America's Cup: AC72 Practice racing off Takapuna Beach

Bearing away for the first mark - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Two challengers for the 34th America's Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa, had several practice racing sessions off Takapuna Beach, in a fresh offshore breeze.

Sail-World's NZ and America's Cup Editor captured the action from a camera position in the carpark at the end of Takapuna Reef, which extends about 150 metres from the shoreline. At times the boats passed inside the line of 200 metre buoys off the beach.

Rounding the first mark (just visible astern of Luna Rossa) both boats are foiling at this point - but are yet to gybe - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Emirates Team NZ gallops down the back straight - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Luna Rossa gybed a few seconds after this image - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Luna Rossa- AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Luna Rossa - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Emirates Team NZ ventures inside the 200 metre buoy line - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Luna Ross on the bear away before the pre-start - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Luna Rossa and Emirates Team NZ just before the prestart - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Luna Rossa heads for the prestart- AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Emirates Team NZ accelerates to get away from Luna Rossa in the prestart - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Luna Rossa heads back to the beach - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013