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

When race leader Dongfeng rounded Singapore 60+ nautical miles ahead of the chasing pack, it looked like the final 1200 miles of Leg three would be a procession but over the last day, the Volvo Ocean race leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya China appears to have tightened incredibly. ... [more]  

US Sailing and Rolex USA announced last week that the 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year is Stephanie Roble. Her accomplishments on the water last year were recognized by the selection panel for her versatility; her accomplishments as a skipper and as a crew; and her competitive successes on a variety of platforms, sailing against both men and women. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - The first of the Great Capes is fast-approaching, with the leading boats in the Barcelona World Race expected to pass the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of South Africa tomorrow. As they pass 20°E, the Atlantic Ocean will deliver its verdict – did Cheminées Poujoulat’s east-bound track or Neutrogena’s southerly gamble pay off? ... [more]  

Mardi Gras may not be for another month but US Sailing’s National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) kicked it off early for Oakcliff Sailing this year. This evening, Oakcliff received The Captain Joe Prosser Award, given to an organization that has made an exemplary contribution toward improving the quality and safety in the training or instruction of sailors. ... [more]  

The 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has already attracted entries from 20 different countries: Antigua, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russia, St.Maarten, Uruguay, USA and the US Virgin Islands. ... [more]  

The world is watching. Can Dongfeng Race Team hold onto their 57 nautical miles lead to China for what will essentially be the ultimate home victory? Or will another team get desperate and make a bold decision that could cost Dongfeng their win? ... [more]  

Most of the marque classes at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 came down to the last day of the regatta, which delivered the toughest conditions of the week. Howling winds and rough seas challenging the competitors on Friday, forcing the top contenders to raise their game in order to claim overall victory. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Sport met science today on the Barcelona World Race when the pairs of skippers took the first opportunity to deploy their data monitoring Argo beacon which was given to them in Bareclona prior to the start. ... [more]  

2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - It really wasn’t our week. Two races were held today in very nice conditions and we finished third in both. Bella Mente won both races to win the class. ... [more]  

The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, incorporating three days of coastal racing and the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race concluded last night at a sumptuous, Mount Gay Rum-fuelled prizegiving dinner and party. The final 300-mile Ocean Race to Antigua to tie up with the Superyacht Cup starts on Saturday. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water again today at 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, and provided this gallery of images from day five ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 - With a solid 17-20 knots from the north east, reducing the possibility of a distance sapping park up, the likehood of the Leg three leader the Chinese boat Dongfeng getting the gun in Sanya just 640 nautical miles ahead continues to strengthen. ... [more]  

The 2015 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship set to be held in Swinoujscie, Poland from 15 – 19 September 2015 Notice of Race has been released. ... [more]  

Currently doing scheduled maintenance. Some elements of site may not be visible at the moment. ... [more]  

On 2nd January 2015, Team Vestas Wind announced that skipper Chris Nicholson had been tasked to review the team during the month of January. The objective is to ensure the right team for the come back to the race, which is now, for this team, of a different nature than the scheduled original route from Alicante to Gothenburg. ... [more]  

Beau Outteridge has compiled a video of highlights and interviews from the 2015 McDougall + McConanghy Moth Worlds completed recently in Sorrento, Melbourne ... [more]  

Former Oracle Team USA team member, Matthew Mitchell has 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]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, and provided this gallery of images from day four. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Along with the rest of the 848 sailors from 63 nations currently training in Florida ahead of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella (January 26-31), US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes and coaches have entered a period of intense focus ahead of the first major Olympic and Paralympic event of 2015. ... [more]  

2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - It probably won't be a late night on Duval Street for the sailors competing on Division Two and Three at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015. After doing three races in strong winds on Thursday, there are no doubt a lot of sore muscles, aching bones and tired bodies. ... [more]  

Children’s heart health continues to benefit from Team Alvimedica’s online auction now underway for two unique experiences during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover here. The Chinese Agape Foundation Inc. will be the recipient of funds raised for these unique team experiences in Sanya, the next stopover port of the global ocean race. ... [more]  

Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta overall by John Payne, Fort Lauderdale
The Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta was held January 17-19 in the Atlantic Ocean off of Dania Beach in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Open to Finns (it’s their Midwinter Championship), Lasers and Laser Radials, competitors came from twenty countries and Puerto Rico. They range in age from 14 to 79. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg 3 update from Dongfeng Race Team: All hands on deck as Chinese crew suffer damage to their boat as the tack line of an important sail (J1) broke suddenly sending the 132 m² sail shooting up the forestay in a matter of seconds. The team have managed to set up a temporary replacement but the reality is, this is a rude awakening of how far away the finish line is. ... [more]  

The city of Cagliari , Sardinia - Italy, will inaugurate the 2015 – 2016 America's Cup World Series, the regattas preliminary to the 35th America's Cup. The event will take place in the Gulf surrounding the island's capital from June 4 to 7, 2015. ... [more]  

Based off early morning forecasts, it appeared a lay day might be in the cards for competitors at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015. Some sailors might have already been making plays to play tennis or go fishing during an hour-long dockside delay. ... [more]  

Bay of Islands photographer, Steve Western was on hand to catch the action on the on the first Day (and with a couple from Day 2) of racing at the Millennium Cup and Bay of Islands Sailing Week. The two events are being conducted in the picturesque Bay of Islands, Northland, NZ. Five superyachts are competing along with round the world race winner Steinlager 2. ... [more]  

Despite generally light airs with winds reaching no more that 15kts, three teams have won their skipper’s weight in rum for breaking records in the 79th Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race. ... [more]  

2015 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - There is no straightforward regatta 'formula' and many events around the world strive to improve the experience that participants have year after year. For the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta it is no different, and this year they are listening to the regatta sailors when it comes to on shore venues and locations. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, and provided this gallery of images from day three. ... [more]  

Sailing in light winds of under 10kts, five superyachts enjoyed the first day's racing at the Millennium Cup sailed in the Bay of Islands, in Northland, New Zealand. Five superyachts are competing Silencio, Silvertip, Bliss, Janice of Wyoming and Sassafras. Three of these designed by Ed duBois, who is attending the regatta. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Up up and away by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 - The nightmares of the Malacca Straits behind them, leg three leaders Dongfeng Race Team have now well and truly entered the South China Sea, clearing Singapore without too many problems on the way to Sanya. China, a little over 1000 miles away. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - 'Haves' and 'Have Nots' by Barcelona World Race Media
The Barcelona World Race tells the tale of the 'Haves' and the 'Have Nots' today. Leaders Chemineés Poujoulat have plenty of perfect breeze, sprinting nearly due east at speeds peaking at more than 20kts, while the chasing pack 'have not' and are stymied by the Saint Helena high pressure ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 update from Artemis Offshore Academy Alumni sailor Jack Bouttell: Jack is currently on route to Sanya, China with Dongfeng Race Team. At just 24 years old, Jack is the first British skipper to have won to coveted Rookie division in the 2000nm solo Solitaire du Figaro race, has two Solitaire du Figaro assaults and a RORC Transatlantic Race win under his belt ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Game time!
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2015 – Ninth year ready to rock!
Foiling GC32s Key West Race Week images by Ingrid Abery
Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race - Crews prepare for big race
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 2
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - A challenging day
America's Cup: Spithill leads Oracle reconnaissance team in Bermuda
Extreme Sailing Series announces new teams and venues for 2015
Barcelona World Race - Leaders enter the fastest section of the course
Martinique Surf Pro - Must attend event in the world surfing circuit
New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup preview
RORC Caribbean 600 proving irresistible
18ft Skiffs: Images from NSW Championships - Race 2
Volvo Ocean Race – Malacca Nightmare – now it’s a boat race again!!
2015 Annapolis to Newport Race - Battle for Surflant Prize
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Off to a great start
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica - Enter the Dragon + Video
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series - Day 3
World Match Racing Tour's title sponsor goes into administration
Kieler Woche 2015 promotes Olympic sailing competitions
Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía – Kiteboarding and Dragons return   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami preview   
Audi Melges 20 Class - Miami Winter Series   
Barcelona World Race - The South is looming.   
Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week announce new one design class   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg 3 position report for 19th January   
Pape Chevrolet North American Championships - Register today!   
Volvo Ocean Race: Sally Barkow - from the Olympics to the Volvo   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - The big casino *Feature   
C&C 30 Javelin makes West Coast Debut   
Quantum Key West Race Week - Flurry of activity   
2015 Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series - Day 2   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Entering the Malacca Strait   
McDougall+McConaghy Moth Worlds: More Alex McKinnon images   
Quantum Key West Race Week - GC32 class joins the action   
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race - Racing underway in classic conditions   
Barcelona World Race - Matched up for a Duel in the South   
McDougall+McConaghy Moth Worlds: Final day's action and Interviews   
Volvo Ocean Race - Fleet on the Monsoon trail   
2014 - 2015 Barcelona World Race - From one hemisphere to another   


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