Day 3 racing blog

GMR19413DSC_993408/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA CA) - 34th America's Cup -GMR_AC34sepD7_6299


UPDATE: 1425 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill’s comments on the team’s decision to use its postponement card:

“We need to go back and regroup. We feel they have an edge on us at the moment, especially upwind. We need to do a bit of work here and we’re going to play the card, strategically, and hopefully improve in time for the next race.

“It wasn’t just upwind performance. There were a couple of mistakes there, tacking as well, which is something we need to address. We need to up our game. We’re not going to hide from that. We’re going to go away and do what we can to be ready for the next one.

“It’s a team decision, collectively within the team. We’re all in agreement. We need to make a few steps and we’re not going to hide from that. We’re going to work hard now and tomorrow.”

UPDATE: 1412 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA has used its postponement card, putting an end to the day’s racing program. Each team is allowed one postponement card, allowing it to postpone a day’s second race.

“Each competitor has one card it can play at any time,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray. “They only have one card. When this was implemented it was primarily for structural purposes, but the competitors decided to take it on that there was one card to play at their discretion. They haven’t informed us either way if there’s a gear or structural problem, we’ll have to wait and see.”

UPDATE: 1342 hours

Challenger Emirates Team New Zealand leads Defender ORACLE TEAM USA 4-0 after a 1:05 victory in Race 5. ORACLE TEAM USA led at the first two mark roundings, but the Kiwis sailed past the defender after two tacks on the upwind leg. From there Emirates Team New Zealand had much better speed and opened a lead it would not relinquish.

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

  • Emirates Team New Zealand – 4

  • ORACLE TEAM USA – 0


Race 5 Performance Data

  • Course: 5 Legs/10.27 nautical miles

  • Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 22:45, OTUSA – 23:50

  • Delta: ETNZ +1:05

  • Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.4 NM, OTUSA – 11.5 NM

  • Average Speed: ETNZ – 30.21 knots (35 mph), OTUSA – 29.17 knots (33 mph)

  • Top Speed: ETNZ – 46.94 knots (54 mph), OTUSA – 44.93 knots (52 mph)

  • Windspeed: Average – 20 knots, Peak – 24.1 knots


UPDATE: 1332 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand had great speed on the upwind leg and turned its deficit into a significant advantage on the 3-mile leg. Emirates Team New Zealand got past ORACLE TEAM USA by the second tack and then sailed away from the defender to lead by 1:17 at the windward gate with little more than 4 miles of racecourse to the finish. ORACLE TEAM USA looked much faster upwind over the weekend, raising curiosity if there’s a problem aboard the defender’s boat.

UPDATE: 1321 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA led by 8 seconds at the leeward gate, rounding on starboard and then rolling straight into a tack to port. Emirates Team New Zealand cleared its air and then tacked as well, on the windward hip of the defender.

UPDATE: 1316 hours

Race 5 is underway with ORACLE TEAM USA leading at the first mark for the third consecutive race. Emirates Team New Zealand started to leeward of ORACLE TEAM USA, but it seemed a bad decision as the defender rolled over the top approaching the reach mark and led by 4 seconds at the turning mark.

UPDATE: 1245 hours

With 30 minutes remaining to the start of Race 5, the wind is still blowing from 230 degrees and the strength is 16 to 17 knots.

UPDATE: 1215 hours

One hour to the start of Race 5 and the first wind reports from the racecourse show a strength of 18 to 22 knots from 230 degrees.

UPDATE: 1115 hours

Sunday’s second race in 23-knot winds was on the edge of control, but today might top that. The weather forecast calls for winds between 18 and 22 knots, and we’ll see the highest wind limits since the start of racing in July. The base 23-knot limit will increase by more than 1 knot due to a strong flood (incoming) tide. For Race 5 the limit is increased to 24.9 knots and for Race 6 it’s increased to 24.5 knots.

“We got that yesterday afternoon. It was in excess of 25 knots late in the day,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray. “Today we’ll have a strong flood, perfectly flat water, good wind, maybe a little foggy.”

Murray later said that the fog shouldn’t be too much of a problem to start racing, even if it clouds the television shots from the helicopter.

“The fog is quite patchy over the racecourse and moves very fast, it comes and goes quite quickly,” Murray said. “At the start we’re looking for a quarter-mile of visibility. It’s not a fixed rule, but what like to see.”

ORACLE TEAM USA Crew List
Skipper: Jimmy Spithill (9), Tactician: John Kostecki (11), Strategist: Tom Slingsby (10), Wing trimmer: Kyle Langford (8), Jib trimmer: Joe Newton (5), Off-side trimmer: Rome Kirby (4), Grinders: Shannon Falcone (1), Joe Spooner (2), Jono MacBeth (3), Gillo Nobili (6), Simeon Tienpont (7)

Emirates Team New Zealand Crew List
Skipper/helmsman: Dean Barker (14), Tactician: Ray Davies (10), Wing Trimmer: Glenn Ashby (3), Trimmer: James Dagg (9), Bow: Adam Beashel (2), Pit: Jeremy Lomas (8), Pedestal 1: Chris Ward (7), Pedestal 2: Rob Waddell (11), Pedestal 3: Grant Dalton (6), Pedestal 4: Chris McAsey (5), Float/Grinder: Derek Saward (12)

Today in America’s Cup History
There are four notable moments from September 10 in America’s Cup history:

  • 1895: Valkyrie III wins 2nd race outside New York Harbor, but loses a protest over a pre-start incident and the New York Yacht Club Race Committee awards the race to Defender. The Earl of Dunraven declines to continue racing, crosses the start line in the next race but immediately retires.

  • 1974: Alan Bond’s first America’s Cup race – but Southern Cross loses to Courageous off Newport by 4:54.

  • 1988: Dennis Conner at an 27th America’s Cup press conference in San Diego announced, “I’m sailing a cat; someone else is racing a dog.”

  • 2011: America’s Cup World Series opens in Plymouth, England.


America’s Cup Park
10:00 am – America’s Cup Park opens, free access to public
11:00 am – AC72s on moorings
11:45 am – Dock-Out Show, Presentation Stage
12:45 pm – Pre-Race Show with Andy Green and Tucker Thompson
1:00 pm – “America’s Cup Race Show” includes live commentary from 1:15pm, until 3:00
1:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 5: ORACLE Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
2:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 6: ORACLE Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
3:00 pm – Post-Race Q&A with Andy Green and Tucker Thompson
3:00 pm – Rhythm Village, America’s Cup Pavilion. Free Admission, until 5:00
This is a special presentation of the America's Cup Arts and Entertainment Committee
3:00 pm – Arr Hour: MOA Bar Drinks Specials – Beer Garden until 6:30
3:15 pm – Poster Signing with team representatives from ORACLE TEAM USA
3:45 pm – America’s Cup Sweepstakes, Plaza
4:00 pm – Poster signing with team representatives from Emirates Team New Zealand
4:00 pm – Race Replay: America’s Cup Final Races 5 & 6, North Point & Plaza
4:00 pm – Sundowner Specials at the America’s Cup Sports Bar presented by Peroni, until 6:00
7:00 pm – America’s Cup Park closes

America’s Cup Village
11:00 am – America’s Cup Village opens, free access to public
11:05 am – Morning welcome and schedule for the day - main stage
11:00 am – Live Racing - AC Open: Moth Racing (10 boats), with live commentary by Bob Billingham & Annie Gardner
11:45 am – Dock-Out Show live from America’s Cup Park (Pier 27/29) - on the big screens
12:45 pm – Pre-Race Show live from the America’s Cup Park - on the main stage big screen
1:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 5: ORACLE Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
1:45 pm – Halftime Show shown on the America’s Cup Village big screens
2:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 6: ORACLE Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
2:50 pm – Post-Race Show - on the main stage big screen
3:00 pm – Post-Race Q&A live from the America’s Cup Park - on the main stage big screen
4:00 pm – Race Replay: America’s Cup Final Races 5 & 6 - shown on the main stage big screen
5:00 pm – America’s Cup Village closes

ORIGINAL POST: 0710 hours

The 34th America’s Cup resumes today with Races 5 and 6. If they’re anything like the first four races, today will be more rowdy than Sammy Hagar rocking the America’s Cup Pavilion.

Moments that we’re watching closely today include the start, tacks and the windward leg:

  • Starting: Will Jimmy Spithill resume his aggressive ways and take the fight to Dean Barker? Or will he opt for the time-on-distance run that he nailed in Race 4?

  • Tacks: After Sunday’s racing tactician John Kostecki said ORACLE TEAM USA was losing ground to the Kiwis in tacking duels. The crew practiced their maneuvers yesterday and today we’ll find out if they smoothed out the all-important maneuver.

  • The windward leg: Emirates Team New Zealand gained 108 seconds on the three upwind legs in Races 1-3, but lost 11 seconds on the 3-mile leg in Race 4. The performance on the upwind legs will be measured by how well the two teams complete their tacks.


The races are scheduled to start at 1315 and 1415. Emirates Team New Zealand will have port tack in the pre-start in Race 5 and ORACLE TEAM USA in Race 6. This series is still up for grabs and today could be a pivotal day in determining the eventual champion of the 34th America’s Cup.