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Joy Ride for Top Gun

Besides the big bucks that AC competitors get paid, they also garner a wide range of perks, such as getting to meet celebs like ‘Top Gun’ Cruise.

© 2013 Gilles Martin-Raget / ACEA

Adding to the sailing superstars who’ve earned nine straight wins for Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton Round Robin series, yesterday the team treated ‘Top Gun’ Tom Cruise and his son Conner to a high-speed cruise around the Bay aboard their AC72 Aotearoa — after another easy defeat of Luna Rossa Challenge. Needless to say, the actor and his son we’re thrilled — especially since they both got a turn at the helm. (No word on whether or not the big cat was foiling at the time.)

Tom (black helmet with ‘T’) and his son Connor (‘P’) tested their endurance on a grinder, and later took turns at the helm.

© Gilles Martin-Raget / ACEA

Today is an AC layday, and tomorrow ETNZ is slated to race Artemis Racing. But the course will be vacant, as Artemis’ boat is still not ready to race, and the Kiwis now have enough wins (nine) to bypass the rest of the LV Round Robins and Semi Finals, and advance directly to the LV Finals August 17.

Thursday at 12:15 p.m. Luna Rossa is slated to race Artemis, but we’d be shocked if the Swedish team was ready to compete, having just launched their second-generation boat last week. The Italians, however, will likely run the course to gain another point and get in more real-time practice. The Semis begin next Tuesday, August 6 (LR vs AR). Artemis will have to step into the ring then, if they have any hope of making it to the America’s Cup in mid-September. 

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