Monday, 16 September 2013

Awesome racing between Oracle and ETNZ

After race 7 only Jimmy Spithill seemed to believe that Oracle could still win, but how wrong we could be.
Oracle found a new gear and the layday was spent quite well.
If we look at the cupstats. Oracle outperforms ETNZ both upwind and in tacking now.
Oracle sails upwind slightly higher and downwind significantly deeper.  This can only be explained by more efficiency (lower drag aero package?).
Ainslie does make a difference, although the speedgain has more to do with the design team and the performance coaches. His presence makes the whole team more loose.
The starts are becoming more decisive as  ETNZ is no longer sailing around Oracle, though Oracle came quite close in doing is in race 10.
The boat who enters on port is most likely to win the start, which is good news for Oracle tuesday (twice Oracle). ETNZ just needs 2 wins to regain the Cup but they will have to fight hard to make it theirs.
To be more precise ETNZ needs to win 1 out of the 8 next races to stay alive and 2 out of 9 to win the cup.
The Oracle 2 point penalty might indeed cause their defeat.

In race 10 ETNZ outspeeded Oracle downwind and Oracle ETNZ upwind. Differences which were expected before the start of the AC. ETNZ needs to win 15-20 seconds in start and downwind to keep Oracle behind. Maybe ETNZ will do some tweaks as well today. Oracle will certainly continue with tweaks to their boat. Oracle seems to have  the faster package now, but if the Kiwis keep sailing as they did in race 10 they will bring the cup home.

Warning: The boats are pretty close and the data sets do not show the effect of windshifts. In some cases ETNZ or Oracle just worked the shifts better. Both teams are playing with their settings (rudder rake and boardrake) and are on a learning curve. Not all speed differences we see can be contributed to things we see. At one point Jimmy shouted to Tom: less rake is better at these high speeds.

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