Race 2, Match 32, the America’s Cup

Despite statistics indicating a 9.8-knot average around the course for Emirates Team New Zealand, versus a 9.9-knot average for Alinghi, the Kiwi team on Sunday took Race 2 and tied the America’s Cup 1-1. Here’s the report from America’s Cup Media.

Valencia, 24 June, 2007 – Emirates Team New Zealand came from behind to beat Alinghi on Sunday afternoon, squaring the score in the 32nd America’s Cup Match. Each team has one win, going in to Monday’s lay day.

Conditions were ideal for racing again on Sunday, with the warm Valencian sun generating a 10 knot sea breeze. And for the second consecutive day, an enormous spectator fleet surrounded the race course.

Emirates skipper Dean Barker had the better start, crossing the line three seconds ahead of SUI 100. But it didn’t take long for Alinghi helmsman Ed Baird to squeeze up from leeward, forcing the Kiwis to tack away. When the boats next converged, it was Alinghi with the lead and control of the race. But the second lap of the course belonged to the Kiwis, who made the pass on the second beat and extended on the run to the finish to square the series.

Monday is scheduled as an ‘off day’. Racing in the 32nd America’s Cup Match will resume on Tuesday afternoon. Race Three is scheduled to start at 15:00 with a warning signal at 14:50.

Match 2 -Emirates Team New Zealand beat Alinghi – DELTA 0:28

Emirates Team New Zealand neutralised Alinghi’s starboard entry advantage into the pre-start by sailing clean across their bow. An aggressive pre-start ensued with both helmsmen fighting for the right. Dean Barker got the hook on Ed Baird, forcing Alinghi into a tack. Barker followed into a tack and moved again to the right of the Defender, determined to win the end of the starting line nearest to the Race Committee boat.

As both boats wound up to speed for the final approach, it was NZL 92 that was faster to accelerate, crossing the line three seconds ahead of the SUI 100. With a half-boatlength advantage and the breeze and wave conditions much softer than the day before, the Kiwis must have hoped that they could live in that position and control the match out to the left.

However, just as the day before, Baird got SUI 100 fully up to speed and started edging forward and higher compared with NZL 92. The Kiwis couldn’t stay in position, and were forced to tack away. It was almost a carbon copy of Saturday’s match, with Alinghi tacking over to shadow the Kiwi boat. At the first cross SUI 100 was more than two boatlengths ahead and they controlled the match to lead by 19 seconds around the first mark.

The New Zealanders attacked downwind however, managing to close the deficit to 13 seconds by the leeward gate, where Alinghi took the left and the Kiwis the right-hand option at the gate. Brad Butterworth played a loose cover game up the second beat, looking confident in his speed and wanting to protect the right once he had successfully swapped sides with Terry Hutchinson.

However, Butterworth’s open tactics backfired as the Kiwis got back on level terms, coming in from the left with Alinghi forced to tack to leeward. Dean Barker did an excellent job of holding his position to windward on the Swiss, and took the match out to the right-hand layline. From this point the race moved firmly into New Zealand control, leading around the final mark by 15 seconds.

Alinghi threw many gybes at the final run, trying to wriggle around the Kiwis, but all to no avail as Dean Barker brought NZL 92 across the finish 28 seconds ahead.

32nd America’s Cup Match by Louis Vuitton – Race Two

The first team to win five points wins the America’s Cup.

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