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Four races done

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 13 at 2:05pm
No doubt that oracle got faster by the day, but even during Tuesdays first race Team NZ was faster and closing up to Oracle upwind. 

They were sailing the boats differently. The stats showed that oracle was sailing lower upwind, foiling more often, albeit sailing longer distances in every race. The Kiwis perhaps didn't have time to experiment with that mode? Or perhaps it just didn't work for them.

A series of things were happening which got this result. Bringing Ben in changed the whole character of the boat, suddenly there was communication and lots of it. That in itself gives a crew confidence, especially as it was calm focused and determined. The tactics of the oracle after guard was almost faultless this week and they were obviously spot on in reading the shifts and puffs. When there were errors, such as the nosedive yesterday, it was Bens voice you could hear calming then down and keeping total focus.

You have to feel for the kiwis, but they made a number of bad tactical calls during the last few days which reflected their dwindling confidence. It appeared that they made a number of pure gut feel sudden decisions and put some shockers in - what on earth was that lee bow move, when they were ahead, had a clear starboard and needed to get back across to the city shore. If you are going to lee bow, you also need to be close enough- I suspect Spithill et al couldn't believe their luck at that point.

During the first race on Tuesday they looked almost quicker than Oracle at times, but having taken the loss and then the awful second start, they seemed to be in a different class of boat and you only had to look at Deans face after the race to see that he knew the cup was gone baring an accident or breakage the next day. 
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