It is still very much up in the air (or the wind) who will win the coveted America’s Cup, but after yesterday’s faltering USA Team Oracle performance, the odds are favoring New Zealand’s highly skilled sailors.
Team Oracle’s Skipper Spithill asked the America’s Cup Committee to put off race 6 after being soundly defeated by the Kiwis in race 5 by more than a minute; it was the one postponement card each team is allowed to use during the regatta.
According to a Sept. 10, ABC News report, Spithill said his team needs to “regroup and make some changes.” It is likely that one change will be replacing tactician John Kostecki, who made a tactical error that allowed New Zealand to take the lead and put extra space between the two high-tech catamarans.
The Kiwis have capitalized on errors made by Spithill’s gang, and because the two teams’ sailing ships are near equally matched it appears the New Zealanders are superior sailors.
What changes occur remains speculative – changes to the USA boat, its crew or the tactics they use – perhaps, all three.
In order for Spithill and USA Team Oracle to gain the momentum that appeared in their favor after race 4, they must outmaneuver the Kiwis or the Kiwis must make some big mistakes, the latter being less likely.
Races 6 and 7 are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 12.
Money will not win the races for the defending champs; superb sailing will!
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