Day 13 racing blog


UPDATE: 1428 hours

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

  • Emirates Team New Zealand – 8


Race 16 Performance Data

  • Course: 5 Legs/10.21 nautical miles

  • Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 30:43, ETNZ – 31:16

  • Delta: OTUSA +:33

  • Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 11.8 NM, ETNZ – 11.7 NM

  • Average Speed: OTUSA – 23.21 knots (27 mph), ETNZ – 22.46 knots (26 mph)

  • Top Speed: OTUSA – 38.05 knots (44 mph), ETNZ – 36.61 knots (42 mph)

  • Windspeed: Average – 12.0 knots, Peak – 14.1 knots

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

UPDATE: 1420 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA’s improbable comeback is alive and well in the 34th America’s Cup. Skipper Jimmy Spithill led the defender to another wire-to-wire victory in Race 16 and now needs just three move victories to successfully defend the America’s Cup. Challenger Emirates Team New Zealand finished 33 seconds in arrears, but still leads on the scoreboard 8-6. The Kiwis need one victory to win the America’s Cup.

Race 17, originally scheduled for this afternoon, will not be sailed due to the 1440 cutoff time for racing. It is rescheduled to tomorrow, at 1315, with Race 18 scheduled for 1415.

UPDATE: 1408 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand hung with ORACLE TEAM USA on the upwind leg but the defender increased its lead to 19 seconds beginning the penultimate leg to the finish.

UPDATE: 1353 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand dropped more than 200 meters behind early on the downwind leg but made gains on the second half of the leg to close within less than 100 meters. At the leeward gate ORACLE TEAM USA led by 13 seconds and rounded the gate on port while Emirates Team New Zealand rounded on starboard.

UPDATE: 1346 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand got the leeward position on the start line but ORACLE TEAM USA got onto its foils and sailed over the top of the Kiwis to lead by 5 seconds at the reach mark. Emirates Team New Zealand had its Code 0 gennaker hoisted but not unfurled which might’ve hurt its chances to get foilborne.

UPDATE: 1335 hours

The wind is averaging around 11 knots with a peak gust of 13 knots from 260 degrees; looks like good conditions for a start at 1345.

UPDATE: 1305 hours

The start of Race 16 has been delayed another 15 minutes, to 1345, the wind is up to 8 knots at the top of the racecourse but only 3-5 knots at the bottom. Looking like there’ll be only one race today.

UPDATE: 1255 hours

The start of Race 16 has been pushed back to 1330 as the race committee waits for the wind strength to increase. The wind is blowing around 10 knots from 260 degrees near the start line, but at the bottom of the course it’s blowing only 5 knots.

UPDATE: 1235 hours

The wind is hovering around 9 knots from approximately 255 degrees. That’s enough wind to start a race according to the wind limits, but in practicality might be too light. We’ll have to wait and see what the race committee decides approaching the 1315 start time of Race 16.

UPDATE: 1116 hours

It’s a gorgeous morning in San Francisco, perhaps a bit too gorgeous.

“You’ve all been outside and noticed the wind coming from the east. That’s not a good start,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray at his morning briefing. “The forecast is essentially light and variable, magnificent for water skiing. We expect the wind to come from the southwest, it’s a matter of when it happens.

“We’ve got varying forecasts,” Murray said. “The lower end is 9-10 knots at the start up to 14 knots at the finish, and maybe 18 knots towards the end of what would be the second race. It’s a promising day, just a matter of whether it gets going early enough.”

The forecast light winds have led to ORACLE TEAM USA reattaching its bowsprit for today’s racing. Murray said that ORACLE TEAM USA has been issued a new certificate for every race, 15 certificates in total, and Emirates Team New Zealand has had eight or 10 new certificates.

“If they move the top rudder bearing more than 10 millimeters, that’s a new certificate,” said Murray. “For the second race of the day that’s clearly where those changes are because that’s the only thing you can change. They have the ability to mode change the boats quite a bit, and they’re working on the finding the strongest performance with the assets they have.”

Race 16 is scheduled to start at 1315 and Race 17 at 1415. In the U.S. the racing can be viewed on the NBC Sports Network. It will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network until the conclusion of racing.

UPDATE: 0850 hours

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)

Today in America’s Cup history
Historian Hamish Ross recalls the advent of the nationality rule during the 1980 America’s Cup season off Newport, R.I.

1980, Race 4, Australia vs. FreedomFreedom wins by 4:48. Skipper Dennis Conner takes the New York Yacht Club to match point at 3-1 in the 24th America’s Cup Match.

After an American sailor, tactician Andy ,Rose had sailed with an Australian challenger during the 1977 America’s Cup season, the rules regarding the nationality of crew and designers were first implemented by the New York Yacht Club on July 15, 1980, prior to the 1980 match, but to take effect after 1980. Designers and crew were thereafter required by a new Trustee Interpretative Resolution to be nationals of the country of the respective competing yacht club. Immediately, issues arose as to what constituted a “national” of a country and with the Defender seeking to access foreign design talent, the new nationality rule was soon undermined by an amending Trustee Interpretative Resolution on March 9, 1982, permitting nationality to be attained by holding a passport, having domicile, or by having a principal place of residence in the country concerned for a period (usually about 18 months to two years) before the match. The rule was now easily, if sometimes expensively, satisfied by designers and crew renting a residence in a country as from a fixed date. The advent of almost fully professional crews after 1987 put more pressure on the new nationality rules as more mobile professional sailors and designers sought to take up America’s Cup opportunities across national boundaries.

The designer and sailor nationality rules were abolished after the 2003 match, after the rules had lost credibility and only added an additional expense for competitors. The America’s Cup then returned to the position in which it was prior to 1983, when there were no restrictions on the nationality of crew or designers.

Historically, America had engaged six English sailors and an English pilot to win the Cup in 1851, and American defenders routinely used Scandinavian crews. Use of an all-American crew on Defender was headline news in 1895. Early challengers engaged local pilots to help them navigate the tides and shoals of New York Harbour.

The issue of crew nationality remains alive in many quarters in a search for balance between a representative national team to promote national public support, and encouraging new countries to enter the America’s Cup competition by making accessible skills and experience necessary to compete effectively. At present, a competitor has the discretion as to whether or not they engage nationals as their designers and crews, but a defender and its challenger of record have the freedom to mutually consent to crew and designer nationality rules as part of their mutually agreed terms for their forthcoming match. It would take a change to the Deed of Gift if a rule were to apply to all future matches.

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
1:00 pm – “America’s Cup Race Show” includes live commentary from 1:15pm, until 3:00
1:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 16: ORACLE Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
2:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 17*: ORACLE Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
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

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
1:15 pm – America’s Cup Final 16: 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 17*: ORACLE Team USA vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
2:50 pm – Post-Race Show - on the main stage big screen
4:00 pm – Race Replay - shown on the main stage big screen
(* If necessary)

ORIGINAL POST: 0655 hours

Today’s storyline is simple: Can Emirates Team New Zealand close out the 34th America’s Cup? Or will ORACLE TEAM USA continue to write the most improbable comeback story in the history of the 162-year event?

Emirates Team New Zealand needs to win one of today’s or tomorrow’s two scheduled races to win the series. But ORACLE TEAM USA needs to win both of today’s races and tomorrow’s to retain the venerable trophy.

Momentum would seem to be on the side of the defender, which has won four consecutive races to draw within 8-5 on the scoreboard after Emirates Team New Zealand reached match point last Wednesday.

At yesterday afternoon’s press conference both skippers spoke of the improvements made to their boats since the start of the series, but it seems that ORACLE TEAM USA has a slight speed advantage.

Today might be the Kiwis best chance to close this out. They get port tack in both pre-starts, and Barker has shown he can fend off Spithill in such instances.

“It was always going to be a battle. We knew that,” said Barker. “Without question they’ve improved since the first week. We feel like we’ve improved also, but the game was very, very close and it was always going to be a battle for every point.”

Races 16 and 17 are scheduled to start at 1:15 and 2:15 p.m. 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.