07 - 21 September, 2013 San Francisco, USABest of 17 / 2 Races per day
Since the defender Oracle Team USA had not participated in any races until then, it was hard to judge the team.Due to the estimated high budget of approximately U.S.$ 200 million the syndicate was classified as the superior opponent in his technology and performance.With ETNZ, which was partly sponsored by the government, one conjectured a finacial frame of about 60 million U.S. $
For the AC 2007 the budgets with the top teams were estimated between 100-150 millionU.S.$Due to the high development costs of an entirely new type of boat, and because Oracle Teamk USA co-financed a large proportion of the excellent LiveLine * broadcasting and media support, the budgets are likely to be higher. What began as a relatively harmless, ended in a shocking verdict of the International Jury for Oracle Team USA. (See my comment in the AC 45 World Series).For a rule violation 12 months ago, in another type of boat, by few crew members, without the knowledge of the top management the team has been docked in addition to a fine of $ 250,000, with the exclusion of the wing trimmer Dirk de Ridder and a minus 2 points penalty (therefore 11 wins necessary instead of 9).The Dutchman, (sailing six years together with the skipper Jimmy Spithill, as in 2010 on the BOR 17 trimaran) was the expert on the wing to control its sophisticated moving by winches and hydraulic pressure.He is called the "gas pedal" of Spithill.
* Live Line is a technology developed for the AC 34, which inserts graphic elements in video broadcasts following the race. Several GPS and computer controlled helicopter record on gyro stabilized cameras with ultra-fast lenses, (able to focus within two centimetres of the centre of their moving subjects).A sophisticated software embeds in these recordings numerous data such as current, wind, distance between the boats, their speeds, mark rounding zones around the buoys, etcFor example, an Automatic tracking systems on each yacht will constantly feed position datas to high-performance PCs on shore.
Custom reality software converts in real time the position data in informative graphics on the screen. These graphics look then as if they were painted on the water. Specially developed data packages from this system support the umpires and the racing management in their decisionsIn addition, there are spectacular close-ups of on-board cameras or of accompanying boats and of the crews communication with each other. This technology was developed by a team of Stan Honey. He received for LiveLine his second Emmy Award.
Despite the high estimation of Oracle’s race took a different course than expected. Oracle first had to "work off the minus points " that is, to win 3 times before they can book a winner-point only.The catamaran of ETNZ was faster than Oracle in the first races, especially windward. The team was extremely well trained and sailed faster tacking and jibing The collaboration between the skipper and the tactician worked better as well.Both teams sailed thrilling match races that have been missed so much in the Louis Vuitton Cup. As Oracle lost the 5th Race with 1:04 minutes at a level of 4 :0, it took one day “Postponement”This 1-day (only) time-out can be taken by each team without any justification.In the 6th Race Oracle had replaced the tactician Kostecki by Ben Ainsley. Also undisclosed improvements were made at the catamaran. (Probably the weight has been shifted towards the stern). Visible was only the shortening of the bowspritThe boat was considerably faster and stopped the daily double victories of ETNZ
The America’s Cup 2013
In the 8th Race the grinders of ETNZ could not build up in time enough pressure for the hydraulic of the wing. This happened in a hasty, over-cranking tacking. The wing could not be eased and the catamaran rose to one side in a giant heeling steeply into the air. But the crew could control it again in time and the boat splashed back. ETNZ got for obstruction of Oracle a "penalty" and lost this race.The 13th Race started in extremely light wind and little current. Both teams set downwind for the first time their gennakers*. ETNZ led in some routes over a mile. Since both teams did not reach the finish line within the 40 minutes limit, the race was abandoned.In the following (again 13th race) ETNZ caused when trying without right of way to cross in front of the Oracle's bow a collision and was awarded a penalty again. Oracle won this race superior.
The times of the monohulls, which have been pulled on the downwind leg by their spinnakers, are almost history with the AC72. Especially when "foiling" the boats “outrun” the wind which no longer fills the gennakers and causes them to flutter. Thus, the catamaran will slow down and endangers eminently its stability.
On 21 September it rained for the first time since February. As the wind was blowing from the wrong direction across the racing circuit, both races were canceled. The next day, (a mighty whale still had time to leave the bay) Oracle won in the 14th and 15th races both starts, kept ETNZ under control and won again now a sequence of four races. New standing 8:5 ETNZ needs 1 point, Oracle still 4 to victory. Without the minus 2 points from the AC45 World Series, it would be 8:7, with a far greater psychological pressure on the New Zealand team However, Oracle had increased by improvements in the catamaran especially the windward speed. By Spithill's aggressive start, the better speed and perfect match-racing Oracle Racing won all of the following races spectacular as at a standing of 8:8. On 25th September the Golden Gate Yacht Club and the Oracle Team USA defended in the 19th race successfully the 34th America's Cup 9:8.
the Jedi leave the scene
Star War has ended,
Larry Ellison with the America’s Cup
On 25th September 2013 the Golden Gate Yacht Club and the Oracle Team USA defended the 34 America's Cup in the 19th Race after a spectacular comeback from 1: 8 to 9 : 8