Fri. Nov 18th, 2022

After a long wait, the 36th America’s Cup finally got underway today with Team New Zealand making a firm statement in the opening race.
The Kiwis took the first race of the day, however Luna Rossa levelled the scores in race two with a win of their own.
The action resumes on Friday with race three scheduled to start at roughly 4:00pm. You can watch all the action live on TVNZ1 and OnDemand.
Catchup on all the action from the first day of Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup defence below. 
5:38pm: Luna Rossa cross the finish, holding off a gritty performance on the last leg from Team New Zealand. The Kiwis came close but couldn’t pull off a clean sweep on day one. The Italians win with a 7-second lead.
5:36pm: Just a 12-second lead for Luna Rossa at the fifth gate as the Kiwi’s try to claw their way into the lead on the final leg.
5:34pm: Te Rehutai is now eating up the deficit on the fifth leg. The Kiwi’s have almost halved the distance between the leaders. 
5:31pm: Team New Zealand behind by 24 seconds upon exiting the fourth gate.
5:30pm: The Italians are tearing up the fourth leg, increasing their lead even more with the Kiwi boat seeming to lose a lot of pace through their manouvers.
5:29pm: Luna Rossa extend their lead massively. Team New Zealand falling behind by 25-seconds at the third gate.
5:25pm: Luna Rossa currently doing a great job of defending their lead against Team New Zealand as the race nears the half-way point. 
5:23pm: Team New Zealand reduce the gap slightly, trailling behind Luna Rossa by 12-seconds at the second gate.
5:20pm: Team New Zealand still trailling halfway up the second leg, with Luna Rossa making steady increases in their lead.
5:19pm: Luna Rossa hold a 13-second lead at the first gate.  
5.15pm: Team New Zealand immediately split from Luna Rossa at the starting gate, Team New Zealand take themselves up to the course boundary before making their first tack. Luna Rossa, currently leading, match their tack.
5:13pm: Luna Rossa enter the box with Team New Zealand chasing. 
5.10pm: We are just 5-minutes away from the start of race two. Team New Zealand will face a starboard entry this time around.
4.40pm: Luna Rossa come in 31 seconds behind, the most they have trailed by. 
4.39pm: Team New Zealand cross the finish line. While Luna Rossa were strong, they had no answer. 
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Peter Burlings crew dominated the pre-start on their way to a big win in the opening race of the Americas Cup.
Source: 1 Sport
4.34pm: Team NZ are in cruise control now. That start was so crucial, Luna Rossa being forced into an extra tack. The Italians trail by 20 seconds at the final gate. 
4.30pm: Luna Rossa aren’t going away, they trail by 17 seconds at the fourth gate. They’ve had to make an extra move at the turn however, which will cost them. 
4.28pm: Luna Rossa made up three or boat lengths, trail by 19 seconds at the third gate. 
4.26pm: A strong third leg for Luna Rossa, but TNZ still holds a healthy lead. 
4.23pm: Team NZ lead by 23 seconds at gate two. 
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Peter Burling and the Team NZ crew got windward position to take an early lead over Luna Rossa.
Source: 1 Sport
4.21pm: TNZ showing excellent speed on the first downward leg. Early days, but they look comfortable. 
4.19pm: 14 second lead to Team NZ at the first mark. 
4.17pm: Team NZ have a slight straight-line speed advantage, it’s up to Luna Rossa to haul them down.
There were a few protests near the start, but nothing was upheld. 
4.15pm: Team NZ get the windward start, they are putting the hammer down. Great start. 
4.12pm: The teams are jockeying for position in the pre-start. 
4.10pm: We’re just moments away from race 1. 
4.02pm: We got an behind-the-scenes look at Team NZ’s preparations. Check it out in the video below. 
3.52pm: There’s been plenty of talk about pre-starts and who gets the advantage out of the box. Dean Barker says if someone gets a significant advantage, he doesn’t think it could be pulled back based off boat speed only. 
3.45pm: There’s a huge number of spectator boats out on the water. 
3.28pm: Jesse Tuke, who is out on the Waitemat, says in the last 10 minutes there’s been a wind swing from north-west to north, and has picked up to 17 knots.
3.20pm: Team NZ haven’t raced competitively since before Christmas, but Dean Barker says they won’t be nervous, just anxious about getting the first race out of the way. Luna Rossa won the Prada Cup, thrashing Team UK in the final 7-1. 
3.10pm: Team NZ skipper told 1 NEWS’ Kimberlee Downs that they are quick, but rumours of Te Rehutai hitting 60 knots is way off the mark. 
3.06pm: A reminder – it’s first to seven races. The only courses that can be used at Level 2 are E and A. Dean Barker told TVNZ 1 he’s surprised race director Iain Murray went with that option. 
2.55pm: The cup holders have been hunkered down at their base on the Auckland Viaduct over the last few weeks working hard to prepare their Te Rehutai boat for battle.
Exclusive: Take a look inside Team NZ’s preparations for the America’s Cup
Jesse Tuke was given exclusive access inside the Team NZ camp last week to witness up-close the marvel that is Te Rehutai.
2.40pm: America’s Cup racing is finally underway, Auckland’s Covid-19 lockdown delaying the start. Today’s sailing will be under Level 2 restrictions, meaning the hub on Auckland’s waterfront won’t be open for spectators.
Racing will be on Course E off the coast of Waiheke Island, with 12-15 knots of wind expected.  
Earlier today TVNZ’s sailor commentators told Breakfast what they expected from Team New Zealand, with Peter Lester saying winds in the range of 14 to 16 knots would be perfect for Team New Zealand.
His observations were that the boat was highly manoeuvrable.
Pre-match analysis had suggested Luna Rossa may have an edge in the start box, but Lester wasn’t buying it.
You watch out, we talked like this before Bermuda in 2017 with Emirates Team New Zealand, oh theyre vulnerable pre-start. What happened, they went out and smacked them, I think the Kiwis will be very, very competitive in all facets of the game.