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HomeRegattaAmerica's CupEmirates Team New Zealand dominate on day 2 in Jeddah, to qualify...

Emirates Team New Zealand dominate on day 2 in Jeddah, to qualify for match race final

The story of the day was Emirates Team New Zealand again being dominant winning two races, as well as second place which was enough to secure their place in tomorrow’s match race final with two fleet races yet to race at the America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta Jeddah presented by NEOM.

In simultaneous fashion the breeze and the intensity ratcheted up significantly on Day 2 with some of the best racing seen in the AC40’s, recently named “boat of the year” at the World Sailing awards.

In the fresh Northwest wind up to 16 knots, every metre gained was a metre lost by another boat with some of the closest crosses seen in sailing and the best sailors in the world flying around the racecourse at over 40 knots of boat speed. Points were at a premium, and every place counted in every single race.

“It is awesome,” said Peter Burling “as a sailing team all you want is tight racing, and you cannot get closer racing than that.”

“We had some incredible races with Prada in the first two races and with Alinghi Red Bull Racing and American Magic in the last one. But it was awesome to get a couple of wins and a second for our confidence going into the final day tomorrow.”


Emirates Team New Zealand – Day 2 – Preliminary Regatta – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 1, 2023 – photo © Ian Roman / America’s Cup

The resumption of the age-old battle between Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand, was an early talking point, the first race saw Luna Rossa get its nose in front, with American Magic and Emirates Team New Zealand bow to bow, cross for cross all the way around the six-leg course. Following Luna Rossa, the kiwis getting a better last gybe into the finished to take a hard fought second place over the Americans who came out firing after their nightmare first day.

The second race of the day won by Emirates Team New Zealand by just 4 seconds over the hard charging new look Italian crew helmed by the young duo of Tita Ruggero and Gradoni Marco, who are rapidly making themselves knows in the America’s Cup circles here in Jeddah.

Race three was another drama filled race with the first three boats on a string, cross for cross, Emirates Team New Zealand again winning the race by a matter of seconds over NYYC American Magic and Alinghi Red Bull racing.

“This is what we have been waiting for with these AC40’s,” explained Nathan Outteridge, Port Helmsman on Emirates Team New Zealand.

“The conditions were near perfect, and the racing spectacular, which would have been great for the spectators, but it was a real battle for all of the sailors on the water.”

It will be a big final day of racing on the Red Sea tomorrow with similar conditions expected.

Emirates Team New Zealand – Day 2 – Preliminary Regatta – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 1, 2023 – photo © Ian Roman / America’s Cup

Standings after Day 2:

1. Emirates Team New Zealand, 49pts
2. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, 38pts
3. Alinghi Red Bull Racing, 27pts
4. INEOS Britannia, 22pts
5. NYYC American Magic, 16pts
6. Orient Express Racing Team, 14pts

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