Please select your home edition
Edition
Spinlock 728x90

America's Cup - The Answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Wind

by Bob Fisher on 21 Sep 2013
20/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America’s Cup - Final Match - Racing Day 10 ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/
In the 34th America’s Cup, the comeback kids are smiling and the match-pointers, having been close to clinching their hold on the trophy, must be desperately disappointed. The day belonged to Oracle Team USA and It has the most unusual weather conditions in San Francisco Bay to thank for it.

Races have been stopped for too much wind, notably in the second half of the allotted starting time, but today, Friday, the 13th Race was abandoned when the 40-minute time limit ran out with the Kiwis over 1,200 metres ahead and about to round the last mark – some two minutes from the finish.

When the 13th Race was re-run, there was a completely new scenario and Jimmy Spithill and the American team was able to live for another day. The question now is whether Oracle Team USA can win six races before Emirates Team New Zealand can nail to one match it needs to carry home the America’s Cup. The answer is blowin’ in the wind.


The first running of Race 13 was packed with excitement. ETNZ had the up-to-now favoured port tack entry, but the start line was slightly skewed from normal as the wind was more in the south-westerly direction than from the west-south-west, which in turn made the second leg starboard tack biased. OTUSA took up the leeward position and held high to the first turning mark, artificially stretching the gap between them to 10 seconds.

With Code Zero headsails set (Oracle had reinstated its bowsprit for this race) after the first gybe, the Kiwis were sailing lower than the US team and it soon began to pay and the positions were reversed. By the time they were at the bottom mark, ETNZ led by 1’:42' and already the 40-minute time limit for the race was beginning to be likely to be called into play.

Upwind the Kiwis gained again and were 750 metres in front as they rounded the windward mark. They went further and further ahead, almost to 1,500 metres as they approached the leeward, and final mark, when the time limit for the race expired. There was bitter disappointment for the team and its supporters ashore.

The breeze had picked up a couple of knots for the second race but it was even more shifty with the usual west-south-west trying to dominate, but without total success. Once more, the port entry was Barker’s and this time he made full use of the advantage it provided, leading out of the start to leeward and rounding the first mark three seconds ahead.


It was on the run that Spithill attacked, picking up a favourable slant when he was on starboard tack and 'Hollywooding' his move to clear the stern of ETNZ. The Kiwis were penalized (correctly) and that put OTUSA ahead, but it was close going into the bottom gate. Ben Ainslie positioned the US boat so that ETNZ had to make an extra gybe, away from the line to the favoured side of the course.

It was as good as over there. OTUSA was away, leading by an additional 40 seconds at the start of the run. The gap grew as the Kiwi shoulders sagged and Oracle Team USA went on to score its third point.

It will be a huge hill for the American team to climb, but skipper Spithill says: 'We believe we can win. We’ve worked hard on the boat and the guys believe we can win.' Barker countered: 'There’s no lack of confidence in our team, we know we can do it,'

Only time and the wind will tell.

Abell Point Marina 660x82 Moornavathome 660x82upffront 660x82

Related Articles

Amel - Do you fit the bill?
Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 It is certainly an interesting set of criterion. Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 and make them a definitive part of the quintessential bluewater cruiser armada. We’ll come to all of those in due course, but firstly we’ll tackle the hero image and why in so many ways, this explains, so, so much.
Posted on 21 Sep
Knowing Harken takes years and years (Pt.I)
You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. So if you were going to be the person at the top in Australia, it would be best for you to have immersed yourself in sailing from an early age. When you grew up, being one of the technical service team would be more than a handy apprenticeship, as it were.
Posted on 19 Sep
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 - Day 4 Images by Crosbie Lorimer
The Mistral finally blew itself out on Day 4, permitting the Race Committee to run two coastal course The Mistral finally blew itself out on Day 4, permitting the Race Committee to run two coastal courses for the 52 participating yachts in breezes that started at 15 knots and slowly faded as the afternoon wore on. Day 5 (Friday) saw the winds lighten further bringing some changes to the podium positions of several divisions
Posted on 10 Sep
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 - Day 2 Images by Crosbie Lorimer
The Mistral is in and howling at Porto Cervo! After a brief lull to permit racing on Day 2 after the Day 1 cancellation, The Mistral is in and howling at Porto Cervo! After a brief lull to permit racing on Day 2 after the Day 1 cancellation, we have a second 'Lay Day' on Wednesday with racing again cancelled due to high wind speeds and a large seaway. The conditions were near enough perfect on Day 2 however, with 17-18 knots and a short sea, the breeze dropping later in the day.
Posted on 7 Sep
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 20126 - DAY 2 Images & VIDEO
The fleet of 49 maxis finally hit the water in north-westerly winds of 17-18 knots and a short and sharp seaway. The S The fleet of 49 maxis finally hit the waters off Porto Cervo in north-westerly winds of 17-18 knots and a short and sharp seaway on Day 2. The Super and Mini maxis headed out for a coastal race and the Maxi 72s & Wally fleet competed in two windward/leeward races. The choppy seas made for exciting footage and images.
Posted on 7 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
The C Beetle Project
Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Such is Phil Smidmore’s tale of Mick Miller and if I could be so bold as to implore you to read, then I know your life will be the better for it!
Posted on 30 Aug
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug