Although there were many key moments in the most epic race in
“The one that will haunt me until at least the next
Brad Butterworth saw an opportunity and grabbed it, just as he had done in Race 6. “TNZ did a great job of pushing down [on the run]. Then they chose again to take the right-hand mark looking down. We did a nice job of delaying our choice until the end. It’s a big deal going round the right-hand mark, having to come round and tack without starboard rights.”
When ETNZ engaged Alinghi in a tacking duel, they were more than a boatlength ahead. At every engagement, however, the Swiss were tacking better and gaining a few metres. Eventually
Or would they? With gear failure on Alinghi’s spinnaker pole combined with a sudden windshift and drop in pressure, ETNZ nearly achieved the impossible, sweeping past Alinghi and completing their penalty oh so close to the finish line. Alinghi limped past to leeward, no one knew who’d won until the blue flag went aloft on the committee boat. It was Alinghi. By 1 second.
The 5-2 score does no justice to how tight this contest was throughout. As Grant Simmer said after Race 6, this