In America's Cup Finals, rivals are catching up

It's early yet, but challenger New Zealand is beating the Americans at their own game.


Three years ago, the BMW Oracle Racing team surprised the yacht racing world with the development and debut of a boat with a massive, composite, fixed-wing-type sail that powered the U.S. crew to victory in the 33rd America's Cup Finals. The 34th America's Cup Finals kicked off over the the weekend in San Fracisco Bay and features the defending champion ORACLE TEAM USA and challenger Emirates Team New Zealand. Both teams feature similar yachts with large wing sails that allow boat speeds of more than 50 mph. Over the weekend, New Zealand proved the faster team, winning three out of four races. One thing we've learned is that clearly the rest of the world, although surprised in 2010 by the Americans' unique yacht design, has done much catching up since and might prove, ultimately, to have the faster craft. There is, however, much racing to be done yet. Races 5 and 6 will be held Sept. 10, followed by Races 7 and 8 on Sept. 12. There are 17 races total to determine the winner.