The America’s cup is one sporting even I do like to follow if I can.
So far the series has been a big of a joke, but last night’s racing showed just how far ahead Team New Zealand is over the competition.
New Zealand hearts were in mouths as a halyard broke early on the first upwind leg against Luna Rossa, letting the jib flap about in ungainly fashion. The crew struggled to control it, eventually giving it up and dumping $20,000 worth of sail in the drink.
It looked bad. The Emirates Team NZ crew have long warned against over-confidence, saying that these tough-to-sail 72-foot catamarans were only an accident or a breakage away from disaster – and the loss of the headsail could have precipitated that.
Aotearoa had shown its speed when catching up and passing the Italians after their good start – but the broken halyard looked to be a real opportunity for Luna Rossa.
It never happened. In 17-18 knots of breeze, the Kiwis made light of having no jib; one sail against the Italians’ two on the longer 7-leg course.