What an Opening Day for New Zealand in the 35th America’s Cup presented by Louis Vuitton in Bermuda.
ORACLE TEAM USA started out in Race 1 with a penalty and had to move two boat lengths behind Emirates Team New Zealand. What a way to start, Jimmy. He was over the start a fraction of a second too early. And never caught up. Kiwis take the first race.
In race 2 NZ was moving three times the wind speed and executing their maneuvers beautifully. “They really are sailing absolutely perfectly,” commented Nathan Outteridge, Artemis Racing’s helmsman, who joined the NBC sports commentators to provide insights into the races. Kiwis had a 400 m lead, which was taken away as USA got themselves back in the race and were only 30m behind. Then USA went into a gybe poorly, slowed way down and lost their game. NZ wins Race 2.
A near perfect day for the Kiwis, which gives them a lot of confidence readying for Day 2 of the 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton. ORACLE has some work to do.
NZ had just completed racing during the Finals against Artemis a few days ago, while USA sat on the sidelines during the last few weeks. Perhaps that gave the Kiwis the advantage. Or maybe it’s the pedal grinding vs the traditional grinding. Some say it’s all about the hydraulics. Winds were very light today, starting out at 7 knots – only 1 knot above the minimum requirement, went up to near 9 knots and then back to 8.5 knots.
Point-wise, ORACLE entered the match with one point so before the races started, NZ had -1 points and USA 0. End of day – NZ had 1 point and ORACLE 0. Stay tuned. Tomorrow morning (Sun., 6/18) on NBC at 10am.
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