America's Cup: AC72 at Takapuna Beach - First reach and Downwind

Flying on the reach heading for the turning 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, on March 8.

This set of images covers the first reach and downwind leg until they gybed.

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.

Flying on the reach heading for the turning mark - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Flying on the reach heading for the turning mark - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Flying on the reach heading for the turning mark - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Emirates Team NZ starts to bear away heading for the turning mark - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Emiartes Team NZ continues to turn as the mark comes into sight - not yet on foils - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Emirates Team NZ reaches the turning mark first - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Emirates Team NZ foiling after reaching the turning mark - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Both boats now foiling on the run, but no gennakers set - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Emirates Team NZ has a big margin in terms of distance, but maybe not in time- AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Emirates Team NZ gets into her work on the downwind leg - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

Emirates Team NZ flies down the back straight in winds of 20kts - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013