Monday, July 28, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

America’s Cup: Not too little, but perhaps too late

14/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA CA) - 34th America's Cup -

ETNZ skipper instinctively hiked out on his seven-ton boat, as the OTUSA did a crash tack to avoid a collision. Photo courtesy ACEA/Abner Kingman

By
From page A8 | September 18, 2013 |

SAN FRANCISCO — “Pour Or-ahk-leh: Eep, eep, eep. Ooh ay!  Eep, eep, eep. Ooh ay!” Swissman Andre Di Biase cheered from shore as Oracle Team USA (OTUSA) headed  out to defend America’s Cup, yesterday morning.

Cheers of “For Oracle: Hip, hip, hip. Hooray!,” even in French, were not enough to keep challenger Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) from sustaining a commanding lead over OTUSA in the 34th America’s Cup (AC34), being sailed on San Francisco Bay.

In three races sailed this past weekend, OTUSA won two and ETNZ one.  However, each victory moves ETNZ ever so closer to winning the cup. Presently, the Kiwis have only to win two races and the Americans eight, to take home the America’s Cup.

The most dramatic moment of the regatta occurred Saturday when the American and Kiwi boats were dead even, sailing upwind. While tacking (changing directions) ETNZ’s crew failed to provide sufficient hydraulic pressure to the boat’s 130-foot-tall wing sail. That caused the wing to act more like a wall than a wing, tipping the boat dangerously up onto its leeward hull as frantic crewmen yelled, “Hydro!  Hydro!”

Kiwi fans gasped “Oh no!” from shore as the boat leaned perilously for one long, breathtaking moment before crashing back onto both hulls, harmlessly. Later, ETNZ skipper Dean Barker said only a half a degree more and his boat would have capsized, probably destroying its wing and providing room for OTUSA to get back in the race.

As it stands now, the America’s Cup could be decided tomorrow (Tuesday).  All that might prevent the Auld Cup from heading down under — at this point in the regatta — would be for the Kiwis to capsize.

What has put the American boat so far behind, is a maelstrom they created by being penalized two points by an international jury for illegal changes OTUSA made last year during the AC45 World Series, a set of preliminary races sailed on 45-foot catamarans.

That meant OTUSA began the regatta down two races, having to win 11 of 17 races to the Kiwi’s 9 of 17. Until this past weekend, Kiwi skipper Dean Barker and tactician Ray Davies have sailed flawlessly and faster upwind than Oracle. By the third day of sailing, the Americans were behind four to minus one and in desperate need of change.

OTUSA responded by replacing San Francisco tactician, John Kostecki, with a British knight, five-time Olympic medalist, Ben Ainsley.  They also modified the American boat to sail faster upwind, going so far as to remove its bow sprit, meaning that OTUSA will be unable to fly its “Code Zero” a massive genniker used in light air, should that be necessary.

The result is that the two boats are now near equals in performance and seamanship.  In fact, the American boat, on some legs, is slightly faster.  Yesterday’s racing was “sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat” thrilling, with four lead changes on one upwind leg, causing Barker to quip, “If you didn’t enjoy today’s racing, you should probably watch another sport.”

In the final analysis, changes made to the American boat were not too little, but they likely have come too late.

 

Comments

comments

.

News

County’s chief lawyer: No Brown Act violation

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

 
General Plan workshop today

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

Two growth control initiatives get green light

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

 
Sand Fire burns more than 4,000 acres

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Fatal accident in Camino

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report released

By Ross Branch | From Page: A3

 
35 people displaced in Tahoe hotel fire

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3 | Gallery

.

Opinion

The balancing act: Toxic waste spreads

By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Bee-ing silly

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Want more water?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Refugee crisis

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Letter to Speaker of the House

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
GDPUD misinformation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

At the crossroads

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Schedule: July 28 – Aug. 2, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Roundup: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Camp experience is ‘priceless’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Speedway races cancelled

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

El Dorado doubles up on Pro Players

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Under the Scoreboard: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Local spiker shines

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
Sports Scene: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

A beautiful day at Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm

By Cathy Barsotti | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Foothill gourmet: Things get corny

By Donna Brown | From Page: B2

Bipolar Insights: From point A to point B

By Marcia Rose | From Page: B2

 
Cool time at Cowboys and Cornbread

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
As we were: Recreation district grows

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

Cantare names new director

By Cantare Chorale | From Page: B10

 
After 5 Club to meet

By Senior Day | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

DUI Log: June 25-July 9

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 14-16

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Divorces

By Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

 
.

Obituaries

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Monday, July 28, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8