Sailing: Emirates Team New Zealand edge America's Cup rivals Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli for Jeddah victory

Emirates Team New Zealand have taken advantage of a costly slip by archrivals Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli to take overall honours at the second America's Cup preliminary regatta at Jeddah.

After finishing second to American Magic at the opening regatta at Vilanova in September, the Kiwis made no mistake this time, dominating the opening two days of fleet racing and continuing that performance into the final.

Helmsman Peter Burling guided his crew to five fleet win from eight races and - fittingly - found himself up against the Italians, who were beaten challengers at the last America's Cup regatta sailed off Auckland in 2021. 

Team NZ celebrate their victory at Jeddah.
Team NZ celebrate their victory at Jeddah. Photo credit: Supplied

Luna Rossa capped their fleet showing with victory - their third - in race seven, enough to clinch their final spot, but suffered electronic issues in the final heat and entered the match race startbox late, handing Team NZ an early advantage.

The Italians stayed close for most of the journey, before a mistake on the final windward mark handed the contest to the Kiwis. They rose high out of the water, exposing their rudder, before nose-diving into the Red Sea, taking all momentum out of their AC37 boat.

"Another awesome day of sailing," reflected Burling. "I feel like we made our lives a little bit harder than we needed to in that last race, but we’ve been sailing so well all week, haven't done too many things wrong and we're super happy to come away with the win here in Jeddah.

"It has been awesome here and a great showcase for our sport. To have a couple of breezy days here, it's been amazing."

The six teams now have a nine-month break, before the third and final preliminary regatta - contested in the full AC75 boats - off Barcelona in August.