Dana Johannsen is the NZ Herald's chief sports reporter

Yachting: Luna Rossa ease to 2-0 lead

Luna Rossa look set to make short work of the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals after recording another convincing win over Artemis this morning.

Two minute winners over Artemis in yesterday's opening race, Luna Rossa were similarly dominant in race two, snatching a healthy lead by the second mark and from there they were left to race themselves around the course, the final delta 2 minutes, six seconds.

After producing a creditable performance in yesterday's emotional debut, it was a demoralising result for Artemis, whose participation in the regatta is likely to last less than a week. Luna Rossa need just two more wins to book their spot in the finals against Team New Zealand.

The Italians looked unsettled in yesterday's opening race after having to effect hasty repairs to their wingsail just minutes before entering the start box. Fearing they may do more damage to their wing, Luna Rossa sailed tentatively around the race course yesterday. They looked much more comfortable today, taking control early on after another poor start from helmsman Chris Draper.

With a massive speed advantage over Artemis, the startbox error didn't matter too much for the Italians, who were just four seconds behind at the first mark. Luna Rossa took the lead early on in the second leg, out-gybing Artemis to surge out to a lead of over a minute at the top mark.

While they were convincing winners once again, Luna Rossa will be disappointed with some of their crew-work and decision making during the race. There was a hairy moment on the fourth leg when their bows dug in as they went into the rotation of their gybe, while they also would have been unhappy with their bottom mark roundings.

Draper said his team will be looking to tidy up on these areas when they next take to the race course on Saturday.

"We sailed a good race then but I know we can sail much, much better than that," he said.

- NZ Herald

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