America's Cup's Christmas regatta scrapped after light winds see racing abandoned

Light winds played havoc with the final day of competitive sailing before the America's Cup challenger series starts next year, with the first race on Sunday between defenders Team New Zealand and Ainslie's Team INEOS UK abandoned.

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Light winds saw the Kiwis unable to get up on their foils to finish within the 45 minute limit. Source: 1 Sport

Team New Zealand were within 200 metres of the finish line in the race that was shortened to four legs, with Ben Ainslie's Britannia still on their second leg having been lapped when the 45-minute time limit expired.

Both boats were off their foils and Ainslie found the funny side of the situation as they stalked TNZ while they headed downwind before the race was abandoned.

"It's one of those days," Ainslie said

"The only fun for us was the displacement race heading back down with the Kiwis.

"A bit of old-school sailing."

Officials ordered the race to be restarted after the match between Italy's Luna Rossa and American Magic, although all remaining races for the day were cancelled due to the fickle winds.

The British challenge has floundered in the light winds in the pre-Christmas regatta, which included the America's Cup World Series that ended on Saturday and was won by TNZ.

Today's racing was part of the one-day 'Christmas Cup' where the teams were seeded according to their placings in the World Series and guaranteed two races each.

The America's Cup challenger series begins on January 15.