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America's Cup- Emirates Team NZ dispels performance doubts on Day 1

by Warren Douglas on 8 Sep 2013
Emirates Team New Zealand leads over Oracle Racing USA on the 2nd leg of the first race of the America’s Cup 34. Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle twice today to win both points on offer in the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco today.

It was a hard day on the water for Dean Barker and his crew. Oracle was tough and let nothing go. But any doubts about the AC72 not being competitive were dispelled.

Dean Barker: said after today's races: 'I am relieved more than anything. Going into today we didn't know is we were slow, fast or in-between.

'The first race was unbelievable it was actually like a match race.'

With deltas of 36sec and 52sec, Dean Barker and the sailing crew sailed almost flawless races, showing good speed and great crew work.

Barker at the helm, taçtician Ray Davies and wing trimmer Glenn Ashby worked together well, putting the boat where they wanted it and keeping boat speed up and the pressure on Oracle.

The breeze was stronger today than forecasts had predicted gusting to 21 knots.

The first race was a good old-fashioned America’s Cup gut-buster. For the first two legs there was nothing in it. New Zealand ahead by 4s at the first mark and 4s at the second and with Oracle chasing hard.

One small error when rounding the second mark gave Oracle the chance they were looking for and they pounced.

Then followed a tacking duel with Oracle at first having a slender lead in the crosses. NZL5 ground them down and retook the lead towards the top of the course, rounding mark 3 25s ahead.

Emirates Team New Zealand managed break away on the second downwind leg and finished comfortably ahead.

The second race was not as close. Barker crossed the line ahead, rounded the first mark in the lead and extended throughout. But he was taking nothing for granted.

The crew covered Oracle closely and never let gave them an opportunity. The deltas were: mark 1 2s, mark 2 7s, mark 3 46s, mark 4 51s, finish 52s.

With seven more points needed to win the America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand is taking nothing for granted. It is a long regatta and Oracle is expected to come out fighting tomorrow.

34th America’s Cup Standings (first to 9 points wins)

Emirates Team New Zealand – 2
Race 2 Performance Data

Course: 5 Legs/10.11 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 22:46, OTUSA – 23:38
Delta: ETNZ +:52
Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.3 NM, OTUSA – 11.3 NM
Average Speed: ETNZ – 30.12 knots (35 mph), OTUSA – 28.92 knots (33 mph)
Top Speed: ETNZ – 46 knots (53 mph), OTUSA – 42.87 knots (49 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 16 knots, Peak – 21 knots
Race 1 Performance Data

Course: 5 Legs/9.71 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 23:30, OTUSA – 24:06
Delta: ETNZ +:36
Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.7 NM, OTUSA – 11.4 NM
Average Speed: ETNZ – 30.07 knots (35 mph), OTUSA – 28.58 knots (33 mph)
Top Speed: ETNZ – 43.54 knots (50 mph), OTUSA – 42.51 knots (49 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 16 knots, Peak – 21 knots

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