Louis Vuitton Cup
Finals Main Page
Louis Vuitton Cup
Semi-final Main Page
Round Robin 2
RR2 Main Page
Round Robin 1
RR1 Main Page
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
On this page:
1 Day to Go
2 Days to Go
3 Days to Go
Race 7: Results
Alinghi wins by 1 second
in an Unimaginable Sequence of Stunning Events at the
Spain's Desafío Español is the Challenger of Record for
the Next America's Cup
promises more details about the next America's Cup in a
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.
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
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.
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.
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!!!!!!!
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!
Start: Warning signal Tuesday, July 3rd, at
14:50h/2:50pm Valencia/8:50am Eastern.
SSE early 10-12, becoming SE 13-15 mid-afternoon, and
SSE 15-16 late.
ETNZ: ESE sea
breeze, 9-10 knots.
SSE 10-12 increasing to 14-16 knots SE at the start,
becoming SSE again late.
WindGuru: SSE 9-12
knots. RepCast: SSE 12-16 knots
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.
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.
back to top
Rest Day News
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
Visit the ideaARGO web site
Video of the ARGO-French Kiss Unveiling
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.
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:
Weather Outlook for Tuesday:
ACM says SE 10-12 veers SSE 15-17 late
back to top
America's Cup Race 7: Match Point
7: Racing abandoned for the day at 16:10.
Race 7 now scheduled for Tuesday, July 3rd.
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
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
image to enlarge and see Sunday gallery
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."
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
ACM: ESE 5-7 knots early veering SE 9-11
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
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.
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.
story at sport.guardian.
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
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
America's Cup: Read the weekend Special Edition of
Scuttlebutt with links to many more stories.
back to top
Race 6: Results
Click image to enlarge
and see Race 6 gallery
Alinghi comes from behind and wins
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.
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."
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."
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."
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
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)
Chisnell's detailed analysis of Race 6: Required
reading for America's Cup literacy, TackbyTack.com
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
Read more at JobsonSailing.com
charging forward in Race 5.
Start: Warning Gun 14:50h/2:50pm Valencia/8:50 am
Eastern Time, Saturday. Alinghi enters on
starboard (yellow), ETNZ enters on port (blue).
ACM: Wind: Sea breeze developing, SE
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
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.
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?
back to top
America's Cup Race 5:
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.
2007/Photo: Guido Trombetta
Alinghi wins Race 5:
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
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
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
Alinghi sails off with
the lead in Race 5.
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."
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
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
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
Read more at Tackbytack.com
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
Start: Warning Gun 14:50h/2:50pm Friday. ETNZ
enters on starboard (yellow), Alinghi enters on port
ACM: Sea breeze
9-12 knots building to 14-18 knots.
WindGuru: SE 11-13
WindFinder: SE to
SSE 17-18 knots.
ETNZ: SE 12-16
knots. RepCast: SSE 14-17 knots.
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
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.
back to top
Thursday: Rest Day
Rounding the gate mark
in Race 4.
Click to enlarge
Resumes Friday at 14:50h/2:50pm, Race 5.
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
NZ Herald Story). If there
is certain video evidence, it could turn into something
quite different (See BMWO Blog and
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
Read more at NZ Herald
toward Friday and Saturday, weather forecasts are wide
ranging, with some calling for winds in the high teens
or low twenties. Though
WindFinder sees 20
knots Friday and 14 on Saturday. RepCast
SpyWeather says 14-17 knots Friday and 18-23 knots
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
Read more in Scuttlebutt #2375
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
Read story at Yachtingmonthly.com
Germany signs Karol Jablonski (Desafío Español Helm,
'07) for the next America's Cup: Team Site
back to top
Race 4: Results
ties the series.
Also, ETNZ files protest, see below.
Race 4: Alinghi got
ahead early and stayed there all the way home.
A brand new day, a smiling
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.
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
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."
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."
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
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.
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
SE 8-12 knots, slight seas.
WindFinder: E to
SE 10-12 knots.
WindGuru: E to ESE
ACM: E to SE 8-10
knots. RepCast: ESE 8-11 knots.
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
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
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.
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
back to top
America's Cup: Race 3 Results
ETNZ WINS A STUNNER!
Hang On! Richard
Meacham, and ETNZ, did.
Click to enlarge and view more.
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!
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
enlarge and view more.
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
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
between Challenger and Defender was close in Race
3. Click to
enlarge and view more.
Murray Jones at
enlarge and view more.
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
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
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
nice look at the wind calls, the tactics, and each
team's reactions from Andy Rice at
usual the best detailed race analysis out there is
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).
sea breeze 6-8 knots early becomes SE 8-10 knots
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
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?
Spectator fleet churning the sea in Race 2.
Click image to
enlarge and view more Race 2 photos.
News and Commentary of Interest:
Nice AC Hall of Fame Induction ceremony coverage
by Kimball Livingston at
Andy Rice looks for cracks in the
facade of the teams at
and Craig Monk finds them at
Gary Jobson compares team advantages at
Sleepy New Zealanders at work:
back to top
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.
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.
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.
High: ETNZ comes back at Alinghi in Race 2.
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."
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."
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."
ACM: Sea breeze
ENE 8-10 knots veering SE 6-8 knots.
ETNZ: SE 10-15
WindGuru: ESE 7-11
knots, with alternate models showing even lighter
Start: 14:50h/2:50pm Valencia/9:00am ET US.
Alinghi enters on starboard (yellow), ETNZ on port
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:
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).
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.
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."
back to top
Race 1 Results
Race 1: ETNZ hung in, but Alinghi won.
Click image to enlarge and for more.
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.
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.
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."
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
Choppy seas kept
the bows wet in Race 1.
Click image to enlarge
and for more.
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."
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."
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
And that was the race":
Highly recommended: Mark
Chisnell's top-notch analysis of Race 1 at
Seabreeze E 12-14 knots, dropping to 10-12 knots and
backing NE in late afternoon.
Winds ENE 9-11 knots, becoming E.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the 32nd Defense of the America's Cup, and it's time to
race! Let's Regatta!
back to top
1 Day Until the Cup
still training on Friday.
Alinghi picks Ed Baird to helm against Dean Barker.
ETNZ will have starboard entry for Race 1.
Alinghi Names Crew: Press
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
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
Long Term Prospects: Team New Zealand gets backing
for Next America's Cup, come what may: stuff.co.nz
Don't Miss: Sail's Kimball Livingston
does some imagining at
of Fame: Laurie Davidson and Bruno Troublé will be
inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame this
Read more at Herreshoff.org
ETNZ's Adam Beashel Profile: Also see stuff.co.nz
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
Bertarelli, bottom left. Clockwise: The America's Cup,
Emirates Team New Zealand's Terry Hutchinson, and
Alinghi Skipper Brad Butterworth.
2 Days to Go
Weather: ACM forecast for
Race 1 E seabreeze 12-16 knots. Race 2 lighter E
Festival of Hindsight:
Kimball Livingston at Got Live
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
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
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."
back to top
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
Full Text (pdf).
The Sailing Instructions have also been issued,
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:
showing E 9-11 knots for Race 1.
Picking the Winner: AC veteran and broadcaster Gary
Jobson analyzes and makes his call at
It's about time to race:
Alinghi is Fast, say Italians:
ETNZ is Fast, says Alinghi:
Leading at Top Mark Crucial:
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.
New PI #43 revises previous
interpretations. (page unavailable)
More Superyacht Cup:
Click image for Day 2 photos of this amazing event by
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.
back to top