America's Cup: Team NZ still ahead despite missing Chicago podium

Heading into the weekend Emirates Team New Zealand held an eight-point lead over Oracle Team USA. Photo / Getty Images
Heading into the weekend Emirates Team New Zealand held an eight-point lead over Oracle Team USA. Photo / Getty Images

Team New Zealand have managed to maintain their overall lead in the America's Cup World Series despite missing out on a podium finish in Chicago for the first time in the series.

Heading into the weekend Emirates Team New Zealand held an eight-point lead over Oracle Team USA. The Kiwis leave Chicago with a 10-point advantage over Land Rover BAR who is now tied with Oracle.

The regatta proved to be Team NZ's toughest outing yet, with their fourth place finish breaking an unmatched run of seven straight podium finishes. But with their closest rivals Oracle also having a bad day at the office on Lake Michigan, the result did not cost Team NZ their series lead.

Swedish syndicate Artemis Racing took out the event after a consistent weekend of racing, including a second and a first in the opening two races of "Super Sunday".

The British team were second, while Dean Barker's Team Japan picked up third after taking the win in the final race.

"It was really tough out there," said skipper Glenn Ashby. "The wind was up and you look along the start line and there are no easy beats. We have been saying it all along, and the results of this regatta show just how good all of the teams are."

After a lack of wind prevented some of the earlier races from getting away, the full schedule of races was sailed yesterday.

Ashby said in the lead up to the regatta that starting well was going to be the key to succeeding on the tight enclosed race course on Lake Michigan, and it proved to be the deciding factor yesterday.

In each race the boat that rounded the first mark went on to take the gun.

The next event is in Portsmouth, UK on July 23-24.

Overall standings: Team New Zealand 295 pts 1, Land Rover BAR 285 2, Oracle Team USA 285 3, Artemis Racing 262 4, Softbank Team Japan 259 5, Groupama Team France 234 6.

- NZ Herald

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