Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clew Ring New Generic

America's Cup- TWO ZIP – WOW!

by Bob Fisher on 8 Sep 2013
34th America’s Cup - Race day 1; Oracle Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand © ACEA / Ricardo Pinto http://photo.americascup.com/


Only in their dreams would the wildest of the Kiwi supporters dared to predict the outcome of the first day’s racing in the 34th America’s Cup. Two victories, carved in 'proper' match racing fashion by being faster on the upwind legs, to Emirates Team New Zealand put a big grin on the face of the team’s managing director, Grant Dalton, the oldest man on either boat.


'Dalts' would have remembered one former San Franciscan sailor for whom the America’s Cup held a special place. Tom Blackaller, who teased Dennis Conner in Fremantle when he made allegations that the Kiwis were cheating by building a glassfibre 12-Metre. 'Dennis, I don’t think you should have said that,' quipped Blackaller. 'I take it all back,' said DC. 'I don’t think you can,' said Blackie. Tom Blackaller died at the wheel of his race-car 24 years ago today.

The starts of both races were keenly contested, but in each of them, Jimmy Spithill steered the Oracle Team USA AC-72 to leeward of his opponent, but each time Dean Barker managed to avoid the attentions of his attacker and led around the first mark to begin the downwind leg.

For the first race the wind was 16 knots from the west-south-west and from a two second lead at the first mark, ETNZ gained a further two seconds and then almost threw it away with a bad mark rounding. The fast travelling Oracle had some difficulty in avoiding the stalled Kiwi boat.

Oracle took over the front running but not for long. Halfway up the beat, ETNZ was back in front and rounded the third mark of the 9.71 mile course with a lead of 25 seconds. The Oracle crew didn’t give up but lost a further 11 seconds by the finish. But, whatever else, we had had two passes by the boats – the first all summer.

The wind was much the same for the second race and Jimmy 'Pit Bull' Spithill was at his aggressive best, attempting to 'hook' Barker in the pre-start. There was a luff that was very close, but Barker slid clear ahead and was off to a two second lead at the first mark and the two matched gybes downwind and stayed close.

Upwind, Barker relentlessly drew ahead and by the time the two boats went though the weather gate 46 seconds apart, the race was as good as over.

ETNZ’s peak speed of 46.0 was considerably greater than the 42.87 of Oracle, but VMG angles have to be considered, and there is little doubt that the American boat was sailing deeper downwind.

Two-nil up and there were smiles on the faces of the Kiwi crew, but it is fully aware that there is a long way to go in this series. 'There’s lots for us to learn,' said Barker, 'we made mistakes but otherwise had two good races today.'

[These are] 'two very evenly matched teams in evenly matched boats,' said Spithill. 'We lost on boatspeed, not strategy,' admitted Oracle tactician, John Kostecki.

There are two races scheduled on the morrow, but with a 2 – 0 lead there is reason for the smiles on the faces of the Kiwi supporters.

Naiad/Oracle SupplierBakewell-White Yacht DesignZhik Dinghy 660x82

Related Articles

Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug
Gladwell's Line - The challenges of Guanbara Bay
The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer course, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest of the 2016 Sailing Olympics. Over shadowed by a 1300ft tall granite and quartz mountain in the shape of a sugarloaf, the bay suffers from dramatic windshifts, and huge variance in wind pressure.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug