Sep 19, 2013

Americas Cup Finals: Race 12 for Oracle 'Bolt' Team USA . Score 8:2 for TNZ

Image ACEA / Abner Kingman | Race 12 replay below. A little too late one more time. Seeing today's Oracle upwind foiling +30knots again (34knots last race) was truly an awkward view. Many of us thought they were going to be faster but this is just too much dif: +4knots gap upwind for moments. It all came too late in the game and now we are all wondering if the perfect handling , good speed of the super TNZ Tractor platform was good enough to match Oracle in their prime but at Race 1.
New Zealand already showed yesterday the new OR improved speed was not enough. Although today with Spithill and his top aggressive start,  that managed a 5 sec gap at Mark 1, Oracle showed total control.
NZ hold ground the entire upwind leg but OR went again almost direct course to Mark 4, this time in front, to win Race 12 with relative ease.

The work done by Oracle Design and shore crew it is remarkable, but as I wrote today while they were leading: "@OracleTeamUSA losing 8 - 1 while going at this stage 3-4 knots faster upwind and foiling is hard to digest ... what they've discovered?"
What the hell went wrong or unnoticed or unchecked or discovered by miracle to have such a great performance leap in a few days? Being the defender has its own drawback, like lack of competition but NZ din´t had that much pressure either at the LV Cup, so it all comes down to the learning curve for both teams.

Still OR being faster downwind and now clearly upwind has not granted any future win, NZ are as focused and prepared as them, and only a Miracle and 7 perfect races will do the trick for Oracle Team USA. 

Just like today as Spithill describes : “We were able to get a nice jump off the line, and from there Ben [Ainslie] and Tom [Slingsby] sailed a very nice race – up the beat they had some tough decisions to make,” said Spithill. “The way the guys were sailing the boat was the best they’ve sailed it. Upwind, to be foiling in that breeze, was pretty impressive. There were zero mistakes, so it was a very satisfying race.”
Video from NZ here

The legacy of these two teams will remain for long time as an example of how to confront , prepare & perform at the highest level without any excuses in any sport.