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

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The chase for line honours at the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is intensifying with the leading boats approaching the halfway mark of the 628-nm race. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - By Grand Prix ocean racing standards she’s an old girl, and there’s no denying she’s had a few makeovers during the past decade, but Bob Oatley’s 30-metre long supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, was leaving no doubt today that when it came to speed she’s still got great legs. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - After 24 hours the Hamilton Island supermaxi Wild Oats XI has taken the lead for the first time in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the 70th sailing of the event. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Supermaxi Race Start VIDEO *Feature by Dale Lorimer, Sydney
The start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race saw the five 100 foot super maxis up against each other for the first time. ... [more]  

The Australian supermaxi Perpetual Loyal has been forced to retire from the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, with hull damage. The news came in a regular radio sked with race organisers, little detail was available, however it is understood that she has some hull delamination, probably arising from pounding though big seas and 25-30kt winds for the first day and night of the race. ... [more]  

Clouds outlines what he is expecting to see in the race, and says that while the big boats will take all the attention in the early stages of the race, the weather is against them as the race progresses. The smaller boats will come surfing in a fresh northerly, while the front-runners cope with light winds on their final approach to the finish on the Derwent. ... [more]  

Sail-World is now running live in the changed website format. If you are running on a Mac with iOS please scroll to the bottom of the site and check that your region is set for your region and not some other. It can be correctly set up using the drop down boxes. Then go to the top, click refresh, and you should be away. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney to Hobart: Replay video coverage on Sail-World *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Replay of the start of the 2014 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race. The fleet is expected to experience fresh to strong headwinds for the start and first 24 hours, although winds will moderate towards the end of this period. ... [more]  

For the last 18 hours, there has been never more than three nautical miles between the new kids on the block, Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze Clark's Comanche with Ken Read skippering the boat with distinction and the Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI. Mark Richard's who was blown away by Comanche's reaching speed inside the harbour has been hunting the race leader relentlessly as the two boats beat south. ... [more]  

Will Comanche take a scalp? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
After blasting off the startline earlier today, Jim Clark's Comanche continues to hold the lead in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart race eight hours into the race. ... [more]  

A stiff southerly is testing the boats and sailors on the first afternoon of the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart and by late afternoon, four yachts had retired from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual race. The first casualties of the race were Tina of Melbourne, forced out because of hull damage and Bear Necessity with a damaged rudder, just two hours into the race. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Comanche leads in softening morning breeze *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The US supermaxi Comanche (Jim & Kirsty Clark) continues to enjoy a small lead at the head of the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet. As the race enters its second day, organisers told Sail-World at 6.00am local time that the fleet was experiencing SW winds of 12-13kts and that these would ease further during the day. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: The 117 competing yachts, including five 100-foot Maxis, represents the race’s largest number of starters since 1994. Of the five Maxis, Jim Clark’s Comanche (USA) made the early gains in the race’s 70th edition, reaching the first mark in record time and setting a blistering pace. Seven-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI was in close pursuit. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: A memorable edition of the 628-nm race appears certain, with the contest between the fleet’s five Maxi yachts living up to the pre-race hype. At 8:00pm local time, Comanche leads seven-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI by one nautical mile, with Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal and Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100 just a few miles behind the leading duo. ... [more]  

Top international photographers, Carlo Borlenghi and Daniel Forster were on the water, and in the air, for the start of the 70th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Here is a selection of their images of the day. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Start photos by Andrea Francolini. ... [more]  

Comanche skipper Ken Read was in fine form in this video interview. He says On the first night, will there will be too much upwind to be able to send it? It absolutey plays on my mind as the skipper this boat is untested. We’re completely cutting edge, and when it's cutting edge it’s a Formula 1 race car that blows up its engine on the first lap. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Brad Kellett, Brindabella’s sailing master, reported that while he was doing his regular checks this evening he discovered larger than normal quantities of water in the bottom of the boat, found to be coming from damaged rudder bearings. 'We were just coming into our own after a risky tactical decision to go offshore paid off,' a disappointed Kellett said. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Day 1 start images by photographer Carlo Borlenghi ... [more]  

One of the largest fleets in many years started the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race today in a building southerly and in bright sunshine. There seemed to be some mind games going on amongst the super maxis during the pre race dry runs as each in turn put in a single reef in the 30 minutes before the start. Possibly there was some tossing of the coin as to whether it was ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Tony Cable just keeps going on. Last year he finished his 48th Sydney Hobart, setting a record for the number of races by an individual - this year it is number 49 - 49 not out, just one off the half ton! ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Designed for fast broad reaching, the 15 knot plus south-easterly breeze on the harbour was made to order for the big red and black hulled yacht owned by American Jim Clark and his Australian wife, Kristy. After a brilliant start slightly ahead and to leeward of Wild Oats XI, Comanche swiftly unfurled her giant spinnaker and took off, quickly ‘rolling the Oats’. ... [more]  

America’s Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill could well be the most overqualified grinder you’ll see in action in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart start line today. 'He’s been a wonderful team player and literally in the pre-start you’re going to see him grinding, he said he’d do whatever it takes, and he’s lived up to that,' Comanche skipper Ken Read said. ... [more]  

Expect a spectacular and very fast start down Sydney Harbour in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this year. At the final briefing for crews at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this morning, the Bureau of Meteorology’s Andrew Treloar told the sailors that a southerly front is expected to move through Sydney about an hour before race start. ... [more]  

Chicken pies, the gooseneck and the voodoo stick were the last items to be ticked off today in Wild Oats XI’s preparation for a record-breaking bid in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race, which starts on Sydney Harbour at 1pm tomorrow. ... [more]  

The 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart coverage will go live at 0800 AEST with interviews, but will play the promo until then. ... [more]  

In the media scrum for interviews with the skippers and owners of the five super maxis that followed a short press conference at the CYCA on Christmas Eve, anyone from outside the yachting scene might not have noticed one of the world’s finest sailors and circumnavigators standing quietly to one side chatting with Iain Murray and Steve Jarvin ... [more]  

America’s Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill could well be the most overqualified grinder you’ll see in action in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart start line today. 'He’s been a wonderful team player and literally in the pre-start you’re going to see him grinding, he said he’d do whatever it takes, and he’s lived up to that,' Comanche skipper Ken Read said. ... [more]  

When most would have been sitting down for Christmas lunch the Wild Oats XI team were to be seen out on Sydney Harbour testing their new - and appropriately named - gooseneck, that replaces the one that failed when out training earlier in the week. In a puffy nor'easter Wild Oats XI headed to Manly on the wind, swung around close to the Manly East mark and headed back down the harbour for home. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - The Weather Gate *Feature by John Curnow and Rob Kothe, Sydney
In order to win this iconic ocean race,on handicap, there are three things you absolutely need to have accomplished. Two you can do something about, whereas the third is entirely out of your control. ... [more]  

For Christmas a Shiny new Sail-World.com *Feature by Brendan Maxwell
Santa’s elves started on January 7th 2014 building a set of shiny new Sail-World.com websites and just minutes before Christmas morning in one of Santa’s first touch downs Auckland New Zealand , TetraMedia General Manager Jedda Murphy flicked the switch on the dedicated TetraMeda servers in Frankfurt Germany to take almost all our world-wide audience to the new Sail-World sites. ... [more]  

Professor Pat Pending had the most amazing Convert-a-Car in the 60s cartoon series, the Wacky Races. It could do just about anything. Come Boxing Day and the start of the 70th Sydney-Hobart, some may well wish they had a Convert-a-Boat. Being a hundred feet at the start would be cool. You get away off your own line and in clear breeze. You’re also well inside the rulebook. ... [more]  

Few Americans have won more sailboat races than Ken Read, 53, the President of North Sails . Read is skipper of Comanche, Jim and Kristy Clark’s new 100-fooer, one of five that will be lining up on the startline of the Sydney to Hobart. I caught up with Read some 48 hours before the start to get his pulse on the race, Comanche, and the adventure that lies ahead, en route to Hobart. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Line Honours Skippers Press Conference - Video
Barcelona World Race 2014-15 -A different Christmas
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovery video *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Another great journey south
Sydney Hobart - Ragamuffin's David Witt explains deck failure + Video
Wild Oats XI - Damage drama in lead-up to Sydney Hobart Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race images by Photographer Carlo Borlenghi
Five faces behind the 100ft super maxis by Andrea Francolini
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Everyone's in with a chance
Comanche Designers talk before Sydney Hobart
Olympic Sailing Waters - Rio de Janeiro
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - To Hobart in Style
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: Ken Read's notes on Comanche
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Rio 100 - A supermaxi is reborn + Video *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Video of Team Vestas Wind being removed from reef
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!
Entries open for 2015 ORC Championship events
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Levelling the playing field
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race video preview
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - It's a Woman’s world too   
Moth Worlds – Looping the loop *Feature   
Miami Winter Series - M32 racing gets underway   
Rio 2016 - Super-bugs found in Rio sailing waters   
Building the bridge from Optimist to Laser and beyond – with Byte C1 *Feature   
Kieler Woche - Notices of Race published – entry systems are now open   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from December 22 show   
RORC Transatlantic 2014 Race Lanzarote-Grenada - Overall report   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind images from the reef recovery   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovered from reef   
RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 - Prizegiving   
Qingdao to continue as Asian ISAF Sailing World Cup venue   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Will it be Bash and Crash?   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: USA's RIO 100 trains off Sydney Heads   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Weather early Xmas gift for small yachts   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Hollywood focused on victory   
Soldiering on in the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race   
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series - Count down to Caribbean opener   
Barcelona World Race 2014-15 - The mental game + Videos   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Jim Clark's thoughts on Comanche's maiden race *Feature   


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