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Louis Vuitton Cup: Emphatic first win for Emirates Team New Zealand    
Sun, 14 Jul 2013

Emirates Team New Zealand beat Luna Rossa today in the first real race of the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series. Three races in round robin 1 were sailed without opponents on the course.

It was a comprehensive win. Emirates Team New Zealand put on a flawless display of boat handling in the breeze that peaked at just under 20 knots.

The pressure was on today. Emirates Team New Zealand won the start, denying the Italians the leeward position; Dean Barker started fast, crossing the line at more than 40 knots.

At the first mark, Barker and crew were 5s ahead. At the finish the advantage to New Zealand was 5m 23s.

The fans were the really big winners. They were treated to a magnificent display by both AC72s with a hint of bigger things to come.

It was the first time the AC72s have raced on an America’s Cup course with a point at stake. There were lessons to be learned and one of the main ones would apply to any match race in any class of yacht and on any race course. Get a good start.

There was a big tide today. In the conditions, the San Francisco Bay course has few passing options for the following boat even if they are faster.

Great crew work can win races. The boys sailed superbly today in the first contested race of the Louis Vuitton Cup. Wing trimmer Glenn Ashby said they felt that today they sailed the AC72 better than they ever had before.

On the water time is extremely valuable. Grant Dalton: 'Everyone knew their job and they just clicked into it straight away.'

No one on Emirates Team New Zealand thinks there’s an easy road ahead. 'It was a good encounter. We are further ahead on the development curve. Luna Rossa’s target has always been to peak in the Louis Vuitton Cup finals. We will have to keep on getting better.'

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