With a commanding three – nil lead in the America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand faces a five-day spell before the fourth race.
Team Oracle needs to use the time wisely if they are to have any hopes of defending the Auld Cup.
The Kiwis are faster in every aspect of the competition. Faster at the start, faster at the gibes, faster at the tacks. The light winds have favoured them to the extent that if Team Oracle is to mount a comeback, they might need to resort to mounting some motors on their boat, or replacing their winchers with some cyclists. Lance Armstrong might be available. So far as we know, he is not banned from yacht racing.
History is written by the winners, it is said. In the case of the America’s Cup, the winners write the rules, which is the only plausible explanation for the five-day gap.
The Kiwi boat has now won four consecutive races against Team Oracle, so only a deft touch with the rule-writing pen can explain why the lead is just three – nil. It is something akin to the Blues demanding that every fourth Maroon Origin try not be posted on the scoreboard.
Peter Burling and his crew have seemed to have quite adequately addressed the one area where they seemed vulnerable, which are the starts. Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand in on a six-win streak, having defeated the French Artemis squad in the Challenger Series Final in the last two times they met. Burling has laid to rest concerns over his tactics and boat positon for the starts, despite having won only one in five starts during the round robin portion of the Challenger Series.
Weather predictions for when racing resumes are for freshened breezes, but unless Team Oracle can pull a rabbit out of their hats or summon an early beginning to the Caribbean hurricane season, they will soon find themselves with much longer than five days to get things sorted.