29 Jul 2013

Team New Zealand decide to go straight into challenger final

10:23 am on 29 July 2013

Team New Zealand has exercised its option to skip the America's Cup challenger series semi-finals and go straight to the final.

The option was available to the team after finishing top of the round robin table.

The team's decision ensures a semi-final match between the Italian Luna Rossa and Swedish team Artemis Racing.

Artemis is back sailing an AC72 on San Francisco Bay following a fatal training accident in May and has yet to start, but has said it intends to compete in the semi-finals.

Skipper Dean Barker says they weighed up whether to race the semi-finals and get more race practice on the course but not knowing if Artemis would be ready to start, against spending more time on developing the boat.

Barker says they will make a number of subtle changes to the boat which should make them significantly faster around the course.

Barker says they won't take part in their last scheduled round robin race against Artemis on Wednesday.