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America's Cup, as it didn't happen: Team NZ v Oracle

PUBLISHED: 6:03AM Wednesday September 18, 2013 Source: ONE Sport



Is today the day Emirates Team New Zealand brings home the America's Cup?

The answer - no!

PRE-START

* Yep, that's it folks - the race officials have just pulled the pin on racing today. There is a race scheduled for tomorrow, so maybe it will be two now.

* The Bay looks rough today, so if racing goes ahead, it could be entertaining to say the least.

* Race delays are now occurring every couple of minutes - we're now out to 8.32am.

* The start has been officially delayed until 8.25am (NZT).

* There have already been a couple of resets to the race countdown, which is never a good sign, although we did get a race under those circumstances on Monday.

* Latest reports are that the wind is still bouncing around the limit and the start sequence will begin as scheduled.

* Early indications are that wind is already up to the safety limit of 20 knots.

PRE-RACE

So, here we are - just two wins away from the having the Cup back in Kiwi hands.

Monday gave us two very different races, with Oracle Team USA dominating the first and Team NZ battling back to take what many consider the greatest America's Cup tussle ever.

What does today hold in store?

The Americans have clearly stepped up their performance from where it was a week ago, almost to the point where, across the course of this series, roles have reversed.

At the start, many expected the Kiwis to have an edge upwind, but perhaps Oracle had the better straight-line speed.

Now, the defenders seem to have found the answer to the upwind leg - albeit in very different tidal conditions - while TNZ gained their advantage two days ago with the wind at their backs.

Again, weather may intervene to delay a result for another day. Indications yesterday were that the winds would be too strong for racing, gusting to 20-25 knots.

"This is the strongest current day we've had all summer," says regatta director Iain Murray. "This is getting up towards the day that Oracle Team USA had its difficulty last October.

"For a long time, we've know that this would be the toughest tide day. Just to compliment the day, we have our strongest wind forecast.

"The committee boat will set up on station and we'll monitor the situation. We thought it would be tough on Sunday, but we got two races in, so fingers crossed."

Oracle Team USA -Shannon Falcone, Joe Spooner, Jono Macbeth, Gillo Nobili, Simeon Tienpont, grinders; Rome Kirby, off-side trimmer; Joey Newton, jib trimmer; Kyle Langford, wing trimmer; Jimmy Spithill, helsman/skipper; Tom Slingsby, strategist; Ben Ainslie, tactitcian

Emirates Team New Zealand -Dean Barker, helm/skipper; Ray Davies, tactician; Glenn Ashby, wing trimmer; Chris Ward, Rob Waddell, Derek Saward, Grant Dalton, Chis McAsey, grinders; James Dagg, trimmer; Jeremy Lomas, pit; Adam Beashel, bow




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