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America's Cup 2013 Race 12 - Oracle takes another back

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 20 Sep 2013
Oracle Team USA v Emirates Team New Zealand. Oracle Team USA heads for the finish © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
America's Cup 2013 - A win by Emirates Team New Zealand in this race would deliver the 34th America's Cup to New Zealand for the third time. They won in 1995 and 2000. This is Day nine, the Kiwis score line against Oracle Team USA is 8-1.

The pressure is on Oracle Team USA's Jimmy Spithill as the Americans are first into the starting box with Emirates close behind.

Wind is lifting, now up to 17 knots.


Oracle got the hook, Emirates was too early and had to duck back. Oracle was clear ahead, two lengths ahead across the line and at the first mark. Five seconds ahead.

Down the run, the two boat gybe together, Oracle 100 metres ahead.

The Americans were 11 seconds ahead at the bottom mark, headed offshore, the split with Kiwis inshore.

On the first tack Oracle was still ahead as they headed inshore into the tidal conveyor belt and they stretched to 170 metres then lee bowed their rivals and bounced them away.

Oracle was now the faster boat upwind. Tactician Ben Ainslie was off the grinders calling the shots from the tramp, with strategist Tom Slingsby calling the modes. An impressive combination.

At the top of the course Oracle hit the lay line, leaving their Kiwi rivals a tack behind.

The delta at the top mark was just 10 seconds as the two boats split gybes.

Oracle Team USA stretched away, faster away down wind, they took the first wind shift and gained in more offshore pressure.

As the boats approached the bottom mark, the distance between them approaching 400 metres.


Oracle Team USA were perfectly positioned at the bottom mark, 29 second ahead. At the finish line, 31 seconds.

Now 8-2, actually 8-4 on the water. If he America's Cup finals started today, the American boat would probably be in the box seat, but that is another story.

Jimmy Spithill. ‘The learning curve has been steep. We have to focus on one race at a time. '

Grant Dalton ‘ We know there is a nation watching us, we just have to do our jobs.’


With the wind building the question is will there be a race 13 today?

As the wind builds and the ebb tide combination triggers another 15 minute restart. And again and then again.

If this is a normal San Francisco Bay day, then then Race 13 is not going to happen today.

But outside the Golden Gate bridge, the wind seems to be lighter, there might yet be second race for today.

Into the sequence, once again port entry for Oracle Team USA. Emirates Team New Zealand late into the box.

Then the radio crackled the wind had just climbed over the limit. End of racing for the day.



34th America’s Cup Standings (first to 9 points wins)

Emirates Team New Zealand – 8
ORACLE TEAM USA – 2

Race 12 Performance Data
Course: 5 Legs/10.16 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 23:49, ETNZ – 24:20
Delta: OTUSA +:31
Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 11.8 NM, ETNZ – 11.6 NM
Average Speed: OTUSA – 29.90 knots (34 mph), ETNZ – 29.01 knots (33 mph)
Top Speed: OTUSA – 42.62 knots (49 mph), ETNZ – 41.24 knots (47 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 14.8 knots, Peak – 16.3 knots
Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 10/6, ETNZ – 10/8

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