Day 4 racing blog

_B1_4523GMR10449GMR1996110/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Final Match - Day 3


UPDATE: 1446 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand won Race 7 by 1:06 over ORACLE TEAM USA. The Kiwis crossed the start line at speed and riding their hydrofoils and never looked back in the wire-to-wire win.

Emirates Team New Zealand leads the series 6-0. The winner of the 34th America’s Cup will be the first team to win 9 points. For the Kiwis that means three additional race wins and for ORACLE TEAM USA it means 10, due to a penalty imposed by the International Jury.

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

  • Emirates Team New Zealand – 6

  • ORACLE TEAM USA – 0


Race 7 Performance Data

  • Course: 5 Legs/10.14 nautical miles

  • Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 24:48, OTUSA – 25:54

  • Delta: ETNZ +1:06

  • Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.6 NM, OTUSA – 12.0 NM

  • Average Speed: ETNZ – 28.32 knots (32 mph), OTUSA – 27.86 knots (32 mph)

  • Top Speed: ETNZ – 44.73 knots (51 mph), OTUSA – 41.00 knots (47 mph)

  • Windspeed: Average – 16.3 knots, Peak – 17.8 knots


UPDATE: 1439 hours

Holding the lead around the leeward gate, Emirates Team New Zealand stretched its legs on the 3-nautical-mile beat. The Kiwis led ORACLE TEAM USA by 56 seconds at the windward gate with little more than 4 nautical miles remaining to the finish.

UPDATE: 1427 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand maintained its lead on the downwind leg in Race 7 and rounded the leeward gate on starboard, 7 seconds ahead of ORACLE TEAM USA, which also rounded on starboard. Soon after the rounding both teams tacked to port, with Emirates Team New Zealand to windward. The wind is blowing 17-19 knots from 250-255 degrees.

UPDATE: 1422 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand won the start of Race 7, setting up to windward of ORACLE TEAM USA and pulling the trigger before the defender. The Kiwis crossed onto the racecourse on their foils and led ORACLE TEAM USA by 2 seconds at the reach mark. The wind is blowing 16-18 knots from 250-255 degrees.

UPDATE: 1352 hours

The 3-nautical-mile beats are the proving ground of the 34th America’s Cup, and Challenger Emirates Team New Zealand is doing a better job than defender ORACLE TEAM USA.

For the second consecutive race, Kiwi skipper Dean Barker and crew turned a deficit at the leeward gate, 12 seconds, into a lead at the windward gate, 44 seconds. Emirates Team New Zealand went on to win Race 6 by 47 seconds.

Emirates Team New Zealand leads the series 5-0. The winner of the 34th America’s Cup will be the first team to win 9 points. For the Kiwis that means four additional race wins and for ORACLE TEAM USA it means 10, due to a penalty imposed by the International Jury.

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

  • Emirates Team New Zealand – 5

  • ORACLE TEAM USA – 0


Race 6 Performance Data

  • Course: 5 Legs/10.14 nautical miles

  • Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 31:39, OTUSA – 32:26

  • Delta: ETNZ +:47

  • Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 12.3 NM, OTUSA – 12.3 NM

  • Average Speed: ETNZ – 23.43 knots (27 mph), OTUSA – 22.91 knots (26 mph)

  • Top Speed: ETNZ – 38.55 knots (44 mph), OTUSA – 40.21 knots (46 mph)

  • Windspeed: Average – 11.6 knots, Peak – 13.4 knots


UPDATE: 1339 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand proved the stronger team on the upwind leg and turned a 12-second deficit into a 44-second lead at the windward gate. The defender and challenger traded the lead three times in tacking duel on the bottom of the beat, but once the Kiwis got in the lead they extended away. Both crews performed more tacks on the leg than they have in the previous races: Emirates Team New Zealand made 14 tacks and ORACLE TEAM USA 15.

UPDATE: 1324 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA slightly extended its lead on the downwind leg, rounding the leeward gate 12 seconds ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand. There was a split at the gate with ORACLE TEAM USA rounding on starboard and the Kiwis on port, setting up a crucial first cross on the upwind leg.

UPDATE: 1317 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA won the start, coming off line with Emirates Team New Zealand clear astern. ORACLE TEAM USA led by 9 seconds at the first reach mark. The wind is blowing 10-12 knots from 250 degrees.

UPDATE: 1300 hours

Counting down 15 minutes to the start of Race 6 and the wind is still variable. The strength is up to about 10 knots and the direction is still swinging through 235 to 245 degrees.

UPDATE: 1230 hours

Approximately 45 minutes remain to the start of Race 6 and the first wind reports from the course show unsettled conditions: 8 to 10 knots from a wide direction, 230 to 250 degrees.

UPDATE: 1100 hours

The America’s Cup community in San Francisco, and large parts of England, is abuzz with the news that ORACLE TEAM USA has changed tacticians; four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie is in and past America’s Cup champion John Kostecki is out.

“We’ve decided to make a change in the back and bring Ben Ainslie onboard,” skipper Jimmy Spithill said. “While making crew changes has always been an option, we understand there’s a risk that comes with it. JK is a great teammate and a tremendous asset to our program, and he is supportive of the decision.”

“I think they had to do something,” said ACEA CEO Stephen Barclay. “From a personal point of view it’s a strong move and we’ll see if it pays dividends. In golf Saturday is often referred to as moving day and I think after today we’ll have a very good insight as to what’s going to happen.”

Today’s wind conditions today look to be a bit softer than the first few days of racing, when the wind was up against the limits. A heavy marine layer is preventing the sun from burning off the cover and inhibiting the flow of the SW/WSW wind.

Racing shouldn’t be a problem with wind limits of 24.4 knots for Race 6 (1315) and 24.8 knots for Race 7 (1415).

“There’s a little bit of a split on the forecast,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray. “Some are forecasting stronger winds in the afternoon, but the consensus is about 16 to 18 knots. We’ll have to wait and see if the marine layer clears a little and the sun comes out and the pressure is up.”

ORACLE TEAM USA Crew List
Skipper: Jimmy Spithill (9), Tactician: Ben Ainslie (12), 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)

America’s Cup Park
10:00 am – America’s Cup Park opens, free access to the public
11:00 am – Healthy Ocean Project: Photo Booth at Healthy Ocean Project Wall, until 4:00
11:00 am – AC72s on moorings
11:45 am – Dock-Out Show, Presentation Stage
12:45 pm – Pre-Race Show with Andy Green
1:00 pm – “America’s Cup Race Show” includes live commentary from 1:10pm
1:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 6: ORACLE Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
2:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 7: ORACLE Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
3:00 pm – Post-Race Q&A with Andy Green and Tucker Thompson
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
3:15 pm – Healthy Ocean Project: Klean Kanteen Healthy Ocean Project Game Show, Hosted by Marcus Eriksen of 5 Gyres. Presentation Stage, until 3:45
3:30 pm – Live Music: The Frail. Sounds of San Francisco presented by Dockers. Free Admission. Until 5:30
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
5:00 pm – Clear Channel presents DJ Rick Lee (106 KMEL), PUMA YARD until 7:00
5:45 pm – AC Open Fly-By: Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race. 18’ Skiffs, Kites, Windsurf & Multihulls. Time approximate

America’s Cup Village
AC Open: 18’ Skiffs Mark Foy Trophy racing - with live commentary by Bob Billingham & Annie Gardner
Healthy Ocean Project: Photo Booth in Healthy Ocean Project Lounge, all day
11:00 am – America’s Cup Village opens
11:00 am – Junk Boat Racing at Healthy Ocean Project Lounge with 5 Gyres, until 2:00
11:05 am – Morning welcome and schedule for the day - main stage
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 6: 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 7: 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
5:30 pm – Live Racing - AC Open: 18’ Skiffs Mark Foy Trophy Race #7 (Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race)

UPDATE: 0825 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA has decided to change tacticians, four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie is in and past America’s Cup champion John Kostecki is out.

ORACLE TEAM USA Crew List
Skipper: Jimmy Spithill (9), Tactician: Ben Ainslie (12), 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)

ORIGINAL POST: 0650 hours

After Tuesday’s abbreviated race program, initiated by ORACLE TEAM USA playing its one and only “postponement card,” the 34th America’s Cup resumes today with Races 6 and 7.

ORACLE TEAM USA played its postponement card after losing Race 5 by 1:05, a stunning defeat that saw the defender leading at the leeward gate by 8 seconds.But Emirates Team New Zealand showed some serious wheels on the upwind leg and completed the 3-nautical-mile beat 85 seconds quicker than ORACLE TEAM USA.That turnaround clearly rattled an already shaken defender and led to the postponement card.

Yesterday in practice, ORACLE TEAM USA had four-time Olympic gold medalist on board filling the role of tactician John Kostecki, who has come under fire for the team’s perceived tactical errors. Kostecki isn’t solely responsible for the team being down 4-0 on the scoreboard and 4-to-minus 1 in the win column, but if Ainslie is aboard today (the crew lists are usually issued around 0900 PT) it will signal that ORACLE TEAM USA feels a shake-up is needed.

For Emirates Team New Zealand, the path forward remains simple. Gain at least a split of each day and in time it will reach its goal of winning the America’s Cup. The Kiwis need to win five races to ORACLE TEAM USA’s 10 to win the Cup.

“We go out there with the same approach every race, trying to win one race at a time,” said Kiwi skipper Dean Barker at Tuesday’s press conference. “There are no easy races. It’s full on. The guys did an incredible job getting the boat around the course. The temperament was fantastic onboard; we were behind around Mark 1 and stayed in the race, which is very promising.”

Although the Kiwis spent yesterday ashore, they no doubt reviewed videotape of ways to get off the start line better. ORACLE TEAM USA has won four consecutive starts, so Barker will be looking to improve on that today. And if he does, his “cool cat” status will increase triple-fold.

Today in America’s Cup history

September 12 is notable in America’s Cup history for five instances, including Race 3 of the 9th America’s Cup Match:

  • 1895, Race 3, Valkyrie III (GBR) vs. Defender (USA): Lord Dunraven’s Valkyrie III declines to race the third race of the match and is labeled a “quitter” by the American Press. Valkyrie III crossed the start line, struck her racing colors and sailed for New York Harbor while Defender sailed the course to win the race and the match. Dunraven cited interference by spectator craft and dissatisfaction with the manner in which the New York Yacht Club was conducting the match for not continuing. It later emerged that Dunraven and his afterguard believed Defender was illegally ballasted. The NYYC held a hearing in December that year attended by Dunraven and his English Counsel, which exonerated Defender. One of the last surviving crew of Defender later disclosed in a recorded interview in 1974 that Defender had pumped in and out illegal water ballast. (Mark J. Gabrielson, “Deer Isle’s Undefeated America’s Cup Crews,” History Press, Charleston, 2013, p109.)

  • 1967, Race 1, Dame Pattie (AUS) vs. Intrepid (USA): Intrepid wins by 5:58.

  • 1974: Race 2, Southern Cross (AUS) vs. Courageous (USA): Courageous wins by :51.

  • 1983: Australia II (AUS) vs. Liberty (USA): The New York Yacht Club America’s Cup Committee votes 5-4 to not cancel the 25th America’s Cup Match in their belief that the winged-keel on Australia II had not been designed by an Australian national but by Dutch nationals at a Dutch tow tank used to test models for the Australian challenge, which was hotly disputed by the Australian challenger.

  • 2004: After the conclusion of the first America’s Cup Act in Marseille, France, a storm producing winds in excess of 65 knots hits the boatyard where the ACC sloops are stored in cradles awaiting de-rigging for shipping to the next event. The storm blew over Alinghi's, BMW Oracle's and Team New Zealand’s IACC yachts, damaging all three yachts with Team New Zealand’s yacht suffering the worse damage.