SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 20, 2013—The Louis Vuitton Cup series began on July 7, and after just seven races, Emirates Team New Zealand leads the challengers with five points. The next place team, Luna Rossa Challenge, has two points. Artemis Racing has yet to start a race.
The America’s Cup Challenger Series, which runs through August, includes all three challengers vying for the right to race the defender, Oracle Team USA, in the America’s Cup Finals in September. The series is comprised of 15 races divided into five round-robin segments of three races per segment. Those races last through August 1, and then the semifinal and final race series begin and run through the rest of the month. A point is given to the winner of each race.
Emirates Team New Zealand has won all five races in which it has started, and in Thursday’s match against Artemis Racing (in which Artemis did not start), the Kiwis set a new top speed for the AC 72s while getting one point closer to a free pass into the final round.
Shortly after starting, the crew recorded a top speed of 44.15 knots (50.8 mph) on the first reach leg. The team’s previous record was 43.26 knots, set on July 9. The team’s fifth point of the series places it in the lead after five starts (four of which have been unopposed), but the team continues to focus on the races ahead.
This week, Artemis Racing completed the structural testing on its second AC 72, meaning that the team could begin racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup as early as next week.
In the third round-robin series, the next races will be held on July 20 with Luna Rossa Challenge and Artemis Racing, and on July 21 with emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge.
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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