All options are on the table as Oracle Team USA search for an answer for the speed the Kiwis have been showing on the upwind legs. With only one win in five races, time is running out for the defenders. The team is now considering changes to both the boat and to the crew. One change may be in the tactician position. John Kostecki has come in for criticism and on Wednesday, Ben Ainslie was on board during the team’s one boat training session. JK didn’t appear to be sailing.
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Ainslie is the most decorated Olympic sailor in history with four golds and one silver medal. He was hired to skipper the second boat, to give Jimmy Spithill the competition he’d need to be sharp in the America’s Cup Finals. But if the training photos on Wednesday are anything to go by, his role may have just changed.
“For me personally, I’ll do whatever the team wants me to do,” Ainslie said in a Sky Sports UK interview. “If they want me to sail on the boat, of course I’d love to do that… I’ll step up to it.”
Oracle Team USA has dropped time on the upwind leg in four of five races. In those four races, it has lost, on average, a whopping 48 seconds on this one leg of the course (and gained just 10 seconds in race four, which it won).
Races 6 and 7 take place from 21:00 hrs (UK time) Thursday. ETNZ needs to win nine races. New Zealand holds a 4-0 lead in points and a 4-1 advantage in wins due to a penalty imposed by the Jury. Oracle will score its first point in its third victory.
34th America’s Cup Standings
Emirates Team New Zealand – 4
ORACLE TEAM USA – 0
12 September 2013 6:31