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All Black magic

On Monday in hardly any wind Emirates Team New Zealand finally saw off Team Artemis’ valiant challenge and won the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger series and a sizeable looking trophy but importantly won the right to go up against the Americas Cup defenders Team Oracle USA, in what will be a repeat of that remarkable final 4 years ago.

After Sunday the Kiwis led the Swedes by 4-2 and required just one more win on Monday. In the first race Artemis appeared to have the edge, but as the wind dropped to a slight breeze both boats became almost stationary in the middle of the Great Sound and when the time limit to finish the race was reached, that race was abandoned.

The wind dropped to half a knot, and with 6 the minimum requirement to race, it looked as if another day would go by before we were to find a challenger to Team Oracle. However after an hour or so the wind had gathered enough pace to get the two teams back out to the start line.

New Zealand and Sweden started well but at the first mark NZ peeled away and opened up a lead they were only to grow to win by 56 seconds. I had a soft spot for Artemis and at times they looked as if they had the beating of everybody, and they certainly suffered more bad luck than anybody else. 41-year old Iain Percy, a British two times Olympic champion, believes the Swedes led by Nathan Outteridge will be back. I have nothing but admiration for this team and their wholehearted courage.

We now await the best of 13, Americas Cup final, which starts on Saturday. I will be there.

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