The 34th America’s Cup opened on San Francisco Bay today with the victory of Emirates Team New Zealand in both races of the day.
It was a close racing between the two teams and a spectacular one for Emirates Team New Zealand . The Kiwi crew, led by skipper Dean Barker, sailed almost flawless races, showing good speed and great crew work and won the two races by 36 and 52 seconds in winds that blew between 15 and 20 knots.
Dean Barker: said after today's races: "I am relieved more than anything. Going into today we didn't know is we were slow, fast or in-between.
"The first race was unbelievable it was actually like a match race."
“That was a fantastic day. We’re really happy with how it all panned out,” said Kiwi tactician Ray Davies.
ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill showed aggression in the pre-start. Both times he tried to hook Barker and force him into a penalty. But Spithill didn’t pull off the maneuver in the first race and in the second the umpires green-flagged an incident that might’ve included contact between the boats. In both instances, however, Emirates Team New Zealand accelerated quicker off the start line to lead at the first mark.
The winner of the 34th America’s Cup will be the first to win 9 points. For Emirates Team New Zealand that means nine race wins and for ORACLE TEAM USA it means 11, due to a penalty imposed by the International Jury.
Racing is scheduled for Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with two races per day scheduled to start at 1:15 and 2:15 pm PT..