Harken Derm

34th America’s Cup: It’s Now One Race – Winner Take All

Published on September 24th, 2013

San Francisco, CA (September 24, 2013) – It was on September 18th, the eighth day of the 34th America’s Cup, when challenger Emirates Team New Zealand won their eighth race of the series. All they needed was to win one more race to win the event, but 10 days later, they are not only still on match point, but so is defender Oracle Team USA.

There was a time when the Kiwis, if behind, could reel in the defender, but that seems like a long time ago. With the defender improving every day, the Kiwi speed is at best even, with passing dependent on human or equipment error. But there has been none of that lately.

With two more races today, in winds that ranged from 16 to 20 knots, it was the most dominant performance by the defender yet. Here is a race-by-race summation, with each report link including a full race description, sailor quotes, photo, and liveline speed data…

Race 17: This race was near over at the start, with the challenger getting to the line too early. The defender got the leeward hook, and then a foul, giving them a 16 second lead at the first turn. With the wind strength steady, with the defender making no tactical mistakes and no boat handling missteps, and with no breakdowns, the result is a win for the American team by 27 seconds. It was the sixth straight loss for the challenger. Full report

Race 18: The defender nearly aced the start again, but the challenger to leeward held their overlap on the first leg to lead at the turn. It looked promising down the run that this could be the elusive win for the Kiwis, concern re-entered the picture when they gave the American team a split at the leeward gate. That was all the leverage the defender needed to use their turbo-boosting foil-mode to sail around the Kiwis. Defender win by 54 seconds. Full report

The defender has won 7 straight races, bouncing back from a 1 to 8 deficit to even the series. Tomorrow will be the 19th day of the event, making the 34th America’s Cup the longest in event history.

It is now one race, winner take all… and the forecast for Wednesday is calling for big wind. Game on!

Video: Post-Race Press ConferenceRace Replay

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