34th America’s Cup Trivia Contest- Race 16

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At the start of Race 16 ETNZ kept its Code Zero hoisted.

The wind conditions on Day 13 would again play a role in the race. The start was postponed but when it did begin there was a distinct difference between the two boats. ETNZ, expecting light winds, started with their Code Zero hoisted, but furled, while Oracle sailed with their longer bowsprit but didn’t hoist the big sail. This meant New Zealand was sailing with a bit of extra drag.

After crossing the starting line OTUSA-17 was the first boat up on its foils and the Americans quickly accelerated to Mark 1. After the rounding New Zealand deployed its Code Zero but it didn’t seem to make any difference as Oracle continued to pull away. The Americans were actually able to foil without the Code Zero while ETNZ seemed to have trouble getting their starboard hull out of the water even with the extra sail area.   Read more

34th America’s Cup Trivia Contest- Races 14 and 15

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Photographer Chris Cameron, ETNZ

Races 14 and 15 on September 22nd were impacted by light and spotty wind conditions. At the start of Race 14 Barker took Aotearoa to windward and although Spithill wasn’t able to pass him he was able to push New Zealand out above the reaching mark.  OTUSA took the lead, but as each team caught puffs of wind their lead increased, shrunk and then increased again. At one point ETNZ managed to cut Oracle’s lead to 50 meters. Catching a nice breeze, USA-17 was able to foil and expand the lead to 700 meters only to see it shrink again a short time later. Although New Zealand was close, OTUSA was just far enough ahead to win the race bringing the scoreboard to 8 to 4.

The second race of the day didn’t go any better for New Zealand. The patchy wind again made the leads grow and shrink at regular intervals. OTUSA came out ahead winning Race 15 by 32 seconds.     Read more

34th America’s Cup Trivia Contest- Race 13

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The teams had to deploy their Code Zero sails before they even made it to Mark 1!

It seems that 13 was an unlucky number for New Zealand. The first attempt to run the race was postponed because the wind limits were exceeded. The second attempt started on time despite very light winds (just 7 to 11 knots), but the race was pretty much run in slow motion with speeds half of what they normally were. New Zealand managed to find some wind and was soon 600 meters ahead, but time was not on their side. New Zealand had a substantial lead but hadn’t made it to the fourth mark when the 40:00 time limit expired.

With the wind slightly higher, Race 13 was restarted later the same day. Barker did a good job fending off a hook by Spithill and started the race with a 3-second lead. The boats stayed very close together, so close in fact that when the boats converged New Zealand boldly crossed on port fractions of a second ahead–the only problem was Oracle had the right of way. USA protested and New Zealand was penalized for a port-starboard violation.   Read more

34th America’s Cup Trivia Contest- Race 12

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Day 9, Race 12, Leg 3

From this point on, Oracle must win every race.  This is the second attempt to run Race 12. The first time it was canceled 15 seconds before the start.

In the pre-start, Spithill hooked Barker 20 seconds before the gun which forced ETNZ to tack away from the starting line. Oracle extended a 5-second lead to 110-meters on the first downwind leg. On Leg 3, the upwind leg that had been Oracle’s downfall in earlier races, they showed off their new upwind foiling ability. The gap between the two boats heading into Leg 4 was 200 meters which Oracle quickly cranked up to 400 meters.  Just to make certain they won, they cranked it up another notch to over 500 meters. Race 12 was an impressive win for Oracle and it brought the score to 8 to 2. They only needed seven more races to win the cup!   Read more

34th America’s Cup Trivia Contest- Race 11

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Photographer Chris Cameron

Race 11 was another amazing battle between Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA. Both boats were late to the start, but Dean Barker came out ahead and by Mark 1 had a 3-second lead.  By the second mark ETNZ’s lead had only grown to 6-seconds. On the upwind leg, a good tactical call put Oracle ahead, but a tacking duel erupted and it was ETNZ who won it–although OTUSA took some pretty serious bites out of their lead (at one point the gap between the boats was only 30 meters).

Although Oracle managed to stay close, New Zealand prevailed by sailing a tactically great race. The delta between the two boats at the finish was only 14 seconds. New Zealand now stood at match point–one more race and the America’s Cup was heading to New Zealand.   Read more