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Luna Rossa takes 3-0 lead over Artemis in semis

Published August 9, 2013 3:49 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Helmsman Chris Draper made a clutch move right before the start and sailed Italy's Luna Rossa to victory Friday over Artemis Racing and a 3-0 lead in the America's Cup challenger semifinals.

Luna Rossa can wrap up the best-of-seven series Saturday on San Francisco Bay and earn a berth against Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton Cup final.

Unless Artemis can extend the series, its campaign will be finished after only four races. The Swedish-backed syndicate has been scrambling to catch up since May 9, when sailor Andrew "Bart" Simpson was killed in the capsize of its first boat.

Artemis was going through a slow tack during prestart maneuvers when Draper tucked the chrome-hulled Italian catamaran under the Swedish boat and into control. Luna Rossa led at every mark and won by 1 minute, 18 seconds.

It was the closest margin in the challenger series so far.