Asked what the team would be doing on the off-day, Alinghi runner grinder Rodney ARDERN (NZL) commented, 'I don't think we have to do too much differently. We'll keep doing what we are doing, that seems to be going pretty well. We've got a day off tomorrow to think about it, check the boat and make sure everything is ok. We'll go out there and race again on Tuesday.'
You can bet the debrief at the Alinghi base will not be quite as straightforward as that. Questions will be asked about yesterday when the Defender conceded a race that was there for the taking.
Emirates Team New Zealand
will take great heart from yesterday's surprise victory, but they too will be analysing the races closely, particularly the two starts where Dean BARKER (NZL) got exactly what he wanted and yet on both occasions found SUI 100 squeezing up to him despite two mediocre starts by the Defender.
Mainsheet trimmer Don COWIE (NZL) shouldered some of the responsibility for the Kiwis' inability to hold their line against Alinghi out of the starts. 'Dean has done a great job getting off the line, and in the pre-start. We've got to work a little bit harder as the trimmers - that's me and Louie [jib trimmer Grant LORETZ (NZL)] - getting the boat locked in and off the start line.'
However, there is also much to be pleased about, with the Kiwis storming up to and past Alinghi on the second beat. 'I think we might have changed gears a little quicker when the light patch came in,' said COWIE.
The crunch moment of sneaking past Alinghi came down to a combination of a small amount of luck (a 5 degree windshift to the left) and some excellent teamwork by BARKER and his trimmers. SUI 100 might have raw speed, but it appears the Kiwis know their boat just a little bit better and are squeezing every last bit of performance out of NZL 92.
So close are things between these teams at the moment, that this Match could yet be decided on mental strength rather than boatspeed or sailing prowess. After yesterday, it's the Kiwis who enjoy the psychological advantage. 'It's very important to win and be at 1-1,' says COWIE. 'Now this series is a best of seven. It's great to go into the lay day with a win, and it's great for the team members from 2003 to win a race against Alinghi, and end that winning streak. For me it's great because I've never won an America's Cup race before.'
On the Alinghi side, the team were playing down the significance of their first loss in an America's Cup Match race. 'You have to respect your opposition and we knew they were going to be a strong challenger,' said ARDERN. 'We didn't expect to win 5-0. We would be silly if we did. There is still a long way to go.'
America's Cup Match
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The America's Cup Match and Challenger/Defender Series are designated as ISAF Special Events. For more information on the America's Cup, the Louis Vuttion Acts and the teams competing, visit the official America's Cup website - www.americascup.com.
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