America's Cup: Three key questions

Oracle team USA wave to supporters after beating Emirates Team New Zealand to win Race 13 of the America's Cup, on San Francisco Bay, San Francisco. Photo / Brett Phibbs.
Oracle team USA wave to supporters after beating Emirates Team New Zealand to win Race 13 of the America's Cup, on San Francisco Bay, San Francisco. Photo / Brett Phibbs.

Sailing reporters Paul Lewis and Dana Johannsen answer three burning questions after today's action on the water in the 34th America's Cup.

1. Race 13 part a, pure bad luck for Team NZ. Race 13 part b, pure balls-up? Thoughts?

DJ - I'm struggling to think of a more hard-luck story in sport than having a race called off when you're 1.5km ahead because of the time limit. Blame TV broadcast schedules - print media would never impose such demands. But Team NZ only have themselves to blame in that second race, there were two poor tactical calls down the first run that cost them.

PL - Wickedly bad luck first up; time limits are useful in mostregattas but not with these boats. Part 2 - yes, errors and windshifts combined for another clear loss. The comeback continues.

2. Are we right to feel suddenly anxious over Oracle's ability in anything over 14kts?

DJ - That awful nagging feeling of doubt is beginning to creep into the back of my mind...they couldn't, could they?

PL - I don't know about "suddenly"; they've been on the up and up or some time now. Team NZ still highly competitive in 16-18 knots in particular but they haven't been able to complete many races in those conditions.

3. It now seems from a distance that Dean Barker and Jimmy Spithill have veered from fierce but mutually respectful competitors to fairly hostile foes. Are you getting that sense over there?

DJ - I think the hostility has been played up because it suits a certain narrative. They're fierce rivals for sure, but I don't get any sense of hostility between the pair.

PL - Not really. They have always been different guys with different styles and have never been close. Spithill throws in the occasional curve ball to play mind games but nothing outlandish; Barker is more focused than an optician's glasses - no change; still real rivals.

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