USA v. JPN. ORACLE TEAM USA against their stablemate SoftBank Team Japan, or, as many in the Cup Community call them, Oracle Team Japan – due to the unprecedented close cooperation between the Defender and one of the Challengers. Jimmy "Pit Bull" Spithill wins the start convincingly with better time-on-distance and tactics, and, literally, sails away from Dean Barker & Co. If you thought the previous NZL-GBR race was boring, this took things to a new level, er low. When Friday got blown out, Race Director Iain Murray (AUS) had to double up the number of races on Saturday and Sunday to get back on schedule, and with the vagaries of round-robin racing pairings, it turned out that OTUSA, alone among the teams, had to sail three races today while FRA only had to race one. Tomorrow there are only three races; OTUSA has the day off and FRA has to race two, while the others all race only once.
Despite the three races, against JPN the USA team looked none-the-worse for wear, subbing in fresh grinders between races as allowed by AC rules. And of course, OTUSA takes advantage of that with a strong squad, in every sense of the word "strong." And, as one former winning AC sailor texted after today's race, Dean Baker is good, but he's just not good enough to make JPN competitive." USA wins by 54s.
Tactician/trimmer Tom Slingsby is seen pedaling away again today in the aft end of OTUSA, adding power to the hydraulic system on the downwind legs and getting more weight aft which is thought, at least by commentator Ken Read, to be advantageous.