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34th America's Cup - Race 13

by Mark Jardine 20 Sep 2013 16:02 PDT 18 September 2013

The 34th America's Cup drama just builds and builds!

Race 13 started in light winds with ORACLE TEAM USA crossing ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand and aggressively luffing before mark 1. After a bit of cat and mouse downwind, Emirates Team New Zealand caught a gust and pulled away fast from the Americans.

With a lead of over a kilometre, it was obvious that the battle was Emirates Team New Zealand versus the 40 minute race time limit. The Kiwi foiling cat was no match for the clock. ORACLE TEAM USA definitely used their get out of jail free card.

Race 13 take 2 saw Dean Barker just dodge a Jimmy Spithill hook on the start line to lead around mark 1. The turning point of the race was when Emirates Team New Zealand misjudged a port-starboard cross and Jimmy Spithill had to violently head up the American cat to avoid the Kiwis, leading to a penalty slow-down for New Zealand.

ORACLE TEAM USA nailed the leeward mark rounding and pulled away up the beat. A left hand wind shift on the beat helped the Americans even more and turned the run down into a mark #4 highly biased with only a short stretch on port gybe.

The Americans went on to win by 1 minute 23 seconds. The score stands at 8-3 in favour of Emirates Team New Zealand. The ORACLE TEAM USA fight back continues. Will this be the greatest comeback in sporting history?

Race 13 Data:

  • Course: 5 Legs/10.08 nautical miles
  • Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 27:20, ETNZ – 28:44
  • Delta: OTUSA +1:24
  • Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 10.9 NM, ETNZ – 10.8 NM
  • Average Speed: OTUSA – 24.16 knots (28 mph), ETNZ – 22.63 knots (26 mph)
  • Top Speed: OTUSA – 33.90 knots (39 mph), ETNZ – 33.74 knots (39 mph)
  • Windspeed: Average – 9.8 knots, Peak – 13.2 knots
  • Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 5/7, ETNZ – 6/8
  • Emirates Team New Zealand – 8

ORACLE TEAM USA adds to win total with Race 13 victory (from ORACLE TEAM USA)

ORACLE TEAM USA claimed another win on Thursday in Race 13 of the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. With racing underway in the lightest winds of the regatta, the race was abandoned as the time limit was exceeded. In the re-sail of Race 13, skipper Jimmy Spithill and crew rolled into the lead on the second leg and held on to collect their fifth win (third point) of the match.

"It was a great bounce-back from the guys. We learned a lot in that first race and applied it to the second," Spithill said. "Where we are now, we truly believe we've got the boat to win, we've got the tools, and the guys are doing a fantastic job onboard."

Race 13 began in 8-knot winds. Both boats were in a slow march off the start, and New Zealand took an early lead on San Francisco Bay. But the breeze did not pick up, and the 40-minute set time limit on racing expired.

When Race 13 was restarted, Emirates Team New Zealand was in front around the first mark. But, early in the second leg, ORACLE TEAM USA gained the advantage and continued to extend. Spithill and crew did not relinquish the lead and won by 1 minute, 24 seconds.

"We've all been in that situation where we have a hand on the trophy, and you have to come back and do it all again," said tactician Ben Ainslie. "We certainly felt fortunate, and we'll ride our luck with that one and keep fighting."

In the overall standings, New Zealand holds the lead at 8-3 in points, 8-5 in wins. The winner of the 34th America's Cup is the first team to win nine points.

The regatta continues on Saturday with Race 14, beginning at 1:15 pm PT.

"It's full throttle for us," said Spithill. "We're not being conservative out there. We're doing everything we can."

Unlucky Race 13 (from Emirates Team New Zealand)

"Sometimes things go your way." Dean Barker talking after racing on day 10 of the America's Cup match.

And sometimes they don't. Once again a race in the 34th America's Cup match has been abandoned with Emirates Team New Zealand in the lead.

Two races have been postponed because there was too much wind. Today, the 10th day of racing in San Francisco, race 13 was abandoned because there was too little wind and the yachts did not finish in the mandated 40 minutes.

As Barker said: "Any one of those points would be good to have."

NZL5 was 1500 metres ahead of Oracle when the call pulling the pin on the race came from the committee boat. NZL5 was headed towards the final turning mark. It would have been a certain win for Barker and crew and the would have given the team the one point it needed to win the America's Cup.

It was never going to be an easy day. The breeze fluctuated from 7-12 knots during race time, but was fluky and shifted 70-80 degrees during the re-sail.

The re-sail followed. Again the breeze was light, but a little stronger than before. Barker won the start, but an indifferent second half of downwind leg by NZL5 and a big windshift on the 4th leg that favoured Oracle, closed down Barker's options.

Barker had no complaints about the time limit. "It would have been nice to have another 10 minutes.... but it's there for a purpose - television schedules - and we can live with that.

"We became aware half-way down the run that we were not going to make the finish in time. We had put a lot into the race. We were so close - and so far away but cry or laugh we just have to get on with it.

"Now we have to make sure we're on our game tomorrow."

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