Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

America's Cup - A day we will remember

by Bob Fisher on 20 Sep 2013
19/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America’s Cup - Oracle Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand, Race Day 9 © ACEA / Ricardo Pinto http://photo.americascup.com/
For right and wrong reasons, depending on who you are, Thursday 19th September is a day you are unlikely to forget. It had highs and lows and the Kiwis remain on match point – eight points achieved and one to go – while Oracle Team USA staged the first step of a hoped-for comeback in the 34th America’s Cup.

The racing was exciting from the very beginning when Jimmy Spithill with OTUSA staged a move to ‘hook’ Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand in the final seconds of the pre-start. It was a move that proved crucial as Barker was forced to slow the boat more than he would have liked while Spithill bore away and headed for the line.

The three-second lead at the first mark was the telling factor. That lead was doubled by the leeward gate, when the three-mile beat started. It was soon obvious that the defender could match the previous upwind speed of the challenger.

In addition, Ben Ainslie appeared to desert his grinder handles to view the strategic position better from the middle of the trampoline – and there is little doubt that Oracle benefited from his move. He seemed to be able to assess the fast moving situation better than before and control the positioning of the boat relative to ETNZ.

By the weather gate, Oracle’s lead was only the same as at the start of the beat but the outcome was not in doubt as the leader had rounded the right hand mark and sailed into less adverse current than the Kiwis, and hitched into a slightly better wind shift. It enabled OTUSA to sail to a 31-second victory in front of the large crowd of spectators gathered at the AC Park on Pier 27.

When it came time for the second start of the day, the ebb was full-on, sweeping out of the Golden Gate at three knots and thus reducing the permissible wind speed to 20 knots. One delay followed another as the wind peaked over the allowable limit repeatedly. Then there was a lull and the clock counted down for thirteen of the fifteen minutes, but then a gust took control of the situation and with the starting time limit almost up, racing was once again abandoned for the day.


When questioned about a possible change in the wind limit, Spithill said that his team had written to Emirates Team New Zealand but could not get the agreement that would be needed to make the change. Barker countered by saying that his team didn’t want changes to be made in the middle of the regatta.

Oddly, when Race Director Iain Murray first consulted the teams about wind limits, following the tragic accident to Artemis in May, Oracle suggested 20 knots and ETNZ 25.

Racing will continue with two races scheduled for Friday. For the first of these the flood tide will have just begun and there will be little ebb for the second with the real possibility of two races if necessary.

This day will also be remembered for Vincent Jay Broze, a prolific writer about the America’s Cup in past years, who passed peacefully away this morning.

Fair winds Jay.

Barz Optics - Kids rangeZhik Dinghy 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
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 Shawn Macking about the StPYC’s Sailing Center and OD fleet
I talked with Shawn Macking, the StPYC’s waterfront director, to learn how the club is getting more people out sailing. I caught up with Shawn Macking, waterfront director of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, via email to learn more about the club’s Sailing Center, its hefty investment in a new fleet of ten J/70s, and how the StPYC is using this infrastructure to expose more people to the sport we all love.
Posted on 13 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
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
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016