All in all they had the faster boat, less drag and more efficient systems. More power and free hands for the bikers took the level one notch too high for Oracle, and on top of all this Peter Burling is a double olympic medallist that takes no prisoners and made Spithill and friends look inferior… but as all is so totally simple and logic in the TNZ cat, again, it is hard to understand why Oracle didn’t react earlier, as surely pulling the overtwisted wing to windward of the center line can hardly be considered a good sign of efficient trim as having the extra drag given by the crew positioning etc.
Most interesting the wing twist profile was really different and more draggy, as bigger twist angles obliged Oracle to pull the lower part of the wing over the center line of the cat. Foil design was the other bit, as well as target ideal wind range surprisingly not in the right spot for Oracle, that was configured better for stronger winds that the ones found and forecasted for the end of June. Maybe the defender should have focused just on the final instead of taking part in the Louis Vuitton and winning that strange point that did not help them at all in the real Cup. Anyone just looking at the wing twist profiles, with a bit of experience, would immediately notice a huge difference as well as in their pedal system and in their foil design, and still much richer Oracle did nothing, and worrying about completely useless things like the one of the deal among all now losers teams, that was intending to shape up the Cup for the future.
And so the only team that just thought about winning and not into shaping the future won and that is the story. All in all nothing new, as power dynamics and money always shape up teams in a way than makes them unefficient as all are looking after themselves and normally nobody likes to admit having taken a wrong route. Key of the problem the fact that sailors, tecnicians and designers working for top cup teams end up being paid much more than they would in real life, and so get in a different dynamic that makes keeping the job the first priority, to that the fact that nobody can master the full knowledge as from yacht design to engeneering, to sail design to sailing skill. The overall knowledge cannot be hold by one man only and it depends on achieving a proper balanced mix the ultimate chance to do it right, and as all at the top of the various teams have strong personalities, sometime the one leading are not really the right one, as priorities sometimes are not right.
All in all the Cup is always more a design competition that anything else, though you need super sailors to keep the composure and win when they have to. The new generations of sailors are more than anything just sailors, as one design olympic classes don’t live much space to learning what makes a boat go fast, plus new formats require full concentration on sailing only. Long gone the times of Buddy Melges and even Coutts, where top sailord had a clear picture of the entire situation. Now the main players are super athletes, fascinating personalities with limited knowledge on the design side, though sitting and times at the decision table and taking decisions in fields they do not really master…
The America’s Cup is because of that a magic game, and the key persons in the team are the owner and the general manager. If their initial choices are correct and enough resources are there, a shot at the Cup is possible, if the first decisions are wrong all will end up falling in the usual spirale that makes winning and daring impossible.