Team New Zealand cruised to victory in the America's Cup preliminary regatta in Saudi Arabia after Luna Rossa nose-dived in the final match race.
In a result described as "massive" by skipper Peter Burling, the New Zealand AC40 boat sailed away after their Italian opponents fell off their foils rounding the final mark of what had been a tight final in the Red Sea off Jeddah.
Less than a year out from the 37th America's Cup in Barcelona, Team NZ showed how determined they'll be to retain the Auld Mug - having been the dominant force over three days in the second of three preliminary regattas.
Burling was delighted his crew had the opportunity to contest the match race after bad weather ruled out a decider in the opening regatta in Vilanova, Spain three months ago, handing the victory to American Magic.
"It's a massive part of the campaign, these two preliminary events. We thought we put on a good show in Vilanova but didn't get the chance for the match race," Burling said.
"This weekend, we've gone one better and made improvements as a group. As a team, we're really happy. This gives us the platform to build towards the America's Cup."
Team New Zealand won five of the eight fleet races to finish on 64 points, well clear of Luna Rossa (49 points), Alinghi (35), American Magic (28), Britannia (26) and Orient Express (20).
The third and final preliminary regatta will be in Spain in August, when they'll race in the larger AC75 boats used for the America's Cup.