Dana Johannsen is the NZ Herald's chief sports reporter

America's Cup: Team NZ win as Italy forced out

The frustrating run of disruptions have continued in the Louis Vuitton finals, with strong winds forcing the postponement of today's second race after Team New Zealand took a 2-1 lead in the series earlier this morning.

Three days in to the finals and we are yet to see a full programme of racing, or two boats finish a race after Luna Rossa suffered damage to their wing in race three.

After one of the tightest starts we've seen in this regatta, it was looking like we might actually have a race on our hands early on, but the Italians puttered to a standstill just after rounding mark two with an apparent problem with their wing controls.

From there Team NZ were left to sail around the course by themselves to secure their second win. While it seemed a straight-forward task, after the mishaps over the past couple of days, it was point few were willing to bank until the Kiwi boat crossed the finish line.

Team NZ were in a similar position on Sunday when they took a nose-dive and suffered damage to their fairing after Luna Rossa had earlier retired from the first race with damage to their starboard daggerboard, while yesterday they were forced to retire from the second race with hydraulic failure - handing the Italians their first win over Team NZ in 13 years of competition.

While Team NZ skipper Dean Barker was pleased his team completed an incident-free race, he said it would be good to see two boats complete the race.

"It'd be nice if we got a couple where both boats race right to the end. Unfortunately these boats are complex and are very hard to keep on the water and we've seen every team deal with issues," said Barker.

Had the race not have been postponed due to weather, it was likely Luna Rossa would have opted to play their "postponement card" as they looked to be struggling to resolve the problem with their wing ahead of race four.

Each team is given one opportunity to enforce a postponement in the case they are not able to repair the damage in time for the next start.

- NZ Herald

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