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  • matt7346

Just one mistake...

14 March 2021

Day 3 - Blink and you've lost

One mistake is all it takes and both teams made one apiece today to end the day three-all after three days of racing. I’d say that’s pretty impressive. I know there are those who say that the racing is dull and that they preferred it when… blah, blah, blah. But the last time that the America’s Cup was three-all was back in 1983 when Australia II was up against Liberty in the event that re-defined the America’s Cup by wrenching it from the Americans after 132 years. And even then, the points scoring didn’t have the symmetry that we have in this match so far. Clearly a hell of a lot has happened since1983 and there have been plenty of races but never have any of the Cup matches been as close as this one is on the scoreboard. Plus, these boats are not just brand new, but a completely new concept in racing. I’d argue that the Cup has never experienced this level of competition with a fleet that is straight out of the box. And on top of that, they’re not one designs either. So, I’d say that these boats are pretty cool and the racing is beyond anything we’ve seen before. But aside from that today showed us that: 1) The boats remain closely matched in a lower windspeed than we thought was the case. 2) That these two are smooth operators that can do dry laps at over 30 knots in the kind of conditions that the rest of us are still sitting on the leeward side 3) That making a mistake at the start on a race course that has few snakes and ladders means you can’t get back 4) The irony of the above is that evenly set race courses are what sailors often ask for and yet now we’ve got one they complain that the racing is boring 5) The Kiwis do struggle to get onto the foils in the light, but once they’re up and running they are fast, blisteringly fast downhill. 6) The dirty air off the back of an AC75 is so severe in light weather that teams can literally trip over their own shoe laces if their path takes them back through their own dirt. Setting all that aside, the other thing that I find really interesting is that this match is now turning into a game of nerves. Not just with the even-stephen score line, but because each time there is a draw the psychological blow that one team could deliver on the other team if they were to win two races in a row could seriously unsettle the play. That’s how competitive this match has become. Impressive performances on both side played within fine margins. As Francesco Bruni said in this evening’s press conference, “I’m waiting for someone to make a mistake and it’s not happening much!” So, tomorrow we head out to see if someone can break the deadlock. The forecast is for a bit more breeze, somewhere in the low teens and from the ESE. I would guess this could mean a return to course E, but we won’t know until later. But if the Kiwis are banking on a fair bit more breeze to deliver the killer blow that we thought they would serve up, they’re going to have to match the Italians in the start. In the meantime, if you want a quick summary of today’s racing and to hear what David ‘Freddie’ Carr thinks about it all, click on the pic or check out the link below.

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