Kiwis stretch lead over Luna Rossa

August 26 [Mon], 2013, 11:06
Team New Zealand streched their lead in the America's Cup challenger finals to 5-1 on Friday with another convincing win over Italy's Luna Rossa.

The Kiwis won the sixth-race in the best-of-13 series by one minute, 57 seconds and need just two more victories to earn the right to challenge defenders Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup finals in September.

Two races are scheduled on San Francisco Bay on Saturday, when the powerhouse New Zealand team can wrap up the series.

Their only defeat to Luna Rossa came when a hydraulics system failure on their AC72 catamaran forced them to retire while leading the second race of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals on Sunday.

Mechanical breakdowns of the sophisticated but temperamental AC72s have featured prominently in the series, with the first two races both decided when one competitor was forced to stop.

New Zealand have won all three races in which both boats finished and took control early on Friday.

The Kiwis and Luna Rossa started fairly even, but New Zealand were to windward and sped away to lead by 10 seconds at the first mark rounding and built their advantage from there.