Challenging conditions greeted the fleet on the third and penultimate day of action at the America’s Cup World Series in the Bay of Naples on Saturday.
With winds between 7 and 12 knots and choppy waters smooth boathandling was key.
Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Dean Barker appeared almost to tame the conditions in his AC45 en route to winning both of the day’s fleet races.
His double victory propelled his team to the top of the overall Naples standings with one race left on Sunday, when a race win goes from 12 points to 40.
The Kiwis lead Oracle Team USA and it’s interim skipper Tom Slingsby by 5 points and Ben Ainslie’s JP Morgan Bar team by 8.
It is the last of three stops in the this year’s series with American Slingsby – the Stand-in skipper for Jimmy Spithill – on course to secure the season-long battle for the overall title.
Spithill who led the Oracle Team USA to the inaugural championship last year, and dominated the first two regattas in the second season of racing – missed this week’s regatta in Italy due to the launch of his team’s second AC72 in preparation for the upcoming 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco which starts on Spetember 7.