Emirates Team New Zealand clinched the round robin series Tuesday 23 July, with a race to spare. They will announce their choice for the semi-final on Sunday 28 July, after their last round robin race with Luna Rossa.
ETNZ has three choices:
- go directly to the Louis Vuitton Cup final and wait for the winner of the semi-final between Luna Rossa and Artemis
- sail in the semi-final against Artemis
- sail in the semi-final against Luna Rossa
What will ETNZ choose? Whatever helps them win the America’s Cup.
They are almost certain to advance to the America’s Cup Match against Oracle Team USA in September. They will choose whatever will give them the best chance for success in the America’s Cup Match. If they want to make modifications to their boat and test them, they might choose option 1. That would give them until August 17 – the first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup final.
If they want more race practice and more exposure for their sponsors, ETNZ will sail in the semi-final, against… who?
That depends on how strong they think Artemis is. On paper, Artemis should have no chance against ETNZ. Artemis had their first day on a foiling AC72 on Wednesday, July 24. ETNZ has been perfecting foiling for almost a year. But… what if the Artemis boat is fast? What if Artemis races Luna Rossa in the semi-final and wins? That would give Artemis confidence and valuable race experience. It could make them a tougher competitor.
So it might make sense for ETNZ to sail the semi-final against Artemis. They have dominated Luna Rossa, so why not eliminate Artemis before Artemis can get strong, and then finish off Luna Rossa in the Louis Vuitton Cup final?
Let’s see what ETNZ announces on Sunday! What do you think they should do? Why?