Live updates: America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ v Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, Races 7 & 8

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Race 7

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli v Emirates Team NZ

Race abandonned

5:49pm - Sorry folks, racing has been abandoned for today and both teams are packing up to head home.

Forecasts for tomorrow suggest stronger winds, so let's hope that's accurage and we get some sailing. Join us then for more live updates.

5:33pm - Race committee set a start-time of 5:55pm, which is the last possible time to get a race underway before the 6pm cutoff.

5:26pm - If anything, the wind around the start has dropped below six knots, so looking doubtful for any sailing today.

5:11pm - No, race postponed again. We've probably run out of time to sail both races today, so possibly only one at most.

5:03pm - Race committee have set a 5:15pm start-time, but don't sound optimistic about actually getting underway.

4:51pm - Apparently, Team NZ were towed onto their foils, so that's still not a promising sign, even though they managed to stay up for an entire lap.

The race committee have stopped counting down and have the 'Postponed' sign up again.

4:47pm - Now another 10 minutes until start, the race committee keeps putting it back and back...

4:45pm - Start-time now pushed to 4:55pm, but wind still looks marginal.

4:40pm - Team NZ are actually foiling around the racecourse, but the wind is still low. Projected start-time now 4:52pm, so that's a positive sign too.

4:32pm - Still no update on a start time, with wind just flickering 6.5 knots and under at the line.

4:22pm - Both crews are just chilling on the decks of their yachts. They don't seem to expect racing any time soon.

4:09pm - Winds are still light out on Course A, with only six knots at the start-line.

Racing has been postponed. Wind is just under the limit needed and the race committee will continue to monitor that, hoping it can rise above the necessary 6.5 knots.

Massive spectator flotilla out on the water to watch today's contests.


Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the America's Cup series between holders Emirates Team NZ and challengers Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli off Auckland.

After three days of racing, the rivals are deadlocked at 3-3, splitting the two races on each day so far.

While the scoreline is close, the racing continues to be one-sided, with the boat leading down the first beat invariably carrying on to take honours at the finish.

For the first two days, the race winners were also the team to enter the start box first from port, suggesting they were better able to dictate terms in the start sequence and establish prime position on the line.

Saturday blew that theory out of the water, with first Luna Rossa, then Team NZ winning from starboard entry.

But another theory gathering momentum is that Te Rehutai is actually the faster boat - it just needs to get its nose in front to establish that dominance.

Team NZ have achieved the fastest speeds so far, but are being forced to sail about 1.5km further in each race, courtesy of Luna Rossa's superior match-racing tactics. Even when they lose, the Kiwis can keep the contest reasonably close.

When they get ahead early, the result is usually a blowout - they won by 1m 41s in Saturday's second race.

As everyone has plainly seen, the starts are crucial.

Today's racing will take place on Course A, as it was yesterday. Northeasterly winds of 7-10 knots are expected, so more light-wind racing, with very few passing opportunities.

TAB odds: Team NZ $1.50, Luna Rossa $2.45

Spithill tips wind increase to ramp up America's Cup battle

As tense as the America's Cup match between Emirates Team NZ and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has been, the racing has been predictable.

Win the start and you win the race.

That was the case again on Saturday, with both teams guilty of muffing pre-starts, leaving the ledger at 3-3 in the race to seven. 

And with similar conditions forecast for Sunday's two races, the smart money would be on more of the same.

Up to 11 knots is predicted for Races 7 and 8, and the hope is event director Iain Murray sends the crews out onto Course C - which has seen the best racing of the regatta so far.

Regardless of where the boats end up on Sunday, in the lighter air, finding a passing lane appears near impossible.

Luna Rossa helmsman Jimmy Spithill
Luna Rossa helmsman Jimmy Spithill. Photo credit: Getty

Team NZ have been the faster boat on average, but with the Italians sailing superbly from in front, only a mistake looks likely to cost them victory, if they win a start.

Helmsman Jimmy Spithill concedes the racing hasn't been as furious as hoped, but predicts things could change, when the forecast wind shifts hit Auckland's Waitemata Harbour on Monday.

"Today, there’s a high pressure over the North Island," Spithill says. "If that starts to move, I think it’ll start to change things. 

"With New Zealand, you know it’s going to change at some point and it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw something a little different - then it’s up to Iain Murray and where he takes the course.

"As soon as the wind gets up, then you’re going to see a lot of manoeuvering and a higher chance of mistakes.