Americas Cup – Race… the last one, dammit [OPEN POST]

Morning everyone.

From 8am TVNZ is streaming it here.

Peter Montgomery will be calling it live on Radio Sport here.

America’s Cup Virtual Eye is here.


The news wires are full of the possibility of a whole new threat to a race delay: The Whale.

Instead of a malicious smear on this blog (and let’s face it, we’re not quite that powerful, yet), it turns out a whale is cruising the San Francisco Bay, and if it strays into the race area, there will be another postponement.

I’ve just seen Oracle do a run up to 38 knots, so there seems to be enough wind for a race.

It’s currently foggy and there is a 14 knot wind for the race.

Do we dare say it? This wind strength has previously favoured TNZ.

Let’s all cross fingers that Dean Barker has a blinder of a start.

Oracle have the favoured entry into the start box for Race 14.

Even start with Oracle having the inside position.

start

Spithill is pushing TNZ away from Mark 1.

Oracle leads by 6 seconds around Mark 1.

Let’s hope for perfect crew work and brilliant tactics.

Oracle’s boat seems to be performing better as they stretch the lead to 140m.

Halfway down, Oracle seem to be faster as they lead by 190m. It is hard to be confident that we’re actually in this race. Unless Oracle makes a tactical error or has gear failure, it is starting to look like a Oracle dominated race.

2

Oracle lead TNZ by 24 seconds around Gate 2.

And this picture tells the story

sigh

It’s just not the story we want.

TNZ are staying in the lesser current while Oracle backs themselves that their lead is sufficient to take on the stronger current towards the city.

The wind has dropped and picking the wind is going to be critical. TNZ’s tactics of staying out of the current has dropped the distance to 155m halfway to mark 3.

TNZ have closed to 25m having read the conditions better.

The wind has dropped a lot, and Oracle have extended to 80m as they get a little puff.

TNZ is on the layline while Oracle may still need one or two tacks.

Just as TNZ looks like they are closing, Oracle run away to 120m about 3/4 towards the mark.

r

TNZ remains in the race trailing at 15 seconds, but they’re going to need a little better pressure at some stage to close this gap.

The weather gods are with Oracle right now as Oracle sprints away at 35 knots while TNZ are in a hole and trailing at 20.

It is TNZ’s turn to get some luck and they have taken 200m out of Oracle as they briefly took the lead, but a bad gybe dropped them back by 100m.

It’s gutting to see a bad error drop them back, and possibly out of the race as we’re running out of race track.

Oracle find another gear and are leading over 600m as TNZ suffers from a bad error and worse conditions.

Just as it looks hopeless, TNZ close to 200m. Crazy conditions, but we can’t get our nose in front. With a 1/3rd of the leg the go, we’re running out of chances.

4

We had a few chances to make it a race, but as Oracle starts the sprint to the finish, TNZ trails by 20 seconds.

Oracle take another one. TNZ will need race 15 to see if they can change the 8 – 4 scoreline.


Wind is currently coming in at 15 knots for race 15… Oracle have been looking quite comfortable under these conditions. TNZ once more have the less favoured entry into the start box – an artifact of postponed and cancelled races causing back to back favoured entries for Oracle on the same day. If needed, we should get two tomorrow.

Even start

d

But Oracle have the favoured spot, so they lead around Mark 1

e

Oracle lead by 500m halfway to Mark 2 as they are just sailing the perfect race. Excellent team work, great tactics, and TNZ can only watch from behind.

g

Team New Zealand trail Oracle by 59 seconds.

Halfway towards the 3rd gate Team New Zealand have reduced Oracle’s 700m lead down to 250.

Just as it looks like TNZ have a chance, Oracle have extended out to 450m again with a third of the leg remaining.

It’s hard to keep positive as TNZ trail Oracle at 32 seconds. So even though they halved the lead, it appears as if the last leg is like a watery Everest, at least for today.

or

4

TNZ limp in at 37 seconds as Oracle makes it 5 wins to 8. Oracle need 4. Team New Zealand, as if we have to say it. Still. Needs. One.


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