Emirates Team New Zealand won its fourth race of the Louis Vuitton Cup on Sunday, though for the third time, the Kiwis ran uncontested through the course.
With Artemis Racing still working to repair its 72-foot boat after a fatal crash in May, New Zealand claimed another easy victory. After running the full seven legs of the course Saturday — when New Zealand beat Luna Rossa — the race was again shortened to five legs for the uncontested match. The Kiwis finished in 25 minutes, 56 seconds.
Rob Waddell, a grinder for New Zealand, said running the course solo is not as different from the contested races as the uninitiated might expect.
"Ironically, it doesn't change things a whole lot," he said. "It's great having another boat there, but I think the first time I really noticed it [Saturday] was when we were dialed up in the prestart, I was like 'Wow, there's another really big 72 beside us to us.'"
He said there is still plenty to be gained from a solo run as they get used to the AC72, which is making its America's Cup debut this year.
"I think it's always a good chance for us as a crew to keep improving," he said. "There's so many different dynamics on the boat, so many different things you can do. Because it's a new class, everyone still learning how to sail it and what they should do when."
New Zealand now has four wins on its record, while Luna Rossa claimed its only victory in a race on the day it was scheduled to face Artemis in the first round of this round-robin series.
Luna Rossa should claim another victory Tuesday, when it again is scheduled to face Artemis. New Zealand's next race is scheduled for Thursday, when it will open the third leg of the round-robin portion of the Louis Vuitton Cup with another scheduled matchup with Artemis.
Artemis posted an update on its team page on www.americascup.com stating that it completed structural testing of its AC72 Sunday. The site said assembly will take place this week, with the hope of being on the water later in the week.