Oracle Team USA is on a roll in this 34th America's Cup. They won both races Sunday.
If the fortune was for Emirate Team New Zealand during the first days of the competition, now it is for the American-backed team. Oracle Team USA has managed to win four straight races since Emirates Team New Zealand got to match point on Wednesday.
The Kiwis came very close to overtaking Oracle Team USA on at least four occasions but Oracle managed to slip away. Both starts were even but Oracle was able to luff ETNZ wide at the first mark forcing Dean Barker and crew to play catch-up.
“All in all, a fantastic job by the team,” said ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. “We got off the line well in both races, Ben (Ainslie, tactician) and Tom (Slingsby, strategist) made some high-pressure decisions, and in terms of physicality it was one of the toughest days out there given how up and down the wind range was. The boys on the handles (the grinders) dug in and were rewarded.”
“It’s right there for the taking, we just have to put a solid race together,” said Barker. “We didn’t do as good a job as what we expected today. We’re not down, we know we can win this thing, we just have to go out tomorrow and do a much better job.”
Tomorrow marks Day 17 of the 34th America’s Cup, which will put the match in the history books as the longest ever. Lighter conditions are forecast, yet still strong enough to conduct racing. But if today was patchy, tomorrow could be worse, adding pressure to both teams who have no margin for error.
Races 16 and 17 are slated for tomorrow, scheduled to start at 1:15 and 2:15 p.m. PT.