sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : America's Cup -American hopes linger on - Lady Luck smiles on Spithill
America's Cup -American hopes linger on - Lady Luck smiles on Spithill


'AC34 Match / ETNZ vs OTUSA DAY 10 - Race 13 / 34th America’s Cup / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA)'    Oracle team USA / Photo: Guilain Grenier    Click Here to view large photo

These are truly anxious times to be an American sailing fan. Depending on how you want to look at it, our team is either one race away from loosing the America’s Cup or five races from staging sailing’s biggest juggernaut, but, irrespective of how you hash it, Oracle Team USA is also being treated to some of the best luck ever seen in Cup racing.

The big question now, however, boils down to resiliency: Will skipper Jimmy Spithill and his American-flagged teammates rally for the greatest comeback in sailing history, or will Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), now on match-point, pull an antipodean job on the Auld Mug?

I’m no betting man, but I do question how much longer the inevitable can be postponed due to timed-out races (honestly, the Kiwis were robbed on Thursday), too-much breeze, breeze out of the (slightly) wrong direction and the occasional Oracle win. Obviously, if Spithill has it his way, there will be a lot more of the later, no more of the former, and a chance to race ETNZ skipper Dean Barker in a match-point on match-point contest, but that reality is still five full wins away for the Defender.

21/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America’s Cup - Final Match - Racing Day 11 -  © ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget  


Only a week ago the conclusion of the 34th America’s Cup seemed beyond foregone, but now Oracle has at least a flicker of hope. So what has made the Defender so much faster?

The answer here is a refined mix of highly choreographed crew work, a retooled platform (first no bowsprit, then, as the light airs descended, the Code-0 prod reappeared), a (likely) retuned wing, and-if the rumors are true-a constant experimentation with different foil shapes.

The later is especially critical in this Cup, and it’s been interesting to see the designs of both teams (Oracle started with traditional 'L'-shaped foils, while ETNZ opted, initially, for 'V'-shaped boards) converge towards a hybridized middle-ground, with Oracle clearly making the biggest performance gains since Cup racing began.

The Kiwis, for their part, have also been working hard to dial-in their boat, but the simple fact remains that the Kiwis were far more polished coming into this Cup than the Defender, and they simply don’t have the same amount of low-hanging fruit, performance-wise, that they can harvest for their boat.

20/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America’s Cup - Final Match - Racing Day 10 -  © ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget   Click Here to view large photo


So are the delays helping or hindering the teams? There’s no question that the shore crews and the sailors are getting exhausted at this point (today will be their sixth day in the row of docking-out their AC72s, which right there represents a huge amount of work), but there’s also no question that this extra runway time is allowing the engineers and designers more tweak-it time.

Oracle specifically seems to be making wide strides here, but it’s also clear that a huge part of sailing AC72s fast involves moding your boat to the day’s specific conditions. Get this right and you’re quick; mode to the wrong wind range, as ETNZ did the other day, and suddenly a fat points Delta on the scoreboard becomes your greatest asset.

Selfishly, the prolonged Cup racing delivers more great racing and more opportunity to enjoy the amazing augmented-reality that Stan Honey and company have added to this year’s broadcasts, not to mention more time to savor the flight patterns of two now-equally matched AC72 on one of the world’s greatest sailing venues. Still, it’s not easy to watch the racing knowing that your team could be one blown wind shift away from loosing sailing’s greatest prize.

AC34 Match / ETNZ vs OTUSA DAY 10 - Race 13 / 34th America’s Cup / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco -  Oracle team USA / Photo: Guilain Grenier   Click Here to view large photo


The wait might feel agonizing, but it’s got the right amount of drama to be infectious, the right amount of hope to feel American, and the right amount of swagger and excitement to be a (now) proper America’s Cup. Hopefully the wind gods will cooperate today to make the racecourse feel San Franciscan again, and life will be great.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=114835

3:13 PM Sun 22 Sep 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup

Related News Stories:

24 Sep 2013  America's Cup: Monsta's view of the key moments of the 34th Match
23 Sep 2013  America's Cup - Speed,Smarts and a Little Luck
23 Sep 2013  America's Cup: Am-Cam Video of Races 14 and 15
23 Sep 2013  America's Cup - Super Sunday for Oracle Team USA
23 Sep 2013  America's Cup: Images of Races 14 and 15
23 Sep 2013  America’s Cup - Oracle Team USA extends with four consecutive wins
23 Sep 2013  America's Cup: Can this go on?
23 Sep 2013  America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ - Big gains and big losses
23 Sep 2013  America's Cup - Defender Oracle Team USA sweeps on the Bay
23 Sep 2013  America's Cup - Defender claims race 14 victory to extend Finals
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong








America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,


























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
















Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew by Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF),


SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   
Les Voiles de St. Barth - Preparing to rock Saint Barthélemy waters   
Clipper Round the World Race - OneDLL and Qingdao now in San Francisco   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL NEW US