The first real race of the America's Cup challenger series was a runaway for Emirates Team New Zealand even before it hit the starting line on San Francisco Bay. Kiwi skipper Dean Barker trapped Italy's Luna Rossa during the pre-start manoeuvres and then accelerated, gaining a five-length lead approaching the starting line perpendicular to the Golden Gate Bridge on Saturday.
Italy also was hit with a penalty for sailing into the course boundary, forcing it to slow down and fall farther behind.
The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will face defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 34th America's Cup starting on September 7.
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