Please select your home edition
Edition
Top of the Gulf Regatta 2017 728x90

America's Cup- Level on Points - Day 14

by Bob Fisher on 25 Sep 2013
Oracle Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand, Race Day 14 ACEA / Photo Abner Kingman © http://photo.americascup.com

The teams in the 34th America’s Cup are now level – it has been the most remarkable comeback by Oracle Team USA and just as remarkable failure by Emirates Team New Zealand.

The Kiwis have sat on match point for days and watched while the defenders have risen Phoenix-like from the ashes of defeat, much as skipper Jimmy Spithill had predicted.

'We can still win this event,' declared Spithill on the day that ETNZ reached the situation of needing just one more victory to take the Cup to Auckland. It had seemed a proud boast at the time, but with the help of the design and engineering teams ashore to provide better speed and the combination of himself, Tom Slingsby and Ben Ainslie, providing the strategic information, Oracle Team USA has proved its skipper correct.

On day 18 of the regatta (equaling the longest the event has ever gone), the OTUSA team won two races. The first was from a start that saw the Kiwis penalized twice and trailing by 17 seconds around the first mark. Try as they might, and they were exceedingly tenacious, ETNZ could make no impression, but the defenders did not appear to have any speed advantage on any leg of the course.

Just how they should have won the second race will stick forever in the minds of the New Zealand crew. They had won the start and saw Oracle bury her bow as she rounded the mark five seconds behind them. Downwind they lost nothing except for making what proved the wrong choice of mark at the leeward gate. Ray Davies chose to advise going to the right hand mark and sailing for the cone of slacker water (in the flood tide) in the lee of Alcatraz Island.

Ainslie and Slingsby had spotted the tideline further to the left and called for Spithill to go to the other buoy. The 200-metre lead began to evaporate rapidly, and when Barker tacked away from the boundary he would have crossed his rival by 45 metres, but he decided to tack to leeward to protect the right hand side of the course. That was the Kiwis’ second mistake.

Spithill pounced. He put the bows of OTUSA down and the boat leapt on to her foils and in what was little more than an instant, the American boat was ahead. Game over.

Oracle Team USA drew remorselessly ahead to lead by almost a minute at the windward gate. From there, Spithill was able to take it relatively easily, if foiling in excess of 40 knots can be described as easily, to take his seventh win in succession and level the scoreline at 8-all.

It all hangs on the final race, which should be on Wednesday, but Iain Murray, the Race Director did declare before these two races that conditions on Wednesday would be: 'Fierce to frightening, ' but that, now, may not be the case.

The course therefore is set for the decider and both skippers believe they can win – but then, they would, wouldn’t they.
Zhik OceanThe Water Shed - 4Harken and Fosters -  Harken Winches

Related Articles

America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Race record smashed
On Day Three (just) of the 72nd Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Perpetual Loyal smashed the race record On Day Three (just) of the 72nd Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, in the strongest downwind conditions in recent times, certainly as good as the 1999 iteration of the blue water classic, Anthony Bell’s supermaxi, Perpetual Loyal, the former Speedboat and then Rambler 100, smashed the race record for the famous 628-nautical mile event.
Posted on 27 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – right turn means record in mortal danger?
A while ago we talked about not unprecedented conditions, but certainly ones that had not been seen for ages. A while ago we talked about not unprecedented conditions, but certainly ones that had not been seen for ages. Those that did a lot of Hobarts in the 90s would scoff at the thought of using the kite sheets for the whole journey. Their memories would be why they even bothered to clip them onto the rail at all.
Posted on 27 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – The Derwent awake or asleep for Loyal?
With steady winds now pushing everyone down the Tasmanian East Coast With steady winds now pushing everyone down the Tasmanian East Coast, it does appear that barring a mechanical failure, Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal will be the first boat into Storm Bay tonight, and well on record pace too!
Posted on 27 Dec 2016
AeroMedia Drone Video from Rolex Sydney Hobart Race start
Jono Whiity drives the 18-Footer, Line 7, and also pilots the hAeroMedia drone for these images of the #RSHYR start. Jono Whiity drives the 18-Footer, Line 7, and also pilots the AeroMedia drone that captured these images of the #RSHYR start.
Posted on 27 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Situation normal
You could easily say that all is right with the world again. You could easily say that all is right with the world again. After the worst start in 12 years, the Oatley family’s 100 foot Wild Oats XI, the eight times line honours winner skippered by Mark Richards is leading the fleet South, as she has done so many, many times before.
Posted on 26 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Changing of the guard
So as darkness descends on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, watch systems and red lights take over from sunglasses So as darkness descends on the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, watch systems and red lights take the place of sunglasses and hats. Yet another of the Hobart maxims is now coming into play. You go out early and come in late. It means you stay offshore early to pick up the East Australia Current running down South and then come in back to the Tasmanian coast and stay there.
Posted on 26 Dec 2016
Wild Oats XI Training Day - VIDEO
As your Christmas Day preparations get into full swing, chances are you won’t have much time to get into the mood As your Christmas Day preparations get into full swing, chances are you won’t have much time to get into the mood for the big race to Hobart on Boxing Day. So here’s a pacey one minute video we've compiled from a training day that we shot aboard Wild Oats XI this time last year in a solid nor'easter, shortly after her major rebuild was completed. Merry Christmas to all from Crosbie and Dale
Posted on 23 Dec 2016