2-0 but still in the balance


 
James Boyd brings us up to date on what lies ahead with the America's Cup
So it is 2-0 to Alinghi: Coutts ahead of Barker, the master still the master. So is it all signed and sealed and the Cup heading for the land of cuckoo clocks, fondue sets and discrete banking? Far from it, in The Daily Sail's humble opinion. Team New Zealand rightfully should have won yesterday and if Dean Barker had gybe set round the final mark or hadn't been lured up by the cunning Coutts allowing Alinghi to roll over the top of them and then pass in front on the final leg, then this may have come to pass. Unusually for a boat supposedly designed entirely for racing windward-leewards, Alinghi has shown herself to have legs tight reaching under genniker - legs the black boat proved not to have when she tried to pull the same stunt on the Swiss boat minutes later. Equally odd was why the black boat were not using a staysail on the runs, when this became almost standard procedure for boats during the Louis Vuitton series. If their hula is effective then the added sail area from Alinghi's staysail may have been enough to counter it. What was impressive yesterday, aside from it going down in the history books as being the one of the most gripping match races ever, was NZL82's speed even in conditions that supposedly don't favour her. Conditions were pretty stable by Hauraki Gulf standards with the wind constantly 7-10 knots from the north. The conditions, distinctly the bottom end of the wind range the America's Cup can be held in, should not have favoured the draggy hull of the black boat, with its hula and long keel. On the first beat Alinghi got ahead by being on the left side of the course where there seemed to be better pressure.

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