New Zealand seizes control of Youth America's Cup 

click to enlarge ABNER KING/ACEA
  • Abner King/ACEA

New Zealand Sailing Team took control of the Red Bull Youth America's Cup on Tuesday with wins in both fleet races held on San Francisco Bay.

The Kiwis already held a two-point lead in the standings after the first two days of racing, and pushed that to a commanding 11-point margin ahead of Full Metal Jacket Racing and American Youth Sailing Force heading into today's final day of racing.

AYSF, representing the city of San Francisco in the event, met disaster during the first race when David Liebenberg lost his grip while moving across the boat and ended up falling overboard. The team had been in third place at the time, but ended up finishing last.

Skipper Michael Menninger said the team's tactics suffered when Liebenberg went over, and that being one-man down may have contributed to the team getting snagged on a buoy while rounding the last marker.

The team rebounded quickly, however, and finished fourth in the second race, though a penalty at the start nearly spelled disaster for a second time, as it was forced to slow to allow the competition to pull ahead.

"It's a great race when you start last and fight your way to fourth," Menninger said. "So I'm happy with that"

The final two fleet races are scheduled for today, with the last one worth double points.

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