America's Cup 2007:  America's Cup Match Results


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32nd Defense of the America's Cup

32nd Defense of yachting's most historic trophy.

July 3, 2007: Alinghi Wins the America's Cup Match
See the Banner Headline

On this page: Completed Races:
  Race 1  Race 2  Race 3
  Race 4  Race 5  Race 6  Race 7

Countdown and preview:
  1 Day to Go 
 2 Days to Go
3 Days to Go
  Superyacht Cup

 


Photo: ©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com


America's Cup Race 7:  Results

   

Alinghi wins by 1 second
 in an Unimaginable Sequence of Stunning Events at the Finish

Spain's Desafío Español is the Challenger of Record for the Next America's Cup


Photo: ©2007 Stephanie Lamy

Ernesto Bertarelli promises more details about the next America's Cup in a few days.

Alinghi Press Release: "I love this team," Alinghi President and afterguard member Ernesto Bertarelli moments after the finish.

Race 7 Complete:  Winds about 16 knots at the warning gun.  Contentious pre-start.

Leg 1:
Starboard tack start, and a drag race out to the port layline begins, Alinghi close to windward of ETNZ, the boats even almost to the meter.  Alinghi tacks away to the right, Emirates waits a minute and follows.  Alinghi now coming back, cross coming up, boats bounce back, Alinghi to the right, ETNZ to the left.  They try it again, both tack back, and a slight lift to NZ lets ETNZ bounce them right again.  Alinghi comes back for the third time.  NZL-92 leebows and forces them off.  Alinghi tacks onto starboard again, but ETNZ keeps on, possibly hoping for a well-timed lift.  Another cross and Alinghi doesn't tack, a right shift has helped them.  They go to the layline very close, ETNZ ahead, but unable to tack.  NZL is squeezing them up, but the layline comes, and Alinghi tacks, ETNZ goes too.  Once on port, a big luff, looks good for ETNZ, but then they stall and Alinghi gets away, gets 7 seconds around the top mark.

Leg 2:
Off on port gybe, 57m margin, Alinghi ahead.  They sit for a few minutes, then ETNZ gybes away.  A duel erupts.  NZL-92 gets on Alinghi's wind,.....AND PASSES!  They head for the gate.  ETNZ goes to the left gate, Alinghi right, 14 second delta for New Zealand.

Leg 3:
 Tacking duel, Alinghi gaining slightly.  They settle out on starboard tack, near the layline, in the same position as Leg 1.  ETNZ has a 30m lead, but the Swiss have the position.  Coming into the mark, dial down, Alinghi hunts ETNZ, and suddenly penalty flag on yellow -- ETNZ -- for not keeping clear. 12 second delta for Alinghi, and ETNZ carrying a penalty.  Things look bad for New Zealand.  They fly a red protest flag.

Leg 4:
 More than halfway down the final leg.  No change.  Alinghi leading by 135m, it looks all but over.  MAJOR WIND SHIFT - POLE BREAKS ON ALINGHI - IT'S UP FOR GRABS!!!!!!!

In a frantic chaos, Alinghi gets breeze back, ETNZ pulls into their penalty turn, ETNZ comes out of it, they dive for the line, Alinghi's coming fast and getting faster.  Across the line the gap is a matter of feet, not meters.  Even the sailors don't know who was first.  Everyone looks to the Race Committee for their call and......Alinghi wins!  Alinghi has defended the America's Cup.

Official delta is a one-second win, closer than 1992's three-second finish.  But the drama in this one defied comprehension, defied reality nearly.  Off the charts!  Through the roof!  Somewhere into orbit.  A crusher for anybody rooting for ETNZ.  A nailbiter for any Alinghi fans.  And a finish never to be forgotten.  Wow!

 


Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com


Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

Race 7 Outlook:

Start: Warning signal Tuesday, July 3rd, at 14:50h/2:50pm Valencia/8:50am Eastern.

Weather:

 ACM: SSE early 10-12, becoming SE 13-15 mid-afternoon, and SSE 15-16 late.  ETNZ: ESE sea breeze, 9-10 knots.  Alinghi: SSE 10-12 increasing to 14-16 knots SE at the start, becoming SSE again late.  WindFinder: SSE 15-21 knots.  WindGuru: SSE 9-12 knots.  RepCast: SSE 12-16 knots

Matchup:

 The America's Cup is on the line.  Alinghi is licking their chops and making plans for next time (see stories below).  Emirates Team New Zealand is trying to focus on one race.  Weather calls are over a huge range of wind speeds.  The higher end, which we've rarely seen in Valencia, would be spectacular.  It may favor ETNZ, too, but what's become clear to everyone around the harbor is that boatspeed alone has been too evenly matched to settle the matter in the conditions encountered so far.  ETNZ has seemed to gybe better, and Alinghi possibly to edge them in tacking.  It's a knife-edged balance.  Calls and tactics that benefit from extremely small changes in wind direction and pressure are ruling the day unless there's a failure in equipment or execution. 

The only question is how aggressive the starts will be.  An inverse logic may apply, in that while it's ETNZ with their back to the wall, it's Alinghi that can actually afford to gamble in hopes of slamming the door shut.  Emirates made a narrow escape diving in front of the Swiss in Race 6.  If they are in danger of getting boxed away from the preferred side, expect a slugfest. 

 

   

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Rest Day News

   


Photo:
©2007 ideaARGO

ideaARGO:  This new challenge effort intends to participate in the 33rd America's Cup with an international crew of disabled sailors.  Two-time Olympic medalist and world champion Lars Grael is skipper, and America's Cup sailors onboard include Marc Pajot and Paolo Scutellaro.  Sailing under the motto "We Can, You Can", the group is already attracting backing and has just unveiled the America's Cup 12-meter "French Kiss" 12 F-7, newly adapted to begin training. 
Visit the ideaARGO web site 
Also:  Video of the ARGO-French Kiss Unveiling
(in Italian)

 

Rumor Control:

  The BMW Oracle Blog offers a glimpse into what may be shaping up for the next America's Cup and beyond.  Hints abound about likely LV Act venues, changes to the boats, and all sorts of inside baseball matters.

In the Wind: Bob Fisher at Sail-World chimes in on expectations that Desafío Español will be the Challenger of Record (See Race 7 News below).  He also raises an issue that was downplayed in AC32, namely that Desafío did not appear to represent a yacht club meeting the terms of the deed of gift.  Also noted, Russell Coutts said to be recruiting crew for his new team. 
Read more at Sail World

ETNZ:  Spinnaker hole traced to deck paint: stuff.co.nz

Weather Outlook for Tuesday:  ACM says SE 10-12 veers SSE 15-17 late

 

   

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America's Cup Race 7: Match Point

   

Race 7:  Racing abandoned for the day at 16:10.  Race 7 now scheduled for Tuesday, July 3rd.

News:

Race to Become AC33 COR is on:  Despite talk of Britain's Team Origin being a possible choice (see Outlook below), NZ journalist Peter Lester is reporting on his blog to expect that Desafío Español will be selected as Challenger of Record (COR) for the next America's Cup if Alinghi wins.  Some changes to the yachts may be in order, too, including an increase in length.  Read Thoughts from the Blue  Update:  Casual snapshots posted at the BMW Oracle Blog of Ernesto Bertarelli's megayacht Vava Sunday show that the guest list aligns nicely with Peter Lester's inside scoop.


Yachts return to port, racing resumes Tuesday.
Click image to enlarge and see Sunday gallery
Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

Quotes:
Jack Katzfey, Meteorologist, Alinghi
: "It was a very light and very tricky day.  Fortunately we didn't get a race off in these conditions.  Peter Reggio, the principal race officer, made a good call today."

"You really want a race that is fair and not just a roll of the dice, this is a sail boat race where the crews and the boats are pitted against one another and when the winds are that shifty, it becomes more about luck than skill and good team work, so it wouldn't have been a fair race."

Race 7 Outlook:
Start:
Sunday, Warning Gun 14:50h/2:50pm Valencia/8:55 Eastern Time.  With one more win Alinghi can complete their Defense of the America's Cup.  ETNZ enters the start box on starboard from the committee boat end of the line (yellow).  Alinghi enters on port from the pin end of the line (blue).

Weather: ACM: ESE 5-7 knots early veering SE 9-11 knots late.  ETNZ: SE 7-10 knots. WindFinder: SE becoming ESE 11-15 knots.  WindGuru: ESE 9-12 knots.  Saturday's wind stayed at the light end of the predicted scale, and the same might be expected Sunday.  Something more extreme in either direction would tend to favor ETNZ, while Alinghi has looked at their best in the middle of the range.

 

Matchup:

  There's not much more to say.  It's darned close, no matter the wind speed.  ETNZ can win.  Alinghi hasn't shown untouchable speed.  This series could just as easily be reversed.  ETNZ's luck will have to come back, and it will have to hold.  There's no room for errors.  But Alinghi has three races now to get one win.  And whatever their difficulties have been, one good break, one smart weather call, or one good wind shift from now on, and they will grab the lead again, sail into history, and never look back.  This is not a normal race day, if there is such a thing.  The America's Cup is on the line today.

If Alinghi does win, they will accept the next challenge for the America's Cup as their yacht crosses the finish line, the defender reaching for the "pocket challenge" of their choice to become the next Challenger of Record and shape the 33rd Defense of the America's Cup.  Start-up effort from Britain, Team Origin, is tipped in many quarters to be the leading contender. A European-based team run by a business-minded mover and shaker with little previous America's Cup experience, but with an affinity for large public events, they may come closest to sharing SNG/Alinghi's priorities for the world's most famous and historic yacht race.  Sir Keith Mills, head of Team Origin, is enthusiastic about the opportunity.
 See story at sport.guardian.

Big changes could be ahead if the Cup stays in Europe, and some of the Cup's biggest supporters are very concerned about what unrestrained commercialization could do to the grand event.  Bruno Troublé, who has worked as much as anyone over the last 25 years to elevate and publicize the America's Cup, told the NZ Herald he worries that the values that have made the America's Cup special over its long lifetime are about to be traded for a generic formula pushing corporate visibility at the expense of a great sporting event.
  See story at NZ Herald 
Also: Radio interview with Bruno Troublé, link at Valencia Sailing

In another sign of a groundswell shift in the America's Cup seascape, Russell Coutts, who skippered Alinghi when they first won the Cup away from New Zealand, has been giving the impression that he would try to defend the Cup for them now if New Zealand were to win it. Also at NZ Herald

All America's Cup: Read the weekend Special Edition of Scuttlebutt with links to many more stories.

   

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America's Cup Race 6: Results

   


Click image to enlarge and see Race 6 gallery
Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

Alinghi comes from behind and wins

Race 6 Complete:
Following a dial-up, ETNZ pulls off a nifty escape in the pre-start, gybing in front of Alinghi with no penalty.  Starboard tack start, Kiwis to leeward, Swiss at the RC boat end, and drag race toward the port layline. Good left shift comes for ETNZ.  New Zealand leads by 14 seconds around the first mark.  Downwind, Alinghi is close and getting a good wind shift.  11 seconds at the bottom mark for ETNZ.  The teams split the gates, ETNZ left, Alinghi right.  Wind is soft and getting softer, under 9 knots.  Both go hard toward the right corner, Alinghi closes up, tacking duel fighting for position.  The Swiss finally get a small lead and the boats go off together on starboard tack.  Small gains for NZL-92, but position gives SUI-100 a 16-second delta at the second windward mark.   NZL-92 doesn't gain in the chase, but a gybing duel starts to pay.  A split draws them close on return, 20m, but there's no passing to be had in the time remaining.  More splits, but nothing to gain from them, and the finish line is coming too fast.  Alinghi wins Race 6 by 28 seconds to move within one win of the America's Cup.

Quotes:

Brad Butterworth, Skipper, Alinghi, on the start: "We wanted to start to the right of the other team, and we managed to start in a reasonably powerful position, but it's difficult in those light airs, with a gauge so small, to be able to sail for at least 10 minutes, which is what you had to do."  And the first beat: "The boat was going just fine and we sort of hung on there for as long as we could, but about two minutes before we hit the left-hand layline we just couldn't hold there any longer, and they got just a little bit too powerful for my liking, so we tacked away.  From then on the left was strong all the way to the top mark, and those guys did a great job really."

On getting the lead on the second beat: "We thought the actual beat was quite fair.  We were always suspecting you might get a little bit more pressure on the right, and when we did tack over we were just touching some new breeze and it was enough.  You know in that weight of wind speed the angles of the boats is quite big, in that seven knots to eight knots.  If you get seven-and-a-half knots you might be five degrees higher than the other guy, and that's huge.  And so if you took a little bit more pressure than the other guy in that wind range, it makes a big difference, and that's what happened."

Dean Barker, Skipper, ETNZ, on trying to pass Alinghi on the final downwind leg:  "When it gets that light, the trailing boat can actually make quite a nice gain while the leading boat -- if he gybes in front like they did -- you can make a pretty nice gain while they are still getting back up to speed.  It takes a long long time to get the boat going.  We took a really nice gain all the way up to their stern.  The problem though at that point is you are now going the same speed and if you try and go below them you start losing because the apparent [wind] is so far forward, and if you go above them you have probably a reasonable chance you're going to go to the wrong side of the finish line.  So you don't really have too many options.  And at that point, maybe in hindsight it was better to stay there and just sort of see what happened, but we made the decision to gybe away.  We didn't think there was going to be a huge difference in pressure, but unfortunately for us we just gybed right into a bit of a hole and it gave them a comfortable margin there right at the finish."
 


Emirates Team New Zealand had it going on for a while, but Alinghi played a small bit of pressure into a small lead and that was the race.
Click image to enlarge and see Race 6 gallery
Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

 

More Reaction:

Warwick Fleury, Main Trimmer, Alinghi: "Brad was keen to get the left-hand gate mark and we got it, so that was a pretty key moment to get it off to the right. We were going pretty well and were just able to tack back so they couldn't quite cross us. That was the key moment just being able to stop them from crossing and then we got into a good tacking duel and we came out ahead. We also did a really good job on the last run to hold on to the lead."  Alinghi website (page unavailable)

Mark Chisnell's detailed analysis of Race 6: Required reading for America's Cup literacy, TackbyTack.com

Gary Jobson: "Butterworth was at Hutchinson's mercy. There was about 30 seconds for Hutchinson to make the call. It was silent on both boats.  The tension built. Alinghi's helmsman, Ed Baird, bore off slightly to accelerate. His jib trimmer, Simon Daubney, eased the sail a click. You always want to be at top speed when boats engage in advance of a maneuver.  Decisions are hard to make when you don't know the outcome. Hutchinson called for the tack. It was perfect."
Read more at JobsonSailing.com


Post-race. Photo: ©2007 Stephanie Lamy

Race 6 Outlook:


SUI-100 charging forward in Race 5.
 
Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

Start: Warning Gun 14:50h/2:50pm Valencia/8:50 am Eastern Time, Saturday.  Alinghi enters on starboard (yellow), ETNZ enters on port (blue).

Weather: ACM:  Wind: Sea breeze developing, SE 10-12 knots.  Alinghi: Sea breeze ESE 8-10 knots, increasing to 12-14 knots.  WindGuru: SE 11-12 knots.  WindFinder: SE to SSE 12-14 knots.  RepCast: SE 13-18 knots.

Matchup:  ETNZ turned a few heads when NZL-92 stood her ground against SUI-100 upwind in the stronger conditions of Race 5.  The downwind comparison is a bit harder to make given the spinnaker problems that ensued on Leg 2 Friday.  Most forecasts so far have the wind dropping back a bit more into the range that is believed to be Alinghi's sweet spot, a 9-12 knot groove (give-or-take) where they have yet to look slow.

Friday's steady wind conditions, at 14 knots a bit lighter and more stable than some of the calls had it, helped prompt some creativity from ETNZ in the start box, declining the dial-up, camping out downwind of Alinghi and boxing them above the line.  It took a dive into the obstacles of the spectator fleet by Alinghi to break free.  ETNZ facing Alinghi today with conditions in SUI-100's preferred range will place an even greater premium on starting tactics.  The Swiss have gone for clean starts, being just firm enough not to invite further bullying from ETNZ.  The Kiwis have pushed them, but not been reckless. 

Each race has tended to escalate in this department, though, and as seen in the America's Cup so far (and the Louis Vuitton Finals and Semi-Finals too), early advantages have been determining winners frighteningly often.  Grabbing the lead in the pre-start may be the only time to do so.  With only four races left, stakes are rising, opportunities to win are diminishing, and risk-reward ratios are going haywire.  Is it time for the real fireworks to begin?

   

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America's Cup Race 5: Results

   

Alinghi wins, ETNZ has sail trouble


Flying two spinnakers, and losing one more, ETNZ lost the lead and the race in a rip-stop disaster.
©ACM 2007/Photo: Guido Trombetta

Alinghi wins Race 5:

Race 5 Complete:  Wind about 14-15 knots.  A pre-start chase into the spectator fleet, then back to the line.  Split-tack start becomes port tack drag race just after the gun,  ETNZ to windward.  Slight gains to Alinghi, but less than 1 boat length margin traded between them as they head to the starboard layline in the best wind of the America's Cup regatta yet.  ETNZ tacks near the layline to consolidate and they continue up the first beat.  ETNZ leads by 12 seconds around the first mark, Alinghi heads after ETNZ downwind on port.  NZL-92's spinnaker blows out, Alinghi passes.  Second spinnaker hoist gets away without all lines and goes free flying.  Third spinnaker goes up, fights a bad wrap, and finally fills.  #2 is cut away for the chase boat to grab, the lead has ballooned to 200m for Alinghi, and the bottom mark is approaching.  Somehow ETNZ is only back 0:25.  Upwind Alinghi goes right, ETNZ goes left.  ETNZ gains on the tacks, eventually they both go right chasing a right shift and greater pressure.  Lead is down to about 70m, but time is running out.  24 second lead to Alinghi at the second windward mark, ETNZ chasing Alinghi on the last leg, flying a symmetrical chute.  NZL-92 makes dramatic gains, but runs out of race course, and the defender wins with a delta of 19 seconds.

Also: Full Text of Jury Decision from Thursday, June 28, in regard to the matter of Alinghi's mainsail halyard lock is now available at the Jury web site (page unavailable).


Story of the day.  ETNZ's third chute, at right, is not filling yet, the second is being cut away, the first is long gone, and a previously trailing Alinghi is making hay while the sun shines.
 
Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

Quotes:
Grant Dalton, Managing Director, ETNZ: "
When we went around the mark we noticed a little tear the size of probably a 20-cent piece, just out of the tack patch, or just above the tack patch, which is a highly loaded part of the sail.  So we decided to peel and Jeremy went out to set up the peel.  We just bounced on a wave probably ten seconds before we were hoisting and the sail exploded.  And in the melee we ended up with the new sail getting wrapped in the old sail.  And we hoisted, effectively, without it hooked up properly, I think.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think that's what happened. From that point it is was absolutely chaos, basically, with people and sails going everywhere.  So it was a mistake.  You rewind it, you might do another hundred sets and you wouldn't get a little 20-cent piece tear just above the tack, but we did, and we didn't execute the maneuver that we practice well enough.  That was it, that was the end of the race for us, as it turned out."


Alinghi leads ETNZ around Mark 3 by 24 seconds on the way to winning Race 5.
Photo: ©2007 Lyn Hines

 

 


Alinghi sails off with the lead in Race 5.
Photo: ©2007 Lyn Hines

More Quotes:

Juan Vila, Navigator, Alinghi, asked what Alinghi's plan was for the start:  "Well, we thought that the breeze was quite steady, so basically the plan was trying to have a good start, just to try to neutralize the disadvantage of coming from the port end in the pre-start.  We were happy with a tight to leeward start, or windward with gauge.  General plan obviously we could get the right and do better.  [We] ended up being on the right, so we were happy to tack and see how it went from there.  We made some gains at some stage, and then it probably evened up later on.  It was never enough to come back ... [if we] had gotten a leebow tack from Emirates Team New Zealand.  From then on just try to do the moves that minimize our loss and just follow them to the starboard tack layline."

Juan Vila, asked about the relative performance of the yachts on the upwind leg:  "At one stage we looked like we were performing quite well, and then the shift came back a little bit to the left, so it was actually pretty even.  We thought that the boats are pretty even on performance on this stuff."

Simon Daubney, Trimmer, Alinghi, discussing the sails chosen for the final run to the finish:  "We were quite happy to stick with the A-sail and we didn't discuss a peel."  He added "We didn't do great gybes today, we've been able to do better gybes than that.  So that can be a consideration, that you keep your spinnaker full, and you can't keep the asymmetric full when you gybe it like you can with a spinnaker, so perhaps the spinnaker's an advantage.  So that's something we're going to look at when we debrief as well."

More Quotes at Americascup.com
(page unavailable)

More Reaction:

Francesco Rapetti, Mastman, Alinghi: "We did a couple of bad gybes, we were probably a little bit too excited about their mistake. We didn't capitalize as well as we could have; that allowed them to jump closer to us but then we didn't make any more mistakes and we won."  Alinghi website

Mark Chisnell: Q: "Would it have helped ETNZ if as soon as the spi broke, they had gybed, perhaps forcing Alinghi into a penalty, or at least slowing them down with a gybe and maybe sailing closer to the wind?" A: "No, Alinghi were far enough behind to just gybe and roll over them when it first happened. And gybing with that spinnaker flapping torn and uncontrolled to leeward would probably have led to utter carnage on board ETNZ, they might never have got another sail up...."
Read more at Tackbytack.com

Gary Jobson:  "For the first time we witnessed races in the upper wind ranges, and guess what, the speeds of the two boats appear to be even.  NZ helmsman, Dean Barker, gave Alinghi’s helmsman, Ed Baird, a real clinic during the start today.   Once again Alinghi entered the starting box late.  Baird was on the run and was forced to use spectator boats as picks. Barker was in control and easily won the start.  Alinghi would do well to abandon their passive, stay out of trouble strategy, and go at NZ with a vengeance."
Read more at Jobson Sailing

Outlook:

Start: Warning Gun 14:50h/2:50pm Friday.  ETNZ enters on starboard (yellow), Alinghi enters on port (blue).

Weather: ACM: Sea breeze 9-12 knots building to 14-18 knots.  WindGuru: SE 11-13 knots.  WindFinder: SE to SSE 17-18 knots.  ETNZ: SE 12-16 knots.  RepCast: SSE 14-17 knots.

If the weather forecasts are close to accurate, we are likely to see the yachts competing in higher winds.  SUI-100 has not been seen under these conditions, but NZL-92 did well against Desafío Español when wind and waves kicked into the upper teens.  And the long narrow keel ETNZ mounted for this match should help in this regard.

Some observers are calling for more aggression at the start, especially from what they perceive to be a (slightly) slower ETNZ.  The risk of pushing a position too far is enormous, so don't expect start tactics to be much different than the relatively conservative style of previous races unless somebody really shows vulnerability.  Shifting and building winds should provide the teams with more chance to get ahead on the race course than Race 4's steady processional did.

   

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Thursday: Rest Day

   


Rounding the gate mark in Race 4.
Click to enlarge
Photo: ©2007 Ivo Rovira/Alinghi

Racing Resumes Friday at 14:50h/2:50pm, Race 5. 

For diversion in the meantime, ETNZ's protest of Alinghi, apparently in regard to Rule 31.6 of the America's Cup Class Rule, will be heard Thursday by the Jury. If the protest is as expected, it will be a non-starter  (See NZ Herald Story).  If there is certain video evidence, it could turn into something quite different (See BMWO Blog and Sail-World).  There's a reasonable discussion of the issue with insight from BMW Oracle's Tom Ehman, including history and implications, at the New York Times.  Update Thursday: Protest has been dismissed by the Jury.  From NZ Herald: It left it to the discretion of the measurement committee to take any further steps it felt necessary to ensure yachts complied with the rule.  ETNZ's Grant Dalton: "That means the committee can have another look, if it chooses, at what we all saw on the television coverage yesterday."  Read more at NZ Herald

 

Looking toward Friday and Saturday, weather forecasts are wide ranging, with some calling for winds in the high teens or low twenties.  Though WindGuru says 11-13 knots, WindFinder sees 20 knots Friday and 14 on Saturday.  RepCast SpyWeather says 14-17 knots Friday and 18-23 knots Saturday.

Commentary from John Rousmaniere, America's Cup author and historian: Tuesday in Valencia produced one of the classic matches in America’s Cup history.  As the sort of character who memorizes and daydreams about the give and take of Cup races, I can say that with authority.  The Race 3 brawl between the Kiwis and Alinghi was as thrilling as the famous Race 7 in 1983, as Gretel’s rush by Weatherly in 1962, as 1934’s Race 3 (Sherman Hoyt's saving the Cup for the New York Yacht Club), and as the last races both in 1901 (Charlie Barr's nipping the faster Shamrock II) and 1893 (Nat Herreshoff's catching Dunraven’s first challenger in a small gale by sending a man out on the boom to cut Vigilant’s reef points).  And now we can add 2007 Race 3 to that list. 
Read more in Scuttlebutt #2375

News Bits:
Team Origin
, the first new challenger for the next America's Cup defense, will represent the Royal Thames Yacht Club.  The connection is appropriate for the team, as the club was the very first to challenge for the Cup back in 1870. 
Read story at Yachtingmonthly.com

Team Germany signs Karol Jablonski (Desafío Español Helm, '07) for the next America's Cup: Team Site

   

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America's Cup Race 4: Results

Alinghi ties the series.
Also, ETNZ files protest, see below.
 

   


Race 4: Alinghi got ahead early and stayed there all the way home. Photo: ©2007 Stephanie Lamy


A brand new day, a smiling Brad Butterworth.

Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

Race 4: Alinghi Makes it Even

  Starboard tack start, Alinghi on the right.  They sat there out to the layline, very even, tacked only once and continued to the mark.  Alinghi rounded 20 seconds ahead and ETNZ chased them downwind.  A few splits came back to nothing much, 34 seconds at the bottom mark, but choosing the disfavored gate New Zealand got separation on the third leg.  Lead came down to 60m, and boats staged a tacking duel.  Slight gains to the Kiwis, but nothing huge, and the delta was 25 seconds at the second windward mark.  ETNZ tried some separation downwind, Alinghi didn't give them much, and the lead stayed unchanged.  The Swiss held the New Zealanders in about the same position they had been for most of the race and crossed the line first, winning by 30 seconds and tying the match at 2-2.

Update:  ETNZ has protested Alinghi, apparently over the mainsail head locking issue that the measurers raised following Race 4 but did not protest themselves.  The mainsail is required by the ACC version 5 rule to be capable of being lowered without a crew member going aloft to assist.  The protest will be heard at 14:00h Thursday in Valencia.  It's not clear how solid of case this may be, let alone what sort of redress would be fair if the rule has been broken, but it would be likely that ETNZ filed their protest within the time limits to preserve their rights while matters are further explored.  More to come tomorrow.

Quotes:

Terry Hutchinson, Tactician, ETNZ: "The start, when Alinghi did that wrap up, they felt like from my perspective they turned up into just a nice right-hand shift, 40 seconds off the line," Hutchinson said.  "And we were hanging in there from the standpoint of they were a little further ahead, and we were happy to keep drag racing waiting for the left-hand shift to come, which inevitably did come when we were at the layline."

"From that point on is was simply a matter of keeping it as close as we possibly could, and taking opportunities as they presented to us."

"They did a nice job and sailed a good race.  And I think if there was an opportunity presented to us we would have been there to take it.  And no opportunities were presented, so they won the race."

Brad Butterworth, Skipper, Alinghi: "We thought the right was stronger, so we were happy to start to the right, their right, but as it was we wound up getting a nice puff off the start line."  Butterworth continued: "I don't think we were bow forward of them, but we  were sort of just in a nice position a little bit high on their hip.  So we managed to stay there.  And in the end we managed to stay there all the way up the layline, which was surprising but good."

Commentary:

From Gary Jobson:  At the starting gun NZ was one knot slower allowing Alinghi to grab a small, but significant one boatlength lead.  From that moment NZ was in a catch up mode.  It was a painful day for Kiwi fans.  There was one good opportunity for NZ to catch up, but the crew let it slip away. 
Read more at Jobson Sailing

 


Alinghi gets ready.
Photo: ©2007 Th.Martinez/Alinghi

Race 4 Outlook:

Start:  Warning gun Wednesday 14:50h, boats enter start box at 14:55h/2:55pm Valencia/8:55am Eastern.  Alinghi on starboard (yellow), ETNZ on port (blue).

Weather:  ETNZ: SE 8-12 knots, slight seas.  WindFinder: E to SE 10-12 knots.  WindGuru: E to ESE 8-9 knots.  ACM: E to SE 8-10 knots.  RepCast: ESE 8-11 knots.

The America's Cup so far:  One race that wasn't too close, one race that saw a nice pass as ETNZ exploited opportunities Alinghi left them, and one race for the ages, an instant classic that was a barnburner from start to finish, complete with a Hollywood-style comeback.

Shifty wind made Tuesday's Race 3 anything but simple, and ETNZ's jammed spinnaker burned off a 400m lead and the match was close the rest of the way.  Early forecasts are for something steadier Wednesday, and even higher winds coming this weekend, dramatic conditions possibly.

Last time that Alinghi had the favored starboard entry, in Race 2, ETNZ got the jump on them into the start box and escaped the dial-up.  Alinghi should be ready for that move this time.  We have seen very few protest flags to this point.  The starts have come off with a only a little wrestling, but no extreme fights for one side or the other, nor any penalties incurred in the process.  With these boats and conditions, a penalty can be more damaging than ever, and firm but conservative starting tactics seem to be the order of the day.

The yachts have often been sailing in different winds, blurring meaningful assessment of the horse race aspect of the match.  Many gains which observers have quickly attributed to speed are more closely linked with getting the right wind and being ready for it.  So far, though, Alinghi has not looked slower; at worst they've been equal on pure boatspeed with the challenger, and data from Virtual Eye analysis tend to confirm this.  Winning has come down to tactics, wind calls, and execution.  And not being unlucky.  Look for a serious Alinghi to come out and make up for the opportunities they gave away to ETNZ the last two races.  Look for ETNZ to keep finding ways to get an edge on the defender.  With the score going either to 3-1 or 2-2 today, the match is at a pivotal juncture, and the stakes are off the charts.  This is getting good!
 


Wind, water, waves.  Another beautiful shot of a beautiful sport.
Photo:
©2007 Stephanie Lamy

 

   

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America's Cup: Race 3 Results

ETNZ WINS A STUNNER!

   


Hang On!  Richard Meacham, and ETNZ, did.
  Click to enlarge and view more.

Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

A Thrilling Cup Race Wire-to-Wire.

Race 3:  Racing underway at 17:10.  Split tack start, Alinghi left, ETNZ right.  Right shift helps as ETNZ takes the first cross, and has a 380m lead into the top mark.  First windward delta is 1:23.  Swiss carve into the downwind leg, closing to 1:02 at the first leeward mark.  ETNZ rough edges on spinnaker takedown don't help, sail get jammed in a jib block, and they are slow.  Crossing upwind the lead is down to 50m.  Three big crosses, leebows, and dial-downs on a dramatic leg and Alinghi gets just ahead at the third mark, 15 seconds.  ETNZ splits and Alinghi lets them go, Kiwis into the coffin corner the Swiss hit yesterday.  But it works for the New Zealanders.  Emirates passes Alinghi with the finish looming, and wins a tense exciting race by 25 seconds!

Quotes:

Dean Phipps, Runner/Pitman, Alinghi, on the first beat: "Our main direction for the first beat was 110, I think we came to the line at 115. So our game plan for the pre-start was to be tight to leeward and go left. We crossed the line at 115, so we were happy where we were.  The velocity just got a little larger and when we tacked we couldn't get to the right hand shift that the boys picked up."

Ray Davies, ETNZ, on the downwind rounding that cost them most of their lead: "We had actually decided about a minute out from when it turned to custard for us, and we wanted the right-hand gate.  We were  pretty good left-hand breeze, about 110 at the time, and decided to go for the right gate.  As we were getting set up, literally, to start jibing, the breeze went right from 110 to 135 and all of a sudden we can't go to the right gate now, we have to take the left.  It was just a terrible rounding to try and get the left gate from where we were.  We were right on the dead upwind of it with not much room to play with and we wriggled round the mark, obv3iously losing a lot, but taking the massive bias on the line that was there."

Ray Davies, ETNZ: "The most significant [lead change] was the good job Alinghi did up the second beat noticing that the breeze was going left and chipping away at us and holding onto the left when they could.  It could have gone either way.  They did a good job of protecting the left at the top and actually passing us there.  We felt pretty strong at that last intersection with the dial-down we did, and felt we were going to be able to control the race to the top mark from there.  And they stuck to their guns and did a good job.  The number of lead changes throughout the race?  I can't can't that high, that's quite a few."

Adam Beashel, ETNZ, on calling the wind on the final leg:  "We thought there was a little better pressure on our right-hand side.  History tells us that late in the day of a delayed start that you can get quite a late left-hand shift, and Ray [Davies] was emphasizing that pretty well, and it worked out very nicely for us."


Click to enlarge and view more.
Photo: ©2007 Stephanie Lamy

Rodney Arden, Runner/Grinder, Alinghi, on not gybing back earlier as ETNZ made gains on the final leg:  "There was a bit of discussion.  Murray was up the rig, he thought it looked pretty even.  If anything perhaps a little bit more pressure on the left.  So we were pretty happy just to continue that way.  The breeze was shifting a little bit for us, but nothing like it did over in the other corner where Team New Zealand were.  So it was a difficult time.  We were trying to find a spot to go back, but the opportunity never really came up so we just had to continue."

Asked Does the result reflect purely luck? :
Rodney Arden, Runner/Grinder, Alinghi:
"I don't know about luck, it's just the wind conditions, you just happen to be in the right place at the right time."  Arden added: "So it's just a matter of the wind shifting, and its timing when it's shifting, and who ends up on top at the end."

Ray Davies, ETNZ:  "Certainly there's luck involved, but there's also [that] the wind carried out how it has on many previous days like today, so there are certainly some patterns here as well."

More quotes at Americascup.com
(page unavailable)


Pre-start dueling between Challenger and Defender was close in Race 3. Click to enlarge and view more.
Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

 


Murray Jones at work.  Click to enlarge and view more.
Photo:
©2007 Stephanie Lamy

More Reaction to the Race:

Commentary from John Rousmaniere, America's Cup author and historian: Tuesday in Valencia produced one of the classic matches in America’s Cup history.  As the sort of character who memorizes and daydreams about the give and take of Cup races, I can say that with authority.  The Race 3 brawl between the Kiwis and Alinghi was as thrilling as the famous Race 7 in 1983, as Gretel’s rush by Weatherly in 1962, as 1934’s Race 3 (Sherman Hoyt's saving the Cup for the New York Yacht Club), and as the last races both in 1901 (Charlie Barr's nipping the faster Shamrock II) and 1893 (Nat Herreshoff's catching Dunraven’s first challenger in a small gale by sending a man out on the boom to cut Vigilant’s reef points).  And now we can add 2007 Race 3 to that list.  Read more in Scuttlebutt #2375

From Gary Jobson: "The lead changes were frequent and dramatic.  This was one of the best races in the 156-year history of the America's Cup.  And we are a long, long way from deciding the winner."  Jobson Sailing

Juan Vila, Navigator, Alinghi: "The conditions were difficult for both teams. These fluky, light conditions make the outcome more random. We were behind at the beginning, got luck on our side and came back and then ended up behind, so it was a disappointment for us."  Alinghi team web site

A nice look at the wind calls, the tactics, and each team's reactions from Andy Rice at Sail Juice.

As usual the best detailed race analysis out there is at Tack-by-Tack.

Race 3 Outlook:

Start:  Warning gun Tuesday 14:50h, boats enter start box at 14:55h/2:55pm Valencia/8:55am Eastern.  ETNZ on starboard (yellow).  Alinghi on port (blue).

Weather: ACM: Easterly sea breeze 6-8 knots early becomes SE 8-10 knots later.  WindFinder: ENE 10 veering to S 12-13 knots.  WindGuru: E 9 knots becoming ESE 12 knots.  ETNZ: E 10-12 knots.  RepCast:  NE 14-17 knots early, easing to 10-12 knots ESE by race time.  Longer range: similar conditions Wednesday; winds climbing to upper teens and low twenties Thursday through Saturday.

Who's faster?  Who's better?  Conventional wisdom is still trying to claim Alinghi has a speed edge, ETNZ is in better shape crew-wise, but the first beat-first cross-first mark trinity has been coming down to weather calls as much as anything.  The lesson from Race 2 is that Alinghi isn't invincible, but they are doing an awful lot right.  And they will have to keep doing so in order to stay ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand.

Light winds, possibly very light winds, aren't a clear cut advantage for either team.  Witnessing Alinghi's displeasure at spectator chop on the course, a condition present at every America's Cup match back to the 1870s, it suggests the defender feels they give something up in sea-keeping to the challenger.  Alinghi's other various trick bits aren't hurting though, including the big-shoulder spinnakers downwind. 

Starts have been eventful if not conclusive.  Will ETNZ's successful duck of the dialup in Race 2 inspire Alinghi to attempt the same with their turn on port tack entry?


Spin Cycle: Spectator fleet churning the sea in Race 2.
Click image to enlarge and view more Race 2 photos.
Photo: ©2007 Stephanie Lamy

News and Commentary of Interest:

 Nice AC Hall of Fame Induction ceremony coverage by Kimball Livingston at Got Live.  

   Andy Rice looks for cracks in the facade of the teams at Sail Juice, and Craig Monk finds them at NZ Herald. 

Gary Jobson compares team advantages at Jobson Sailing.

Sleepy New Zealanders at work: NZ Herald.

 

 

   

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America's Cup: Race 2 Results

Team New Zealand wins Race 2!

   


Bringing home Race 2, ETNZ leads downwind.
Click image to enlarge and view more Race 2 photos.
Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

Race 2 Complete:

 Dialup evaded by ETNZ.  Similar start, both on port, ETNZ had the right.  After tacking, the defender got the cross.  Alinghi led by 19 seconds at the first windward mark.  After several gybes, Alinghi sailed a bit too far right, ETNZ trimmed the delta down to 13 seconds at the first leeward mark.  The teams split the gates.  ETNZ got a nice split and a shift, good position, passed toward the upper part of the leg, and led 15 seconds around the second windward mark.  Despite separation, ETNZ took the right, held them off downwind, and crossed the finish ahead of Alinghi, winning by 28 seconds, and evening the series at 1 point all.

The loss marks the end of Brad Butterworth's 16-race win streak dating back to 1995.  This race is TNZ's first America's Cup win in seven years.
 


ETNZ getting under Alinghi's transom in the pre-start.  Click image to enlarge and view more Race 2 photos.
Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com
 


 Aiming High: ETNZ comes back at Alinghi in Race 2.
Photo:
©2007 Lyn Hines

 

 

Quotes:

Brad Butterworth, Alinghi Skipper: "It was a real difficult day to sail being the boat ahead.  It's nice being ahead, but even the run was a difficult run.  We made quite a nice gain out of the top of the run, I think, and then things got quite a little bit strange at the bottom.  When we came back we had to wait for a shift and so it pushed us down onto the layline into one of the marks.  When we went around the bottom mark, the marks were even, we thought, but the boats were split.  So really the race was all on."

 "We would have loved to have probably gone 'round the same mark, in hindsight, but we were happy to around that mark and it turned out to be okay.  It sort of got us a little bit out of phase further up the beat."

"The turning point of the race was that we probably got a little worried about the right-hand side of the course after they made a nice gain up that side initially, and then they sort of lost it as we got closer.  Historically the right has been quite strong later in the day like that and it just turned out that it didn't, and when we came back together again, they were coming back in a real good left shift and pressure.  And we just didn't quite put the boat in the right place, we should have just pushed the tack a little closer and life would have been a bit easier.  But as it was they did a great job of coming in at a good moment, and ramped off us, and held us out to the layline, and that was the end."

Race 2 Outlook:

Weather: ACM: Sea breeze ENE 8-10 knots veering SE 6-8 knots.  ETNZ: SE 10-15 knots.  WindFinder: SE 9-13 knots.  WindGuru: ESE 7-11 knots, with alternate models showing even lighter range.

Start: 14:50h/2:50pm Valencia/9:00am ET US.
Alinghi enters on starboard (yellow), ETNZ on port (blue).

Day 1 opened with hints we may yet see a boat race and not a whitewash.  Alinghi did better, Ed Baird got an America's Cup race win, but boat speed that would put paid to the whole series was not on evidence.  At least yet.  What to look for today:

Lighter winds likely, probably with calmer seas, too, which may negate one advantage ETNZ appeared to have in Race 1.  ETNZ seemed to handle Saturday's lumpy seas better than the defender, something NZL also demonstrated in the exciting conditions of their final race against Desafío Español in the semi-finals.  Lighter air will work against ETNZ's ballast bulb of choice for the Cup, one of the few changes from the LVC that is publicly known.  Lower wind speeds have been the province of Team New Zealand all through the LVC, but how SUI-100 stacks up in lighter breeze and smoother water is, of course, unknown, although the large spectator fleet that attends an America's Cup Final will keep things from being truly smooth (see story NZ Herald).

Starts: A sea breeze should tend to align the teams on their wind calls, setting them up for a true pre-start battle.  Knowing now how closely the boats are matched, and how important getting the favored side (and the early lead) will be, look for greater aggression in the start box.  Additionally, consider that Alinghi's demonstrated weakness in Act 13 was the starts (though that was fleet racing, and despite some glaring missteps before the gun they won anyway).  They have put a lot of prep into the start since, including training with Desafío and Luna Rossa, two tough starters perfect for honing these skills.   ETNZ's starts fell back into place in the LVC with the return of Adam Beashel, supported by their in-house match racing routine.  Has Alinghi got that aspect of their game down now, too?  They will have starboard entry, which would help.

Brad Butterworth, Alinghi Skipper, yesterday: "We have seen that the race is over incredibly quickly," he said following Race 1. "You have to pay attention at the start, if you are just a little bit behind it makes life pretty hard and if you are behind at the top mark life becomes tough."

   

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America's Cup: Race 1 Results

   


Race 1: ETNZ hung in, but Alinghi won.
Click image to enlarge and for more.
  Photo:
©2007 Stephanie Lamy

Results: Alinghi wins Race 1:

  ETNZ got the right as the teams started on starboard.  Both boats were closely matched in speed, but ETNZ tacked first and Alinghi eked out a lead on a left shift and a small tacking duel, taking a 13 second delta at the first mark.  ETNZ gained a little at first on the leeward leg, but got the short end of the bargain when they separated.  A good choice at the gate kept ETNZ only 20 seconds behind at the first leeward mark.  The lead narrowed down to 14 seconds at the second windward mark, but that was it.  No gain downwind, instead the gap opened, and Alinghi led across the finish by 0:35.

Wind was around 12 knots, an oscillating NE breeze.  Waves were choppy.  Upwind boatspeeds were very even, downwind may favor Alinghi.  NZL-92 handled the seas better than SUI-100, but the Swiss boat seems to gain in tacking exchanges.  The start was not aggressive for either boat,  ETNZ fell out of the dial-up first, Alinghi chased, but both came back to the line at speed without much incident.  Both teams pinned Alinghi's advantage on the defender getting a crucial wind shift call correct.

Post-Race Quotes:

Dean Barker, Skipper, ETNZ, asked what felt different compared to the start of the 2003 America's Cup: "Well, it's nice to finish the race."

Juan Vila, Navigator, Alinghi: "At the start our call was for an even course, or, if something, the left could be favored up the beat. So we were happy to start to leeward of our opponents and it was very close at the beginning for quite a while. Then they had to tack away, and as we tacked away with them we just had a nice left shift and that was probably the key of the first beat.  From then on we just tried to close any possibilities from them coming on or passing us."  Vila later elaborated that instead of a steady seabreeze, they saw an oscillating wind which trending to the right just before the start, so they were planning for it to come back left on the first beat and sailed accordingly.

 
Choppy seas kept the bows wet in Race 1.
Click image to enlarge and for more.
Photo:
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

Juan Vila, Navigator, Alinghi, asked about boatspeed: "I think it is pretty even, pretty even boats for sure upwind.  Downwind is probably harder to see, we'll have to look through our data, but we feel they are very even on speed."

Dean Barker, Skipper, ETNZ:  "The course was a lot more even than perhaps what we thought, and in the end it actually went a little it further the way that they expected it to go.  That was really the key moment of the race.  Should we have won the race?  That's very difficult.  You take the opportunities when they come and you try to capitalize on them.  They basically took the first opportunity, got in front, and controlled the race very well from there.  That's what we've seen all the way through the series."

 

Race 1 Stories:

 Ugly but Effective: ETNZ's Barry McKay on SUI-100: "It’s not a rocket," he said. "There’s been a lot of mystique around it. It’s a good boat, but it’s not out of this world. It’s game on."
Read more at SailJuice

"It didn't.  And that was the race":  Highly recommended: Mark Chisnell's top-notch analysis of Race 1 at Tack-by-Tack

Outlook:

Weather:  ACM: Seabreeze E 12-14 knots, dropping to 10-12 knots and backing NE in late afternoon. Windfinder: Winds ENE 9-11 knots, becoming E.  Windguru:  Multiple models, generally showing E to NE 10-14 knots. 

This is it!
On a dark sunny day four years and four months and one week ago, defender Team New Zealand met a surging Alinghi that had just dispatched a whole fleet of challengers and now had come to take the trophy.  Armed with sailors who had previously won and defended the Cup for New Zealand, and backed by enormous resources and a boat stocked with talent from all over the world, the Swiss team was a machine for winning.  And the ingenious New Zealand defender didn't even survive the first leg of the first race.  Failure after dismal failure saturated the match for the Kiwis, leaving them looking on hapless after swamping, gear breakdowns, a lead lost on the final leg, and the indignity of a dismasting.  The Cup was gone.

Those last four years have meant a hard and determined march for Emirates Team New Zealand.  And now it is they who have prevailed against a fleet of would-be challengers, and who have the defender in their sights.  In Alinghi, they face a defender who has not been idle.  Fast throughout the Louis Vuitton Acts, lacking almost nothing in the way of resources including personnel, the Swiss team has designed, refined, and tuned their boats and crews to new levels of performance, and is widely thought to be a leap ahead of the challengers, ETNZ included, in boatspeed.

Whether you buy the media spin of a grudge match, a battle for the future (or even the soul) of the America's Cup, the not too well-veiled insularity of the Europeans decrying a small distant country trying to best their best and take home the Auld Mug, or you just want to see a historic boat race, this is a titanic match-up, surely the most dramatic contest the Louis Vuitton Cup could have set up.

Conventional wisdom is Alinghi is faster, except in light winds.  ETNZ is more battle tested.  Records separately and head-to-head are similar.  None of that answers the question. 

SUI-100 hasn't been sailed against other teams as far as is known.  Alinghi has watched and studied the challengers for two months, they've trained in-house often more intensely than the LVC-weary challengers have raced, and they had two more months of optimizing their boat than everyone else got.  Alinghi has a core sailing crew that has been the best in the world for years, and carry themselves with a quiet confidence that is intimidating.  They hold a lot of advantages. 

ETNZ has won the right to be here, and they know their mission.  If anybody can wrench that glorious silver trophy away, they know they can.

This is the 32nd Defense of the America's Cup, and it's time to race!  Let's Regatta!

   

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1 Day Until the Cup

   


Alinghi still training on Friday.  Photo: ©2007 Lyn Hines

Alinghi picks Ed Baird to helm against Dean Barker.
ETNZ will have starboard entry for Race 1.
Alinghi Names Crew: Press Release

Alinghi Speedster Ready, NZL in Top Form:
Grant Simmer on SUI-100: "It embodies all the work that we've done in this class since 2000 and we've chosen it because we're very confident with the performance of this boat." 

Grant Dalton on NZL-92: "I would love to go a couple of minutes faster - who wouldn't - but it's not going to go any faster.  We've got out of it what we can.  We've not left any stone unturned."  Dalton also revealed NZL-92 will use the long narrow bulb, a.k.a "Buzzy Bee" -- Read more at NZ Herald

New: Long Term Prospects: Team New Zealand gets backing for Next America's Cup, come what may:  stuff.co.nz (page offline)

Don't Miss:  Sail's Kimball Livingston does some imagining at Got Live

Also:

Hall of Fame:  Laurie Davidson and Bruno Troublé will be inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame this Saturday.  Read more at Herreshoff.org

ETNZ's Adam Beashel Profile:  Also see stuff.co.nz (page offline)

ETNZ Cultural Exchange:  From the New York Times: So how do you take two proud Americans like Terry Hutchinson and Kevin Hall and turn them each into someone who could pass for a Kiwi? “First of all, no high-fives,” said Ray Davies, a strategist with Emirates Team New Zealand. 
Read more at nytimes.com

Historic 12-meter regatta in Valencia:
See photos by Daniel Forster at Scuttlebutt

 

Alinghi's Ernesto Bertarelli, bottom left. Clockwise: The America's Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand's Terry Hutchinson, and Alinghi Skipper Brad Butterworth.
All Photos: ©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

2 Days to Go

Weather:  ACM forecast for Race 1 E seabreeze 12-16 knots.  Race 2 lighter E 8-12.

Festival of Hindsight: Kimball Livingston at Got Live

To the Victors: Mark Newbrook says that he and the crew on the Swiss Alinghi syndicate aren't just fighting to keep sailing's most coveted trophy, they're fighting for its future.  Stuart Streuli for USA Today

Mr. AC: [Dennis] Conner and [Bill] Trenkle, who now works in marine survey, talk about re-entering the game, but agree it would have to be brought back to a reasonable cost before they could consider it. They believe another America's Cup in Auckland would be affordable to a corporate-backed United States team. NZ Herald Story

Also at NZ Herald: Too close to call, says Spithill "You could say I'm an expert, but I was way off for the semis and the final."  And Grant Dalton says it's time. "One of the things about it now is it is just yacht racing in its purest sense."

   

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Anticipation Building

3 Days to Go

Notice of Race Finalized:  Specifics of the conduct of the 32nd Defense of the America's Cup have been agreed to and issued.  There are some key differences between the America's Cup match and the Louis Vuitton Cup, particularly involving yacht re-measurement and substitution.  Read Highlights (page unavailable) at Americascup.com and Full Text (pdf).  The Sailing Instructions have also been issued, available here at Americascup.com.

Alinghi picks SUI-100 to Defend the America's Cup: From the team: Alinghi is pleased to announce that the team will race SUI-100 in the 32nd America's Cup Match.  Earlier today the measurement process was completed and the team will register SUI-100 as required.  SUI-100 is the latest of the four America's Cup Class Yachts that Alinghi has built since the team was created in 2000 and it is the last ACC Yacht built for this edition of the America's Cup.  Grant Simmer, design team coordinator, comments: "We have been very pleased with SUI-100's performance since the launch on 17 March 2007, it embodies all the work that we have done in this Class since 2000 and we have chosen it because we are very confident with the performance of this boat." SUI-100 has never competed officially and the team is looking forward to the first race of the America's Cup Match on 23 June.  Visit the Alinghi web site

Picking the Wind: Windguru is showing E 9-11 knots for Race 1.

Picking the Winner: AC veteran and broadcaster Gary Jobson analyzes and makes his call at Scuttlebutt

It's about time to race:
Alinghi is Fast, say Italians:  Sailjuice.com
ETNZ is Fast, says Alinghi: NZ Herald
Leading at Top Mark Crucial:  
stuff.co.nz

Also: At BMW Oracle Racing Blog the Full Text (pdf) and some further discussion of the Jury decision in favor of Alinghi regarding the Measurer's Interpretation of Backstays. 

Update: (Thursday) New PI #43 revises previous interpretations. (page unavailable)

 

Superyacht Cup


More Superyacht Cup: Click image for Day 2 photos of this amazing event by Gilles Martin-Raget.
Photo: ©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com


Spectacular: As part of the America's Cup festivities, the Superyacht Cup in being held in nearby Mallorca June 16-19.  Click image for more photos by Gilles Martin-Raget.
Photo: ©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.martin-raget.com

   

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