AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- By posting huge victories in the America's Cup challenger trials today, AmericaOne from San Francisco and Italy's Prada are more likely to advance from the six-boat semifinal to meet in the challenger finals later this month.
Paul Cayard and AmericaOne ended the hopes of San Francisco rival America True, and Prada's Francesco de Angelis pushed a floundering Stars and Stripes to the edge of elimination.
Gale warnings for the Hauraki Gulf off Auckland made it questionable whether races could be held tomorrow, and Wednesday.
Today's victory gave Cayard six points, and one more in the final three races will guarantee him at least a tie for one of the top spots at the end of the round. Prada improved to five points and would be guaranteed at least a sail-off at the end of the semis by winning two of the final three.
Peter Gilmour, the Australian native who steers for Nippon, picked up a third point with the victory over Le Defi, but even if Gilmour persuades a jury to give him a point that was stripped from Stars and Stripes for using an illegal rudder in an earlier race against Japan, he would still have to win all three remaining races just to be assured of a tie for a top-two position. And since two races are against Prada and AmericaOne, the odds are very long, indeed.