America's Cup: Eight steps to glory

By Dana Johannsen

Dana Johannsen collects a bunch of straws and clutches at them wildly in an attempt to stave off the inevitable. This, she says, is all that has to happen for NZ to win Race 19 of the 34th America's Cup.

1. Team NZ ditch their "it's just another race" mantra - that doesn't seem to have worked for them so far. Jimmy Spithill's "we stare down the barrel and smile back" approach appears to be much more effective.

2. Whatever Team NZ have done to annoy Mother Nature, they need to make amends - fast. Team NZ need her to come through for them today with 16-18 knots of stable breeze, which seems to be Aotearoa's sweet spot where it can at least match USA-17 for speed.

3. Get their weather forecasting and data spot on and ensure their boat is optimised to the right conditions.

4. Hope Sir Charles Benedict Ainslie forgets his armour and sword when he turns up to the race course.

5. Nail the start. Yes, it didn't seem to make a jot of difference in Race 18, but if they are to have a chance in today's race, they need to win the start and put Oracle under pressure early by converting it into a healthy advantage by the bottom mark.

6. Hang on for dear life up that painfully long beat. Oracle will be looking for opportunities to foil upwind to give them good bursts of speed. Team NZ's tactics need to be spot on.

7. Get around the rest of the course error free - their crew-work needs to be sharp to minimise the speed loss in the gybes and ensure Oracle are not given any late opportunities to put them under pressure.

8. And when all that comes off... make sure the lawyers are well-briefed for a potential legal challenge from Oracle.

Video

- NZ Herald

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