Dana Johannsen is the NZ Herald's chief sports reporter

Yachting: Artemis' racing days numbered

Swedish team recover well but can't foot it with a determined, and faster, Luna Rossa

Artemis Racing's participation in the Louis Vuitton Cup looks set to last less than a week after Luna Rossa again made light work of the Swedish team in race two of the semifinals.

Two-minute winners over Artemis in the opening race on San Francisco Bay, 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 margin 2 minutes, six seconds.

After producing a creditable performance in Wednesday's emotional debut, it was a demoralising result for Artemis, who battled so hard to get to the startline after their first boat was destroyed in a training accident in May. It seems unjust that their involvement in the regatta will likely last just four races.

With just two more wins needed to book their spot in the finals against Team NZ, Luna Rossa look set to wrap up the semifinals over the weekend.

Luna Rossa looked unsettled in Wednesday'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 if they pushed the boat too hard, Luna Rossa sailed tentatively around the course.

They looked for the most part much more comfortable yesterday, taking control early on after another poor start from helmsman Chris Draper. With a massive speed advantage over Artemis, they were just four seconds behind at the first mark.

They took the lead early on in the second leg and surged out to a lead of over a minute at the top mark.

However, they were let down by some of their crew-work and decision-making. Draper said they would look to tidy up on these areas in the next race tomorrow.

- NZ Herald

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