|America’s Cup: Kiwi bird thumped American eagle
The final stage of the race schedule for the 35th America’s Cup got underway this past weekend as the Defender met the Challenger to compete for the trophy. Four races later, the Defender is in trouble.
June 17: The opening day of the 35th America’s Cup Match delivered some truths as the Kiwi Challengers took back-to-back victories over Defender Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA in the first two races.
We learned Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand were not fazed by the narrative which had depicted Spithill as the superior starter, as the kiwis were 2-0 off the start line. We also learned, or confirmed, the kiwi team is crazy fast in the 8 knot winds seen today.
Despite winning two races, the Challenger is only up 1-0 due to the convoluted scoring system that benefited the Defender due to their performance earlier in the qualifier stage. Full story and video here.
June 18: As Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA looked to seize back the advantage gained by Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand on day one of the America’s Cup Match, the kiwi Challenger recorded two more back-to-back victories over the Defenders of the America’s Cup, putting themselves 3-0 up in the first-to-seven series that will determine the winner of the 35th edition.
After racing had finished on day two, Jimmy Spithill looked ahead to the five day break before racing restarts on June 24 and what ORACLE TEAM USA can do to put themselves back in the fight. “These are going to be the most important five days of this America’s Cup campaign for us,” said the two-time winner of the America’s Cup.
“I thought we took a good step forward from yesterday, but it is clear we have to find some speed from somewhere, that is no secret. If we were forced to race day after day we’d be in some serious trouble at the moment. This break coming up is a massive opportunity for us as a team to go away and regroup. Full story and video here.
Scoreboard: While the Challenger has won all four races, their match score is 3-0. The Defender, which won the Qualifiers held on May 26-June 3, began the series with a one point advantage. As the rules detail, the Challenger would carry a one point disadvantage (ie, minus 1), meaning they will need to win eight races to take the trophy whereas the Defender need only win seven races.
Schedule: The dates of the Match extend from June 17 to 25, though will end earlier when a team scores 7 points. The next race day is June 24 and will continue daily thereafter until there is a winner.