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American Magic v Team NZ
American Magic win by 12s
Finish - American Magic cross first, 12 seconds ahead of Team NZ.
What a great race - just a couple of costly errors from the Kiwis made the difference, but sweet victory for former Team NZ helmsman Dean Barker.
The Americans finish the first day with two wins from as many races and looks the team to beat in this world series.
Third lap - The Kiwis have reduced the lead to less than 200m, so they're closing upwind.
The two boats now engage in a tacking duel, trying to cover each other.
Team NZ are making up ground through this tacking duel, now within 130m.
As they approach the bottom mark for the final time, the lead is down below 100m. Both boats head towards the left gate, with Team NZ on the inside and they steal the lead.
American Magic is cleared of a penalty, but Team NZ had a bad jibe, conceding the lead back to the Americans.
Still less than 100m in this, downwind. They're almost even as they drag-race down the course - who will blink?
The Americans can go straight through the finish here, but Team NZ will have to tack.
Second lap - Team NZ round the mark and tack hard right, falling off their foils. That will cost them.
That stalling effectively doubled the deficit for Team NZ, now about 400m behind.
Not a smooth performance from Team NZ, who are slipping further behind. They are having trouble staying off the water.
The Americans' lead is now approaching 500m, as they tack towards the third gate. They arrive 26s ahead.
Both boats tack left, looking for bigger winds. Americans are travelling at 40 knots, but the Kiwis have made up some ground downwind.
American Magic arrive at the bottom gate at the end of lap two and head right. Team NZ take the opposite tack and have picked up some time, only 20s behind.
They're sailing out of phase, which means they're looking for something different to make up the deficit.
First lap - Both teams head left, but Team NZ breaks right first. Americans lead by about 200m.
Of course, Dean Barker helming American Magic, so he knows these waters and perhaps has a score to settle against the Kiwis.
Team NZ tack left first, but Barker matches immediately. The margin holds steady at 160-180 metres.
The Americans asking early questions of Team NZ and round the top mark 15s ahead.
The lead has stretched beyond 250m, but Team NZ claw that back. American Magic seem to have better straightline speed downwind.
American Magic round the bottom mark ahead and heads back out to the left, Team NZ 17s behind.
Start - Three minutes to start and both boats are into their pre-start. American Magic will enter first from part, with Team NZ from starboard.
The Americans enter right on the required 2m 10s - NZ follow, but they're a little late.
American Magic have controlled the start and lead across the line and Team NZ sound like they've had a problem.
5:11pm - Today's final race is time to go at 5:20pm. Remember, American Magic 'beat' the Kiwis in a practice race last week and both these teams won their opening races, this looms as an early statement race.
Three races into the programme and we really haven't had a race yet. The suspicion was Luna Rossa sandbagged through their loss to Team NZ and Team UK obviously had technical difficulties in their two outings.
Team UK v Luna Rossa
Luna Rossa win by walkover
Third lap - Luna Rossa must finish the course, so they've rounded gate five and head downwind to the finish.
They veer away from a forlorn-looking Team UK, dead in the water.
Luna Rossa hit 44 knots, as they finish.
Next up, Team NZ and American Magic - both early winners today.
Second lap - The Italians are now sailing solo and round the top mark safely. They're flying downwind.
First lap - Luna Rossa are already more than 450m ahead on the first leg, with both teams heading left - that's where Team NZ found success earlier in the day.
The Italians round the top mark ahead, making the most of that start-line penalty against Team UK. The British are 1m 9s behind, when they round.
Luna Rossa have extended their margin to more than 1km downwind. Team UK have struck more difficulties and look like they're out of the race.
They're calling for a chase boat, so they're out. They're worried about drifting into the spectator boats and capsizing.
Luna Rossa have reached gate two and have now learned that their rivals have withdrawn. Race points have been awarded to the Italians, but skipper Jimmy Spithill has ordered another lap to practice.
Start - Both teams manoeuvring for the start area, with Team UK on port. They've been doing plenty of work since the finish of the previous race, so hopefully they will be in better shape this time.
Team UK enters the start box first, within the 2m 10s deadline. Luna Rossa follow from starboard.
A wee game of chicken there, as both boats face off, before tacking. Team UK protest - initally no penalty against Luna Rossa, but there was contact and Team UK are penalised.
Luna Rossa take advantage of the penalty for a big lead off the start-line.
Scheduled to start at 4:40pm, but will Team UK front, after almost missing the start of the previous race and struggling to make the finish with mechanical difficulties.
American Magic v Team UK
American Magic win by 5m
Third lap - American Magic have rounded the fifth gate and head downwind towards the finish. Their lead is now more than 3km.
The Americans cross for an easy victory to match Team NZ on the world series points table. Team UK are actually due to face Luna Rossa in the next race of the day, so will be interesting to see if they line up for that or head back to base to work on their boat.
Team UK finally cross the finish-line, although the result is being called a 'did not finish'. Revised result gives a five-minute win, so perhaps a 'mercy rule' in force.
Second lap - American Magic have completed the first lap and Team UK appear to have got started again, but are now well behind.
As Team UK arrive at the second gate, the margin is 2m 56s - almost 2km. They suffered a steering cable malfunction on that second leg.
Like the first race, this has developed into a drag race - both boats are tacking, but they're working off their own programme, rather than reacting to their opponents.
American Magic drag their hull into the water rounding the mark, momentarily slowing down, but they're 2.2km ahead.
Team UK round, but the lead is extending by the second towards 3km. The margin is 3m 41s.
Seconds later, American Magic round the fourth mark, so they're almost a full length clear.
First lap - Team UK only just managed to get to the line, after some mechanical problems.
Team UK incurred two penalties in the start manoeuvre, probably as a result of their difficulties.
The Americans, with Kiwi Dean Barker in charge, have run up an early 300m lead.
American Magic round the first gate ahead and immediately turn back downwind. Team UK approache the gate from the right and round 50s behind.
This is where we'll get a better idea of the relative abilities of these teams, now Team UK have put their start problems behind them. Can they make up ground downwind?
Still, the Americans are more than 1km ahead on the first of three laps.
Team UK have stopped - they have a foil problem and looks like they are out of the race.
Start - Both teams heading off to the left of the course, which is where Team NZ found so much advantage in the opening race.
3:46pm - Team UK have struggled over the past week in practice racing, so this race will show just how far behind the field they are at this early stage.
The Americans actually took a practice race off Team NZ, so they must be favoured in this encounter.
Team NZ v Luna Rossa
Team NZ win by 3m 13s
Finish - Team NZ cross the finish-line to open the world series with victory over their nearest rivals.
That's a convincing result, although maybe the Italians were foxing. Hard to tell, although they lost most of their deficit on the opening leg and showed some good speed afterwards.
Luna Rossa are motoring at 43 knots downwind towards the finish and the clock is ticking...
They finally hit the line 3m 13s behind - a statement win for the America's Cup holders.
Apparently Luna Rossa lost their starting software at the start and fell behind immediately. They showed they have some straightline speed, but perhaps need to work on their tacking.
Next up, American Magic v Team UK.
Third lap - Luna Rossa arrive at the fourth gate start the last lap and have lost a couple more seconds to trail by 1m 17s.
Speeds are pretty even at 30-35 knots upwind. Team NZ looking very smooth.
Spectacular day in Auckland for the first day of real racing.
Team NZ's lead has extended to almost 1.5km - they round the fifth gate and head back towards the finish
The Kiwis almost halfway down the final leg and Luna Rossa haven't arrived at the gate yet. The Italians are more than two minutes behind and stall as they round the mark.
Second lap - Luna Rossa finally round the gate 1m 13s behind. Team NZ are already well down the next leg, with a 950m lead.
The Italians seem to make up some ground down this leg, but still more than 800m back. Their gains seem to be more about where they are on the course than actual boat speed.
NZ round the third gate, still well ahead. Luna Rossa are still more than a minute behind - they actually lost a couple more seconds to trail by 1m 15s, but a better performance.
Commentators are already expressing conspiracy theories - they think Luna Rossa deliberately let Team NZ race ahead and aren't showing their true worth.
Team NZ arrive at Gate 4, travelling at 47 knots. Their lead is more than 1km.
First lap - NZ have gone to the left of the course, Luna Rossa to the right, but NZ have tacked back towards the centre first and hold the edge.
The teams cross for the first time, with NZ ahead. They head out to the right of the course and turn back to the centre first.
NZ hit the first mark first, with a huge lead - about 700m early into the return leg.
Team NZ is nearly 1km ahead as they near the end of the first leg, travelling about 40kph.
They hit the second gate, marking the end of the first of three legs, and the clock starts...
Start - Less than three minutes until the start now and both boats manouevring for best position.
NZ on port entry and first into the start box. Luna Rossa enter from starboard.
Both boats have turned back towards the start-line, but they're early for the start and turn away.
Even start and both boats head off to opposites sides of the course.
2:55pm - First race today will see America's Cup holders Team NZ take on Challengers of Record Luna Rossa.
Right now, these are the two teams most favoured to meet in the America's Cup match next March, but there's obviously much water to pass under the bridge before then.
Peter Burling (helm), Blair Tuke (flight controller) and Glenn Ashby (trimmer) are the 'brains' in the NZ team, although former Olympic cyclist Simon Van Velthooven and canoeist/swimmer Steven Ferguson will provide grunt as grinders.
Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the America's Cup World Series - the only opportunity for all four teams to race each other on Auckland's Waitematā Harbour and Hauraki Gulf.
While Team NZ, Team UK, Luna Rossa and American Magic have all been in action on the waters over the past week, as team and event management put their crews through their paces.
COVID-19 has really limited the amount of build-up possible for next year's America's Cup, so this world series regatta takes on great importance for everyone involved.
Just how much each team will reveal at this stage remains to be seen, but regardless, they will likely make changes between this event and the Prada Cup challenger series, starting mid January.
Today's schedule looks like this:
- Race 1 - Team NZ v Luna Rossa (15:12)
- Race 2 - American Magic v Team UK (15:50)
- Race 3 - Team UK v Luna Rossa (16:40)
- Race 4 - American Magic v Team NZ (17:20)
With 15-16 knot southwesterlies forecast, races will be sailed on Course C, situated between North Head and Bastion Point.
Best viewing positions from land include Maungauika/North Head, Orakei, Bastion Point and Takarunga/Mount Victoria.
Team NZ will take on Italians Luna Rossa and American Magic in their opening races. While most observers seem confident the Cup holders are the team to beat on home waters, no-one really knows until the wind hits the sails.
And how often have we seen one team improve dramatically from observing the technology used by their rivals. Anyone remember San Francisco 2013?
TAB: Team NZ $1.40, Luna Rossa $5, American Magic $5.50, Team UK $15
Tactical nouse to trump speed at America's Cup
Team New Zealand skipper Peter Burling warns more than just straight-out boat speed will be needed to win next year's edition of the America's Cup.
Burling says tactical decisions will be vital on the Hauraki Gulf, especially against the best sailors in the world.
On Wednesday, the challengers engaged in mind games, as they prepared to clash on the water in earnest for the first time in the America's Cup World Series on Thursday.
Team UK have struggled during the past week of practice, only making the start-line once.
"I think it's pretty clear to everyone we're struggling in the lighter airs taking off and some of the manoeuvres," admits skipper Sir Ben Ainslie.
Team New Zealand have had no such issues, looking the most impressive team early on, apart from losing to American Magic in the last practice on Tuesday.
Unlike its challengers, Team New Zealand have only four days of racing to get up to speed.
After that, they will only be able to train on their own, until the America's Cup begins in March.
But local knowledge of the unique wind shifts and the tricky tides will be vital.
Unlike previous America's Cups, this will be proper match-racing and not just a drag race, and getting quickly onto the foils - and staying there throughout - could be the difference between winning and losing.
"The more high performance the boat, the more the tactical decisions get amplified," says Burling. "So if you make one really wrong, you lose a whole head of time."