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14 November 2011, 01:01 pm
Emirates Team New Zealand Claim Port Cities Challenge
EmiratesTeam New Zealand
Emirate Team New Zealand Winners Of The Port Cities Challenge, Sam Diago

America's Cup World Series
San Diego, USA

Sailing in San Diago for the first time, Dean Barker and team did not miss a beat to win the Port Cities Challenge ahead of the America's World Cup Series that starts on Saturday.
Ideal racing conditions returned to San Diego on Sunday, with 6-10 knot westerlies and bright sunny skies. Crowds poured into the America's Cup Village to watch the racing, which at times brought the boats almost in touching distance just a few metres from the viewing points along Broadway and Navy Piers.

Emirates Team New Zealand may have been the last crew to arrive in town on Friday, but skipper Dean Barker and his team have laid down a marker for the coming America's Cup World Series event by winning the Port Cities.

"The teams are doing more and more sailing, so the standard is getting higher and higher," said Dean Barker. "I think in a venue like this that's quite tricky you'll see a lot of place changes. So it's going to be about staying consistent."

The Kiwis were certainly that. Despite winning just one of the six races, they had five finishes in the top three to win by a comfortable seven points over ORACLE Racing Spithill. Artemis Racing was third, one point further back.

On Saturday, China Team won a race for the first time at AC World Series and on Sunday, it was the French teams in the spotlight. First, it was Aleph with new skipper Pierre Pennec at the helm, who took a win in race four. Not to be outdone though, Energy Team sailed a flawless race six with skipper Yann Guichard to claim their first team win too.

"It's a fantastic day for Aleph," said Pennec after racing. "The wind was very shifty, but it was sunny, there was enough wind to fly the hull and we won our first race so a great day for us."

"By the fourth race the crew was very tired," said Guichard, describing his winning race. "But we didn't make any mistakes and to get a first bullet for our team is really perfect."

Follow the America's Cup at www.americascup. Starting with the championship races from November 16-20, the event YouTube channel, will have live and on-demand streaming coverage of all racing. There will also be live streaming to iOS mobile devices through the America's Cup YouTube channel.

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