Gary Jobson’s America’s Cup Report
Emirates Team New Zealand nailed the start in Race 7 of the America’s Cup Match.
Image: ACTV LiveLine
“For the first time in my sailing career I saw the perfect start. I mean PERFECT. In Race 7 of the 34th America’s Cup defense New Zealand’s skipper Dean Barker approached the starting line to windward and ahead of Oracle Team USA’s Australian skipper, James Spithill. In seven previous races Barker has won two starts, and Spithill has taken the other five. The Kiwis have been dominant throughout the series, except for the starts. After Race 6 I asked Barker what he was going to do to improve. Through gritted teeth he simply said he needed to do better. And boy did he deliver.
When the gun fired Emirates Team New Zealand was exactly on the line. The screen grab showed they were just two inches behind the line. In contrast Spithill was late to accelerate and quickly fell behind. OTUSA’s owner Larry Ellison was in a tender alongside the race committee boat where I call the action for the NBC Sports Network, along with Todd Harris and Kenny Read. Ellison put his head down when he saw his team lose the start. He must have realized at that moment that the America’s Cup was slipping from his grasp.“
– Gary Jobson
Emirates Team New Zealand was right on the line going 38.7 knots as the gun went off. Oracle Team USA crossed the line 1.2 seconds later and 4.6 knots slower.
You can replay the race here, and see all the pre-start maneuvers in the video: