Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring - Cruising

America's Cup - Grabbing headlines, but not race wins

by Irene Corosu on 13 Sep 2013
12/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America’s Cup - ORACLE Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand, Race Day 4 ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/
In the 34th America’s Cup, defender Oracle Team USA grabbed headlines this morning when the day’s crew lists were released. The defender had changed tacticians, inserting four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie in place of past America’s Cup champion John Kostecki.

Later in the day on the racecourse, it was Emirates Team New Zealand that stole Races 6 and 7 from the defender and now stands two-thirds of the way to winning the oldest trophy in international sport.

Emirates Team New Zealand leads the series 6-0 after winning Race 6 by 47 seconds and Race 7 by 1:06. The winner of the 34th America’s Cup will be the first team to win nine points. For the Kiwis that means three additional race wins and for Oracle Team USA it means 10, due to a penalty imposed by the International Jury.

'We’re very satisfied with the day; it’s nice to get two more points, but there’s still a long way to go,' said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker. 'It’s only two-thirds of the way to actually winning the Cup. You have to win nine points. Three more races is a lot of hard work, and we know that it’s far from over. One bad day out there and momentum changes and things can be quite different. We’re under no illusion, there’s still a very hard road ahead.'

Emirates Team New Zealand’s road is made somewhat easier by its AC72, Aotearoa. The 72-foot long, 48-foot wide catamaran showed again that it is solid throughout a wide range of conditions. Today the wind blew 10 to 18 knots.

In Race 6 Barker said he was asleep all through the pre-start of the race, which put the team on the back foot. But in a similar scenario to Race 5, the team fought from behind on the upwind leg and passed the defender to gain the lead and then extend.

The win in Race 7 was a wire-to-wire performance. The Kiwis started to windward of Oracle Team USA and crossed onto the racecourse riding on their hydrofoils and doing approximately 38 knots. They rounded the first turning mark in the lead and were never threatened the rest of the race.


Emirates Team New Zealand was untouchable on the two upwind legs. In Race 6 the Kiwis gained 55 seconds on the three nautical mile leg and 50 seconds in Race 7.

'The good thing for us is we’re very happy with the boat, very confident in the way it’s going and the more racing we do the more we learn relative to other guys,' Barker said.

'We didn’t know about the designs before the match started,' said Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. 'Both teams spent a lot of time and energy focused on each other and where we stood. I think it’s a shock they have the edge upwind and potentially we have an edge downwind.'

That upwind speed edge rendered moot Oracle Team USA’s decision to change its decision maker. Kostecki, who guided Spithill to victory in the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010, opened the match in the back of the boat, but after five races came under fire for some of his decisions.

Spithill decided yesterday to insert four-time Olympic gold medalist Ainslie in his place. Ainslie has been the team’s B boat helmsman and is widely considered a skipper, but the team felt change was needed for the sake of change.


'Sure we made a change in the back of the boat. Both John and Ben are fantastic sailors, two of the best sailors in the world. We’re very fortunate that we can rotate guys like that. But we’ll have to study the data and see what we can do to change up the boat.

'We still haven’t seen some conditions. Those guys have an edge upwind and tacking, but we still haven’t seen the light-air end of the spectrum and we haven’t seen the Code 0s,' Spithill said. 'We still have to look at the boat and what we can do to improve it. There’s a long way to go in my mind.'

Racing resumes on Saturday with Races 8 and 9, scheduled for 1:15 pm PT and 2:15 pm PT.

34th America’s Cup Standings (first to nine points wins)

Emirates Team New Zealand – 6
Oracle Team USA – 0

Race 6 Performance Data

Course: Five Legs/10.14 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 31:39, OTUSA – 32:26
Delta: ETNZ +:47
Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 12.3 NM, OTUSA – 12.3 NM
Average Speed: ETNZ – 23.43 knots (27 mph), OTUSA – 22.91 knots (26 mph)
Top Speed: ETNZ – 38.55 knots (44 mph), OTUSA – 40.21 knots (46 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 11.6 knots, Peak – 13.4 knots
Number of Tacks/Jibes: ETNZ – 14/8, OTUSA – 15/7

Race 7 Performance Data

Course: 5 Legs/10.14 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 24:48, OTUSA – 25:54
Delta: ETNZ +1:06
Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.6 NM, OTUSA – 12.0 NM
Average Speed: ETNZ – 28.32 knots (32 mph), OTUSA – 27.86 knots (32 mph)
Top Speed: ETNZ – 44.73 knots (51 mph), OTUSA – 41.00 knots (47 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 16.3 knots, Peak – 17.8 knots
Number of Tacks/Jibes: ETNZ – 7/7, OTUSA – Americas Cup

Zhik Yachting 660x82Southern Spars - 100Naiad

Related Articles

America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Terrific battle in Oyster Regatta Antigua finale
On the final day, two of the three Classes were so close that the winners were decided on the last race. On the final day, two of the three Classes were so close that the winners were decided on the last race. Spectacular sailing conditions prevailed with a brisk 20 knots of wind from the south east. Oyster yachts are built to sail the oceans and revelled in the conditions.
Posted on 12 Apr
34th America's Cup - Oracle pumping claims are flawed - Update
Claims that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 34th America's Cup are seriously flawed Claims by an American journalist, Bruce Knecht that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 2013 America's Cup are seriously flawed. The allegations received considerable airplay in New Zealand on Friday and over the weekend.
Posted on 6 Mar
America's Cup - Another win for Oracle Team USA in California Courts
America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away another complaint America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away a complaint brought by former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell. Mitchell's complaint against his former team was dismissed by a San Francisco Court on Wednesday. The amount of damage/injury claimed was stated as $400,000.
Posted on 12 Feb
America's Cup - No action against Kiwi sailor, but rule changes made
The International Sailing Federation has changed the process for Rule 69 Hearings in line with CAS recommendations One of the Oracle Team USA crew members found by the International Jury to have been involved in boat tampering activities with the America's Cup World Series regattas ahead of the 34th America's Cup has not been further penalised by the International Sailing Federation.
Posted on 19 Nov 2015
America's Cup - ISAF and Cup Jury summonsed by California Court
Five members of the AC34 Int Jury and the Int Sailing Federation have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court The International Sailing Federation, the controlling body for world sailing, and the five individuals who made up the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court, to answer a lawsuit.
Posted on 9 Sep 2015
Dean Barker's Blog - Back into the racing
Five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on his split with Team New Zealand and life since Writing on his blog at Kiwi Yachting Consultants' websites, of which he is a substantial shareholder and director, five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on life since Team NZ. This is my first blog for quite some time. In fact since September last year when I was still a part of Team NZ racing in Istanbul for the Extreme Sailing Series.
Posted on 20 Apr 2015
America's Cup- Mitchell fires new salvo at ISAF Jury Officials
Matthew Mitchellhas advised that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members Matthew Mitchell, previously a member of Oracle Team USA, has issued a media release advising that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members with the sport's International governing body (ISAF). This action follows on from his recent claims about the actions of another team member Simeon Tienpont, now with Challenger Luna Rossa.
Posted on 5 Feb 2015
America's Cup- Oracle crew mate lodges ISAF complaint against Tienpont
Last Friday, former OTUSA's Matthew Mitchell issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the ISAF Last Friday, former Oracle Team USA team member, Matthew Mitchell issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the International Sailing Federation over the actions of a fellow crew member, Simeon Tienpont, and inaction by the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup, in San Francisco.
Posted on 28 Jan 2015