HAMILTON, BER – Kiwis win the start nicely, and sail away. They are going faster upwind and down. Better speed through the water, often by several knots, and better VMG (sailing as fast while also sailing a closer angle to the next mark). But it is puffy and shifty, as we predicted in our Facebook Live Pre-Race Show, and at the top of Leg 5 OTUSA almost catches up to ETNZ, rounding through the gate, incredibly, just behind the Kiwis, not even one boat length behind. OTUSA push the protest button, in what surely will be green-flagged by the umpires? Yes, and the right call by the umpires. Lame, desperation protest.
But now they are racing almost neck and neck down Leg 6 on port tack. The left boundary comes fast, and the Kiwis, barely ahead, have to jibe first and do so beautifully. OTUSA, amazingly, stuffs their jibe, falls off their foils, and the Kiwis speed away. In the blink or two of an eye, the Kiwis are back in the lead by almost 500m, and go on to win by 1:28.
Tomorrow's (Sunday) forecast for Races 3 and 4, fortunately for OTUSA, is for stronger breeze. Or will the Kiwis be just as quick? Of course there is still plenty of racing left, best of 13, first-to-win 7. But is this beginning to feel like the Kiwis 5-0 whitewash of Team Dennis Conner in 1995, when they won the America's Cup for the first time? Or are OTUSA just setting us up for another epic comeback as in 2013? Tune in tomorrow....
And we'll have another of our popular Facebook Live Pre-Race shows tomorrow at 0930 PDT / 1230 EDT / 1830 CET / 0430 NZT Monday.