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

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Hats Off Tasmania For The Huge Crowds *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
Ken Read, skipper of Jim Clark's super maxi Comanche, has been amazed at the level of interest shown by Australians in sailing and particularly in this race. When he first arrived in Sydney with Comanche, Read was clearly very envious of the crowds that turn up for this race every year ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI crossed the finish line 49 minutes ahead of Comanche in the most anticipated battle of the supermaxis. Crosbie Lorimer spoke to some of the crew from both boats to get their take on the race and the duel between the two front runners. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - It was the space of just six nautical miles that made the difference when it came to Bob Oatley’s supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, claiming a historic eighth line honours in the 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart race. ... [more]  

Three very long-standing Australian members of the OK Dinghy class were inducted into the OKDIA Hall of Fame during the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Championship at Black Rock Yacht Club, Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday 28 December. Bill Bell, Roger Blasse and Andre Blasse were all presented with engraved crystal mementoes to mark the occasion. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Have a look at the IRC standings, the list of boats leading the Rolex Sydney Hobart overall on handicap; it’s a long time since such venerable names have graced the top of the list en masse as they do today. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Ever wondered about the cost of breaking and damaging gear – and the repercussions of it in a long race such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race? Well wonder no longer. Three boat owners confidentially whispered this morning 'Don’t tell the wife, but….' ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - the boats dock in Hobart so do the stories. Everyone has a tale to tell, some funny, some of outright terror, some apocryphal to tell about the Rolex Sydney Hobart. This morning Daryl Hodgkinson jumped off his Cookson 50 Victoire with a yarn about crabs, pots and British pluck under fire. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Tough Stuff Down the Tassie Coast *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
By nine a.m. this morning (Monday) ten boats were finished, amongst them several of the 50 footers arriving in a group just before 8am. The consistent theme amongst all those we interviewed was the strength of wind late yesterday on the run down the Tasmanian coast. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Comanche was finally defeated by Wild Oats in Hobart. But the new record breaker has shown great potential in the medium and strong wind. It still remains to work on its performance in the low wind. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - It is going to be a busy day in Hobart, with more than two thirds of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet expected to arrive into Hobart today. ... [more]  

The overnight and morning finishes have been marked by some very close racing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race. The battle for third place was won by Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer), after the canting keel supermaxi dropped back significantly yesterday afternoon, and then powered through in the fresh northerly ... [more]  

Before the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, Ken Read, skipper of the US supermaxi Comanche gave this tour above and below decks of Jim and Kristy Clark's new 100ft flyer. ... [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 Hobart: Wild Oats XI and Comanche Finish Images *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
The Comanche and Wild Oats XI teams were equally gracious in victory and defeat on the dockside in Hobart today. It had been a close fought battle and while Comanche had reeled Wild Oats XI back in overnight to within 9nm , there simply wasn't enough air to power up the American boat in the run across Storm Bay and up the Derwent River. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: In what skipper Mark Richards described as the crew’s most hard-fought line honours triumph, Wild Oats XI held off the impressive challenge posed by Comanche, the newly-launched entry from the United States. Completing the race in 2 days, 2 hours, 3 minutes and 26 seconds, Wild Oats XI finished eight hours shy of the race record she set in 2012. ... [more]  

After being dismasted a short time ago in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Giacomo is motoring to the lee of Maria Island. In other race news, a very disappointed Bill Wild has retired his Reichel/Pugh 55, Wedgetail, from the race after suffering mast damage in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race at approximately 7.40pm off Schouten Island. All are safe and well on board. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Spithill was one of six helmsmen on Comanche. 'We can’t leave it at that,' he declared after finishing in Hobart. He says that on his watch this morning the boat reached a top speed of 32 knots and knows what she is capable of. 'Everybody got to see the true potential of this boat at the start. ... [more]  

Top international yachting photographer, Carlo Borlenghi was in the air above the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race fleet and provided these images of the third day of racing in the classic ocean race, as the leaders closed in on the finish, and the dock celebrations by Wild Oats XI. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - 'This is the sweetest victory by far,' Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards declared today after steering the silver-grey thoroughbred to a record eighth line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart. 'To rewrite a bit of sailing history doesn’t come along every day. To win a Hobart is a great honour but to win an eighth; I can’t believe I am here,' Richards said. ... [more]  

Photographer Andrea Francolini was on the water at 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours finish and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI entered the Derwent River some forty minutes ahead of Comanche at the Iron Pot and gybed her way up river in 5-10 knot southeaster, bright sunshine and crystal clear light to take a record breaking eighth line honours win in this race at 3.03pm The size of spectator fleet that accompanied Wild Oats XI and the crowds on the dock were much the largest ever sen for this race. ... [more]  

The Volvo 70 Giacomo lost her rig in the vicinity of Maria Island about 5.30pm local time yesterday evening. A second yacht Wedgetail (an RP55) lost the top off her mast in the same area at the same time. Giacomo is a Volvo 70 owned and skippered by Jim Delegat (NZL) and has a full New Zealand crew aboard ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Wild Oats XI takes number eight by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
Wild Oats XI finished at 303pm, with her big A2 flying. Her elapsed time was two days two hours three minutes and twenty six seconds 02:02:03:26 That was some eight hours outside the race record she set in 2012 of 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds. ... [more]  

At the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race photographer Daniel Forster was on the water and provided this gallery of images from Day 2. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats XI scores comfortable 8th win by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) has crossed the finish line for the Rolex Sydney Hobart race to take her eighth win in the offshore classic. She crossed the finish line in the Derwent River sailing on port tack with a big asymmetrical headsail flying, and accompanied by a bevy of spectator craft as she crossed the finish line at 3.00pm local time. ... [more]  

In Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's annual Boxing Day race the hometown Gibbs brothers, Riley, 18, and Sawyer, 16, started last in their 49er skiff but passed all of the other boats of various types to finish first in brilliant sun but cool light air Sunday. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI is still leading the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, some 38-nm from Hobart, and hoping to close in on a record eighth line honours win. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The crew on the American super maxi Comanche have not thrown in the towel. They do not believe the race for line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart is over despite Wild Oats XI’s commanding lead. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Bob Oatley’s 10 year-old super maxi Wild Oats XI is racing towards an historic eighth line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart this morning. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats rounds Tasman Island by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Seven time race winner, Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) looks set to take her eighth win, after rounding Tasman Island just before noon, local time. The supermaxi rounded the landmark with a ten mile lead over the US supermaxi Comanche and has about 35nm to sail in a direct line to the finish line off Hobart. ... [more]  

With the front runners in the Rolex Sydney Hobart expected to sneak through in light to moderate tail winds, the weather prognosis for the remainder of the fleet is, well, interesting. The simple analysis is that fresh northerly winds will give the fleet a fast ride on Sunday and during the daylight hours of Monday. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) is expected to cross the finish line, around 4pm on Sunday and take her eighth line honours win. The race leaders are making good time down the coast of Tasmania, and at daybreak had approximately 100nm to sail. ... [more]  

Sydney to Hobart - Another 40 foot white-wash? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team
With the Supermaxi battle probably all over in this 70th Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, unless Wild Oats XI drops her rig in the next five hours, she is set to take her eighth line honours victory so at last the attention will shift to the real race, the battle for handicap honours. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Your Turn, Then My Turn, Then Your Turn! *Feature
Sydney-Hobart: First, Second and Third! *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014; Handicap Honours Predictions VIDEO *Feature
Sydney Hobart 2014: A ridge too far for Comanche
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Images by Daniel Forster
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Honing in on halfway
Sydney Hobart Race: 'The Old Girl' proves she's still got great legs
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Drama among the supermaxis
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race images by Howard Wright
2014 -15 Barcelona World Race - Food, food, some not so glorious!!
2015 Fireball World Championship - Notice of Race released
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Supermaxi Race Start VIDEO *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Perpetual Loyal forced to retire with hull damage *Feature
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart: Clouds backs the small boats for overall win
Rolex Sydney to Hobart: Replay video coverage on Sail-World *Feature
Sydney Hobart - Comanche leads but Oats XI keeps the rubber band on
Will Comanche take a scalp?
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014- Southerly takes its toll
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Comanche leads in softening morning breeze *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Comanche take a gun to the knife fight + Video
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Supermaxi contest + Video   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Images from the flying start on Sydney harbour   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Start photos by Andrea Francolini   
Sydney Hobart 2014 The Cutting edge Formula 1 yacht still leads   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 – Grand dame heads back to Sydney   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Day 1 start images by Carlo Borlenghi   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Race Start Images by Crosbie Lorimer *Feature   
Clipper Ventures 10 starts Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Another year another record   
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014 – Comanche on the warpath   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – Spinnaker start forecast   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI ready to go   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: Hobart coverage - December 26 - Live   
Rolex Sydney Hobart - The Peyron Perspective -Old People On New Boats *Feature   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche   
Rolex Sydney Hobart; Wild Oats XI trials Goose for Christmas   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - The Weather Gate *Feature   
For Christmas a Shiny new Sail-World.com *Feature   
Sydney-Hobart: Wacky Races 3 – Gravel and Red Max versus VMG *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