The anticipation surrounding the build to the America’s Cup continues in the finals of the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup from San Francisco.
With New Zealand and Italy battling for the right to square off against defending champion Golden Gate Yacht Club from the Unites States, intensity has engulfed the sport of boat racing.
For casual and hardcore fans alike, here's all the need-to-know information as Italy and New Zealand’s matchup begins to heat up.
Where: San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, Calif.
When: Saturday, August 17 to Friday, August 30 (if needed)
Watch: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Full Course Overview
Italy’s Keys to Victory
The Italian team is one of the best in the world, but gear malfunctions kept the team from finishing two of the last three races in the event. After winning the second race in the best-of-13 series, the Italians have fallen to 1-2 and must keep their boat out of trouble.
There is still plenty of time for Luna Rossa to mount a comeback in this series, but with the New Zealand squad racing well and the wind continuously delaying the action, it will be hard for the Italian team to gain any momentum.
Italy must win Race 4 on Friday and build off that success one event at a time.
New Zealand’s Keys to Victory
New Zealand's 72-foot catamaran earned its spot in the finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup with hard work, and after taking an early lead against Italy, the team must keep its nose to the grindstone.
New Zealand was able to avoid disaster early in the event when two crew members were thrown overboard in the first race, per Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle, and the intense battle in San Francisco Bay only looks to be heating up.
With Italy shooting itself in the foot early in this regatta, New Zealand must maintain its steady pace and control the race.
While Italy will win a few races, New Zealand will earn the right to compete in the America’s Cup best-of-17 series.
Prediction: New Zealand 7, Italy 3