August 21, 2013
San Francisco -
On Wednesday Emirates Team New Zealand won both races against Luna Rossa. This was the first day of the finals that winds didn't exceed the race maximum and cancel the second race.
Neither boat had a breakdown and in the first race New Zealand gained the upper hand at the start line finishing 2:18 ahead of Luna Rossa. The Luna Rossa team got a better start in the second race but New Zealiand got the lead at the first mark and didn't look back, finishing 1:28 ahead of the Italians.
Emirates Team New Zealand Tactician Ray Davies said it was “a really good day. (We're) stoked to be able to come away with a couple of wins here. The Italians have really picked up their game today and they had a really close second race for awhile. It was a proper match race...It was good to see the boats at their best.”
Talking about their fast boat and Saturday's boat dive where two men were washed overboard “Fear for your life a little bit more on these boats. They're a lot of fun. The really are exciting, theres no question,” Davies said.
“We all know onboard the boat that these boats might not be around forever.
And we're very fortunate to be part of this America's Cup because the boats are exhilarating and you really got to be on your game the whole time, all the crew have to be on sync and working well as a unit,” Davies said.
Over in the Luna Rossa camp skipper Max Sirena talked about the challenge racing with their boat but also described accomplishing team goals including making it into the finals.
“We knew since day one that we started our campaign almost a year and a half behind everyone and we are in the final. We knew team New Zealand was way more competitive than us – first reason is they have a two boat program, we have a first generation boat, for sure we'll be happy to sail with a second boat,” Sirena said.
“Second boat is always better than the first one. We started so late, we'll be happy if today it would be possible to move the cup two or three months later. I'm pretty sure we'd be way more competitive than now but it is what it is - We're pretty happy in reality on how we sail...the second race we really pushed the boat and I think we put some pressure on top of them.”
Asked about their ability to beat New Zealand at this point. “We believe and I think everyone that everyone understands that we have a slower boat, we believe that we have a slower boat than them, to beat them we need to do everything 200% perfect and probably they need to make some mistake,” Sirena said.
At the morning press conference Regatta Director Iain Murray announced that there will be one race on Friday which was listed as a reserve day. This will put the scheduled races back in sync with the schedule for the seventh and eighth races on Saturday.
This was the closest racing so far in the finals which made all fans the winners. Emirates Team New Zealand two make it two wins today. That made the number of wins New Zealand 4 and Italy 1.