UPDATE: 1431 hours
Emirates Team New Zealand rounds the leeward gate on starboard, 7 seconds ahead of ORACLE TEAM USA, which rounds on port, creating another split at the beginning of the beat. But moments after the rounding the Race Committee was forced to abandon the race because the wind strength surpassed the 22.6-knot limit set for Race 9.
UPDATE: 1425 hours
Emirates Team New Zealand comes off the start line to leeward and slightly bow out on ORACLE TEAM USA. Another ripping drag race to the reach mark sees the Kiwis reach it first, 4 seconds in the lead.
UPDATE: 1420 hours
The wind is a steady 20 knots but the start of Race 9 has entered the 5-minute mark.
UPDATE: 1343 hours
ORACLE TEAM USA won its second race of the 34th America’s Cup, Race 8 of the series, when Emirates Team New Zealand nearly capsized on the upwind leg. The two crews had met four times on the upwind leg with the Kiwis holding the advantage. At the fifth meeting Emirates Team New Zealand went to tack to starboard but the wing didn’t pop through and the 72-foot long catamaran was on the edge of capsizing. ORACLE TEAM USA grabbed the lead and extended to win by 52 seconds.
“We’re all good; disappointed to let the lead go,” said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker. “They got nicely out of phase and chipped away. We didn't get the hydraulics and if the wing doesn't tack when the boat does, you're in trouble... Fortunately the boat came up and no collision with the other guys.”
Emirates Team New Zealand still leads on the scoreboard 6-0, and in wins 6-2. 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 nine, 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 8 Performance Data
- Course: 5 Legs/10.16 nautical miles
- Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 23:09, ETNZ – 24:01
- Delta: OTUSA +:52
- Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 11.4 NM, ETNZ – 11.7 NM
- Average Speed: OTUSA – 29.90 knots (34 mph), ETNZ – 29.32 knots (34 mph)
- Top Speed: OTUSA – 44.58 knots (51 mph), ETNZ – 47.02 knots (54 mph)
- Windspeed: Average – 16.6 knots, Peak – 19.6 knots
- Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 8/8, ETNZ – 9/7
UPDATE: 1332 hours
ORACLE TEAM USA leads around the windward gate after a captivating beat. Emirates Team New Zealand was protecting its lead in four crossings up the leg until the fifth cross. Emirates Team New Zealand tried to tack to leeward but the wing didn’t pop to the new side and the boat nearly capsized. ORACLE TEAM USA led by 28 seconds at the gate.
UPDATE: 1320 hours
Emirates Team New Zealand leads by 8 seconds at the leeward gate. The Kiwis took starboard through the gate and ORACLE TEAM USA port beginning the 3-nautical-mile beat that’s been an Achilles heel for the defender.
UPDATE: 1316 hours
Emirates Team New Zealand came off the start line just in front of ORACLE TEAM USA, which was trying for a late hook in the pre-start. Both boats’ bows were buried as they were getting up to speed, but the Kiwis converted the lead off the start line into a 3-second advantage at the first reach mark.
UPDATE: 1310 hours
The wind is still blowing 17-18 knots from 255 degrees. From Jimmy Spithill before boarding: “We’ve taken the spine off, so no option for the Code 0. We’ll save some weight there and have made other changes to boat. We’ve been very aggressive, but we need to be.”
UPDATE: 1300 hours
Counting down 15 minutes to the start of Race 8 and the windspeed is up to 18 knots from 260-265 degrees, farther right than we’ve seen in the first four days of racing.
UPDATE: 1235 hours
The skies have cleared in San Francisco after heavy clouds this morning and the first wind reports are in from the racecourse: 16 to 17 knots from an average of 255 degrees.
UPDATE: 1150 hours
At his morning briefing, Regatta Director Iain Murray said that both ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand had been issued new rating certificates. Although he didn’t elaborate on the extent of the modifications, one is very clear on the defender’s yacht: a new, shorter bowsprit (see picture).
UPDATE: 1110 hours
The wind is forecast to be near the top end of the range at 19-23 knots and the second race could bump up against the wind limit. PRO John Craig says, “It’s going to be windy today.”
Compounding the problem is an ebb (outgoing) tide, which reduces the base wind limit of 23 knots. For the first race the wind limit is 21.7 knots and for the second it’s 22.6 knots.
“The current flows quite differently on various parts of the racecourse,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray. “We see that with the yachts chasing the cone in behind Alcatraz in flood tides. Likewise, on the ebb tides, there’s a compression on the front side of Alcatraz, so there’s quite steep, short waves there, particularly in big ebb tides. With the compression coming around Alcatraz we can easily see 4 knots. When ORACLE TEAM USA capsized last year there was 6 knots there. Can be quite substantial seas off Alcatraz, and it has quite an effect on racecourse.
“We had one day earlier in the series (last Saturday) when the wind was up on the limit,” Murray continued. “What we have today is ebb tide. At race time we’ll be on the tail end of the ebb tide, but the sea state will be up and then decreasing as the day goes on in our race period. The first race may not be at the wind limit, but I think the crews will experience the roughest water they’ve seen.”
Emirates Team New Zealand has port entry in both pre-starts today.
UPDATE: 0840 hours
Today in America’s Cup history
September 14 is notable for two instances in America’s Cup history:
- 1967, Race 3, Dame Pattie (AUS) v. Intrepid (USA) – Intrepid won by 4:41. Named for the wife of long-serving Australian Prime Minister Menzies, Dame Pattie was denied access to American-made Dacron sail cloth. That forced the Aussies to use a substitute, inferior sail cloth made in Australia.
- 1983, Race 1, Australia II (AUS) v. Liberty (USA) – First race of the match that would go down in the history books as one of the most dramatic contests ever. Liberty wins by 1:10 after taking the lead with better downwind tactics on the first run. Australia II’s steering gear failed as she threatened to retake the lead on the second downwind leg, losing all hope of winning the first race.
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: Race 8 – Winston MacFarlane (4), Race 9 – 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 public
11:00 am – AC72s on moorings
11:00 am – America’s Cup Trophy on display, Big A, Main entrance until 12:00
11:15 am – Marching band starts at America’s Cup Park
11:45 am – Dock Out Show, Presentation Stage
12:00 pm – America’s Cup Trophy on display, Flying on Water until 1:00
12:15 pm – Q & A with Julian Guthrie, 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 1:10pm
1:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 8: ORACLE Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand
2:00 pm – Arr Hour: MOA Bar Drinks Specials – Beer Garden until 6:30
2:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 9: ORACLE Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand
3:00 pm – Book signing with Julian Guthrie, author of “The Billionaire and the Mechanic,” until 5:00, outside the 34th America's Cup Park Store
3:00 pm – Post-Race Q&A with Andy Green and Tucker Thompson
3:00 pm – DJ Set: DJ Puzzles from New Zealand at the Moa Bar Beer Garden, until 6:00
3:00 pm – Special Event: J. Rocc, DJ Day, and DJ Hakobo at the PUMA YARD, until 7:00
3:15 pm – Poster Signing with team representatives from ORACLE Team USA
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
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
11:45 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 8: 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 9: 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
ORIGINAL POST: 0700 hours
Facing a barrage of “what if” performance questions at Thursday’s press conference, ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill put on a brave face.
“The question is, imagine if those guys lost from here; what an upset that would be,” said Spithill.
RELATED STORY: Emirates Team New Zealand sweeps two from ORACLE TEAM USA
Emirates Team New Zealand leads the 34th America’s Cup 6-0, with the goal being 9 points. In effect the defender needs to win 10 races due to the penalty from the International Jury.
“They almost have it in the bag. That’s my motivation. That would be one hell of a comeback and something I’d like to be part of. I speak on behalf of all the team, that’s our motivation into the rest of the series. We feel we have just as much chance to win this and we’re going to do whatever we can,” said Spithill.
RELATED STORY: Pedrick: AC72 technology a ‘moon shot’
He gets to begin that comeback attempt today, with Races 8 and 9 of the series. ORACLE TEAM USA spent yesterday off the water resting and carrying out what the team termed as “minor modifications.” Will they add up?
Emirates Team New Zealand also spent the day off the water, resting and recuperating for what could be the team’s final push to the winner’s circle. The Kiwis need three additional race victories to win the America’s Cup, and potentially four consecutive days of racing lie ahead if Monday’s scheduled reserve day comes into play.
“It’s easy to get flustered when you’re tired,” said Emirates Team New Zealand wing trimmer Glenn Ashby. “Both teams have done a good job keeping their heads under pressure. Good maneuvers and speed in the corners are what make the little gains. We’ll keep chipping away.”
RELATED STORY: Kiwis lie in wait as ORACLE TEAM USA tries to find the answer
Racing today is scheduled to begin at 1315 and can be followed live in the U.S. on the NBC Sports Network, beginning at 1300.
Internationally, the America’s Cup Final can be viewed in more than 170 territories. All racing is also live on America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial restrictions).
You can also follow racing with America’s Cup App for android and iOS devices.