Crews wave off race director's safety concerns

17:00, Sep 21 2013
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club
Team New Zealand fans at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club in Wellington look disappointed as Race 13 is abandoned.
America's Cup
John Hebberd and Dawn Carter check the time during the first attempt at Race 13, which was abandoned, at the Tasman Bay Cruising Club.
America's Cup
Spectators react as the race is abandoned with Team NZ comfortably leading.
America's Cup
Two Team New Zealand supporters react during Race 13.
America's Cup
Disappointment is obvious on the faces of Team NZ fans as the first attempt at Race 13 is called off.
America's Cup
Ella, 11 and Matt Wood, wait at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club in Wellington on Sunday the for the delayed start to race 14 of the America's Cup.
America's Cup
Ben Amor watches Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 14 of the 34th America's Cup at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
America's Cup
Tina Norris, left, and Cheryl barber watch Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 14 of the 34th America's Cup at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
America's Cup
Tania Loughlin watches Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 14 of the 34th America's Cup at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
America's Cup
In New Plymouth, Joanne Pierce and Kevin Kerr anxiously watch this morning's racing.
America's Cup
In Hamilton, Waikato University students Alyce Michell, left, and Rachel van Rossen watch today's races.
America's Cup
In Christchurch, Naval Point Yacht Club members watch the yachting. John Cullens, left, Neil McKellar and Rob Angelo
America's Cup
In Christchurch, Naval Point Yacht Club members watch the yachting. John Cullens, left, Neil McKellar and Rob Angelo
America's Cup
It's all too much for this fan at Auckland's Shed 10.
America's Cup
It's all too much for this fan at Auckland's Shed 10.
America's Cup
It's all too much for this fan at Auckland's Shed 10.
America's Cup
It's all too much for this fan at Auckland's Shed 10.
America's Cup
It was nail-biting stuff during races 14 and 15 for these fans at Auckland's Shed 10.
America's Cup
Tension was high for fans, like this one at Auckland's Shed 10, during races 14 and 15.
America's Cup
Brenda Herd, at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, watches Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 16 of the 34th America's Cup.
America's Cup
Mike West, left, and Dave Roberts, at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, watching Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 16 of the 34th America's Cup.
America's Cup
Jeremy Johnson, at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, watching Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 16 of the 34th America's Cup.
America's Cup
Toyota NZ employees watch Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 16 of the 34th America's Cup.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
Team NZ fans
The tension shows on faces of the fans at Shed 10 as race 17 starts disastrously for Team NZ.
America's Cup fans
Nothing for it but to hide behind a flag as a disastrous start effectively ends Team NZ's hopes in race 17.
Team NZ fan
It really is this excruciating. A fan grimaces at Naval Point Yacht Club in Lyttelton as Oracle wins race 17.
Team NZ fans
Why do we put our children through this? Twins Flynn and Ari Menzies, 5, hang their heads at Port Nicholson yacht club in Wellington as Oracle take race 17.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
The body language says it all. John Cullens and Willie Newman look disappointed as Oracle take race 18.
AC1
HIGH TENSION: Katie Hakes hopes for the best at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club on Wednesday.
AC nicci
Nicci Wood watches on nervously at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
A disappointed Wellington City Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer watching race 18 of the Americas Cup at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, Wellington.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Bundle of nerves. Nicci Wood watching race 18 at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, Wellington.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Let's hope she's good luck. Lucinda Howard, 2, sits with a replica America's Cup.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Initital excitement shows as Dave Roberts, John Hunt and Nicci Wood watch team NZ lead at the start of race 18.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
A truckie shows his support for Team New Zealand.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 do a haka ahead of the final America's Cup race.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Oracle fans at Auckland's Shed 10 ahead of the final America's Cup race.
AC nicci
Anna Sisley, middle, and Brenda Herd, right, watch the final race of the America's Cup at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
Paddy Lewis at Christchurch's Naval Point Yacht Club watches the final race of the America's Cup.
AC nicci
Anndy Crisp watches the final race of the America's Cup at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
America's Cup fans
Naval Point Yacht Club in Christchurch make a toast to the America's Cup after the final race.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
A fan at Auckland's Shed 10 battles to watch the final America's Cup race.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Samantha Dalzell-Matthew at Auckland's Shed 10 battles to watch the final America's Cup race.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Neeraj Lala (Toyota NZ head of marketing) watching and reacting to the America's Cup final race at the Toyota NZ headquarters in Palmerston North.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Auckland mayor at Auckland's Shed 10 Len Brown applauds after the final America's Cup race.

Team New Zealand and Oracle aren't listening to regatta director Iain Murray's concerned calls to enact a brief time-out to this monumental America's Cup match.

Murray is worried that the never-ending final is taking its toll on bodies and boats, expressing concerns about the safety factor as his racing schedule has been compressed by weather interruptions.

But like two prized heavyweight boxers, Dean Barker and Jimmy Spithill want to fight on.

Barker is desperate to deliver the knockout blow in the next round and Spithill doesn't want any breather to stop his momentum as he looks to go the distance and claim a majority decision.

"The last thing we want to do is end this with an accident," warned Murray.

"At some stage ... it's unrealistic to think you can sail these boats every day in strong winds and take them home and not need a day to catch up."

Seven races have been lost to the weather and the vent is due to finish on Tuesday (local time) but could even push beyond that if Oracle can carry on their miracle.

Barker isn't about to back off now, believing victory must surely come.

"We're happy to just keep pushing on. The guys do an amazing job back at the base getting the boat fully maintained for racing the following day.

"You go through the processes of recovering for the guys on the boat. It's just a case of getting back out there and getting into it.

"There's not that much time to go anyway ... now I think it's just a battle all the way to the end."

Team New Zealand took the opportunity to get some breathers in last week on lay-days when they were in a more commanding position.

Oracle didn't have that luxury. They have been on the water every day except one, using their time off to work on improving their boat and their crew work.

Spithill says his crew are primed for this and thriving on it.

"I think it comes down now to all the work the guys have put in for the last two years. The physical training that these guys have put in to prepare for this race is up there with what NFL guys go through, and the top athletes in the world. That goes for both teams," Spithill said.

"Unless we have an issue with sickness or someone is feeling down, fatigue is not an issue for us."

Oracle have made only one change to their crew, the successful switch of tacticians with Ben Ainslie taking over from John Kostecki bringing better chemistry to their afterguard.

Apart from rotating Grant Dalton and Winston Macfarlane occasionally, Team New Zealand have stuck with their preferred crew.

Advertisement

America's Cup gallery
Team New Zealand holds a slight advantage during race one.
America's Cup gallery
Team New Zealand in action during race two.
America's Cup gallery
Action from race two with San Francisco city in the background.
America's Cup gallery
Team New Zealand streak away to win race two against Oracle.
America's Cup gallery
Oracle in action during race two.
America's Cup
San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge was hard to see during America's Cup racing on Monday (NZT) with heavy fog blanketing all but its highest point.
America's Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Dean Barker waves to the crowd after beating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race five of the America's Cup Finals.
America's Cup
Emirates Team Zew Zealand races ahead of Oracle Team USA as they pass in front of Alcatraz Island and the San Francisco skyline during race 5 of the America's Cup Finals.
America's Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand follows Oracle Team USA around the first mark in race five on day three of the America's Cup 34.
America's Cup
Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand tack upwind in front of Alcatraz Island during race 5 of the America's Cup Finals on September 10, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
America's Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Dean Barker warms up before racing against Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race five of the America's Cup Finals.
America's Cup
The foredeck crew of Oracle Team USA work on a head sail after losing to Emirates Team New Zealand during Race 5 of the 34th America's Cup yacht sailing race in San Francisco.
America's Cup gallery
Team New Zealand wave to fans after winning race seven.
America's Cup gallery
Team New Zealand and Oracle sail past Alcatrez during race seven.
America's Cup gallery
A view from above the Golden Gate Bridge during race six.
America's Cup gallery
Oracle cross the finish line well ahead of Team New Zealand in race nine.
America's Cup gallery
Team New Zealand and Oracle race in front of a giant cruise ship and the Bay Bridge during race nine.
America's Cup gallery
Action from race 10 of the America's Cup final.
America's Cup gallery
Team New Zealand lead Oracle during race 10 of the America's Cup.
America's Cup gallery
Team New Zealand crosses the finish line ahead of Oracle to win Race 11.
America's Cup gallery
Action from Race 11.
America's Cup
Team Emirates New Zealand skipper Dean Barker talks with his crew after the scheduled second race of the day was postponed due to high winds.
America's Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker celebrates after defeating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race 11 during the America's Cup Finals.
America's Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker celebrates after defeating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race 11 during the America's Cup Finals.
America's Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker celebrates after defeating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race 11 during the America's Cup Finals.
America's Cup
Oracle lead Team New Zealand during Race 12 of the America's Cup.
34th America's Cup
Oracle and Team NZ speed past the Golden Gate Bridge during Race 12 of the America's Cup.
America's Cup
Team NZ chases down Oracle during the early part of Race 13, which was eventually abandoned.
America's Cup
Fog descends on the race course on San Francisco Bay as Team NZ awaits the start.
America's Cup
Team New Zealand cross in front of Oracle on the second leg in Race 13.
America's Cup
Team NZ and Oracle sail side-by-side before the start of Race 13, with the Bay Bridge in the backdrop.
Team New Zealand
Team New Zealand and Oracle compete during Race 13, won by Oracle.
34th America's Cup
Oracle take the lead in race 14 of the America's Cup.
34th America's Cup
Team NZ and Oracle race in front of the Golden Gate Bridge during Race 14 of the America's Cup.
America's Cup
Team NZ in action in Race 15.
America's Cup
Team NZ attempt to chase Oracle down in Race 15.
America's CUp gallery
Action from race 16 of the America's Cup.
America's CUp gallery
Action from race 16 of the America's Cup.
Ben Ainslie
Sir Ben Ainslie of Oracle Team USA walks off the stage from the dock-out show before going out to race against Emirates Team New Zealand in race 17.
Oracle
Oracle sails ahead of Team New Zealand on their way to winning race 17.
Oracle
Oracle celebrate winning race 17.
America's Cup gallery
An anguished Dean Barker with head in hands after the Team New Zealand lost race 18.
America's Cup gallery
Oracle acknowledge the crowd after winning race 18.
America's Cup gallery
Oracle streak away from Team New Zealand to win race 18.
America's Cup gallery
Oracle owner Larry Ellison celebrates after his team won race 18.
America's Cup gallery
Race 19 begins.
America's Cup gallery
Team New Zealand battles Oracle during race 19.
America's Cup gallery
Team New Zealand battles Oracle during race 19.
America's Cup gallery
Oracle wins race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining the America's Cup.
America's Cup gallery
Oracle wins race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining the America's Cup.
America's Cup gallery
Oracle celebrate after winning Race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining America's Cup.
America's Cup gallery
Oracle celebrate after winning Race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining America's Cup.
America's Cup gallery
Team New Zealand battles Oracle during race 19.
America's Cup gallery
Oracle celebrate after winning Race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining America's Cup.
America's Cup gallery
James Spithill celebrates with the America's Cup.
America's Cup gallery
James Spithill celebrates with the America's Cup.
34th America's Cup
A dejected Dean Barker waves to fans.
34th America's Cup
Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill raises the America's Cup.
34th America's Cup
Oracle tatician Sir Ben Ainslie drinks champagne from the America's Cup.
34th America's Cup
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison holds the America's Cup trophy aloft.

Fairfax Media