Americas Cup

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Emirates Team New Zealand confirm monohull for Cup

 

The America’s Cup Class is expected to use similar foil systems to the IMOCA60 class. However there is no reference point for a round the buoys foiling monohull – Guillaume Verdier

 

 

America’s Cup – Emirates Team New Zealand confirm monohull for Cup

 

Following comments attributed to Luna Rossa principal, Patrizio Bertelli, Emirates Team New Zealand have confirmed that the next America’s Cup will be sailed a high performance monohull yacht.

A statement issued by the team this evening (NZT) reads:

Emirates Team New Zealand can confirm Patrizio Bertelli’s suggestion today that the next America’s Cup will be sailed in high performance monohull yachts.

Currently there are a team of designers, lead by Emirates Team New Zealand Design Coordinator Dan Bernasconi working on various exciting monohull concepts which will eventually help shape the AC36 Class Rule.

Emirates Team New Zealand have been consulting with a number of potential challengers and there is an overall desire to have a spectacular monohull yacht that will be exciting to match race, but also one that the public and sailors can relate to as a sail boat that really challenges a full crew of professional yachtsman around the race track.

Further details of the Protocol for the 36th America’s Cup will be announced at the end of the month.

Cup capers continue in Auckland 

 

The proposed final development for Wynyard Quarter, looking south. © Sea+City www.seacity.co.nz

 

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com

 

Auckland venue:

The speculation over what will happen in Auckland is bubbling away.

The regatta will be held in Auckland, and in February 2021 – which is only three and a half years after Bermuda. That’s two of the three basic questions answered. The boat-type will apparently be answered when the Protocol is released in September.

Local media, without a lot of knowledge of the Cup, were quick to suggest a race course on the inner Waitemata. Lake Pupuke would be more suitable.

A bit of quick work with Google Earth will tell you that the Waitemata harbour is about half the width (and substantially less at low tide) of the Great Sound in Bermuda – and the Sound was tight to accommodate America’s Cup racing.

In turn, the course length in the Great Sound was about two-thirds of the course length in San Francisco – Cup courses just can’t keep getting shorter and shorter.

Plus, the Waitemata harbour is orientated east-west, and the prevailing wind SW/NE is diagonal across the harbour. Racing on the harbour will result in skewed courses which are an unacceptable comprise.

The next location option, off North Head, drops the racing in behind the influence of the 850ft high volcano Rangitoto in a sea breeze (a very common wind direction in February) – which will make the racing a complete lottery.

Fans wanting to view the racing from North Head (the closest vantage point) will have to endure traffic on the most congested road in New Zealand. Fans might put up with that for a once off Volvo Ocean Race start – but not on a regular basis of sitting in a car for four hours to see 40 minutes of racing.

The concept of stadium racing in the America’s Cup is flawed. In Bermuda, the fans in the grandstands saw about 60 seconds each race at the finish, and for the rest of the coverage, they relied on big screen coverage of the TV feed, plus what they could pick up in the distance out on the course. For sure it was a great day out, but even the brochure sold it as the chance to see the great entertainment in the America’s Cup Village, with the opportunity to first see some America’s Cup racing.

Racing further out into the outer Waitemata harbour/inner Hauraki Gulf is the only sensible option. But will require a seaworthy America’s Cup Class of which the AC50 is probably too small for a 15-18kt sea breeze with a moderate sea, and often wind against the tide as well.

 

Monohull v Multihull

Turning to the boat type – keelboat vs catamaran – a factor that seems to be overlooked with the former is Auckland’s three metre plus tides, which will require dredging for a keelboat base venue – to give all tide access.

Dredging and harbour intrusion is very difficult to get through a planning process in Auckland, with sailors being at the forefront of protest action on previously mooted projects.

A catamaran is much more practical, as they can operate in the normal Auckland harbour water depth – without any need for dredging. Wingsailed catamarans are not that easy to manoeuvre, tow and hoist – requiring some work before the Auckland bases are sorted.

The other big advantage of catamarans (for the reason of relatively shallow draft) is that other locations around the course such as Gulf harbour, Tamaki Estuary and other marinas can be used, which is not suitable for other than shallow drafted keelboats. There is plenty of existing infrastructure which can be used without the need for new facilities.

If they wished, prospective Cup teams could start training in Auckland this coming summer, using their existing catamarans and pick up valuable weather and performance data.

Emirates Team New Zealand has a huge advantage in this area – having worked up for two campaigns on these waters – first with their two AC72’s, and then having spent a lot less time in the AC50/AC45S, preferring the ‘Back Paddock’ off Browns Island for training.

Getting the teams out of the central City for the Cup build-up also has the advantage of the crews not having to battle with Auckland’s rush-hour traffic – which is in full flight at 6.30am.

It also reduces the pressure on the need for inner city accommodation with the price gouging that invariably occurs with major sailing regattas, significantly increasing the cost for visiting teams.

 

The Viaduct Harbour has been taken over by office and hotel complexes – leaving no room for America’s Cup bases. © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

 

Shore bases:

Already there has been some interaction with harbour protection groups and the Auckland Council.

But in contrast to the planning fiasco with the ‘Supes’ in San Francisco, the early submissions on base positioning are a lot more positive.

The only area that will work for bases is clearing the tanks and junk off the Wynyard Wharf area and turning that into a flat area that can be used by the teams for base construction, using prefabricated or temporary bases similar to that used in Bermuda.

What must not happen is that developers become involved in the way that occurred around the Viaduct Harbour development post 1995. Once the Cup was gone the reclaimed land was snapped up for apartments, hotels and expensive office buildings. If Auckland loses the Wynyard Wharf to developers there will be no more harbour space that can be used for future Cups, and taken public space.

Auckland’s legacy from this Cup and the Wynyard Wharf area must be a substantial area of public waterfront space, without any of the antics that have served to block public access in the past.

New Zealand is one month out from a General Election. A priority after the votes are counted is to pass America’s Cup empowering legislation, as was done for the 2000 Cup, to allow fast tracking of planning hearings and allow early demolition and construction to get underway.

Plans for the Wynyard Wharf area must include a permanent base for Emirates Team New Zealand and get the team out of their spartan accommodation in their current temporary base. In the development yet to come in Wynyard Quarter, the area that should be levelled and used for bases is currently being covered with tanks. Currently a modest 4.5 ha perimeter park is planned on two sides with the rest of the tanks remaining. Other graphics show the tanks removed and with yet more office and hotel space.

Despite the concept drawings, the latest signs are encouraging with Auckland Councillors being urged from within to follow Emirates Team New Zealand’s planning example and ‘throw the ball out as far as possible’ when conceiving options for the hosting of the America’s Cup. Expect some out of the box thinking. But don’t criticise Councillors and others coming up with some wacky ideas – provided they aren’t compromising the quality of America’s Cup competition.

 

Boat choice:

Those involved in the selection of the boat should be listening to the views of new generations of sailing fans and not hitting system reset on a type of boat which has grabbed the attention of a much wider sailing audience.

One of the issues with the AC50 revolved around having the bulk of the sailing team involved in ‘moving oil’ rather than focussing on active sailing functions.

Regardless of whether a monohull or multihull is chosen, there will need to be an onboard power source – whether it be battery driven for a catamaran, or diesel to drive a canting keel in a monohull.

The same happened in the 2010 America’s Cup, and wasn’t the major issue it initially seemed. Without an engine the Cup boats, mono or multihull will still be powered by contemporary galley slaves.

Using a more efficient engine will free crew to actually sail the boat, and get away from the ludicrous situation of the AC50 where at least half the crew were tied up on power generation and the remaining two or three shared daggerboard control, sail trimming, tactics, steering, tactics and navigation.

Essentially the 35th America’s Cup was a short-handed sailing event, marred by the snafus created when two people try to do the job of six. A big factor in Bermuda was how the functions were split between the crew, with Emirates Team New Zealand opting for a different functional split than the other five teams.

In Bermuda, how often were good races abruptly decided by one team sailing outside a boundary, because of a navigation error? Or even more ridiculous because the penalty for sailing outside a boundary was less than the distance lost by tacking or gybing with less than the required hydraulic pressure and consequent splashdown and stop. There was a situation where taking the penalty for sailing through a boundary was the lesser evil.

 

Nationality:

There’s an interesting recent angle on the proposed nationality rule – with Kiwi sailors complaining they can’t go and sail for other teams if they don’t make the cut for Emirates Team New Zealand.

The America’s Cup should not exist for the furtherance of individual professional sailing careers – with the hired guns being able to play off one billionaire against another for their services. That just drives up costs and adds little to the event.

There are plenty of other sailing events which cater for multi-national crews and professional sailors of all nationalities. The America’s Cup is a “friendly competition between foreign countries” and by implication, the crews should be nationals of those countries.

The solution for spare Kiwi sailors is to sail for another team, either on the trial horse or some other guise without being on board the race boat. If they are that good, they will be invaluable in lifting the performance of the nationals on the race boat. The alternative is to comply with the new Protocol’s nationality clause and get a passport of the country they wish to represent or work within whatever residency restrictions are in place.

The way to build interest in the America’s Cup is with a tight nationality clause – which lowers the payroll cost and attracts fans in the state of origin of the defending/challenging club.

The demise of nationalism in the last few Cups has been accompanied by the sanitising of the profiles of those at the top end being perceived by the viewing public as somewhat bland personalities.

Jimmy Spithill is the glorious exception with his ability to spark a story with a few words at a media conference or interview. Sadly, the real personalities of the Cup who could have gone head to head with Spithill were kept off the America’s Cup stage, right until the very end. Hopefully, the so-called ‘Dalton clause’, designed to curb adverse comment will be struck from future America’s Cup Protocols, and the competitive sparks can again fly.

 

 

 

 

 

Emirates Team New Zealand win the 35th America’s Cup

 

 

Emirates Team New Zealand have won the 35th America’s Cup in emphatic fashion. A 7-1 victory over Oracle Team USA was a fair result for the total dominance Peter Burling and his team have shown throughout this campaign.

The Kiwis had to completely rebuild after their devastating defeat in San Francisco, where Oracle Team USA came back from 8-1 down to win the 34th America’s Cup. Funding had to be sourced, new personnel recruited and time was short… but the New Zealand team have always proved to be great innovators, and in this they have completely changed the game.

Ahead of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco it was the Kiwi team who managed to foil the huge AC72 catamarans, but they showed their hand early and the other teams, in particular the defender OracleTeam USA, were able to develop their own foiling technology and, with a huge amount of resource, overtook the New Zealand team on the boat speed front to snatch victory when it looked certain that the cup was heading to New Zealand.

Emirates Team New Zealand learnt from their mistakes. As the 35th America’s Cup approached they were training indoors to perfect their ‘cyclor’ system for generating power, but this was just the start of their innovation. All the other teams had similar L-foils and conventional – or as conventional as a 50ft foiling catamaran can be – control systems. Nearly everything about the New Zealand boat was different: heavily canted foils with marked kinks on horizontal element, extreme rudder elevators and ‘X-Box’ style controls for Glenn Ashby on the wing trim. They knew they had to be extremely innovative and aggressive on their design philosophy and they’ve changed the game.

It’s not just in the design that Emirates Team New Zealand have proved dominant. On the water they won seven of the nine starts against Oracle Team USA and have been tactically brilliant around the race course. Of course boat speed makes you a tactical genius, but their only real mistake was when they chose not to cover the American team upwind in the one race that they lost.

Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand are truly worthy champions. Jimmy Spithill was magnanimous in defeat and clearly emotional on the water when he congratulated the Kiwis.

A number of questions now arise; when will the next America’s Cup be, what will it be sailed in and will the America’s Cup World Series continue?

Circolo della Vela Sicilia (Luna Rossa) have been announced as the Challenger of Record and the one point that’s certain is that it will be held in Auckland. Grant Dalton has promised announcements in the next couple of weeks.

 

By Mark Jardine at yachtsandyachting.com

 

 

 

Race 9

Race nine started with both Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA enjoying clean starts and engaged in a drag race to the first mark, the US team edging just ahead but then losing ground to their rivals on the run to the second mark.

Burling was serene at the helm of the Kiwi boat, displaying no nerves as he steered his team towards glory, but Spithill and the OTUSA crew were not giving up, pushing harder than ever to try and take the tie to race ten. However, it was not to be.

By the third mark the Challenge’s lead was up to 26 seconds, increasing further still at the fourth mark, up to 34 seconds, and from that point, barring mistakes by Burling and his all-conquering Emirates Team New Zealand crew, the die was cast.

Oracle Team USA managed to peg back their rivals slightly in the latter stages of the race, but New Zealand sealed their win in impressive style, crossing the finish line for the final time in the 35th America’s Cup 55 seconds ahead of the US team.

 

 

Race Results

Race Nine:

Emirates Team New Zealand bt Oracle Team USA by 55 secs

 

Overall Result

Emirates Team New Zealand 7 v Oracle Team USA 1

 

 

 

Peter Burling, helmsman, Emirates Team New Zealand:

“We’re just blown away. We came here to win the America’s Cup and right now we’re taking the America’s Cup back home to New Zealand.

“To be able to win eight races in Beautiful Bermuda in front of a big crowd of our own fans is overwhelming, we’re just happy to be able to share this moment with them, we’re just blown away.

“I’ve grown up watching this competition as a fan and to be a Kiwi and taking this Cup home is a dream come true.

“To be able to win this event at such a young age is an unreal feeling. However, I’m just a tiny part of a massive team and it is incredible to be able to reward the hard work of those hundreds of people who have supported us, not only here but back home in New Zealand as well.

“We’ve had to go through some incredibly tough times to get to this point. It has been an incredibly tough path to get past the rest of the challengers and then Oracle Team USA and it’s credit to every team that competed.

“It’s so unique to get to sail these boats, every day they can be different. Our incredible shore team gave us that edge and to be able to reward their hard work and bring this Cup home with us is an amazing feeling.

“It’s just sinking in really and I think that will be the same feeling for all of those Kiwi fans watching us win the America’s Cup back home.

“For me I think the reason we won was because of what happened four years ago. This team has gone through some really tough spots from San Francisco and to be able to reward this team with the America’s Cup is the best feeling, because they are such an incredible team.

“I’d like to say thank you to Bermuda. It has been an amazing venue for a sailing event and I’ve absolutely loved this place, I’d love to come back at some stage.

 

Glenn Ashby, Skipper, Emirates Team New Zealand:

“It’s just an amazing feeling of satisfaction to have finally won the America’s Cup.

“It has been an incredibly tough journey to get here. We came across late to Bermuda from New Zealand and to be able to get the boat into good shape in such short time is all credit to our amazing team.

“I’m just so proud to be a part of this team and to be able to bring the Cup home and I want to thank the support of the whole country.

“What happened in 2013 was a brutal experience for everyone involved, to be so close was extremely disappointing and is something that will live with all of us for the rest of our lives.

“So to be able to come here a few years later and pull off an unbelievable victory has really redeemed that situation for New Zealand and it feels like justice has prevailed.

“I think we’ve seen some unbelievable advancements here with the boats and the type of races we’ve seen and it’s great for our sport. From a sailing perspective it’s going to be hard to sail anything else after what we’ve seen in these boats, the technology is just absolutely amazing.”

 

Grant Dalton, CEO, Emirates Team New Zealand:

“We’ve done it, finally!

“We probably don’t realise how big a deal this is back in New Zealand. I’ve been told that there was traffic jams at 4am with people trying to get to work just to see the races, which is utterly incredible.

“We’ve had a phenomenal group of guys, we’ve battled some serious adversity but as a group we’ve overcome everything. There have been a lot of people behind that and none more so than Matteo De Nora, who has stuck with the team through thick and thin and believed in everything that we have done. New Zealand owes a lifetime of gratitude to him for what we have achieved.

“We thought outside of the square and we did it our way. After San Francisco we knew we couldn’t out-spend other teams here so we had to out-think everyone. One of the things to come out of San Francisco is that we were out-designed and we knew this time round that we had to push that area.

“This time round we had no restrictions on design. We just wanted to see what we could come up with and we have achieved some truly amazing things that have been revolutionary in this sport.

“After San Francisco we had a pretty tough debrief and came up with 20 points that we had to change. One of those was that we had to invest in technology and the people that provide it. We also had to get our arms around the next generation of yachtsmen that were coming through and Peter (Burling) was one of those.

“He told me he wanted to be helmsman, so it was all about investing in the right people and giving them the responsibility to go out and achieve what we knew we could.

“It is important that we make the next America’s Cup affordable but we also need to remember that it is the America’s Cup and it is one of the top sports and not a little beach regatta. It is never going to be cheap.

“It is a fine balance between not making it prohibitively expensive, but not being so cheap that it devalues the competition.

“At the core of what we believe, we have to create an event that takes a lot of the good that has happened here, because there been a lot of good here. Just because we didn’t sign the Framework Agreement, that doesn’t mean to say there weren’t elements we didn’t agree with, it was just didn’t agree with every element.

“To me it is a privilege to host the America’s Cup. It is not a right and we will put in place rules and an organisation of our own that will do everything to be good enough.”

 

Jimmy Spithill, Skipper, Oracle Team USA:

“On behalf of the whole of Oracle Team USA, congratulations to Emirates Team New Zealand. What an incredible team. They’ve been a class above everyone in the 35th America’s Cup and we take our hats off to you. Well done.

“They sailed better than anyone else out here and so, rightly so, they are the 35th America’s Cup champions.

“The defeat hasn’t really sunk in yet and it is definitely weird looking at the trophy and knowing we won’t be taking it home.

“With hindsight there are a lot of things you would like to change but I think it’s far too early to say what might have gone wrong.

“Finally, I want to say, to Bermuda, you’ve welcomed us to your beautiful island and we’ve loved every moment of it. Thank you.”

 

Sir Russell Coutts, CEO, America’s Cup Event Authority, was quick to acknowledge the first New Zealand victory in the America’s Cup since 2000, saying, “I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations and praise to everyone in Emirates Team New Zealand for winning the 35th America’s Cup. 

“Helmed brilliantly by Peter Burling, with the guiding influence of skipper Glenn Ashby, supported by a world class sailing, design and shore team, they performed magnificently here in Bermuda, winning in dominant fashion.

“I know just how much this victory means to the team and to the people of New Zealand. This is a remarkable achievement, one that will be rightly celebrated in Bermuda and across New Zealand and I hope those celebrations live long in the memory, much as the team’s victory in Bermuda has now written a new chapter in the history of the America’s Cup. Congratulations Emirates Team New Zealand. You deserve your victory, you deserve the accolades coming your way, and now, you deserve to enjoy it.”

 

www.americascup.com

 

 

Match point to Emirates Team New Zealand

 

 

35th America’s Cup presented by Louis Vuitton

 

Day four of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, belonged firmly to Peter Burling and the New Zealand team who comfortably won the two scheduled races of the day, races seven and eight of the final stage of the 35th America’s Cup.

Having won race six on Saturday, Oracle Team USA went into the second Sunday of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, looking to gain more ground on their Kiwi rivals, but the New Zealand juggernaut had found its pace again and was unbeatable in similar weather conditions to day three, Saturday 24th June.

The leaderboard now stands at 6-1 to Emirates Team New Zealand who need only one more race to take the ‘Auld Mug’ back to their home country.

“We were absolutely delighted with how the day went,” said Peter Burling after claiming back-to-back victories to take his team to the verge of their first America’s Cup success since 2000.

We were disappointed to give away a race yesterday but we certainly made up for it today.

“We’ve got a fantastic team and you can see that out on the water. We’ve all got the same understanding of what we want to achieve and we are all on the same page.

“Despite the lead we won’t get ahead of ourselves because we still know we have a job to do and it’s still an incredibly tough ask.

“A lot has been said about what happened four years ago but I love the pressure. If you want to come all the way to Bermuda and win the America’s Cup then you have to deal with immense pressure. As a group we feel the pressure is bringing the best out of us and I think we’ve more than answered those questions.”

For Oracle Team USA, this is familiar ground, and nobody would write off the Defenders who so memorably staged one of, if not the, greatest comebacks in sport when they pulled back from an 8-1 deficit to win the 2013 America’s Cup 9-8 against the same rivals.

“They [Emirates Team New Zealand] sailed better than us today and made a lot fewer mistakes,” conceded Jimmy Spithill on what was a disappointing day for Oracle Team USA.

“They deserved to win both of the races because we clearly made far too many mistakes out there. We’re in a tough situation now and all we can really do is take this one race at a time.

“The plan certainly wasn’t to be in this position again, I can assure you of that, but we are here now so it is up to all of us to respond and react.

“You wouldn’t have been surprised to see a bit of a bad reaction out there today but the boys kept fighting and that’s great. Potentially, in a situation like this you could see a team split apart, but when we got ashore everyone pulled together because we know this isn’t over. 

“I still think we can win races with this boat. We’ve proven we can races against these guys if we sail well but if we make too many mistakes like we did today then we won’t win races.”

Having made changes to their boat since the opening weekend Jimmy Spithill was asked if there might also be changes to personnel on the boat ahead of day five, to which he replied, “Anything is on the table. Every single team member in OTUSA will do whatever they can to help the team win.

“That includes me. If the team feel they have a better chance of winning with me on the wheel, I’ll be on the wheel, if we feel we have a better chance with me off the wheel, no problem. Our attitude has always been you put the team before yourself.

“Once again we will go away and review everything and tomorrow we will put out the boat, the configuration and the team we feel will give us the best possible chance to win some races.

“We don’t need to think too much about the end result, all we need to focus on is winning one race, and one race at a time. We have to learn from our mistakes and come out fighting stronger tomorrow, that’s it, that’s all we will be thinking about.”

Racing is scheduled to resume at 2.00pm on Monday 26th June with races nine and ten in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, taking place on Bermuda’s Great Sound.

 

 

 

Race 7

It was a drag race over the startline in race seven as both teams made clean getaways, Emirates Team New Zealand just ahead as they rounded mark one. Spithill blinked first, making the turn before Burling and slowly inching closer to the Kiwis as they headed towards gate two. On leg three there was very little between the two teams but the Kiwis extended their advantage again as they headed upwind, giving themselves a 32 second lead as they headed into leg four.

Despite the growing gap, OTUSA did not give up, continuing to try and claw back the advantage the Kiwis were building, but it was largely to no avail. The New Zealanders put on a dominant display, extending their lead to 40 seconds by gate four and then slightly back to 35 seconds at the fifth gate.

On leg six it looked as if ETNZ would wrap up the victory cleanly, but a bad jibe gave OTUSA a glimmer of hope. Spithill and his crew did everything they could to stop the leaderboard ticking round to 5-1 to ETNZ, reducing the deficit to 13 seconds at the sixth gate, but they were unable to bridge the gap completely and that left the Kiwis celebrating victory in race seven.

 

 

 

Race 8

The second of Sunday’s two races started with Emirates Team New Zealand putting clear air between them and Oracle Team USA well before the startline after Spithill had failed to box in his rival, having to watch Burling accelerating into a 13 second lead before Spithill had even crossed the start.

“We thought we would be able to pull a manoeuvre off but clearly we couldn’t, it was a big mistake,” admitted Spithill on the poor pre-start. “That really handed it to Peter and these guys were in a pretty easy situation to hook us and that’s game over really.”

By gate two that lead was already up to 24 seconds and Spithill chose to split the course, a decision that appeared to pay dividends as the gap started to decrease, but a penalty on leg four as OTUSA sailed outside the boundary effectively ended their hopes in race eight.

Again, Emirates Team New Zealand continued to extend their lead, reaching 36 seconds ahead at mark four, sailing their America’s Cup Class (ACC) boat perfectly. This was in contrast to OTUSA whose minor issues kept increasing the difference between the two teams on the racetrack.

Finally, another dominant display by Burling and the New Zealand team culminated in a 30 second win in race eight over OTUSA, putting them on the brink of winning the 35th America’s Cup.

 

Race Results

 

Race 7: 

Emirates Team New Zealand bt Oracle Team USA by 12 secs

Race 8: 

Emirates Team New Zealand bt Oracle Team USA by 30 secs

 

Overall Standings

Emirates Team New Zealand 6 v Oracle Team USA 1

 

www.americascup.com

 

 

Finally a fightback by Oracle Team USA

 

One race a piece between Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand on day 3 of the 35th America’s Cup Match – photo © ACEA 2017 / Gilles Martin-Raget

 

 

35th America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton – Day 3

 

Day three of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, was full of drama, incident and history-making action, but the big story of the day is the fightback Oracle Team USA staged against their rivals for the Auld Mug, Emirates Team New Zealand.

The US Defenders of the America’s Cup found themselves 3-0 down to their Kiwi rivals after the first four races of the final stage of the 35th America’s Cup. However, from the start of race five, the first race of day three, it was clear that OTUSA had found significant boat speed since the two teams last raced on Sunday 18th June.

Race five went to Emirates Team New Zealand, who took full advantage of mistakes made on the US boat to put themselves 4-0 up, but in race six the tables finally turned, Oracle Team USA winning their first race of the 35th America’s Cup Match. With that victory, skipper Jimmy Spithill made more history, tying Sir Russell Coutts’ winning record in America’s Cup Match races, recording his 14th victory, the same as Coutts.

That win means that the 35th America’s Cup will continue into Monday 26th June as neither team can reach the seven points needed to win the 35th America’s Cup in the two races scheduled on Sunday 24th June.

However, the win also signifies that the clear advantage Emirates Team New Zealand had over their US rivals in the opening weekend of the America’s Cup Match, has gone, and that means even more compelling racing is guaranteed in the remaining head-to-heads between the two teams fighting for the oldest trophy in international sport.

The battle on the water also carried on into the press conference after the action concluded on the Great Sound with the rivals looking back at the two races on day three, and the week they’ve both had to prepare for the resumption of hostilities on Saturday 24th June.

“We felt like we gave away that last race a bit, but it is great to see a little fight out of these boys,” remarked Burling, on OTUSA’s revival, to which Jimmy Spithill replied, “It is only just beginning mate.”

Reflecting further on his team’s vast improvement and the importance of Oracle Team USA cutting the overall deficit to Emirates Team New Zealand, Spithill added, “We all saw that the boat is faster, obviously we are not sailing as well as we should do, but the important thing is that the boat is faster.

“We’ll be going straight back out on the water today to work on a few things. That’s a good position to be in, knowing there is more on the table and that the changes are working, the boat is getting quicker.

“It was five very long days but the good thing is we’ve been able to reward the entire shore crew with a win. We now have confidence in the tool we have, which is the most important thing.

“It does remind me of San Francisco when, once the guys can see that the boat is faster, then you start building some momentum.

“Getting that first victory was important today but I believe there is more speed in the tank.

“The boat is clearly faster because of the changes and it showed in the second race that if we as athletes can do a good job then the boat responds.

“We know we can do much better, but all in all we are just happy with the performance of the boat, to be able to get that race win, and to know that the boat is faster.”

In reply, Peter Burling acknowledged the new greater threat from the cup holders but remained confident in Emirates Team New Zealand being able to hold their advantage.

“We knew to expect a battle and now it appears we have got one,” remarked Burling.

“We felt they were a little rusty last weekend but we are under no illusions. When we entered this we knew we were in for one hell of a battle. It was nice to get those first wins and take a lead.

“We came out of a good battle today and managed to take another win but we feel we have plenty more to come.

“We didn’t sail particularly well today but it was great to walk away with another win. We’re really happy with the lead we have got and we’ll come back stronger, expecting a really great battle in the coming races.

“It’s no secret that when you look at our team, we are all very young and the advantage that gives us is that we are all pretty open and learn fast. We have an incredibly talented group of guys and we’re excited to get back out there and race again tomorrow.”

 

 

Race 5

After five days away from racing Jimmy Spithill’s Oracle Team USA’s fightback against Emirates Team New Zealand started in the worst possible style in Race 5, the team being handed a penalty for crossing the start line too early, allowing Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand to sail into a clear lead.

“All of our onboard gear had us behind the line at the start but it was wrong,” bemoaned Spithill of the early penalty. “We both rely on pretty sophisticated software at times and in these boats you get one knot of difference and it changes everything.”

However, despite the setback, the American team responded spectacularly, closing the gap completely rounding the second gate before taking the lead in the first pass of this America’s Cup Match, on leg 3/7.

However, just as they had taken the lead, OTUSA were punished once again as the boats crossed for a second time on leg 3/7. Both teams appealed against the other but it was Jimmy Spithill who was penalised, his team having to fall two boat lengths behind his rival, effectively handing them the race victory.

To add insult to injury, the Defender’s pursuit of ETNZ was hampered even further as a poorly executed manoeuvre then saw them lose all momentum, allowing the Kiwis to sail well clear on leg 4/7.

The Kiwi team’s advantage stood at just over a minute at the fifth gate and by the time they crossed the finish line Emirates Team New Zealand were two minutes and four seconds ahead of their rivals, putting them 4-0 up at the end of race five.

 

One race a piece between Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand on day 3 of the 35th America’s Cup Match – photo © ACEA 2017 / Gilles Martin-Raget

 

 

Race 6

With the pressure mounting on Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA, they finally halted Emirates Team New Zealand’s charge, securing a timely and vital 11 second victory over the Kiwis in the sixth race, to cut the deficit to 4-1.

In contrast to the first race of the day, both teams crossed the start line cleanly, with OTUSA beating ETNZ to mark one for the very first time in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

The lead then changed hands twice on leg two but it was Jimmy Spithill’s team which held a slender 12 second advantage at the third gate.

At gate four Spithill took a gamble, jibing in the run up to the next gate, but it proved to be an error and Burling took the shorter course to the gate to edge ahead of his rival.

However, OTUSA’s new-found speed paid dividends on leg 5/7 as they cut the gap to their rivals and engaged in close-quarter racing. Two passes then ensued between the two teams, with Spithill coming out on top, nudging ahead at the fifth gate.

Having eradicated the mistakes that had held back OTUSA in race five, Spithill kept his rival at bay in the run up to the finish line and sealed an 11-second win which, vitally, keeps Oracle Team USA firmly in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

“We had a couple of good leads but some bad manoeuvres allowed them to catch us up,” conceded Peter Burling on defeat in race six. “We made a couple of mistakes and we lost some metres, however, full credit to them, they sailed better than us in that race.”

 

 

Race Results

Race 5: Emirates Team New Zealand bt Oracle Team USA by 2 mins 4 secs

Race 6: Oracle Team USA bt Emirates Team New Zealand by 11 secs

 

Overall Standings

Emirates Team New Zealand 4* v Oracle Team USA 1

  • Emirates Team New Zealand started the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton -1 due to Oracle Team USA’s win in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers

 

www.americascup.com

 

 

Landrover BAR grabs title In last gasp upset

 

 

Nail biting final race for Land Rover BAR Academy during the Red Bull Youth America’s Cu p Finals (c) HarryKH

 

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in Bermuda

 

Great Britain’s Land Rover BAR Academy have been crowned Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Champions in the most dramatic of fashions, following a fantastic final day of racing on Bermuda’s Great Sound. New Zealand and Switzerland rounded out the podium.

Having headed into the climactic day of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in fifth place overall, defending champions NZL Sailing Team of New Zealand mounted a monumental comeback. The Kiwis looked to have successfully retained their crown after claiming a perfect set of race results on the day with three consecutive victories, while the leaders after day one ofthe Finals, Land Rover BAR Academy, had endured a difficult afternoon and were still on the course with the rest of the field, languishing in fifth place.

However, with the New Zealanders set to celebrate onboard their boat, incredible late drama conspired against the reigning champions. Land Rover BAR Academy clawed their way up to second on the final leg, including passing SVB Team Germany who hit the mark, to land the trophy. The British team’s eventual second place in the race proved enough to see them finish on 50 points, just two ahead of NZL Sailing Team in the final standings.

“We had some slightly bleak thoughts for a little while watching on in that final race,” conceded Land Rover BAR Academy skipper Rob Bunce, reflecting on the dramatic final race. “We were just praying for an opportunity from somewhere and then we saw the drama that was unfolding in front of us, that was our opportunity. It feels fantastic to be able to bring the trophy home with us.”

Bunce also revealed that one very important spectator, Land Rover BAR Team Principal Sir Ben Ainslie, was on hand to pass on his congratulations on the water after the final race

Developed by Sport Directors and Olympic sailing legends Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup was introduced in 2013 as a launch pad to a professional career for the world’s best young sailing talent aged 18-24. The competition’s thrilling final day of action saw Switzerland’s Team Tilt join Land Rover BAR Academy and NZL Sailing Team on the podium in third place overall.

“I’d just like to offer my personal congratulations to the British youth team for winning the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup today. This is a fantastic achievement,” said Jimmy Spithill, the two-time America’s Cup-winning skipper and helmsman of Oracle Team USA, which is vying in this week’s America’s Cup Match racing

Of the remaining teams contesting the final, Sweden’s Artemis Youth Racing finished fourth, followed by Team France Jeune, Spanish Impulse by Iberostar and SVB Team Germany. Local heroes TeamBDA, who had exceeded all expectations by reaching the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Final, finished their incredible journey in eighth place, having enjoyed momentous highlights including a fairytale victory in the Final’s opening race.

Sport Director Hagara noted that nine members of the inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup are now on senior America’s Cup teams, including Peter Burling, the helmsman of the winning boat in that 2013 youth regatta, who now helms Emirates Team New Zealand.

“Look for the sailors you’ve seen here in this 2017 edition of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup to be in the next America’s Cup four years from now,” Hagara stated.

“These young talents are the superstars of the future, and after seeing the level of skill and competitiveness they’ve shown here in Bermuda, there’s no doubt they’re going to take the sport to the next level.”

 

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup 2017, Final overall standings: 

  1. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 50 pts
  2. NZL Sailing Team (NZL) 48 pts
  3. Team Tilt (SUI) 42 pts
  4. Artemis Youth Racing (SWE) 37 pts
  5. Team France Jeune (FRA) 35 pts
  6. Spanish Impulse by Iberostar (ESP) 34 pts
  7. SVB Team Germany (GER) 33 pts
  8. TeamBDA (BER) 33 pts

 

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup media hub here: www.redbullsailingnewsroom.com

 

 

Dream start for Team Bermuda but Land Rover BAR lead

 

 

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals – Day 1

 

Day one of the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals belonged to Land Rover BAR Academy who sit on top of the leaderboard heading into day two after two second places and a first place in the three races on day one.

Land Rover BAR Academy Skipper Rob Bunce summed up the team’s performance, saying, “It is the perfect start we were looking for and we’re all delighted with our level of consistency. In all honesty, our main focus isn’t to necessarily to win each of the races, it is more about keeping that consistency and finishing in the top three as much as we can because consistency is key.

“Getting off that start line cleanly has been the crucial thing for us and if we can do that then we’re all confident we are quick enough to challenge for those top places on a regular basis.

“It is amazing to know there are only three races remaining but we will go into tomorrow as if today didn’t happen. We will take all the positives from today but there are still things to learn and improve on.

“All of the team from Land Rover BAR, including Ben (Ainslie) have been incredibly helpful and supportive to us on and off the water. It’s been amazing to have that support and hopefully we can do this for them as well.”

For the home of the 35th America’s Cup, the day started in fairytale fashion for local heroes TeamBDA whose incredible story in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup continued in fine style when they won the first race of the Finals against their seven competitors.

Having given the packed Grandstand and all the TeamBDA fans in the America’s Cup Village a huge reason to cheer in race one, races two and three proved tougher for the young team and they end day one in sixth place overall.

Speaking about the team’s day, Skipper Mackenzie Cooper said, “It is hard to describe exactly how it felt crossing the finish line in that first race. We knew once we were round the last mark that we were going to win the race and you stop for a second and look up at all the people in the grandstand cheering. It was just an incredible feeling which fills you with so much pride, it’s something I’ll never forget.

“All of just looked at each other in disbelief, like we’ve just won a race in the final in front of our home fans! It was incredible. However, we had to stop ourselves from celebrating as we knew it was only the first race and each race comes around so quickly, so you have to focus again quickly.

“However, that first race was for our incredible fans and hopefully we give them more to cheer for tomorrow. We showed in each of the races that we are capable of competing against anyone out there and, even when we’re behind, we can claw some places back, which is encouraging.

“Anything can happen, we’ve already seen that and so we won’t stop believing we can win this. We will fix the mistakes we’ve made and come back stronger tomorrow.”

Roman Hagara, Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Sport Director said, “The last couple of years of preparation comes down to these two days of Finals for the eight teams taking part, and I’ve been very impressed by how everyone has competed today. It was hot out there on the Great Sound, and the winds were pretty light, but everyone got on with their jobs and the racing was fascinating.”

Hans Peter Steinacher, Hagara’s fellow Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Sport Director, added, “Obviously the whole of Bermuda went wild when TeamBDA won the first race, and we’re all so pleased they’re performing at such a high level. However, Land Rover BAR Academy really deserve our praise today.

They sailed consistently and they made the most of the conditions. Behind them, there’s very little to choose between all the teams. Tomorrow we have the final three races and I think it’s safe to say that, whatever happens, it’s going to be edge of the seat stuff!”

 

Race One

It proved a fairytale start to the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals for local heroes TeamBDA as they clinched a comfortable 34 second victory in the first race of the eight-team showpiece finals.

Managing to avoid the congestion at the start line, the Bermudian team put themselves in clear air throughout the race, gradually building a healthy lead and ultimately clinching victory as the packed Grandstand in the America’s Cup Village erupted in delight. Rob Bunce’s Land Rover BAR Academy and Jordi Xammar’s Spanish Impulse by Iberostar finished second and third respectively to the hometown heroes.

Behind the top three, in what proved a much tighter battle, Robin Follin’s Team France Jeune clinched fourth ahead of Team Tilt (SUI) in fifth, Artemis Youth Racing sixth, reigning Red Bull Youth America’s Cup champions NZL Sailing Team seventh and, rounding off the running order in eighth, was SVB Team Germany.

 

 

 

 

Race Two

Race Two was won by Team France Jeune who held off the challenge of the consistent Land Rover BAR Academy to claim the race-winning 10 points.

Behind them, a hard-fought battle ensued between the remaining six teams with Team Tilt and Artemis Youth Racing sealing third and fourth respectively, followed by Max Kohlhoff’s SVB Team Germany in fifth.

Defending champions NZL Sailing Team’s struggles continued as they had to settle for a sixth place finish, narrowly ahead of Spanish Impulse by Iberostar. Meanwhile, Mackenzie Cooper’s TeamBDA were punished with a penalty on leg three of five, which saw them drop from third place to ultimately finish Race Two in eighth.

 

Race Three

Land Rover BAR Academy capped off an impressive first day in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals, taking victory in race three and topping the standings at the end of day one.

Having sealed consecutive second-place finishes in the first two races, Rob Bunce’s British team built on that momentum to enjoy a win in the day’s last race, narrowly ahead of NZL Sailing Team and Artemis Youth Racing.

Behind those three teams, a congested pack ultimately saw Switzerland’s Team Tilt claim fourth place ahead of SVB Team Germany, local heroes TeamBDA in fifth and Team France Jeune and Spanish Impulse by Iberostar completing the running order in seventh and eighth places respectively.

 

Day One Standings:

1. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) (28pts)

2. Team Tilt (SUI) (21pts)

3. Team France Jeune (21pts)

4. Artemis Youth Racing (SWE) (20pts)

5. NZL Sailing Team (18pts)

6. TeamBDA (BER) (18pts)

7. SVB Team Germany (15pts)

8. Spanish Impulse by Iberostar (15pts)

 

 

Emirates Team New Zealand surge ahead 3 – 0 

 

 

 

Photo © BMW | Studio Borlenghi

 

 

35th America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton – Day 2

 

 

 

Battle resumed in Bermuda in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, with Jimmy Spithill’s Oracle Team USA looking to seize back the advantage gained by Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand on day one. However, it was day two to the Kiwis again, with Emirates Team New Zealand recording two more back-to-back victories over the Defenders of the America’s Cup, putting themselves 3-0 up in the first-to-seven series that will determine the winner of the 35th America’s Cup.

After racing had finished on day two, Jimmy Spithill looked ahead to the five day break before racing restarts on 24th June and what Oracle Team USA can do to put themselves back in the fight.

“These are going to be the most important five days of this America’s Cup campaign for us,” said the two-time winner of the America’s Cup.

“I thought we took a good step forward from yesterday, but it is clear we have to find some speed from somewhere, that is no secret.

“If we were forced to race day after day we’d be in some serious trouble at the moment. This break coming up is a massive opportunity for us as a team to go away and regroup.

“Everything will be put out on the table, nothing will be off limits, and over the next five days our incredible shore team will be looking at every aspect of our boat.

“Nothing will escape our eyes, I can guarantee that. Whether it’s system related, appendage related, sailing technique or strategy, we are going to look at absolutely everything. 

“The motivation is always there, the team is hungry and we’re a very competitive group, but we are also a candid group and it is quite clear we need to make some changes.

“We feel that with the resources we have here we can make the changes to improve the boat and give us more speed. It looks like we have some good sailing days coming up over these next five days so we’ll be into 24 hour shifts.

“We’ve been in a situation like this before and we’ve had less time. We’ve got five important days and we’ll be using every single hour of them. 

“We have to respond.”

 

Photo © Richard Hodder / ETNZ

 

 

In reply, despite knowing that repeating the opening weekend’s performance when racing resumes on 24th June would confirm Emirates Team New Zealand as the 35th America’s Cup champions, Burling again warned his team against complacency.

“We are walking away with two victories again but, much the same as yesterday, we made too many mistakes,” said the Kiwi helmsman.

“We now have five days to keep pushing on and progressing because everyone in this team is hungry to keep on improving and learning.

“We know full well if we stand still, Jimmy (Spithill) and OTUSA will catch us so we have plenty of work on in the next five days.

“We’re happy to take those four wins because it is no secret that we are here to win the America’s Cup. We knew to do that we had to win eight races and so we have to keep on battling to ensure that is what we do.”

 

 

Race 3

Race three saw Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand pick up where they left off on day one, sealing a third consecutive victory over Jimmy Spithill’s Oracle Team USA to extend their advantage in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton to two points at the halfway stage of day two.

At the start of the race, both teams were extremely close as they crossed the startline, and OTUSA had a small advantage as they approached the first mark. However, in similar scenes to day one’s two races, a small mistake was to prove pivotal as a poor jibe by OTUSA saw the American boat make a small splashdown into the water, resulting in a loss of momentum that they were then unable to claw back.

That mistake handed the initiative to Burling and he seized the opportunity, sailing clear of his rival to hold an 11 second lead at gate two.

Trailing the Kiwi boat, Spithill went for the split at the gate as he chased hard in pursuit of Burling, winner of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2013. However, Emirates Team New Zealand continued to showcase their impressive speed and steadily increased their advantage through the next two gates, holding a 49 second lead by leg 5/7.

Spithill’s Oracle Team USA continued their pursuit, in the hope of a mistake from their Kiwi rivals in the closing stages. However, it was not to materialise. Burling kept his composure, rounding the fifth gate with his 49 second advantage intact, and from that point there was no looking back Emirates Team New Zealand crossed the finish line nearly a minute ahead of the US team and Burling claimed his third victory on the trot in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

 

 

Photo © ACEA 2017 / Ricardo Pinto

 

Race 4

Race two started in almost identical fashion to the first race, with both teams racing extremely closely to one another as they crossed the start line, quickly accelerating to around 40 knots as they headed towards the first mark.

Both teams essentially had faultless races, but the superior boat speed of Emirates Team New Zealand proved the deciding factor, the Kiwis pulling away throughout the race to build a lead of 500 metres heading towards the fifth gate.

Emirates Team New Zealand rounded Gate 5 with their advantage standing at a minute, with Jimmy Spithill only able to watch on in the hope of a mistake from his rival Peter Burling, but it was not to be.

At the end of race four it was Emirates Team New Zealand who were celebrating again, finishing the day with two more points on the leaderboard and clear air between them and Oracle Team USA.

 

 

 

Race Results

Race 3: Emirates Team New Zealand bt Oracle Team USA by 49 secs

Race 4: Emirates Team New Zealand bt Oracle Team USA by 1 min 12 secs

Scores (as at 18th June 2017)

Emirates Team New Zealand: 3 points*

Oracle Team USA: 0 points

 

*Emirates Team New Zealand started the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton -1 due to Oracle Team USA’s win in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers

 

www.americascup.com

 

 

Advantage Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand on day 1

 

Photo c Studio Borlenghi

 

It is advantage Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand at the end of day one of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton. The Kiwi Challengers to Jimmy Spithill’s Oracle Team USA took back-to-back victories in the first two races of the final stage of the 35th America’s Cup, putting them into a 1-0 lead over the Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’ at the end of day one of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, in Bermuda.

The New Zealanders’ first race victory of the day put the scores at 0-0 as Jimmy Spithill’s team started the America’s Cup Match, with a one point advantage over their rivals, having won the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. Their second victory of the day put the Kiwis into an end-of-day-one lead of one point, with Oracle Team USA yet to score.

The match-up between Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand is a rematch of the 2013 America’s Cup Match in which Oracle Team USA staged what many call the greatest comeback in sport. Then, the US team turned an 8-1 deficit to their Kiwi rivals into a 9-8 victory in San Francisco, setting the stage perfectly for the mother of all grudge matches which is now taking place on Bermuda’s Great Sound.

“Everyone connected to our team has been working incredibly hard to try and give us a fast boat and it is incredible to be able to reward them with two victories today,” said Peter Burling.

However, despite Emirates Team New Zealand securing back-to-back victories on day one, Burling is not getting carried away just yet. “Jimmy (Spithill) and Oracle Team USA sailed really well to put us under a lot of pressure, but we managed to keep our composure and sail really well.

“We’ve said all along that we are learning all the time and although we won both races we got a lot wrong and made too many mistakes today.

“We will go away and look at what we need to improve because we all know for a fact that Jimmy (Spithill) won’t give up and so we have to keep progressing.

“We’ve known all along that to win the America’s Cup we had to win eight races and so to get two wins on the board already is fantastic. We’ll keep battling away and aim to get the remaining six wins needed as soon as possible.”

Despite relinquishing the point advantage they held at the beginning of the day, Oracle Team USA helmsman Jimmy Spithill is refusing to panic, especially with the experience of overturning an 8-1 deficit to the same opposition in 2013. “We’re obviously disappointed with what was a tough day, but the deficit is only one point so we we’re not panicking,” said a defiant Spithill.

“Clearly we didn’t sail our best today, but we still had opportunities and that is what we will take away with us.

“It is too early to draw conclusions on what went wrong for us but we will go away and look at what we have to change ahead of tomorrow.

“Credit to Peter (Burling) and Emirates Team New Zealand because they made fewer mistakes to win both races. 

“However, I’ve been here before, and it is still only a point!”

America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, Race One

Jimmy Spithill’s Oracle Team USA made the worst possible start to their defence of the ‘Auld Mug’ as they were handed a penalty for crossing the start line fractionally early.

“We had a little issue on board during the first start,” said Spithill. “We thought we were coming back when we wanted to but as it turned out we were wrong, it is something we will have to go back and look at. We basically handed that first race to them.”

The penalty handed the initiative to Emirates Team New Zealand, and Peter Burling took full advantage, sailing well clear of his rival Spithill, holding a 32 second lead by the turn at the second gate.

In relatively light winds, Burling continued to sail smoothly, extending the Kiwis’ advantage to a healthy margin of one minute and 52 seconds over their rivals by the fifth gate.

However, Burling did not have it all his own way and mistakes began to creep in. Two poor manoeuvres reduced Emirates Team New Zealand’s advantage, giving Jimmy Spithill a slight hope of catching the Kiwis in the closing stages.

“It was an incredibly tricky day out there with the winds and they certainly weren’t our best manoeuvres,” conceded Burling. “If you make a small mistake it can prove a costly one.”

However, there was to be no late drama, as Burling’s team crossed the finish line 30 seconds ahead of Spithill’s OT USA, wiping out the minus one point deficit to the Defenders and levelling the overall scores to 0-0 ahead of race two.

America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, Race Two

Having cut the point deficit, Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand set about building on the momentum of victory in the first race by again beating Jimmy Spithill’s Oracle Team USA away from the start line.

Race two was much closer than race one, but Emirates Team New Zealand were still able to pull clear, establishing a lead of up to one minute, 34 seconds by the time they rounded mark four.

However, once again Emirates Team New Zealand gave their rivals a glimmer of hope in the closing stages as Oracle Team USA dramatically cut the gap to Emirates Team New Zealand on the run to the fifth mark. As both boats headed towards the turn the gap was down to just over three seconds, and it looked like the US team might record their first win of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, but it was not to be.

“Halfway way up that second beat we definitely lost a lot and we have to go away and keep learning and improving,” admitted Burling.

Having closed the gap, Oracle Team USA’s yacht came down off its foils and that gave Emirates Team New Zealand the chance to re-establish their lead.

“I think what happened is that we lost a rudder,” revealed Spithill, reflecting on the manoeuvre that all but ended their challenge.

“We’ll have to go back and look at that because it was obviously a key moment in the race.”

With the pressure now off, Burling guided his team around the sixth and final gate and coasted to the finish line an entire minute and 28 seconds ahead of Jimmy Spithill’s OT USA, taking not only their second successive win of day one, but also moving into a one point advantage in the battle for the ‘Auld Mug’.

 

 

America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, Race Results

Race One: Emirates Team New Zealand bt Oracle Team USA by 30 secs.

Race Two: Emirates Team New Zealand bt Oracle Team USA by 1 min 28 secs.

 

America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, Scores (17th June 2017)

Emirates Team New Zealand: 1 point*

Oracle Team USA: 0 points

  • Emirates Team New Zealand started the America’s Cup Match, -1 due to Oracle Team USA’s win in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers

 

www.americascup.com

 

Emirates Team New Zealand punch ticket to Americas Cup final

 

Emirates Team New Zealand crosses the finish line in Race 7 to become the Challenger for the 35th America’s Cup Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

 

Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand squad has earned a rematch against Oracle Team USA for the 35th America’s Cup with a convincing victory over Artemis Racing in the final match of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs.

It was a nerve-wracking afternoon for the New Zealand team and its fans. With their team on match point, the first attempt at sailing race seven was abandoned after the wind died with Emirates Team New Zealand holding the lead.

But in the second attempt at racing, Burling won the start over his counterpart on Artemis Racing, Nathan Outteridge, and led into mark one for the first time in the series.

From there, the Kiwis showed blazing speed, extending around the race course for what appeared to be an easy race win, a 5-2 victory in the series, and a date in the America’s Cup against Oracle Team USA.

In 2013, in San Francisco, Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill led his team to one of the greatest comebacks in sport, racing back from a 1-8 deficit to win 9-8 over Emirates Team New Zealand.

But Peter Burling wasn’t on that team. In fact, the only holdover on the Kiwi starting crew is wing trimmer and skipper Glenn Ashby. The 2017 Emirates Team New Zealand doesn’t appear to be scarred from that experience.

“I think the lessons we learned out of San Francisco has made us stronger going forwards,” Ashby said at the post-race press conference.

“The team has been re-built from the ground up and what has been created is a stronger unit than we’ve ever seen before. The motivation going forwards is certainly there.”

“We feel like we’re in great shape to take on Oracle Team USA now,” Burling said from on board just after crossing the finishing line. 

“Artemis Racing has been an amazing opponent. They’ve pushed us incredibly hard… they’ve put us in good shape for the America’s Cup.”

After racing, the inaugural Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Trophy was presented to Emirates Team New Zealand by Grant Gibbons, Bermuda’s Minister of Economic Development, at a prize-giving ceremony in the America’s Cup Village.

 

The America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, starts on June 17.

 

Race Report – Race 7:

The re-sail of race seven started in a 6 to 8 knot southerly, and the pre-start featured both boats heading to the line on timed runs. Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand had a strong leeward position off the starting line and held Nathan Outteridge up above the line to mark one, to lead around for the first time in the series.

With the Kiwis extending on the short run to the bottom gate, Artemis Racing was soon 19-seconds back, early in the race, facing a New Zealand team that always appeared to be sailing faster.

By the windward gate, the wind had shifted to the right, making passing lanes hard to find. But by that stage, Artemis Racing was a full 35-seconds behind. At the end, the delta was nearly a minute.

 

Quotes of the day:

Iain Percy, Artemis Racing Team Manager and Tactician, on who is going to win the America’s Cup: “We don’t know. That’s the beauty of this competition. Honestly, when we started today we didn’t know who was going to win it. It’s blown me away, the racing, doing it. And part of that excitement is because you never know who is going to win, even in the race. Anything can happen. And because of that we can’t tell you who is going to win this thing. But I can tell you it will be the most entertaining sporting contest of 2017.”

Nathan Outteridge, skipper and helmsman, Artemis Racing, reflecting on having sailed his last race in the 35th America’s Cup:

“We can be really proud of the way we raced. We’ve had some really close matches and we left everything out there on the water, we pushed hard in every race. We thoroughly enjoyed the competition. I’m very proud of the team – they’ve put in so much effort over the years and it was nice to reward them by getting to the final.”

Peter Burling, helmsman, Emirates Team New Zealand, on handling the pressure as the youngest helmsman in the fleet: “I think it is full credit to our team. We have a great bunch of guys, around, from management throughout to the coaches, who can guide us through. We’re just really excited about the challenge ahead. We’ve been pushed really hard in the past couple of weeks and we’ll take it easy for a day but we’re a lot stronger for it heading into the Match.”

Glenn Ashby, skipper, Emirates Team New Zealand, on being battle-hardened through the competition against Artemis Racing: “Having not done a lot of racing against any other ACCs, the battle we had against Artemis Racing the past few days has certainly been very, very valuable for us. Hats off to those guys for how they sailed. They put together an amazing campaign and whoever made it through this was going to be stronger because of that. They gave us a couple of good sailing lessons and there’s no doubt we’re a stronger team because of it.”

 

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Finals

Race 1 Emirates Team New Zealand bt Artemis Racing: 47 secs

Race 2 Artemis Racing bt Emirates Team New Zealand: 15 secs

Race 3 Emirates Team New Zealand win: Artemis Racing DNF

Race 4 Artemis Racing bt Emirates Team New Zealand: 15 seconds

Race 5 Emirates Team New Zealand win: Artemis Racing DNF

Race 6 Emirates Team New Zealand bt Artemis Racing: 1 sec

Race 7 Race abandoned for exceeding the time limit (re-sailed)

Race 7 Emirates Team New Zealand bt  Artemis Racing: 56 secs

 

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