Three burning questions: What now for Team NZ?

Oracle Team USA beats Emirates Team New Zealand to the first mark in Race 14 of the America's Cup. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Oracle Team USA beats Emirates Team New Zealand to the first mark in Race 14 of the America's Cup. 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. We're officially past the, 'Don't-worry, Team NZ-have-got-this-in-the-bag' point, aren't we?

Paul Lewis: Yes, we are. We are officially at the 'Oh my God,they've-got-a-faster-boat, haven't they?' point. They are faster and sailing better and not making mistakes right now.

Dana Johannsen: Yes, what seemed like a pretty fanciful idea of an Oracle comeback victory is now starting to look like a very real possibility.

2. Is there any one area, aside from the scoreboard, where Team NZ still have an advantage?

PL: Upwind. But the way things have changed in this match, that seems less significant now. Team NZ won both upwind legs in both races but couldn't bridge the gap created elsewhere.

DJ: They were faster upwind in the lighter conditions today, but Oracle had a massive edge downwind to offset that. Oh, they still have a postponement card as well.

3. Is it clutching at straws to say that Team NZ should have a considerable advantage with two port entries tomorrow?

PL: No, port entry still looks the goods. The worry is that OTUSA seem to have the edge in acceleration right now and could just out-sprint them, no matter who gets port entry and/or noses over the line first.

DJ: Port entry is definitely an advantage for the starts, but in a flood tide the edge isn't so significant. 11 nautical miles is a long way to try and hold off a faster boat.

More America's Cup stories:
Oracle win both races
Recap of races 14 & 15

- NZ Herald

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