34th America’s Cup: Defender Finds Speed, Wins Two Of Three Races

Published on September 15th, 2013

San Francisco, CA (September 15, 2013) – With four races on the weekend schedule of the 34th America’s Cup, and challenger Emirates Team New Zealand only three wins away from winning the match, it was widely suspected the Kiwi freight train would be cruising into the station for a wild celebration Sunday night.

What the weekend provided instead was a resurgent defender, with Oracle Team USA showing upwind speed and maneuverability that at times exceeded the high standard the Kiwis had demonstrated in the first seven races. There was also the near Kiwi capsize on Saturday, and the unbelievably close racing on Sunday. As Kiwi helm Dean Barker said, “If you didn’t enjoy today’s racing out there, then you probably should watch another sport.”

Here is a race by race summation, with each report link including a full race description, sailor quotes, photo, and liveline speed data…

Race 8 (Sept. 14): After postponing the second race last Thursday, the defender quickly showed their efforts to improve the boat paid off. The Kiwis held the lead, but were pushed hard on the upwind, forcing the Kiwis into a quick tack near the windward mark. What followed was as close to an AC72 capsize as is possible (video). American team wins by 52 seconds. Full report

Race 9 (Sept. 14): After the Kiwis cleaned their shorts from the near disaster in Race 8, they went back to business and led the defender through the leeward mark gate. But that would be all she wrote as the race was abandoned when the wind limit of 22.6 knots was exceeded. Despite the independent race management, Kiwi sponsor Camper lobbed this comment from Twitter: “Race 2 abandoned due to wind while we are leading. We’ll leave the comments to you!” Full report

Race 9 (Sept. 15): It was the dawn of a new day for the defender as they smoked the challenger in every facet of the game. Better start, extend on every leg, and exhibit the upwind foiling fundamentals that only the challenger previously held. If this was the first race of the series, the Kiwi nation would be crucifying the politicians that funded this effort. American team wins by 46 seconds. Full report

Race 10 (Sept. 15): This race may now have everyone forgetting about the 1983 America’s Cup. After a comfortable Kiwi lead around the leeward gate got swallowed whole by the defender, the two teams were even as they rounded opposite windward gates. At downwind speeds of 40 knots, defense skipper Jimmy Spithill needed a perfect crossing maneuver and came up just short. Kiwis win by 16 seconds. Full report

Ten Completed Races – First team to 9 Points Wins
Emirates Team New Zealand: 7
Oracle Team USA: 1*
* Began series with -2 points due to International Jury penalty from AC World Series.

America’s Cup Final schedule
Saturday, Sept. 7: Race 1 (1:15 pm PT), Race 2 (2:15 pm PT)
Sunday, Sept. 8: Race 3 (1:15 pm PT), Race 4 (2:15 pm PT
Tuesday, Sept. 10: Race 5 (1:15 pm PT), Race 6 (2:15 pm PT); Race 6 postponed
Thursday, Sept. 12: Race 6 (1:15 pm PT), Race 7 (2:15 pm PT)
Saturday, Sept. 14: Race 8 (1:15 pm PT), Race 9 (2:15 pm PT) Race 9 abandoned
Sunday, Sept. 15: Final Race 9 (1:15 pm PT), Final Race 10 (2:15 pm PT)
Monday, Sept. 16: Off Day
Tuesday, Sept. 17: Final Race 11 (1:15 pm PT), Final Race 12 (2:15 pm PT)
Wednesday, Sept. 18: Final Race 13* (1:15 pm PT), Final Race 14* (2:15 pm PT)
Thursday, Sept. 19: Final Race 15* (1:15 pm PT), Final Race 16* (2:15 pm PT)
Friday, Sept. 20: Reserve Day
Saturday, Sept. 21: Final Race 17* (1:15 pm PT)
Sunday, Sept. 22: Reserve Day
Monday, Sept. 23: Reserve Day
(*If necessary)

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