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 on Saturday.
Kiwi skipper Dean Barker trapped Italy's Luna Rossa during the prestart maneuvers and then accelerated, gaining a five-length lead approaching the starting line perpendicular to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Team New Zealand's high-performance, 72-foot catamaran rose up on hydrofoils, and the rout was on.
The Kiwis were so dominant that they had finished and were doing a flyby of America's Cup Park on Piers 27-29 when the Italians were still approaching the sixth of seven marks.
"It's different, isn't it, to actually have two boats together," Barker said. "It's nice to have the Luna Rossa guys out there. It can only make you better."
It was the first time in four races that two wing-sailed AC72 catamarans were on the course at the same time.
Italy boycotted last Sunday's opening race while awaiting an international jury's decision in a rules spat. Team New Zealand sailed around alone to collect a point.
The Kiwis did the same thing Tuesday, as did the Italians on Thursday, when their scheduled opponent was Artemis Racing. Swedish-based Artemis Racing has yet to launch its second boat after the capsize of its first boat May 9 that killed British sailor Andrew "Bart" Simpson.
Saturday's race was the opener of the second of five round-robins in the Louis Vuitton Cup. Team New Zealand leads the Italians 3-1.
Artemis hopes to begin sea trials of its second boat within the week.
Team New Zealand's winning margin was 5 minutes, 23 seconds, but Luna Rossa was officially tagged with a did not finish. Boats must finish within five minutes of the winner or be ruled a DNF.
"We probably ended up almost where we thought we'd be, probably a little bit worse off," Luna Rossa helmsman Chris Draper said. "We had a couple of issues around the course. We're reasonably content."
Draper said a problem with the rake system on the reaching leg to the finish meant the boat couldn't foil, which contributed to Luna Rossa finishing more than five minutes after the Kiwis.
"It was a pretty major issue," he said. "It's my fault."