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Louis Vuitton Cup: Emirates Team NZ stake claim on Finals option    
Wed, 24 Jul 2013

Emirates Team New Zealand now cannot be beaten in the Louis Vuitton Cup round robins.

The team beat Luna Rossa by 7min 14sec on Tuesday, to put it beyond the reach of Luna Rossa and Artemis, which has yet to sail a race.

Artemis launched its boat on Monday and is expected to be sailing tomorrow. The team has announced its intention of being on the race course for the Louis Vuitton semi-finals.

The team was happy about today’s performance, but skipper Dean Barker is still not a totally contented man.

'We are always happy when we sail the boat well.... in general today we made no glaring errors.

'However, the level of performance that we are trying to achieve is still well above where we are now.

'There’s still much to be done in terms of boat systems and the way we manage it round the course.'

'We know we can do better.'

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Today’s race was over in the pre-start. He said Luna Rossa had few options after losing the start. 'If you’re behind at the bottom mark options are quite limited. It’s very hard to pass on the beat.'

In the pre-start, Barker placed the AC72 in front of Luna Rossa, making life difficult for the Italians. Both teams were late to the start, but the Kiwis were in a good position and crossed the line 15 sec ahead.

'We had a nice entry and they were a little late, so we ended up close on their stern after the jibe,' Barker said. 'It’s a strong position it’s a case of making sure we end up late. We don’t care how late we are, just as long as we’re pushing them back.

'We probably could’ve gone harder at the line a bit earlier, but we wanted to make sure we put them in a tough spot.'

1. Emirates Team New Zealand 7-0 – 7 points (3 races remaining)
2. Luna Rossa Challenge 3-4 – 3 points (3 races remaining)
3. Artemis Racing 0-6 – 0 points (4 races remaining)

Today’s race statistics
• Seven-leg America’s Cup course
• Course length: 15.43 nautical miles
• Elapsed time: ETNZ – 46min 53sec
• Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 19.0 nautical miles
• Average speed: ETNZ – 24.41 knots (28 mph)
• Top speed: ETNZ – 41.16 knots (47 mph)
• Wind speed: average 15 knots; peak gust 22 knots

The schedule ahead (all starts scheduled for 12:15 pm PT)
• Thursday, July 25, Artemis Racing vs. Luna Rossa Challenge
• Saturday, July 27, Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Artemis Racing
• Sunday, July 28, Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Luna Rossa Challenge
• Tuesday, July 30, Artemis Racing vs. Emirates Team New Zealand

by Emirates Team NZ

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