Day 8 racing blog

_MR_9723-1_MR_964715/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA CA) - 34th America's Cup -15/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Final Match, Day 6


UPDATE: 1425 hours

Race 12 of the 34th America’s Cup has been postponed to tomorrow because the wind was exceeding the 20-knot limit during the pre-start.

UPDATE: 1417 hours

A lively pre-start saw Emirates Team New Zealand looking for a windward start, but ORACLE TEAM USA had leeward position, looking to luff the Kiwis. Four seconds after the start the race was postponed because the wind exceeded the 20-knot limit. The race has been rescheduled to start at 1432.

UPDATE: 1350 hours

Race 12 of the 34th America’s Cup is scheduled to start at 1415. Emirates Team New Zealand needs one more victory to win the Cup for a third time (1995, 2000). The Kiwis have replaced Grant Dalton with Winston MacFarlane on Pedestal 3. The wind limit for this race is 20 knots, accounting for a 3-knot ebb tide, and the wind is presently down to 13 knots from 240-245 degrees.

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: Winston MacFarlane (4), Pedestal 4: Chris McAsey (5), Float/Grinder: Derek Saward (12)

UPDATE: 1346 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand has moved to match point in the 34th America’s Cup after a 15-second win in Race 11.

The Kiwis gained the lead off the start line and held it throughout the race, despite repeated attacks from ORACLE TEAM USA. The defender closed up to the challenger’s stern at the final turning mark, but the Kiwis were able to get around the mark on starboard jibe while ORACLE TEAM USA had to put in two maneuvers to round the mark.

Emirates Team New Zealand leads the series 8-1 and needs one more victory to win the America’s Cup, while ORACLE TEAM USA needs to win eight consecutive races to retain the Cup. Race 12 is scheduled to start at 2:15 pm PT.

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

  • Emirates Team New Zealand – 8

  • ORACLE TEAM USA – 1


Race 11 Performance Data

  • Course: 5 Legs/10.16 nautical miles

  • Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 23:41, OTUSA – 23:56

  • Delta: ETNZ +:15

  • Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.7 NM, OTUSA – 11.5 NM

  • Average Speed: ETNZ – 29.88 knots (34 mph), OTUSA – 29.04 knots (33 mph)

  • Top Speed: ETNZ – 44.57 knots (51 mph), OTUSA – 42.70 knots (49 mph)

  • Windspeed: Average – 15.4 knots, Peak – 18.0 knots

  • Number of Tacks/Jibes: ETNZ – 10/6, OTUSA – 10/8


UPDATE: 1332 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand leads by 17 seconds at the windward gate. The Kiwis kept their lead all the way up the beat, even though ORACLE TEAM USA closed up at one point to within 2 boatlengths.

UPDATE: 1321 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand maintained its advantage on the run and extended its lead to 6 seconds at the leeward gate. The Kiwis did three jibes on the run and ORACLE TEAM USA four, the last jibe to round the right-hand gate and gain a split beginning the upwind leg.

UPDATE: 1316 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand wins the start of Race 11, although both are late to line. The Kiwis had leeward position at the pin end with ORACLE TEAM USA on their windward quarter. The Kiwis eventually gained a position directly ahead of the defender and led at the first mark by 3 seconds.

UPDATE: 1310 hours

About 5 minutes from the start of Race 11, the wind has built slightly to 16-18 knots and the direction has backed to 235-240 degrees.

UPDATE: 1255 hours

With about 20 minutes to the start of Race 11, the wind is blowing 15 knots from 250-255 degrees. Emirates Team New Zealand will have port tack in the pre-start, and ORACLE TEAM USA will have it in Race 12.

UPDATE: 1200 hours

At noontime the wind on the racecourse was blowing 15 knots from 255 degrees.

UPDATE: 1100 hours

Regatta Director Iain Murray expressed confidence at his morning briefing that the conditions would be suitable for racing today, despite another day of strong ebb (outgoing) tide.

“Our intel tells us around 15 knots for first race and 16-17, maybe 18 for the second race,” said Murray. “Once again, a strong ebb tide today increasing as day goes on: -2 for the first race so a 21-knot limit, and -3 for the second race, so a 20-knot limit. Once again we have a convergence of wind and current, but the forecast looks ok and we feel confident.”

Today is an important day for both teams. ORACLE TEAM USA needs to win the two races to extend the series. Two wins by Emirates Team New Zealand and they win the America’s Cup. A split would extend the series, but serve Team New Zealand better.

“From an event point of view it would be great if the American team had a couple of wins,” said ACEA CEO Stephen Barclay. “Last week I called Thursday moving day and Team New Zealand did all the moving. I think today is D-day. If ORACLE TEAM USA doesn’t sweep the day, don’t get two wins, I think it will be extremely difficult for it to come back. New Zealand could wrap it up, Oracle could win a couple; it could be all on.”

Race 11 is scheduled to start at 1315 and Race 12 at 1415 PT. In the U.S., the America’s Cup Finals will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network. Replays will be available on the America’s Cup YouTube channel.

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.

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

  • Emirates Team New Zealand – 7

  • ORACLE TEAM USA – 1


UPDATE: Sept. 18, 0835 hours

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)

Today in America’s Cup history

September 18 is an auspicious day in America’s Cup history – the only day on which the Cup has been won three times:

  • 1930 – Enterprise defeats Shamrock V in the fourth and deciding race

  • 1967 – Intrepid defeats Dame Pattie in the fourth and deciding race

  • 1977 – Courageous defeats Australia in the fourth and deciding race

  • Intrepid (1967, ’70), Courageous (1974, ’77) and Columbia (1899, 1901) are the only yachts to have won the Americas Cup twice.

  • 1934, Race 2, Endeavour vs. RainbowEndeavour wins by 51 seconds. Held over a triangular course in a wet, 14-knot northwest wind, Endeavour pulled ahead after an even start to go up 2-0 in the match. Needing only two more victories to win the America’s Cup, it would be her last win.

  • 1962, Race 2, Gretel vs. WeatherlyGretel wins by 47 seconds. Gretel caught and surfed a long wave to take the lead with her mast man yelling a war cry as she shot past Weatherly. Weatherly lost her spinnaker afterguy, causing the spinnaker pole to break against the forestay and with it any chance of catching Gretel. The bars of Newport that night filled to the sounds of “Waltzing Matilda.”

  • 1983, Race 3, Australia II vs. LibertyAustralia II wins by 3:14 to record her first win in the match. The race was attempted the day before but with Austraila II leading 2 miles from the finish line and Liberty 6 minutes behind, the race was called off as the time limit expired in light winds. “God must be an American,” claimed Conner. In the second sailing of Race 3, on September 18, in similar conditions, Australia II finished within the time limit to post her first victory by 3 minutes and 14 seconds, the largest victory margin of a challenger over a defender to that date. Conner was asked at the post-race press conference, “If God took Sundays off if he was an American?”


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 11: ORACLE Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
2:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 12: 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
4:00 pm – Poster signing with team representatives from Emirates Team New Zealand
4:00 pm – Race Replay, North Point & Plaza
4:00 pm – Sundowner Specials at the America’s Cup Sports Bar presented by Peroni, until 6:00

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 11: 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 12: 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 - shown on the main stage big screen

ORIGINAL POST: Sept. 17, 1744 hours

After today’s postponement the wind conditions look to be lighter for Wednesday and should allow for racing to begin as scheduled at 1:15 pm PT. Races 11 and 12 are on the docket and if Emirates Team New Zealand sweeps both it’ll win the America’s Cup for a third time.

The Kiwis lead the America’s Cup Finals 7-1 over ORACLE TEAM USA. The first team to reach 9 points will hoist the Cup.

The forecast is for winds between 14 and 17 knots, potentially gusting higher later in the afternoon. That could be the lightest average wind in this final series, and might produce different results.

“At the moment we look good in higher winds and maybe they look better in lower winds, but that might change in the next few days,” said ORACLE TEAM USA designer Dirk Kramers, at a media briefing following the postponement.

The defender looks better in higher winds due in part to the series of modifications it undertook last Friday in the quest to improve upwind performance.

Kramers was coy in his explanation of the improvements. “The obvious changes were we went to the short spine (bowsprit). There were probably four or five more changes, all visible to the naked eye. So I challenge you to find them.”

Emirates Team New Zealand designer Nick Holroyd picked up the conversation from there. “I think there’s been some rake change in the wing, beyond that where they’ve taken the spine structure away saves you a bunch of weight, which opens up opportunities to do things elsewhere. But I’ll go back and terrorize the recon department to find more,” said Holroyd.

A strong ebb (outgoing) tide will lower the wind limits to 21 knots for the first race on Wednesday and 20 knots for the second race. Although the low limits were a hindrance to racing on Tuesday, the ebb tide serves to open up the racecourse, and if the wind is as forecast, shouldn’t cause a postponement.

“We’ve seen the game change drastically from very one-sided track in flood (incoming) tides with good control to having an open racecourse,” said Holroyd. “The way the guys are thinking on the boat has to change quickly.”

The two designers spoke this afternoon following the postponement of racing. They both agree that working on the AC72 design development has been the most fun challenge they’ve undertaken.

“Essentially we’ve taken a two-dimensional sport and made it three dimensional, and it’s pretty fun,” said Holroyd.

“Something similar to this is the future,” said Kramers. “As far as pure spectacle this is great, and we might not see it again.”