AmericaOne strengthened its hold on first place in the third round of the challenger series for the America's Cup with an easy defeat of Nippon, which had started today's race in second place.

The Japanese boat's loss was the first in six races since it switched to its second boat for the start of the third round robin, and came as light winds in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf again distorted winning margins.

Today's results dropped the Japanese team from second to fourth in the standings and strengthened America-One's hold on the lead. The top six boats advance to the next round.

The four-month regatta will decide which of 10 teams takes on defender New Zealand for sailing's most prized trophy in a best-of-nine series starting in February.

Results yesterday in the third round robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series for the America's Cup in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf:

Le Defi Francais def. Stars and Stripes by 4 minutes 3 seconds.

America True def. Fast 2000 (withdrawn).

AmericaOne def. Nippon by 9:08.

Prada def. Spanish challenge by 5:29.

Abracadabra def. Young Australia by 1:21.

Bye: Young America.

Points Standings

AmericaOne 90.0

America True 83.0

Prada 82.0

Nippon 74.5

Stars and Stripes 63.5

Spanish Challenge 44.0

Abracadabra 43.0

Young America 42.0

Le Defi Francais 41.0

Young Australia 18.0

Fast 2000 8.0