I get what Garda is saying about the in-crowd...a lot of jobs in the America's Cup are, indeed, born out of Olympic success and that does define a path that's not necessarily a closed door system. I still think they were slow to adopt any multihull sailors during the DOG match, but we've belabored this point.

I do still stand by Oracle's splits as a mistake and what happened afterwards is pretty solid evidence of it not being the correct move. As far as this being "hindsight", just ask my wife how much I was expressing the same thought as it was happening live ;-). When they were behind by one boat length at the leeward gate, it was as if they gave up and sailed a longer route to the wrong side of the course because they had absolutely zero confidence that they could do anything to pass New Zealand. This wild chance "roll the dice" move hardly ever works in real life. My entire growth as a racer has been to abandon risky moves and build the patience to focus on getting small gains. When someone is faster than me and I need to beat them, I try to stay as close as possible and see what I can do to match or improve on their speed. When I'm behind by only a little, stay close, look for small gains. Use the other boat as a tell as to the wind that I'm about to get and pounce on it to pick up a boat length every tack and nibble away at that small lead. Look for an opportunity to tack just a little sooner or a little later and get a little advantage. That said, if I find myself behind by a huge amount and I'm entering the last lap of the race, yeah, I'm probably going to roll the dice but only after I've exhausted all hope. I do still struggle sometimes with this patience and the result is pretty obvious when I haven't controlled it.

If you are in the lead, as in New Zealand's case in the last four races, Oracle's expended so much race course just getting to a split that it gave NZ enough of a lead that they could sail across the entire course on the wrong shift, maintain cover, and still maintain their lead (and they were NOT on the wrong shift coming around the bottom). Absolutely NZ should just sail their own race at that point. The tight cover, cover, cover, is also a bit of a standover of monohull sailing. Now, it is certainly still valid in a good deal of multihull sailing but again, if you have enough of a lead and the wind is obviously stable enough that you can count on your lead being enough to get to your competitor and still maintain a lead no matter what, just sail on. I mean, seriously, New Zealand stretched on just about every leg - it's hard to find fault in their tactics.

Jake Kohl