SAN FRANCISCO With a compelling current and whipping wind on San Francisco Bay, Italian skipper Max Sirena thought racing twice a day in the America's Cup challenger finals would be "pretty painful" for the new high-performance catamarans.
He was wrong. Just finishing one race has proved problematic.
Emirates Team New Zealand sailed away with another win because of a mechanical failure to Italy's Luna Rossa, taking a 2-1 lead in the Louis Vuitton Cup finals Monday.
Skipper Dean Barker guided his boat underneath at the start and made a slick move inside Luna Rossa on the first turn to go ahead. The Italians still started strongly and stayed close until the control arm of their wing broke, forcing another withdrawal in a series beset by big breezes and breakdowns.
"I would not be sleeping pretty well if I was the designer of one of these boats," Sirena said.
For the third straight day, officials called off the second race because of exceeding wind and bailed out a broken boat. The next two races are scheduled for Wednesday, when organizers are counting on a coming flood tide to reduce the drag of a strong wind forcing another postponement on a series that already has dragged.
All three wins in the finals have come by withdrawals. The winner of the best-of-13 series will face defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 34th America's Cup starting Sept. 7.
"It's getting massively frustrating," Luna Rossa grinder Giles Scott said. "At the moment, the racing has been almost governed on who can get around the course as opposed to win the races."