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AC35: Little time to prepare for the next onslaught

Sunday, June 18, 2017

["The Last Post" is SAILING ILLUSTRATED's latest contributor, a consummate and veteran journalist of considerable repute – so much so that he, like The Fifth Beatle, has chosen to file under this clever nom de plume in the best traditions of American journalism dating back at least as far as that revolutionary-era writer Silence Dogood, a.k.a. Benjamin Franklin. –TFE]


HAMILTON, BER – When the tumult and shouting have a result of the two victories by Emirates Team New Zealand to put them 1-0 up in the Match (look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls)...there will be little time to prepare for the next onslaught.


Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, showed no emotion as he faced the Press after the drubbing he had suffered at the hands of the young Peter Burling. Why should he? He can remember what happened in San Francisco four years ago when he came back from 8-1 down to sweep to victory against the same opponents.


Not that it is expected that a repeat of that masterly comeback will occur on the Great Sound of Bermuda. This will be battle all the way until one emerges with the requisite number of victories (and that can be as far away as a week from Tuesday).


And what then? John Bertrand, the helmsman of AUSTRALIA II that took the Cup from the New York Yacht Club for the first time after 132 years, has been seen prowling through the AC Village, looking perhaps at the Australian sailors on other nations' teams (and it's not for nothing that the Defender is known in some places as Oracle Team AUS). Could he be preparing for an Australian challenge the next time? Betting on that is heavily in favor of an Aussie revival.


One hopes, however, that Glenn Ashby, the Aussie mastermind on the Kiwis’ boat continues his mastery to the end of this 35th AC. Day two is about to start – we shall soon see.


Glenn Ashby (AUS), the only holdover from ETNZ's AC34 team that lost 9-8 to OTUSA and fellow Aussie Jimmy Spithill.


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