sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : America’s Cup: SHOWDOWN!
America’s Cup: SHOWDOWN!


'Oracle Team USA - Race 17 - 18'    Luna Rossa - Carlo Borlenghi ©    Click Here to view large photo

Gary Jobson is a former America's Cup winner, a long time commentator on the sport and in the 34th America's Cup he is the on-the-water expert commentator, aboard Regardless, the official Race Committee vessel. Here's his view on Day 14 in the 34th America's Cup and where the regatta is headed for the two teams:

The 34th America's Cup defense has turned into more of a people show than a boat show. Sure the boats are amazingly fast, technological marvels, but the emotional highs and lows that we are feeling while watching and listening to the sailors compete is the epitome of human drama. How could anyone write a script for such a compelling narrative?

Think about these story lines: The America's Cup has been won and lost by the most successful business leaders of their eras. This is the oldest continuously contested trophy in international sports dating back to 1851. The score is tied at 8-8. We are down to one, 30 minute race around a 10 mile course, off the city front of San Francisco.

A tiny, sailing crazed nation, with a home grown crew, is up against one of the wealthiest men in the world who has acquired the services of Olympic champions and superstars from seven nations.

New Zealand has been one race from winning the Cup for a week, while Oracle Team USA has felt the pressure of being on the brink of defeat for seven races in a row. Tomorrow one team will be heroes, the other will be hurting for a long time.

On the 18th day of the Cup we saw two very different races today. In the first contest the Australian skipper of the American boat, James Spithill, forced the New Zealanders into irons at the start. This is the equivalent of a football player fumbling the ball in his own end zone and the other team recovering it for a touchdown.

USA 17 jumped to a comfortable lead. After the start the boats seemed fairly even in speed in 15-18 knots of wind. With another American victory the score stood at 8-7 with ETNZ still leading the series. After the race the Kiwi skipper, Dean Barker, sounded determined to get right back on the race course.

Race Two commenced on schedule. At the start both boats hit the line at the same time. USA 17 was to windward. Could they drive over the top of NZL5 Barker was in the better inside position and luffed Spithill at the first turning mark. Downwind USA 17 gained a length or two.

There wasn't much difference in speed between the AC 72s. Both cats streaked down the course at 41 knots.

About 1/2 mile from the leeward gate USA 17 jibed. Inexplicably NZL continued on. The leading boat should always cover by staying between the competitor and the next mark. The American boat was working to set up a split at the gate to sail on a different course than the Kiwis.

Had NZL jibed with USA 17 they would have stayed in phase. Then USA 17 would have been forced to make two jibes to get the split. In contrast, in previous races, OTUSA's tactician, Great Britain's, Ben Ainslie covered closely when they were ahead on Leg Two.

Oracle Team USA tactician Ben Ainslie Race 17 - 18 -  Luna Rossa - Carlo Borlenghi ©   Click Here to view large photo
On the third leg to windward USA 17 inched up under the lee of Alcatraz Island. I wonder if the prisoners in the 1930s would have been able to watch the Cup races had they taken place on the Bay at that time?

NZL tacked over. They were crossing by about three lengths. NZL's tactician, Ray Davies, called for a tack ahead but to leeward of USA 17.

At that moment, Spithill headed down a few degrees, got his boat foiling and sailed right over NZL. The Kiwis were stunned.

When USA 17 tacked back into the center of course, NZL followed immediately. NZL could have extended a few more lengths and that might have helped them keep their wind clear. It is never tidy when a faster boat passes a slower boat.

At that moment USA 17 took off and sailed away from NZL at an astonishing rate. It reminds me of the philosophy of boxer, Mike Tyson, who said, 'Every opponent has a plan until I punch them in the nose.'

The crew of Emirates Team New Zealand looked as if Tyson had landed one of his punishing left hooks. USA 17 crossed the line in triumph. The American team had tied the score at 8 to 8.

After the race I think Jimmy Spithill was ready to sail the finale right then. His crew looked super happy. Over on NZL it was total devastation. Neither Dean Barker, Ray Davies nor syndicate head, Grant Dalton were up to doing a post-race interview from the boat. Their faces told the story. Their boat and crew were no longer the dominant team they were for the first 11 days of this historic match.

On August 28 I predicted in my AC Report 5 that 'Oracle Team USA would defend....barely.' Little did I know at the time that their wing trimmer would be disqualifed from competition for illegally altering the team's AC 45s last year.

Nor did I know that USA 17 would be so slow compared to New Zealand on the opening weekend. Nor did I realize how Oracle could make such a comeback. An old saying defined the American team, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going.'

Oracle Team USA skipper James Spithill - Race 17 - 18 -  Luna Rossa - Carlo Borlenghi ©   Click Here to view large photo
After each losing day Jimmy Spithill would boldly declare, 'We can win races.' The press corp was incredulous. He made his statements with such over-the-top conviction that it made you wonder if maybe he was right. It reminds me of the great football quarterback Joe Namath's bold guarantee that the upstart American Football League, New York Jets, would defeat the mighty Baltimore Colts. The Jets won 16-7. Namath has been a hero ever since.

Spithill must have known that his design team and shore crew had many experiments that might give the boat additional speed. The big secret around here is what did OTUSA do to improve their speed? I believe it is a combination of many little things.

Eventually, we will know. After every America's Cup designers and engineers present papers on their research and innovations. I bet we see volumes of material published over the next few years. The secret of the USA turnaround is the designers.

BUT!

The America's Cup is not over. We have one more race. OTUSA has won 10 times. They only have eight points because two were taken away for their rules infractions.

New Zealand has won eight races, but was ahead in three other races that were abandoned for either too much wind, or too little. The weather let the Kiwis down just as they were close to securing their ninth victory. Mother Nature can be cruel.

Sports are compelling because we can never really know the outcome. That is why these races are so much fun to watch. To be the only journalist commentating in the middle of race course is quite a privilege. I have never watched, or sailed in such a hard fought battle.

Emirates Team New Zealand Race 17 - 18 -  Luna Rossa - Carlo Borlenghi ©   Click Here to view large photo
After the race today I was talking with my co-commentator Todd Harris and our producer Leon Sefton. My cell phone rang. On the other end of the line was Ted Turner. He was in Atlanta and has been watching all the races. He sounded excited and was very complementary about our television coverage. Ted is one the greatest sailors of our time. He has won the America's Cup was a four time Yachtsman of the Year, is a member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame and one of the most successful television visionaries in the world. Ted, like so many other sailors and non-sailors alike, has been riveted by this America's Cup. I am sure he will be watching tomorrow.

Todd Harris, Ken Read and I will do our best to let the pictures play, and the words of the competitors tell the story as we describe the biggest sailboat race of this century. Tune in at 4pm ET (1 pm PT) to the NBC Sports Network.

Most everyone here in San Francisco believes Oracle Team USA has the America's Cup being re bolted to its pedestal.

If Oracle prevails they will complete an amazing turn around.

If New Zealand finds a way to win, it will be an even bigger turn around. As the legendary Al Michaels once asked, while calling a hockey game during the 1980 Winter Olympic Games, 'Do you believe miracles.'

At this point it might take a miracle for the proud New Zealanders to win, but are you sure they won’t? You better watch because America's Cup history will be written tomorrow.

For more from Gary Jobson see www.jobsonsailing.com


by Gary Jobson

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=114998

5:22 AM Wed 25 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:

25 Sep 2013  America's Cup Final photos by Carlo Borlenghi
25 Sep 2013  America's Cup 2013 Race 19 - NOT Just another race
25 Sep 2013  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA update: Winner takes all
25 Sep 2013  America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ update - Down to the Wire
25 Sep 2013  34th America’s Cup - A winner-take-all race tomorrow!
25 Sep 2013  America's Cup: Kiwi Media Conference - Day 14
25 Sep 2013  America's Cup - Race 18 action shots
25 Sep 2013  Amerrica's Cup: Level on Points - Day 14
25 Sep 2013  America's Cup 2013 - Oracle Team USA levels in Race 18
25 Sep 2013  America's Cup Race 17 & 18- Video Replay
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

EFG's Star Winter Series rules in Biscayne Bay by Connie Bischoff, Miami, FL
The third Star Winter Series presented by EFG (SWS) and hosted by Miami’s Biscayne Bay was a shining success. Not only have all five regattas had stronger participation than last year but the final one, the Mid Winters, grew 35% with 45% of the sailors international (CAN, SWE, BRA, UKR, ARG, ITA and GER). ... [more]  

The International DN Ice Yacht World and North American Championships are being held in Kingston, Ontario (right in front of our office). For the Kingston Yacht Club, we skated out to the middle of the lake, and put together a little highlight piece for them to remember the event by. ... [more]  

Doyle Sails had more success last weekend in the Auckland Optimist Championships, taking first and second overall in the 110 strong Open fleet. Six countries were represented in the event, and young sailors came the length of New Zealand to compete in the regatta that is a ranking event for World and International team selection. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Day 3 photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

Day 3 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella marked the midpoint of North America’s biggest Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta. With bright sunshine and fresh breeze in abundance, the world’s top athletes in 13 classes were treated to the conditions that exemplify why Miami is a preferred international sailing destination. ... [more]  

It was windshift upon windshift upon shift upon windshift on Day 3 of the ISAF World Sailing Cup Miami sailed on Biscayne Bay Presented by Sunbrella, the premier regatta has attracted 599 boats and 768 sailors who were adjusting all day to one thing or another. If it wasn't the wind direction that was changing, it was the wind speed. ... [more]  

Following the success of the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series that concluded last week, the dates of next year’s event have been confirmed for 16-24 January 2016. With overseas competitors from 11 nations represented a large part of the 47-strong fleet overall at the 2015 event ... [more]  

Ben Ainslie Racing, the British Challenger for the 35th America's Cup, have shipped two foiling Nacra 20 catamarans to Bermuda and have become the first team to commence sailing operations at the Venue for the next Cup. The team conducted an initial training camp in Bermuda, last week. ... [more]  

North U kicked off its 2015 season of youth match racing clinics around the U.S. with a successful clinic hosted by the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club in Kemah, Texas on Galveston Bay near Houston. Forty high school and college sailors spent two-and-a-half days learning about match racing and training in Sonars on flat water and 6-12 knots of breeze. ... [more]  

A fantastic week of sunshine, warm weather, big breeze and competitive sailing is what sailors were treated to last week in Key West. Several Canadians left the bitter cold of the north to partake in the fun filled week and a few even brought home trophies. Here's a peek at the fun in the sun! ... [more]  

At ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, if the Chamber of Commerce had stayed up all night working at it, they could not have served up a better day for racing. ... [more]  

On day 2 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, the rainstorms of yesterday vanished but the excellent wind conditions remained in place on Biscayne Bay. A more conventional day of racing saw US Sailing Team Sperry athletes finish the day in the top 10 in 5 Olympic classes and 2 Paralympic classes. ... [more]  

Bringing Dragon Sailors from around the world to Antigua. Harmony Hall Yacht Club, with the support of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and the Inn at English Harbour, will host the second Annual Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge with nine races scheduled to take place over five days in fantastic Caribbean conditions on identical Petticrow Dragons. ... [more]  

There are so many ways that the Dongfeng Race Team could have lost the chance to win the light-air marathon from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China. Leading from the first 24 hours to the finish, 23 and a half days later, 5,403 nautical miles sailed and eight different gulfs, oceans and seas, is not necessarily the most advisable way to try and take the spoils. ... [more]  

Sydney photographer, Michael Chittenden was on Sydney harbour last Sunday and captured these images from Race 4 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championships ... [more]  

New Zealand short-handed sailor, Conrad Colman is on his second two handed round the world race, this time aboard the Spirit of Hungary with Nandor Fa sailing in the Barcelona Round the World Race: I had noticed a couple of chafing zones on the mainsail so I prepared some patches and the Dr. Sails flexible epoxy glue so we could drop the main quickly ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami- Photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - It may have been a day late for Australia Day, but on the second day at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the Australian Finn sailors were on a charge with some sparkling performances. Giles Scott (GBR) still leads after winning the opening race of the day, while Jake Lilley (AUS) won the second and moved up to second overall. Ed Wright (GBR) is in third. ... [more]  

2015 Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race is set to begin Friday, February 6. The 32nd edition of the venerable Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race will start in Port Everglades, Florida, and send its 12-boat fleet on a challenging 811 nautical mile course to Montego Bay, Jamaica. George Sakellaris’s (Framingham, Mass.) 72-foot Shockwave will be the largest boat competing, so it should be interesting to ... [more]  

VX One momentum is growing with ever larger fleets showing the pure fun and easy performance of this true thoroughbred one design. ... [more]  

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. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: A warm and colorful welcome for Team SCA into Sanya by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL, Auckland, NZ
The all-female crew, Team SCA, arrived to a warm and colorful welcome including fireworks, Chinese dragons, orchid garlands and traditional costumes into the city of Sanya on Hainan Island in southern China early Tuesday evening (local time). 'It was a really different leg. I wouldn’t say it was hard in terms of the physical side but it just had lots of things coming at all angles ... [more]  

Touch2Play had the great fortune of participating in what would be the largest yet gathering of J88’s to date. Quantum Key West Race Week would serve as a chance to see how boats lined up against one another in conditions that covered the full range. For this event we had Rob and Sandy Butler, Steve Leibel, Keven Piper, Coleen Walsh and myself, Larry Huibers. ... [more]  

As the Barcelona World Race leaders race to the Crozet Islands, once again their paths have diverged – Neutrogena around 200 miles to the south-west of first-placed Cheminées Poujoulat on the water, and gaining around 40 miles in the past 24 hours. ... [more]  

For the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will announce on Saturday (31 January) at 10:00 CET the final line-up of sports. ... [more]  

On a high octane first day of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami on Monday (26 January) Giles Scott, Alison Young and the Paralympian Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas saw the best possible start to their 2015 sailing seasons with double race victories. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

RC44 World Championship Leg 1 gets underway on 24th March until 29th March 2015. The RC 44 Class is unlike any 40 foot sailing yacht ever designed, and the reason for that is simple. She is a high performance one design yacht created for top level racing in international regattas. If one was to compare this concept to racing cars, then we would be talking about the F1, NASCAR or similar. ... [more]  

On Day 1 of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, America's premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta, featured the full range of what sailing in Miami has to offer. Over 850 sailors enjoyed strong breeze for the duration of the day, in addition to a brief but powerful rainstorm. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Giles Scott (GBR) said last week that he hoped his unbeaten run would continue, and based on Monday’s form at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the 2014 World and European Finn Champion is giving it a pretty good shot ... [more]  

ISAF Olympic classes regatta Miami 2015 images provided by photographer Ingrid Abery. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica wins first podium place in Sanya
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng scores historic victory for China
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng release first DroneCam video from Leg 3
Volvo Ocean Race: Chinese team set historic first with home port win
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind arrives on time in Genoa + Video
America's Cup - Virgin considers backing Ben Ainslie, BAR
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Changes
Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Monsoon Cup preview
Barcelona World Race - A game of chase
Quantum Key West Race Week: Four GC32's make spectacular USA debut
Volvo Ocean Race – Frostad says Caudrelier proving them wrong *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Last day drag race to Sanya
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Tense onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Dongfeng Race Team pushing hard!
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 3 Finish - Video - Delayed feed
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Countdown begins
Volvo Ocean Race: Donfeng set to create a piece of sailing history
Barcelona World Race - First of the iconic Great Capes has been passed
Classic 18fters racing on Sydney Harbour
Volvo Ocean Race - Can Dongfeng still hang on for a Sanya win??
Stephanie Roble, 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year   
Barcelona World Race - Taking advantage   
Oakcliff Awarded Joe Prosser Award at US Sailing NSPS 2015   
20 Nations head for 2015 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta   
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 500 miles to go   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Fantastic finish   
Barcelona World Race: Weather beacons launched midrace   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5   
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race – Gala prizegiving marks end of event   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5 images by Ingrid Abery   
Volvo Ocean Race Leader - Dongfeng - the right place at the right time   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Notice Of Race online   
Volvo Ocean Race: Changes to Team Vestas Wind crew   
McDougall+McConaghy Moth Worlds: Highlight video released   
America's Cup: Oracle crew mate lodges complaint against Tienpont   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 4 images by Ingrid Abery   
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - US Sailing Team preview   
Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 - A great day   
Volvo Ocean Race: Jump seat and Pro-Am race spots up for auction   
Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta overall   


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.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT