SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Sorry for another sail boat story, but the America’s Cup races in San Francisco have made history with the regatta going longer than any Cup race ever. It looked dim for the American Team Oracle when after being penalized 2 points for a cheating incident in the AC World Series and being spanked by Team Emirates New Zealand in the first few races. When Team Oracle found themselves losing 8-1, they had to make some major changes. First was replacing tactician John Kostecki, one of the most successful and experienced tacticians in the world with Sir Ben Ainsley, a 4-time Olympic Gold medalist helmsman. Then the engineering design team made some impressive adjustments to the boat and essentially found a way to “supercharge” the boat.
Now the boats being essentially even the races have come down to sailsmanship with Jimmy Spitell, the Team Oracle skipper making some brilliant starts getting the jump and staying ahead of New Zealand in several races. Also, team New Zealand found some bad luck having two races in which they had a dominant lead postponed due to weather conditions, and one due to the race taking more than the allotted 40 minutes.
Race 18 looked like it would finally break for the Kiwis with Dean Baker making an aggressive move at the star and in the lead rounding the first mark. But Team Oracle now appeared to have twin-turbochargers blazing past the Kiwis on the upwind leg and decisively winning the race with a 54 second margin. After yesterday’s two wins for Team Oracle, the score is tied up 8-8, with the Cup going to the winner of this one race. In Oracle’s Jimmy Spitell’s words, “this will be the most exciting day of all of our lives, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!” Stay tuned and go USA!