America's Cup 2013 Race 19 - NOT Just another race

Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand come together on the start line. There was contact and ETNZ sustained a penalty. Race 17, America’s Cup 34. 24/9/2013
America's Cup 2013 - Oracle Team USA continued its streak, winning two races on Tuesday to tie the score in the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco.

Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand now have eight points each and the winner of the trophy will be decided with Wednesday’s final 19th race in the America's Cup series.

'It’s not over. We’ve got to finish it off,' said skipper Jimmy Spithill. 'We’ve worked very, very hard to come back from where we were. And, the guys want it. You can sense it onboard and you can sense it around the base – the whole team just wants it. There’s this huge wave of momentum we’ve been riding for the past few days and it just build and builds and builds, and we’re going to carry that in to tomorrow.'

Race 17 began with a double penalty off the line for Emirates Team New Zealand for not keeping clear as the windward boat. With the Kiwi team stalled in the water, Oracle Team USA was able to sail away rounding the first mark 17 seconds in front. The team defended their position and held on to cross the line 27 seconds ahead of Team New Zealand.

In Race 18, Team New Zealand won the start and Oracle Team USA rounded the second mark seven seconds back.

After splitting the gates, Spithill and crew began to close in on New Zealand on the upwind third leg and rolled past mid-way up the course towards the Golden Gate bridge. Oracle Team USA maintained the lead and began to widen the gap, eventually winning by 54 seconds.

Practice race - 2015 J22 North American Championship
© Chris Howell

Oracle Team USA has recorded seven consecutive wins, and trailed 8-1 in points before tying the score on Tuesday. The team leads Emirates Team New Zealand 10-8 overall in wins on the water.

The final race of the 34th America’s Cup – Race 19 – is scheduled for 1:15 pm PT on Wednesday.

'You just have to approach it like every other race,' said Oracle Team USA tactician Ben Ainslie regarding the winner-take-all final race.

'You really have to go out and go through the same preparations with the boat, the maintenance, in the morning meetings, and with the pre-start warm-up. And of course, like every other race, the guys will give it everything all the way to the finish.'

Course: 5 Legs/10.11 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 24:04, ETNZ – 24:31
Delta: OTUSA +:27
Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 11.8 NM, ETNZ – 11.6 NM
Average Speed: OTUSA – 29.62 knots (34 mph), ETNZ – 28.63 knots (33 mph)
Top Speed: OTUSA – 44.02 knots (51 mph), ETNZ – 46.33 knots (53 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 16.8 knots, Peak – 20.0 knots
Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 8/6, ETNZ – 7/5

Course: 5 Legs/10.11 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 22:01, ETNZ – 22:55
Delta: OTUSA +:54
Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 11.7 NM, ETNZ – 11.9 NM
Average Speed: OTUSA – 31.92 knots (37 mph), ETNZ – 31.23 knots (36 mph)
Top Speed: OTUSA – 45.79 knots (53 mph), ETNZ – 47.57 knots (55 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 19.3 knots, Peak – 21.8 knots
Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 7/7, ETNZ – 10/6

Emirates Team New Zealand – 8