Episode 12 Sailing: America's Cup

Episode 12

Highlights from the America's Cup from San Francisco Bay. First contested in 1851, the event boasts the oldest trophy in international sport.

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The America's Cup has a long tradition of producing dramatic


moments as sailors compete to be crowned the best. 162 years ago, the


schooner America won the first race around the Isle of Wight. The cup


was christened there and then. Three years ago, Oracle Team USA won the


cup. The campaign, skippered by James Spithill, was bankrolled by a


billionaire. As holders, or the defender, they get to make the


rules, choose the venue and design the boats for the very next event.


The idea is that the boats are as close as possible in design, so it


is a real test for the crew on board. The boats for this cup are 72


metres long, the catamarans are known as the AC 72s. Foils lift them


out of the water, accelerating them to speeds of up to 50mph. It's


produced some of the most exciting racing ever seen. Two boats hurtling


towards each other with no brakes, scarily close racing on the very


edge. And sometimes over. New Zealand are what's known as the


challenger. In an early series of racing, they won the right to face


the Americans when they saw off competition from Sweden and Italy.


So, at the start of this regatta, they were match fit. The Americans


had no warm-up event so they made up their own, building two identical


boats, racing against each other. One skippered by James Spithill, the


other by Sir Ben Ainslie. More on One skippered by James Spithill, the


him later. After three years of development, both teams were very


evenly matched. It was too close to call. But days before the start,


Team USA found themselves two points behind. A jury decided the team had


broken the rules in an earlier competition. That put them at minus


two on the scoreboard. Nevertheless, the most eagerly-anticipated


America's Cup began. The first race went New Zealand's


way. In fact, they won three out of the first four. By the fifth,


America looked second best. This is really interesting tactics by


Oracle. I don't know what they are doing right now. The situation


looked critical. It had come to a head. With no points on board, they


took an unprecedented step and substituted their tactician for Ben


Ainslie. Could a British knight rescue an America's Cup campaign? It


is like taking over somebody's science project the day before the


exam so I had to do a lot of swatting to get up to speed with the


different software we have. With the most decorated Olympic sailor ever


on board, it was set up for a fairytale comeback. But no-one told


Dean Barker and his crew. You can be a rooster one day and a feather


duster the next! By race eight, the Kiwis were in for a massive shock.


New Zealand almost capsized. Oh my gosh! Oh my goodness! By race nine,


Team USA could now chase into New Zealand's lead. Impressive from


start to finish, with the fastest race time of the series. Race number


nine, day number six of the 34th America's Cup belongs to the


Americans. Too much wind and too much tide had caused chaos to the


race schedule. With a 7-1 lead, New Zealand seemed to sail through it.


In race 11, Dean Barker's crew passed the Americans upwind and


moved within one point of winning the regatta. The question is imagine


if these guys lost from here, what an upset that would be. Race 13


proved unlucky for New Zealand as they looked to wrap up the series.


No wind, no speed, it was like racing in slow motion! Agonisingly


in sight of the finish line, cup success was two minutes away. The


time has expired so this race has been abandoned. The rule is the race


must be completed in 40 minutes. The Kiwis haven't won a race since. Team


USA's fightback from 8-1 down has piled the pressure on New Zealand


who have to bear the weight of an expectant nation. Where I come from,


it is enormous. It is outrating the All Blacks. Yesterday, the cracks


were beginning to show. It's a foul! Come on! The Americans levelled the


series. Their seventh race win in a row is a new record and this 34th


edition of the cup is only the third time there's been a winner-takes-all


showdown. One of the mysteries of this America's Cup is how Team USA


have turned their boat from slug to slippery. Their comeback has ignited


a global television audience. That is what the billionaire owner


wanted. It is a huge race when it comes to the history of sailing, a


huge moment for both teams. So both teams must be hugely excited about


huge moment for both teams. So both what is ahead. We are not going to


leave anything in the tank. The boys find another level to go to every


single day. Today I will ask for everything. Of course, they will


deliver. Having never been behind, New Zealand have been stuck on match


point for seven days. It is not just the 8-1 lead they have lost, they


are Government-backed and there is no guarantee the taxpayer will fund


another campaign if they lose. We have complete belief in our team and


guys and we can win the race today. It's a big ask, the way the Oracle


guys have been sailing. It will be very difficult. They have improved a


huge amount. They are not unbeatable. We know that if we put


together a solid performance, we can win the race. Obviously, a lot has


been made about today. It is a monumental occasion for America's


Cup. It will be remembered for a long, long time. We have to go about


the business about we remembering it for the right reasons. To describe


this final showdown, let's go to Todd Harris, Ken Reid and Gary


Jobson. The current is flooding in so that makes the waves small. This


is the race of the century. No question about it. More from Gary


throughout the racing today. We have a flood tide, water coming into the


Bay. Ken, it is not as strong as we have seen in the past? It will


smooth the course out a bit. Emirates Team New Zealand think this


smooth water is to their benefit. They don't like the chop. What this


really makes a big difference with is in the start box. The weather


towards the Golden Gate Bridge becomes more favoured when there is


a big flood current like this. It is a subtle difference. You can make a


case that the leader at mark one goes on to win this race. The


obvious up-and-down one-and-a-half times up the San Francisco


obvious up-and-down one-and-a-half waterfront to huge crowds and then


to the - somebody will finally win the America's Cup here, Todd. So


there you see the current, what it is doing. Oracle Team USA are


already talking about what their tactics might be. I think it will be


like yesterday. OK. We are not going to go to the shoreline and let it go


like yesterday. OK. We are not going all the way. We don't want them to


get on this side of us, do we? No. If he's gone that way... We are not


rolling straightaway. There's the conversation, Ken. Care to decipher


what they are talking about? With all the prep, with all the coaching,


with all the work they do in the classroom looking at video, it is


just like any other sailboat race, folks. Every one of us have been in


that position before discussing if he does this, let's do that. They


that position before discussing if are reinforcing strategy at this


stage. We will bring you fantastic pictures, amazing audio throughout


stage. We will bring you fantastic this race. The final race of the


34th America's Cup as we take you on board both the defender, Oracle Team


USA, and the challenger, Emirates Team New Zealand. We will try to


identify the voices for you and let you know what key roles they play


and there is Dean Barker, upper left of your screen.


So the big thing today is Oracle Team USA have starboard entry and


Emirates Team New Zealand have port entry. Gary, is that port entry


going to be as big as it has been in the last few days? New Zealand's


very lucky to have the port entry today. With this flood tide, you


normally want to stay at the windward end in a line. Right now, I


look for the boats to fight. So, at 2.10pm, the Americans will


follow. This port attack entry has been favourable. Skippers on both


teams think that to be able to enter the box ten seconds early to avoid


these dangerous closing speeds is an advantage. Team New Zealand has


locked out at the very beginning part of today's race.


Here is where the tactician will start to feed information to the


helmsman. Don't be shocked to know that the helmsman is totally in


control here, using their instincts, setting up, not only to get to the


line on time, but to try to get themselves in between the other boat


and the first mark. One minute to go to the start. Team


New Zealand has set themselves up very far down low in the box. Oracle


is looking for a gap between the boats. It is called the gapping off.


They might try to use that gap if they can get to the line at the same


time to have a better angle to mark one and roll over the top. 35


seconds, James Spithill shows like he is going to go for the hook and


pulls it off! Trying to keep a bit of a gap at this stage. He has to


try to just get better time and distance and roll over the top. That


is their only chance at this stage. Team New Zealand is down low on this


line. This is a dangerous spot for Emirates Team New Zealand right now.


The wind is good, we are all-clear, race 19. One race for it all. Such a


critical moment in this race. Beautiful job by New Zealand. The


question is can they hold the overlap? Emirates Team New Zealand


gets the hold shot. Oracle takes a big dip. How much will that hurt


them? Both boats got really loose at that mark. This is incredible


already. Oracle up on their foils. You heard


Ben Ainslie say, "Nice recovery. " The Kiwis just off to the right.


Again, another crucial moment. Team New Zealand did not jibe right away


with Oracle, so therefore it is a Drag Race. Oracle is inching away at


that lead. Let's check in on the water with Gary. Oracle Team USA


really hit a bad wave and lost it. Boy, are they sailing fast. They


have just gone right by us. Oracle have a bit more speed. The big


question for James Spithill - can he block the wind of New Zealand? They


trail by 40 metres. This is a winner-takes-all at the 34th


America's Cup. Flat out Drag Race of two very even


boats right now, Todd. The boundary will be coming into play shortly. I


don't think Oracle will have the time to roll over the top. Almost a


simultaneous jibe as both boats decide to make the turn with the


boundary on their left. A boat length apart, 41 knots going into


that. Really, when you are behind, you put


a lot of pressure on and make the leading boat nervous. These are


sights and sounds that nobody in sailing ever dreamt we would see.


This is just a new sport that we are witnessing here in the 34th


America's Cup. They are travelling about 40 knots, which is 46mph


downwind here on leg two of five. Ken, this will be a very fast race


with the winds blowing around 18-19 knots.


Emirates on the left, Oracle Team USA on the right as they approach


mark two. What are the options for the Kiwis? You are trying to stay in


synch now. They were ahead at this stage yesterday and they allowed


Oracle to split and get to the other mark. Don't let the split happen, go


with them. Match them at this stage. Tom Slingsby calling out the times.


It remains about a 65 metre lead for the Kiwis on the left of your


screen. The Kiwis have done a great job in staying in sequence with


these guys all the way down. I think Oracle will go for a split


here. At gate two, the Americans will split the course yet again.


Man, is this setting up exactly like the second race yesterday. Team New


Zealand will come out of the right-hand side and they will start


using that cone to their advantage. Let's see what Oracle does at this


stage. At this point, the Americans have taken the lead by 20 metres.


They are down one tack. So still a lot to play for here. Watch him.


As the American lead reaches 69 metres, Gary, who has the right


spot? Where is the sweet spot on this course? Position-wise, Emirates


Team New Zealand have the advantage. But they are sailing so slow right


now, they have to kick it up a notch if they want to hold on. Here comes


the moment of truth. This is the moment of truth. Oracle will be


dipping at this stage, then they will have the starboard tack


advantage. This is the race that we dreamt of. On the cross, the Kiwis


take the lead back. The Kiwis are allowed to cross ahead of Oracle at


that stage. Oracle is heading for less current,


New Zealand is heading for more. As the Kiwis tack on the far left


side of the course, the Americans stay on course with good speed and


this will close the gap substantially. This is where Oracle


turned on the after-burners yesterday. It was speed that we have


never seen out of an AC72 upwind. Let's see if they have it in them


again today. Starboard tack advantage to Oracle as the cross


comes yet again. They are almost dead even on the water as we go on


board Oracle Team USA. A big cross, with the Americans


having the right of way. They will make the cross. I don't think Team


New Zealand had to duck at that stage. That means that is about a


three boat-length gain in the last minute-and-a-half. That is a big


jump for Oracle. We will learn a lot about boat speed here. If USA


continues to gain, they are a lot faster boat. Leg three of five,


approaching the halfway point of this race. This one is for all the


marbles, the 34th America's Cup will go to the winner of this race.


That is the voice of Tom Slingsby, the strategist on Oracle. He says


they are crossing if he tacks. This is another huge moment.


Wow! Not just a cross, another couple of boat lengths for Oracle.


This is looking familiar. What are the Americans doing right? What are


the Kiwis doing wrong? Boat speed. A tactician's best friend. Dig into


this one a little. Copy. Don't be afraid to be a little faster, guys.


As we take a look overhead at Emirates Team New Zealand, what is


As we take a look overhead at their strategy now with less than a


race to go? If they go any slower, you have to keep the other boat


tacking and try and have them make a mistake. If your speed is even, you


go straight. If you are slower, make a manoeuvre. Those arrows indicating


the flood tide, the current coming in from the Pacific. Emirates are


holding a 25 knot speed. This is it. As commentated by Mr Ben Ainslie.


Todd, these guys are smoking upwind. They are foiling almost all the


time. Something that we rarely saw at the beginning of this event.


Every single race, they have been out of the water. They are using it


to their advantage. The lead is now 162 metres. They get around the top


mark, there is no wind under there after that point. It peaked at 27.7


knots. Right now, that has to be advantage


to Oracle Team USA. These guys are down the road. Gary, it is windy out


there, isn't it? It is getting windier, particularly at the top end


of the course. It is hard to see that.


These guys have done everything right in this race.


Nice move by Oracle to cover and push them back. Well done there. Ben


Ainslie, the tactician on board Oracle Team USA, the man on the


far-right of your screen, he is a four-time Olympic gold medallist.


Folks, this is a role reversal what we saw a couple of days ago. Now,


the roles are reversed. Look at the boat speed - it was almost 30 knots


for Oracle and 25, 26 for Emirates Team New Zealand. I give the design


team a lot of credit, the shore team. They have stuck with these


guys and given them a faster boat at this stage.


Let's not forget, Emirates Team New Zealand, three or four times over


the last couple of days have been able to close the race down on leg


four to less than 100 metres. If the Americans think they have this


wrapped up, give them a pep talk. You know Dean Barker will throw it


at them? There is zero quit in these guys. Would you look at that? Talk


about demoralising. Just gone. Gary, this is - every time they leave the


dock, they seem faster? They made some improvements since we saw them


yesterday. It is an impressive sightseeing their foil upwind. Great


work, boys. Just get on the foil and then we'll


do it. A really big wind up at that windward gate. Oracle have to be


careful. They can't make a mistake. As we saw during the Louis Vuitton


Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand almost taking the whole thing over.


No harm, no foul, but to Gary's point, with a 13-storey wing, you


have to be pretty careful. Team New Zealand is going 27, 28 knots


upwind. That is almost 30% more faster than they went in the Louis


Vuitton Cup. Unbelievable speed gains. Makes me wonder, Ken, maybe


they were a bit conservative on the start knowing they were that fast.


Not James Spithill has ever been conservative at anything, Gary! --


not sure James Spithill has ever been conservative at anything, Gary!


It is miracle time for Emirates Team New Zealand. Like Gary said, they


have to flip this boat over at this stage. It is such a big lead. At


gate three, we will bring them home uninterrupted. It is Oracle Team USA


with a huge lead, two more legs and the Americans will retain the cup


and for Team New Zealand, they have to find some wind and some speed if


they want to take the cup to New Zealand. The boat just about takes


off at the top gate. They went for it there, Kenny! Oh, man. Gate


three, the Kiwis are looking for something, anything, to get them


back in touch with Oracle Team USA. They make the turn at gate three and


they are 26 seconds behind. The boundary and the wind direction is


working to their disadvantage. They will have to jive very quickly. The


lead is almost 500 metres. The Kiwis are way over on the boundary. At


this stage of the game, nothing to lose.


Really good pressure from here. Gary, all kinds of records will be


talked about when this one is done, which ever way it goes. This is one


for the books? Not only the longest cup, certainly the fastest cup. By


my clock, Oracle Team USA is ahead of the record by 30 seconds. Let's


not forget, it was four days ago, folks, that Emirates Team New


Zealand had the lead with eight wins in their pocket. They made the turn


Zealand had the lead with eight wins on the last leg four minutes away


from winning the America's Cup and the whistle was blown, the time


limit of 40 minutes had expired and the race was wiped clean. It is


getting lighter. The last successful defence of the


cup was in 1992. One thing in common with this cup, there was a Kirby on


board. You talk about the speed of the


Kiwis. They had it when they won the Louis Vuitton Cup three weeks' ago.


They had it at the start of the 34th America's Cup. Where has that speed


gone? I don't think it's gone anywhere. The other guys have put


the jets on. A lot of time and effort has gone into designing the


technology that creates these boats. Vertical learning curves have been


talked about all the time. They get better every day. Oracle have just


got better faster. Makes me wonder whether we will see these boats


again. They are the vision of Larry Ellison and Russell Cootes. A lot of


people said it would never work and it won't be exciting. Here we are,


breaking down barriers. Never have we seen anything like that, the epic


breaking down barriers. Never have comeback continues. Is that a smile?


James Spithill, the skipper and helmsman on board Oracle Team USA.


He's Australian by birth. He is bringing this thing home. We can see


gate four in the distance. Watch the pressure on the backside of


Alcatraz. It is not bad to have five Olympic gold medals standing behind


you and giving you information. Not bad at all(!)


We will get lighter from here. Keep working it. There is a smile. We


will get softer here, guys. Don't smile yet, Jimmy.


For more than ten days, James Spithill sat down at press


conference after press conference and he said, "We can still win this.


" At 8-1, he said, "We believe we can come back and win this. " We had


a conversation, "What was wrong with him?" They have both had incredible


streaks. They both handled their press conferences, the pressure,


with incredible poise. We have to take our hats off to both. If you


are going to go out here, New Zealand did a really good race. They


got the lead at the second gate. What else could they have done? They


are just a bit slower. At the end of the day, it is always the faster


boat that will win and tacticians aside, over the last eight races, it


has been Oracle Team USA. Just to continue on with what Ken was


talking about, if this stands the way it is, this will hurt for


Emirates Team New Zealand and the nation. I will say this: Dean Barker


and Ray Davies and the crew are some of the classiest men you will ever


come across. At mark four, Oracle Team USA make the turn for home. I


never thought I would say this. Oracle will win the America's Cup.


This is incredible. So what was done as a race for redemption, it looked


like it was on course as Emirates Team New Zealand led 8-1. One more


victory and the cup was being shipped off to Auckland, New


Zealand. Here we are, a week later, all even at 8 and it is Oracle Team


USA that are moment s away from keeping the cup. -- moments away


from keeping the cup. The Stars and Stripes say it all.


The comeback of 2014 is complete. America's Cup will stay in America!


As the celebration commences on the shores here in San Francisco for the


home team, Emirates Team New Zealand comes across the line with eight


wins, one short for more than a week, their final Delta in excess of


43 seconds. A fly-buy like no other. -- a fly-by


like no other. The America's Cup will stay with Oracle Team USA. Man,


what a race. This had everything. There are a few spectators out here.


We almost lost you there. I'm still here. James Spithill, two-time


America's Cup champion skipper. Pretty rarefied air. How does that


feel? Oh, mate. It is about the team. On your own, you are nothing.


When you have a team like this around you, they can make you look


great. They did all of that today in the whole series. I'm so proud of


the boys, man. A fantastic team effort. Heartbreak for Dean Barker


who couldn't compete with the blistering speeds and skill of the


USA. Very frustrating. When you think back two weeks, the opposite


was true. We had - the gains they have made have been phenomenal.


Great credit to those guys. They have done an amazing job to sort


their boat out and probably a good thing for us they didn't do it


earlier! I'm incredibly proud of our team and what they have achieved.


I'm gutted that we couldn't get the last win that we needed to take this


cup back to New Zealand. It's very hard to swallow. A triumphant win


for James Spithill, completing one of the most exhilarating comebacks


in the history of the sport. I can tell you one thing - it is an


incredible te standing behind me. We have faced a lot of challenges. We


came together as a team, but there is one key ingredient we couldn't


have done it without all of your support. Thank you very much. This


is a team that never ever gives up. We fight all the way to the end. I


tell you, every single day we were winning races, all you guys are


coming down to support us, all that good energy, it got through. It


really affected the guys. We are in debt to you guys. Thank you very


much. Still, the defender of the America's Cup, Oracle Team USA!


# The world's gonna know your name... .. # Seven days ago at 8-1


down, no-one could see this comeback. Full credit to James


Spithill and his crew. The team boss has transformed this event. There


was a revolutionary gain in boat speed, producing an on-water


spectacle that produced heart stopping excitement. A nosedive at


the start of the final race couldn't stop their record-breaking pursuit


the start of the final race couldn't of glory. They are expensive, a


winning campaign can cost at least $100 million. So will we see the


AC72s again? In the meantime, back-to-back wins for the Americans


and Spithill, but a first for Britain's Sir Ben Ainslie, who has


now added America's Cup glory to his five Olympic medals. Can he now


mount a British challenge for the 35th America's Cup?


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