Kiwis sail solo in 1st race of America's Cup trials

  • Emirates Team New Zealand races alone with Coit Tower in the background during their America's Cup challenger series sailing race Sunday, July 7, 2013, in San Francisco. Emirates Team New Zealand was to have competed against Luna Rossa Challenge, but the Italian team announced they would not take part in the race on principle while awaiting a jury's decision on a ruling. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SAN FRANCISCO — With the Golden Gate Bridge looming to his right, Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker hit the starting line and immediately got his 72-foot catamaran speeding across the tops of the waves on hydrofoils.

The America's Cup challenger trials were underway on San Francisco Bay and the Kiwis were clearly in control.

At one point, the boys from Down Under hit 42.8 knots in their high-performance cat, or just more than 49 mph.

Of course, it helped that there was no opponent.

Emirates Team New Zealand sailed alone around the course Sunday to collect the first point of the regatta. Their scheduled opponent, Italy's Luna Rossa, boycotted, saying it won't race until an international jury hears protests regarding rules changes made after Andrew "Bart" Simpson of Artemis Racing was killed in a capsize May 9.

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