America’s Cup: Kiwis lead Italians 4-1 in Challenger Finals
Published on August 21st, 2013
San Francisco, CA (August 21, 2013) – Something remarkable happened today. There were two America’s Cup challenger races, and each race had two boats both start and finish them. With the breakdowns and winds limits disrupting the first three days of the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals, the fourth day proved to be a charm for the event organizers.
Wind strength for both races averaged at about 14 knots, well below the limit of 21.6 knots (.6-knot flood correction) for the first race and 19.8 knots for the second race (-1.2 knot ebb correction). For San Francisco, in August, an exceedingly mild day.
But for the Luna Rossa Challenge team, if there was ever a day which instilled a sense of hopelessness for the Italians, this was it.
In the first race, the Italians badly mistimed the start, and were already 12 seconds behind after the short reach to the first mark. In the only upwind leg, the Italians couldn’t stop the bleeding, compounding strategy mistakes with boundary penalties. By the time the Kiwis rounded the upwind mark for the final run, the distance grew to over 1600 meters… a mile lead. The final delta was 2:17 minutes.
The second race was possibly the closest of the series. After an even start, the Italians matched the Kiwi speed on nearly all of the first reach… until the Kiwis shifted gears. A four second lead at the first mark quickly grew to 100s of meters on the run. The approach to the leeward gate gave hope for the Italians, where they rounded the opposite gate as the Kiwis, which turned out to be the better choice. With the Kiwi lead narrowed to 70 meters, the Italians were soon covered and smothered, and the delta grew back to the 100s, finishing at 1:28 minutes.
The Kiwis, which now lead the best of 13 series at 4-1, appear to have a bit more in every category. With one make-up race this Friday and two more races scheduled on Saturday, look for the fat lady to soon be making her entrance to sing.