So far, so good

The performance by Emirates Team New Zealand on Day Two of the America's Cup was dominant and shows the great work they have done in developing a light wind package.

Team Oracle USA knew this was a major work-on for over a month but they have not (yet) been able to close the gap.

But to quote ETNZ skipper Glenn Ashby: "We have seen this movie before".


All involved with Team New Zealand will be aware that 3-0 is not even half way to winning the America's Cup.

Even Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill cannot spin his way out of the lighter wind speed deficit at present. He will already be working with his team on what they can change to find more boat speed.

So, the big question. What changes can Oracle make over the next five days?

The options.-

1. Watch the weather forecast and pray for an increase in wind-speed to over 15 knots. In the qualifying series Oracle were competitive in the higher wind speeds.

2. Change out rudders to try and get some better straight line speed and trade off control in the turns.

3. Change out main foil tips. Similar trade off - go for more straight line speed but give up some stability and control.

4. Look very carefully at the ETNZ wing trim - they can analyse and understand this and try to replicate the aspect which is giving ETNZ a real edge.

5. Be super aggressive in the pre-start and try to force a penalty or a breakage on the ETNZ boat.

Team NZ must keep their heads down and remain focused on the job. Go out every day and keep on developing. Watch Oracle Team USA very closely and see what changes they are trying and understand the trade-offs they are making. It will be very important to understand this so as to make adjustments to counter (if needed).

Team NZ will understand better than anyone that this is not over. They have three points but need seven. It will be very important not to get ahead of themselves and keep working using the recipe that has been successful so far. Constant improvement, focus and shut out the distractions.

By Mark Orams, the Sailing Professor

School of Sport and Recreation, Auckland University of Technology