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From The Boathouse: Closing in on September Showdown

August 27, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

Emirates Team New Zealand was declared the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup final races held in San Francisco Bay. The Kiwis almost had a clean sweep in the series against the Italian team, Luna Rossa Challenge, with the final 7-1 score. The first team to reach seven points wins the finals, and on Sunday, Team New Zealand won its seventh race.

Last week when I was at the America's Cup media center watching the races, I noticed that Emirates Team New Zealand had a considerable lead on Luna Rossa. The Kiwis picked the perfect wind lines, and the team sailed flawlessly around the course in the bay. Now, the Kiwis will compete in the 34th America's Cup against Oracle Team USA.

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Both teams sailed well, especially when trying to control the new and very high-performance AC72, which has had its share of equipment problems during practices and races. Emirates Team New Zealand's boat will have a few modifications and adjustments — which are top secret, of course.

Before the first race Sept. 7, Luna Rossa will aid the Kiwis as the two teams practice sail against each other. The race has been dubbed the September Showdown. It should be very exciting, with the two top teams in the world competing for the cup. I will be traveling north a couple of times to watch the America's Cup races and will report back from the media center.

Tip of the week is for you to get on the water this Labor Day weekend. Many of you will be reading this column while enjoying the weekend, which signals the end of the summer season. This summer has been great for boating. An afternoon wind has been blowing for the rag boaters — I mean sailboat sailors.

I say sailboat sailors because referencing sailors does not automatically signify someone on a sailboat being powered only by the wind upon the sails. Webster's Dictionary defines a sailor as "a person who makes his living by sailing, member of a ship's crew, a traveler, a seaman, a traveler by water, or a stiff straw hat with a low flat crown and a straight circular brim." The last reference is very interesting and I will have to find a sailor hat.

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