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America’s Cup Schedule Changes

As predicted, imposing wind limits on America’s Cup racing has forced organizers to cancel several scheduled Louis Vuitton Cup Finals races. An augmented schedule was released today (below). 

Meanwhile the breakdowns that have plagued the event so far are clearly frustrating not only the teams, their sponsors and fans, but also even eternally upbeat professional commentators such as Gary Jobson. Nevertheless, the longtime AC expert is optimistic that the AC 34 Finals (September 7-21) will have some very exciting boat-on-boat competition. We agree. Based on what we’ve seen lately, we have to believe Oracle Team USA will be very fast and well-prepared to face their assumed rival, Emirates Team New Zealand.

So far the only moments of head-to-head racing have been on the starting line or during prestart maneuvers. Hopefully that will change during the AC Finals next month.

© ACEA / Gilles Martin-Raget

As Jobson noted in a recent commentary: "The most interesting moment of the past month took place when Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand lined-up for a speed test. . . The defenders (OTUSA) were on the fourth leg of their in-house practice race. Jimmy Spithill and his crew were leading the Ben Ainslie team by about seven lengths. The time limit for the defender access to the course had expired, so the challengers were tuning-up for their race. Suddenly, New Zealand’s skipper Dean Barker, maneuvered his AC72 in between the two American boats. The race was on!

"To my eye, from about a quarter mile away aboard the race committee boat, the speeds seemed to be about even. Oracle Team USA might have been sailing a little faster, while Emirates Team New Zealand was sailing a lower course. . . Ben Ainslie, who was in a perfect position to see the relative speeds, (later) told a colleague of mine that he did not see any difference in speed. After two minutes, all three boats jibed. The Kiwi boat appeared to gain over a boat length through the maneuver. Except for the jibe, the VMG on both boats was nearly identical."

Let’s hope the September races are equally competitive. If they are, all the frustration, criticism and cynicism of the past months may be washed away. 

The Kiwis’ second-generation boat is bad to the bone, and her crew preforms flawlessly. But experts predict that Oracle Team USA will be ready for them.

© ACEA / Gilles Martin-Raget

Today’s racing is scheduled to begin at 1:10 p.m. (Race 4) and 2:10 p.m. (Race 5), and can be viewed live in the U.S. on ESPN3, beginning at 1 p.m. The full race replay will be available on YouTube shortly after the conclusion of live racing.

Updated Louis Vuitton Cup Final schedule (best-of-13 series)

  • Wednesday, Aug. 21: Final Race 4 (1:10 pm PT), Final Race 5 (2:10 pm PT)
  • Friday, Aug. 23: Final Race 6 (TBD)
  • Saturday, Aug. 24: Final Race 7 (1:10 pm PT), Final Race 8 (2:10 pm PT)
  • Sunday, Aug. 25: Final Race 9 (1:10 pm PT), Final Race 10 (2:10 pm PT)
  • Wednesday, Aug. 28: Final Race 11 (1:10 pm PT), Final Race 12 (2:10 pm PT)
  • Friday, Aug. 30: Final Race 13 (1:10 pm PT)

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