The Kiwis easily won the first race of the day Tuesday and that appeared to scare Oracle Team USA into playing its one and only provisional card to delay Race 6. Laurence Scott reports.
Team New Zealand continues to dominate the America's Cup race 2013. The Kiwis easily won the first race of the day Tuesday and that appeared to scare Oracle Team USA into playing its one and only provisional card to delay Race 6.
Oracle had an early lead in Race 5, but could not hold on and lost by more than a minute.
After the resounded defeat, which was the fourth loss in five races, Oracle called it quits and stopped play for the day.
"We have to go back and regroup,'' Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill said. '"We feel they've got a bit of an edge on us at the moment, especially upwind. So we're going to play the card, strategically, and hopefully improve in time for the next race.''
The team will try to find a way to win on their home surf of the San Francisco Bay.
“We need to up our game. We’re not going to hide from that. We’re going to go away and do what we can to be ready for the next one,” said Spithill.
The loss was considered particularly tough for Oracle, because they started the race in the lead only to lose it.
Team New Zealand took advantage of a tactical mistake by Oracle.
Oracle called for a foiling tack, a radical, quick turn around the downwind mark. Something went wrong and the boat practically came to a stop, costing it almost all of its 150-meter lead.
The winning margin was 1 minute, 5 seconds as the Kiwis crushed the momentum Oracle gained with its heart-stopping win in Race 4 on Sunday. That's when Oracle aggressively sailed Oracle's 72-foot catamaran to an 8-second victory against Team New Zealand in the fog, wind and salt spray on San Francisco Bay.
The Kiwi's now need five more wins to claim the Cup.
Tomorrow is an off day. Races 6 and 7 are scheduled for Thursday.
“We’re very pleased to take the win,” said Kiwi captain Dean Barker.
"The boat’s going very well upwind,” Barker continued. “The guys are doing a really, really good job with tacking and maneuvers, and we’re taking some nice gains. We can’t be ahead all the time, and with that we have to make sure we’re close enough to keep the race alive.”
Oracle trails the best-of-17 series 4 to minus-1. The syndicate was docked two points in the biggest cheating scandal in the regatta's history.
That means Oracle needs to win 10 more races to keep the Auld Mug. Team New Zealand needs to win six more to sweep the trophy away to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, which held it from 1995-2003.
34th America’s Cup Standings (first to 9 points wins)
Race 5 Performance Data