NEW YORK (AP) - Emirates Team New Zealand rallied from last place after getting hooked on a starting buoy to claim the winner-take-all final race Sunday in the America’s Cup World Series.
The Kiwis maintained their overall lead in the series of warmup regattas leading to the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda.
This was the first America’s Cup-related racing in New York in 96 years.
Team New Zealand was dead in the water at the start of Race 3 after the starting buoy’s anchor line snagged the rudder, forcing crewman Blair Tuke to jump into the water to free the boat.
They rounded the last windward mark in fifth place, about 42 seconds behind leading SoftBank Team Japan. But the leading crews sailed into a patch of no wind. Since the leg was perpendicular to the southerly flowing current, some of the crews were being swept over the course boundary. Land Rover BAR, Groupama Team France and SoftBank Team Japan all were penalized for crossing the boundary in the current.
Team New Zealand held in the middle of the course and when the wind filled in the Kiwis took off on their hydrofoils at 16 to 20 knots, leaving the rest of the fleet in their wake.
“It was one of those series where everyone had good luck and bad luck, but we got our good luck at the end of the regatta,” Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby said. It was exciting and crazy at the same time. Today it was important to keep your cool and stay focused.”
Following the Kiwis in the New York standings were two-time defending America’s Cup champion Oracle Team USA, Groupama Team France, SoftBank Team Japan, Land Rover BAR and Artemis Racing.
Emirates Team New Zealand tops the overall standings, followed by Oracle, Land Rover BAR, SoftBank Team Japan, Artemis Racing and Groupama Team France.
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