Another tough day for the Kiwi’s and the race slipped out of their hands on the second windward leg. Alinghi now has 3 match point points.
Today’s conditions were quite different to yesterday, flat seas and 8-10 knots of wind. Both boats were even coming off the line with Alinghi to windward. It took TNZ 3/4’s of the distance to the port layline to shake Alinghi off. From there, the left was good and TNZ rounded the windward mark with a 14 second lead.
The defended well on the run… again both boats looking dead even. The Kiwis went for the easier maneuver at the gate and that left them with the left which had worked well up until that point. The Swiss took the right gate and went right. New Zealand went with Alinghi to the right and gained initially but 3/4’s of the way out to the layline, a rightie came in and the Swiss made a nice gain. A few tacks ensued with the Kiwis protecting the left which was the open side of the course. On the last cross, the Kiwis went for a leebow but the Swiss had more pressure from the right and were able to gauge off and live to windward of TNZ. They held a 12 second lead at the second windward mark and despite a valiant effort by the Kiwis on the last run, the Swiss held on to get their 4 victory…
I have never seen two boats so even in performance, upwind and downwind and right through the wind range. This is amazing since they have quite different hull shapes. This is the closest America’s Cup in my lifetime and it is a pleasure to watch.
The Kiwis may be down but they are certainly not out. America’s Cup Management is preparing the awards presentation for tomorrow night (they have to be ready) and I am sure the Kiwis would love nothing more than to make the Swiss postpone their plans.