Last updated: August 17. 2013 5:36PM - 1813 Views
Associated Press

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(AP) Emirates Team New Zealand tore the tarp in the center of its catamaran and lost two men overboard before holding on to beat hobbled Italian Team Luna Rossa in a scary opener to the Louis Vuitton Cup finals Saturday.

The Italians scrambled to repair lines around the right dagger board of their 72-foot catamaran just before the start. They caught a break when officials delayed the race 20 minutes waiting for the wind to drop below the 22 mph limit.

Both crew members were lifted out of the water by a rescue boat within seconds, and Emirates finished the race with nine men. It was not immediately clear if they were injured.

The winner of the best-of-13 Vuitton Cup advances to the America's Cup match against Oracle Team USA, which has been accused of cheating by both teams.

Associated Press
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