Emirates Team New Zealand clinched the top spot in the Round Robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series.
The New Zealand team, led by skipper Dean Barker, completed Tuesday’s 15.43-nautical-mile course in 46 minutes, 53 seconds and finished more than 7 minutes ahead of Luna Rossa. The Italian team was scored DNF for failing to finish within 5 minutes.
The Kiwis have amassed 7 points and have three races remaining in the challengers’ series, but can’t be overcome. In winning the round robin they’ve earned the right to advance straight to the Louis Vuitton Cup Final or choose their opponent for the semifinal round.
“In general, today there were no glaring mistakes, but we know we can keep doing better,” said Barker. “We go out there to race as hard as we can every time. It’s not a case of getting in front and cruising. The level we’re trying to achieve is still well above where we are now. There are a lot of improvements we can do to the boat with systems and management.”