AC35: Challenger Finals, Race 7 – NZL crush SWE to advance to the AC "Re-Match" against O
HAMILTON, BDA – NZL leads back to the starting line being pushed by SWE. Clean start. SWE starts to windward of NZL and is first to the bear-away mark by :03 seconds. As with the first attempt at a race today (that was abandoned when the 25-minute time-limit ran out), NZL wins the start – two in a row after going 0 for 6 against Artemis until now.
Up Leg 3 the Kiwis almost immediately extend to a 250m lead and growing. The Kiwis are MUCH faster, by several knots. At the Leg 3 gate, the NZL are ahead by 300m, a delta of 35 seconds.
There's been a 30º wind shift to the right, so the race track is badly skewed making this race a parade. SWE has to be hoping for the wind to quit so the time-limit runs out again, but the wind is actually coming up. At the Leg 4 gate ETNZ leads by 400m. Your Ed.'s pre-regatta prediction of NZL winning over SWE in the Challenger Finals by 5-2 is starting to look good – and safe.
Regatta Director Iain Murray has moved the windward gate to the right, doing the best he can to align the race track with the wind. NZL have built a massive lead, :58 at the Leg 5 gate. Unless disaster strikes the Kiwis will cruise to an easy win.
Boring race, but an impressive wire-to-wire win by Emirates Team New Zealand to take the Challenger Finals 5-2 over Artemis Racing, and advancing to the AC Re-Match (or is it the Grudge Match?) with ORACLE TEAM USA that begins Saturday.
Congrats to Emirates Team New Zealand on their impressive win over Artemis Racing, advancing the Kiwis to the AC Match against OTUSA starting Saturday, June 17th.