34th America’s Cup: Defender wins race 12, extends match
Published on September 19th, 2013
San Francisco, CA (September 19, 2013) – With Emirates Team New Zealand on match point at the 34th America’s Cup, race twelve was pivotal. One more win for the challenger and the Auld Mug would go to the Kiwi nation for the third time in event history.
“We know we have a nation watching us, but once you are in the start box you don’t think about it and just do your job as best you can,” explained Kiwi manager Grant Dalton.
In a light ebb and 15 knots at the prestart, and the defender with the advantageous port entry, the Kiwis tried a new tactic and ducked in front to block the American team’s starboard approach. But with too much time to burn, the Kiwis couldn’t hold off the defender which got a hook to leeward, and blasted off the start line with a 5 second lead.
The defender led the game downwind, but the Kiwis got a split at the leeward gate, and made some quick gains inshore with the stronger ebb. But any gains by the challenger were temporary, as the margin ranged between 40 to 150 meters up the beat.
When the American team was fast upwind, they were amazingly fast. The Kiwi’s top upwind speed was 29.01 knots, with the defender pegging the odometer at 36.24 knots. As a point of comparison, the Kiwis top speed on the first downwind leg was 35.52 knots. The American team, when in their upwind foiling mode, looked unbeatable.
This race was secure at the top gate, with the defender opening a 450 meter lead downwind, winning race twelve by 31 seconds.
“The boys are really focused today, really hungry, and accepting the challenge,” said defense skipper Jimmy Spithill. “There was almost a bit of excitement among the group this morning. They really embraced it, and sailed a fantastic race.”
Twelve Completed Races – First team to 9 Points Wins
Emirates Team New Zealand: 8
Oracle Team USA: 2*
* Began series with -2 points due to International Jury penalty from AC World Series.
America’s Cup Final schedule
Wednesday, Sept. 18: Race 11 (1:15 pm PT), Race 12 (2:15 pm PT); Race 12 postponed
Thursday, Sept. 19: Race 12 (1:15 pm PT), Race 13* (2:15 pm PT)
Friday, Sept. 20: Race 14* (1:15 pm PT), Race 15* (2:15 pm PT)
Saturday, Sept. 21: Race 16* (1:15 pm PT), Race 17* (2:15 pm PT)
Sunday, Sept. 22: Race 18* (1:15 pm PT), Race 19* (2:15 pm PT)
Monday, Sept. 23: Reserve Day