SAN FRANCISCO, August 26, 2013 — Emirates Team New Zealand has become the official challenger to Oracle Team USA for the 34th America’s Cup, after Sunday’s victory against Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge in the Louis Vuitton Cup Final. The Kiwis won the 30th anniversary Louis Vuitton Cup with a 3:20 victory over Luna Rossa Challenge in the eighth and deciding race. Emirates Team New Zealand, who beat the Italian team in the previous Louis Vuitton Cup in 2007, won the series 7-1.
“We’ve definitely come here to win the America’s Cup, so winning the Louis Vuitton Cup is all part of the preparation, said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker. “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.”
The America’s Cup schedule begins Sept. 7, with two races each match day on Sept. 7, 8, 10, 12, and 14. It’s the fifth time in the past six America’s Cup matches that the Kiwis will be competing.
Luna Rossa made the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup for the third time in the past four contests. The team won the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000 and finished runner-up to the New Zealand team in 2007.
“We are proud of what we achieved,” said Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena. “No one was putting us in the Louis Vuitton Cup Final one-and-a-half years ago. I’m proud of all the work done by the team. I said to the guys just before the finish that today starts the new challenge for the next America’s Cup. We’re going to be stronger next time.”
Sept. 1 begins the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, to be held through Sept. 4. Qualifying teams have come from Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. The national teams of sailors between 19 and 24 years old will be competing on AC 45 catamarans. The event is intended to provide young sailors a clearly defined pathway toward a career at the pinnacle of the sport.
Jill K. Robinson is an award-winning journalist and adventure seeker. Follow her adventures on dangerjillrobinson.com and Twitter @dangerjr. Jill is an avid kayaker and owner of Half Moon Bay Kayak Company.
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