sail-world.com -- America's Cup: Oracle Team USA opens in 34th Match
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA opens in 34th Match
Sun, 8 Sep 2013
The 34th America’s Cup got underway today in San Francisco. Oracle Team USA finished behind Emirates Team New Zealand with a pair of close races in the team’s first official runs on the course.
'You’ve seen two very evenly matched teams, two very evenly matched boats,' said skipper Jimmy Spithill. 'We were expecting a tough race, and I think it’s going to be like this the whole series. This type of racing you never give up.'
Oracle Team USA finished 36 and 52 seconds back in the first two races, respectively, giving Emirates Team New Zealand a 2-0 lead in the regatta.
In Race 1, Emirates Team New Zealand took the lead across the line, but held only a 4 second advantage around the second mark. Midway down the third leg Oracle Team USA made a pass, but Emirates Team New Zealand regained the lead going into the fourth mark and held on for the win. The team averaged a speed of 28.58 knots (33 mph) in Race 1, reaching a top speed of 42.51 knots (49 mph).
Race 2 featured another close start. Although was only 7 seconds back at the second gate, they were unable to make up ground. Speeds were slightly higher in the second race, with ORACLE TEAM USA averaging 28.92 knots (33 mph) and reaching a top speed of 42.87 knots (49 mph).
'It was pretty close in speed out there,' said tactician John Kostecki. 'Both races were pretty similar. The second race had a little more wind, the current scenario was a little bit different. But all in all, it was about the same strategy for each race. The fastest track around the course was pretty similar for both races.'
The two teams return to the race track at the same time tomorrow. Race 3 of the regatta begins at 1:15 pm PT with Race 4 following at 2:15 pm.
'It was the first time we’ve really lined the two boats up. They look very, very similar,' said Spithill. 'We know there’s a lot to learn, especially in the modes and performance of the boat. And, there will be some stuff – tactically starting, technique – that we’ll really go into detail on as well and try to learn as much as we can for tomorrow.'
The winner of the 34th America’s Cup is the first team to capture nine points. For , it means winning 11 races due to a penalty assessed by the Jury, where Emirates Team New Zealand will need to win nine races.
In the U.S., the America’s Cup Finals will be broadcast live on NBC and NBC Sports Network. Racing on Sunday will be live nationally on NBC from 1:00 -3:00 pm PT. Internationally, the match can be viewed in more than 170 territories. Live racing and replays can also be viewed on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial restrictions).