In fact, he inflamed it.
"For sure. I mean it's pretty obvious what they've done, which is pretty bad for our sport," he said, adding weight to similar sentiments from Team New Zealand heavyweights Barker and Grant Dalton.
"I think it was really - I don't know if it's the right word - unrespectful for all of us, for all of the competitors. But maybe that is that way to work. So you have to ask them if they feel happy how they manage all the 45s event." Fairfax NZ
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