Last night after I wrote my piece I realized that there is a lot at stake in today’s race between ETNZ and Oracle. In fact, it may be the first race of the America’s Cup Finals!
If ETNZ wins the Louis Vuitton Cup, they will race Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup Finals starting June 17 and each race in that series will count the same as today’s race. That is because the winner of this series which ends today, takes one point into the America’s Cup (AC). So tune in at 13:00 Eastern today because it’s game on!
Now, of course, as in all things America’s Cup, there is a caveat. If ETNZ win this race today and then lose to say Artemis in the Louis Vuitton Cup (Challenger Finals), Artemis does not take the “point” into the AC. The only thing for sure is that if Oracle win, they will start the AC final with a one point advantage. I would say it is better than 50/50 that ETNZ will be the challenger in the America’s Cup Final so thats where I get to:
Today is the first race of the 35th America’s Cup.
On another note, and this is for sure, ETNZ will be the top challenger at the end of today and therefore have to pick their opponent for the Louis Vuitton (LV) semi final, which begins tomorrow. Who do they pick? BAR who admittedly has struggled but has an army of technicians who could help improve speed or Softbank Team Japan who has looked brilliant at times but also struggled to “close the deal” when leading. The other factor is that Dean Barker, skipper of Softbank, is a Kiwi and was the skipper of ETNZ for 10 years including the 2013 AC in San Francisco. I would not put it beneath Grant Dalton, CEO of ETNZ, to use the Kiwi media to put pressure on Dean. This, even though it was Dalton who dismissed Barker after the 2013 loss.
Just food for thought. Enjoy the race!