LVC cup continues terribly

(See the introductory post for background and these posts for my previous race updates)

Well, Oracle lost again, again unable to use their downwind speed to their advantage.  At least today Oracle got a pretty even start against Luna Rossa, although they were still about 15 feet back off the line.  The problem was that Luna Rossa was able to grow enough of a lead of about 100 feet by the time they reached the windward mark both through better upwind speed, particularly their ability to accelerate out of their maneuvers, and strong yet traditional tactics.

I had thought this before, but after today’s race it was confirmed.  If I had to pick between a boat that was fast upwind and downwind, I’d pick the fast upwind boat every time.  The issue is that in match race sailing it is VERY difficult to pass.  Since the first leg of the race is upwind, it’s the place where the initial leader is determined (along with the start).  So the faster boat upwind is much more likely to have a lead at the windward mark and it puts the boat that is faster downwind in a difficult situation because of the difficulty of passing downwind.

So Oracle is now down 1-3 (best of 9), and must win 4 of the next 5 to win.  They’d better find a way to get some upwind speed or tactical upwind advantage because they’re just not going to get it done with their downwind speed.

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