While Team New Zealand are doing their best to not think too far ahead, many others are.
Former Team New Zealand grinder Craig Monk, who sailed for Artemis in San Francisco, is one of many who are already convinced the cup will so be heading to New Zealand.
Monk knows what it takes to win the America’s Cup, and he believes we’ve already seen it in San Francisco. The two-time winner says Team New Zealand have forced Oracle into a hole too deep to escape.
“I don’t want to jinx the guys,” he says. “They just need to keep their heads down keep doing what they’re doing. They don’t need to change anything. Oracle needs to change something, maybe today. I just don’t think they have it.”
Monk believes a big reason for the 6-nil score line is preparation. While it’s been relatively smooth sailing for the Kiwis after an incident-free build up, the defenders have had to deal with capsizes and scandal, and they could now be paying the price.
“They’ve had a lot of distractions, a very bad build up, and now they’ve found out they’re off the pace,” says Monk. “And when you’re back at the base with 150 people, that’s hard to pick up.”
Even the locals believe the odds of cup staying in the United States are slim.
“It looks pretty tough,” says three-time America’s Cup winner Tom Whidden. “A lot of little things the Kiwis decided early on, that meant Oracle can’t catch up to right now, and it bodes pretty well for your team in New Zealand.”
Whidden won the cup three times and also watched Australia 2 mount one of sport’s greatest comebacks to break a 132-year winning streak. But he doesn’t see that happening again.
“I know Dean and the guys,” says Whidden. “They’re not going to get complacent. I think so many little things they’ve done from a tech point-of-view that they’ll feel confident in their boat but not complacent.”
That confidence may come from a perfectly played development programme for the New Zealand boat that looks to have caught the defenders unaware.
“Word on the street was that Oracle was faster upwind, so Team New Zealand has really done something in the last three to four weeks that has really given them the edge, and it’s going to be really hard for them to get back I think,” says Monk.
And it’s looking increasingly unlikely to keep hold of the cup.
source: newshub archive