Day 12 racing blog

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UPDATE: 1458 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA won Race 15 by 37seconds over Emirates Team New Zealand to sweep the day after winning Race 14 by 23 seconds.

ORACLE TEAM USA has clawed its way to 8-5 on the scoreline, after trailing by 8-1 on Wednesday. Emirates Team New Zealand needs one more win to win the America’s Cup while ORACLE TEAM USA has to win out, four more victories.

In a near carbon copy of Race 14, ORACLE TEAM USA started Race 15 to leeward of Emirates Team New Zealand to lead by 3 seconds at the first turning mark. The defender stretched its lead to one minute at the second turning mark, before the Kiwis made inroads on the upwind leg. The Kiwis made another charge on the second downwind leg, but ORACLE TEAM USA was too far ahead to overcome.

Races 16 and 17 (if necessary) are scheduled for tomorrow at 1:15 and 2:15 pm PT.

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

  • Emirates Team New Zealand – 8

  • ORACLE TEAM USA – 5


Race 15 Performance Data

  • Course: 5 Legs/10.22 nautical miles

  • Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 27:34, ETNZ – 28:11

  • Delta: OTUSA +:37

  • Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 12.0 NM, ETNZ – 11.9 NM

  • Average Speed: OTUSA – 26.23 knots (30 mph), ETNZ – 25.40 knots (29 mph)

  • Top Speed: OTUSA – 41.80 knots (48 mph), ETNZ – 40.35 knots (46 mph)

  • Windspeed: Average – 12.9 knots, Peak – 18.0 knots

  • Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 7/7, ETNZ – 7/9


UPDATE: 1442 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA hit the afterburners in the second half of the upwind leg, hydrofoiling upwind at 32 knots and leading by 32 seconds at the windward gate.

UPDATE: 1430 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA stretched out a huge lead on the first downwind leg, turning a 3-second lead over Emirates Team New Zealand at the first mark into 1 minute at the leeward gate.

UPDATE: 1422 hours

The start of Race 15 was a near carbon-copy of Race 14 with ORACLE TEAM USA coming off the line to leeward of Emirates Team New Zealand. The defender led by 3 seconds at the first reach mark.

UPDATE: 1358 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA won Race 14 of the 34th America’s Cup by 23 seconds over Emirates Team New Zealand to fight off elimination yet again.

ORACLE TEAM USA got the leeward position off the start line and held off Emirates Team New Zealand approaching the first turning mark. The defender fought off constant attacks from the challenger throughout the race, at one time just crossing ahead by less than a boatlength, but never lost the lead.

Emirates Team New Zealand still leads the series 8-4 and needs just one victory to win the America’s Cup while ORACLE TEAM USA needs to win five consecutive races. Race 15 is scheduled to start at 1422 PT.

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

  • Emirates Team New Zealand – 8

  • ORACLE TEAM USA – 3


Race 14 Performance Data

  • Course: 5 Legs/10.22 nautical miles

  • Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 33:47, ETNZ – 34:10

  • Delta: OTUSA +:23

  • Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 12.8 NM, ETNZ – 13.1 NM

  • Average Speed: OTUSA – 23.31 knots (27 mph), ETNZ – 22.58 knots (26 mph)

  • Top Speed: OTUSA – 36.60 knots (42 mph), ETNZ – 35.41 knots (41 mph)

  • Windspeed: Average – 11.4 knots, Peak – 14.9 knots

  • Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 8/12, ETNZ – 8/12


UPDATE: 1337 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand made inroads on ORACLE TEAM USA’s lead on the windward leg, but the defender still leads at the windward gate by 15 seconds. ORACLE TEAM USA rounded the gate on port tack and Emirates Team New Zealand on starboard.

UPDATE: 1323 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA steadily increased its lead on the downwind leg, stretching a 6-second lead to 24 seconds at the leeward gate. ORACLE TEAM USA rounded the gate on port and Emirates Team New Zealand on starboard.

UPDATE: 1317 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand comes off the start line to windward of ORACLE TEAM USA, which has the inside position going into the first reach mark. The defender again luffs the match hard, well to the west of the reach mark. ORACLE TEAM USA leads by 6 seconds once the two crews round the mark.

UPDATE: 1305 hours

The wind is still solid 10 minutes before the start of Race 14: 15-16 knots from 250-255 degrees.

UPDATE: 1255 hours

The wind is blowing 14-16 knots from 260 degrees with 20 minutes remaining to the start of Race 14.

UPDATE: 1230 hours

With about 45 minutes to the start of Race 14, the wind is blowing 11 to 13 knots from 240-250 degrees, ideal for racing.

UPDATE: 1200 hours

At noontime the 30-second wind average was 12 knots from 255 degrees, raising the prospect of an on time start at 1315.

ORACLE TEAM USA has removed the bowsprit again and Emirates Team New Zealand is going with the short version of the fairings on the front crossbeam, as evidenced by the different color netting.

Guffaws were abundant this morning at the Regatta Director’s briefing when Iain Murray mentioned the possibility of having to postpone a race because of a whale in San Francisco Bay. After delays due to wind speeds, time limits and wind directions, a whale postponement would be a first for the America’s Cup.

“Whales have been on our radar since we got here,” said Murray. “If a whale enters the course area we are obliged to deal with it. If it’s in the middle of the racecourse we’ll have to stop the race, it’s as simple as that.”

UPDATE: 1105 hours

Abundant sunshine has replaced the deluge of yesterday and the wind looks to be very favorable for two races, if necessary, on Race Day 12 (Day 16 overall) of the 34th America’s Cup.

“It’s going to be a building breeze all day,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray. “Right now we’re in a transition period between the northwest gradient to the southwest; there’s light wind on the course but it’s coming around to the west, which we need it to do.”

Yesterday’s scheduled Races 14 and 15 were postponed to today because of a southerly wind that was well off the desired axis around 230 degrees. That direction should come true early in the afternoon, although it might be light at the scheduled 1315 start or Race 14.

“We’re keen to see how much wind we’ll have at scheduled start time of 1315,” Murray said. “Hopefully it’ll be more than 10 knots; we could see upwards of 20 knots if we get through to the end of the day.”

The tide is flooding (coming into the Bay) all day, so the wind limits have been increased to 24.4 knots for Race 14 and 23.3 knots for Race 15. ORACLE TEAM USA will have port tack in prestart maneuvers for both races.

“The signs are positive for a great day,” said Murray.

Emirates Team New Zealand needs one victory to win the 34th America’s Cup while ORACLE TEAM USA needs to win six consecutive races to retain the Cup it won in 2010.

Today in America’s Cup history

September 22 is notable for the memorable headline, “Britannia rules the waves, but America waives the rules.”

  • 1887: Scottish challenger Thistle is measured by the New York Yacht Club’s measurers in Erie Basin, New York. Thistle was found to have exceeded the waterline length stated in her challenge documents by 1 foot, 5 ½ inches. The NYYC Committee complained it was “a great discrepancy” despite building a defender yacht 10 1/2 inches longer than Thistle. The fuss was pointless as both yachts were to be measured and handicapped according to the Club’s rules, so that any difference would be evened out by a time allowance. It demonstrated a highly sensitive concern on the part of the NYYC that the George Watson-designed Thistle was a risk to retaining the Cup. Watson, of Glasgow, had a considerable international reputation as a designer, and his yachts were hoovering up silverware throughout Britain and in America. Calmer heads prevailed in New York and the issue was put to George Schuyler to resolve as both the last surviving donor of the Cup and the pre-agreed umpire. Schuyler ordered the yachts time allowances be adjusted, as was to happen in any event. Even with the new measurement, the larger Volunteer still gave Thistle five seconds of time to be deducted from Thistle’s elapsed time for each race. The dispute caused the Deed of Gift to be revised a second time, resulting in a new more formal, but controversial Deed of Gift to be written after the match under which Cup racing is conducted today.

  • 1893: Challenger Lord Dunraven’s yacht Valkyrie II arrives in New York after a rough Atlantic crossing for its America’s Cup match with two weeks to re-rig her into racing trim and to prepare her for the match. Dunraven, over a period of three years, had negotiated a solution to an impasse between British yacht clubs and the NYYC over acceptance of the new 1887 Deed of Gift. The British Clubs believed the Deed was too legalistic, removed time allowances forcing challengers to build a challenging yacht to the maximum load waterline of 90 feet or risk being out-built by a defender building a larger and faster yacht, and on winning the Cup they would be forced to impose terms they considered to be unsporting. The absence of challenges after the new Deed forced a former NYYC Commodore to propose tearing up the new Deed. NYYC officials admitted privately to Dunraven the new Deed was “was not strictly legal.” To resolve the impasse Dunraven secured an agreement: “… should the Cup come under that custody of a British Yacht club it shall be held subject to challenge under precisely similar terms as those contained in this challenge, provided always that such New York Yacht Club shall not refuse a challenge according to the conditions laid down in the Deed of 1887.” Dunraven deserves considerable credit and recognition for determinedly pursuing an agreement over several years between the Royal Yacht Squadron and the NYYC to allow America’s Cup racing to continue under the new Deed under which Cup racing is conducted today.

  • 1934, Race 4, Endeavour vs. RainbowRainbow wins by 1:15 after a protest from Endeavour is dismissed. The controversial protest arose when Rainbow failed to respond to a luff from Endeavour, as Rainbow threatened to overtake the lead having just rounded the first mark ahead. Rainbow’s tactician C. Sherman Hoyt cried out, “For God-sake, luff Mike!” to Rainbow skipper Mike Vanderbilt. Sir T.O.M. Sopwith, the British owner and skipper of Endeavour wishing to protest Rainbow’s failure consulted the New York Yacht Club’s representative aboard Endeavour, “Bubbles” Havemeyer, about the timing of raising a protest flag. Havemeyer advised it would be acceptable if Endeavour hoisted as it passed the Committee boat stationed at the finish line, which Endeavour did. The New York Yacht Club Protest Committee later declined to hear Endeavour’s protest because it failed to display a protest flag at the earliest possible moment as required by its rules. While Sopwith’s public response was restrained and gentlemanly, there was considerable anger in the British team and in the British press, which blared the headline, “Britannia rules the waves, but America waives the rules.”

  • 1962, Race 4, Gretel vs. WeatherlyWeatherly wins by 26 seconds and goes to match point, 3-1.

  • 1970, Race 3, Gretel II vs. IntrepidIntrepid wins by 1:18 and goes up 2-0 in the match.

  • 1983, Race 6, Australia II vs. LibertyAustralia II wins by 3:25 to even the best-of-seven match at three-all, leaving one historic last race to determine the winner of the 25th America’s Cup. Raced in a 12-knot northwesterly wind, Liberty won the start by 7 seconds, but Australia II captured a 15-degree wind shift to take the lead before the first mark and went on to win the race, and setting another new record margin of victory for a challenger.


UPDATE: 0845 hours

Today’s crew lists are the same as yesterday and includes Winston MacFarlane in place of Grant Dalton on Pedestal 3 for Emirates Team New Zealand.

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)

America’s Cup Park
11:00 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 14: 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 15*: ORACLE Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
3:00 pm – Post Race Q&A with Andy Green and Tucker Thompson
3:00 pm – DJ Set – Sweet Mix Kids, MOA Bar, Beer Garden until 6:00
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, 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 14: 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 15*: 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
(* If necessary)

ORIGINAL POST: 0650 hours

Yesterday’s postponement of Race 14 was unfortunate but necessary in the grand scheme of the 34th America’s Cup. With Emirates Team New Zealand on match point and ORACLE TEAM USA needing six wins, a skewed race does no one any favors. For reference, see Race 13 on Friday when a 50-degree wind shift skewed the racing in favor of the leader.

Today, however, the front has passed and sunny skies with brisk winds are expected.

“Sunday it should clear up,” Principal Race Officer John Craig said yesterday. “The front is moving through and we should be able to get two races in on Sunday from 230-240 wind direction and 14-16 knots. We want to make sure it’s a quality race that’s fair for everyone.”

Today marks the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. Fall begins at 1344 PT, nearly 30 minutes after the scheduled start of Race 14. It’s also the 16th day of the 34th America’s Cup, tying it with the 2003 America’s Cup in New Zealand as the longest match in history.

Race 14 is rescheduled to start at 1:15 pm PT and Race 15 at 2:15 pm 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.