After an absolutely amazing series in which the Oracle U.S.A. team went from keelhauled bloody mass to the biggest comeback kids in Cup History, the teams are all tied up at 8 points each in a 9 point series.
That means that the next completed race will absolutely, positively, definitely, and finally, guaranteed be the last race in this series with the winner of this race taking the Cup home.
Of course just when the next race takes place will depend on the weather conditions and even once started the race can be cancelled if wind conditions become dangerous.
The wind limit today is 24 kts. which would be the cutoff stopping the race even once it had begun, but the automated weather tweet a half hour before race time reported:
“America’s Cup Racing @americascupLIVE TIM ~30 min to start of the final race, conditions perfect, Wind 270 at 19.0 kts, 22.0 kts peak. Limit 24.4 kts”
Follow the race tweets at https://twitter.com/americascupLIVE
It is difficult for anyone outside the race committee technical section to know exactly what constitutes a dangerous wind under the arcane rules which take into account both peak wind gusts and direction as well as the tide and current.
Unprecedented Race Series
Perhaps I shouldn’t say this, but previous America’s Cup races were nothing like this exciting unless you really understood the technical details and had wiped a LOT of cold salty spray off your face over the years.
In fact, they weren’t actually exciting unless you were on one of the teams, at most they were fascinating or interesting.
Trust me, I used to write for Cruising World based in Newport, R.I. and I’ve sailed Caper, a racing yacht carrying 24 sails in her locker and dual running back stays, as helmsman, and, on one horrible afternoon as the flying squirrel who had to go up 95 feet in the bosun’s chair to fix a problem at the top of the mast just as a tug went by in the harbor causing the top of the mast to swing in a 20-ft arc.
I also crewed on and captained other boats in the North Atlantic.
This year the series has been nothing less than electrifying with the boats going as fast as most people drive on land.
After a very slow and boring start with the New Zealand team totally outclassing Team Oracle, the U.S. team was so far behind that it seemed impossible for them to stage even a decent race, let alone a comeback of this sort.