America's Cup- Upwind speed makes the difference in two more races

Emirates Team New Zealand leads Oracle Team USA from start to finish in race seven on day four of the America’s Cup 34. 12/9/2013

Emirates Team New Zealand won both races against Oracle on San Francisco Bay today and now has six points from seven races.

The first race was a light-air thriller.The breeze average 11.6 knots and struggled to get up to 13knots. Oracle got the better of the start and led around the first and second marks.

Playing to NZL5’s strengths – a speed edge upwind and precision crew work through the tacks - Dean Barker and crew engineered a split at the second mark and immediately forced a tacking duel and started grinding down Oracle’s lead.

Once in front, Barker didn’t look back and finished comfortably ahead. The delta was 47s.

After the race, Dean admitted he had apologised to the crew for the bad start. 'I was asleep but the guys got back on the job.'

Theare was no need for an apology for the start on the second race today. NZL5 led from start to finish in the and once again showed its dominace up-wind. The delta was 1m6s. The wind was up to a steady 16-18 knots.

Today’s racing tested both teams. Strain showed on grinders’ faces as they engaged in tacking duels. Fourteen tacks on leg three of the first race (15 for Oracle) seven on the second (10 for Oracle).

Wing trimmer Glenn Ashby told the after-race press conference:

'We have to push the boat as hard as we can. These boats chew the big boys (grinders) up and spit them out.

'The big boys are worth their weight in gold. All those tacks require 110% effort. The key is good teamwork and to not to get flustered when tired.'

Emirates Team New Zealand now has six wins to Oracle’s one. The first team to win nine races will win the America’s Cup.

Barker added: 'It feels great to win six races; we are two thirds of the way there, but to win the cup we need to win nine. Three races are a lot of hard work, one bad day and things can change.

'I know there is huge support back home. This motivates the guys to dig deeper and race harder. Right now we are focused on the three races to go.'

Race 6 Performance Data

Course: 5 Legs/10.14 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 31:39, OTUSA – 32:26
Delta: ETNZ +:47
Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 12.3 NM, OTUSA – 12.3 NM
Average Speed: ETNZ – 23.43 knots (27 mph), OTUSA – 22.91 knots (26 mph)
Top Speed: ETNZ – 38.55 knots (44 mph), OTUSA – 40.21 knots (46 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 11.6 knots, Peak – 13.4 knots

Race 7 Performance Data

Course: 5 Legs/10.14 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 24:48, OTUSA – 25:54
Delta: ETNZ +1:06
Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.6 NM, OTUSA – 12.0 NM
Average Speed: ETNZ – 28.32 knots (32 mph), OTUSA – 27.86 knots (32 mph)
Top Speed: ETNZ – 44.73 knots (51 mph), OTUSA – 41.00 knots (47 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 16.3 knots, Peak – 17.8 knots