Emirates Team New Zealand moved to within 1 point of retaining the America’s Cup with a win in race 9, before Race Officer Iain Murray abandoned racing for the day in Auckland.
Pete Burling and ETNZ may have one hand on the Auld Mug, but Jimmy Spithill has been in this situation before, only to emerge victorious. The battle for the America’s Cup ain’t over yet.
Race 9 was a classic match race, with Luna Rossa leading for 90% of the five legs before ETNZ picked up a game-changing wind shift on the penultimate leg, to snatch a winning lead round the final gate and close out their sixth win.
Burling took ETNZ accross the start with a small lead to leeward of Luna Rossa, but at gate 1 it was still neck and neck with Luna Rossa taking an 8 sec lead at Gate 2 opening it to 230 metres.
ETNZ closed this down to but Jimmy Spithill and Francesco Bruni kept a tight cover to round Gate 3 still with a 9 sec lead.
Downwind Luna Rossa held a 70+ metre lead and at Gate 4 there lead was just 3 sec.
The teams split to opposite boundries and at the first cross Luna Rossa kept a lead of 39 metres.
At the second cross it was Luna Rossa leading by 70 metres and tacking on top of ETNZ, who tacked away back to the righthand side, leaving Luna Rossa to head left.
As they both tacked on their boundries, ETNZ took a right hand shift and jumped into a 200 metre lead at the final cross and an 18 sec lead at Gate 5.
From there ETNZ sailed away to a 470+ meter lead and a 30 sec win in race 9 to take a 6 – 3 lead over Luna Rosa in the first to seven race win series.
With Emirates Team New Zealand needing just one win to take the 36th America’s Cup, a last minute wind shift forced the Race Committee to call off the match and abandon any further racing for the day.
Racing will continue Wednesday at 16:15 local time 03:15 UK time.