It took just 23 minutes this afternoon for Emirates Team New Zealand to win the 35th Americas Cup meaning they will take the Auld Mug, the oldest trophy in world sport back to New Zealand for the first time since 2000.
That is what is needed now by Team Oracle USA. They were comfortably beaten twice today by challengers Emirates Team New Zealand to take the Americas Cup final points board to 6-1. In fact in the 2nd race Burling humiliated Spithill who failed to box in his rival before the start line and had to watch Burling accelerate into a 13-second lead before Spithill had even crossed the start line. Cameras showed Burling wave at Spithill as he raced past him.
An Oracle miracle is now needed. Yes, 4 years ago in San Francisco the Americans came from 1-8 to beat the Kiwi challengers 9-8 in what is described by people who know nothing of Charlton’s win over Huddersfield in 1957 as the best ever comeback in world sports.
Ever since Jimmy Spithill and the large contingent of Team Oracle landed in Bermuda over 2 years ago they have talked of bringing the Americas Cup back to the islands of Bermuda if the USA team retain the trophy. The crew, designers, engineers, boat builders, administrators, and a whole range of specialists and back room staff and their families have integrated themselves very well into the fabric of the island.
Without any doubt they have been given every assistance, been allowed to cut corners and slipped rules and legalizations have been amended but, and some locals will argue the opposite, most will belive that Team Oracle has been good for this island, no more so than their inspirational leader Spithill.
Mhmm. Doesn’t get any more exciting than this. 2017/18 fixtures.
There’s a bit of a West Country feel to the start of next season. Bristol Rovers, who somehow we thumped twice last season, are our visitors for the first game of the season which kicks off at The Valley on Saturday, August 5th. Then the team spend a week in the West Country. Tuesday at Exeter in the Caracas Cup, or whatever it is called, and Saturday at newly promoted Plymouth Arygle. For those still negotiating with the missus on a summer holiday, I think I have a suggestion.
With Ricky Holmes’ contract still sat unsigned in Katrien Meire’s office, he is away on holiday incidentally, it was Jason Pearce who grabbed the Bic and scratched his name onto a contract extension.
Pearce had a contract until 2019, but with other clubs sniffing around, Pearce added a year to it, which is very good news. Pearce was influential and the stat on the OS that from the 23 games he started, we took 38 points, and when he didn’t we won 22, speaks for itself.
Pearce is a winner, and we need winners.
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An unexpected name was added to Karl Robinson’s squad this afternoon. Tariqe Fosu, or Tariqe Kumahl Malachi Akwesi Fosu-Henry, to give him his full name, was signed from Reading after compensation was agreed between the Royals and Charlton. Fosu has signed a 2-year deal and looks to me as if he will be a peripheral squad player, at least initially.
Another that likes to play behind the striker, the 21-year old spent last season on loan at Colchester, and gives Robinson another option in his preferred three player behind a lone striker.
This was not the close and exciting Americas Cup Final everyone was hoping for. At least so far. It was men against boys, Chelsea v Charlton. In fact even that analogy doesn’t do justice to how dominate Team Emirates New Zealand were over Team Oracle this past weekend.
Four races, two Saturday, two Sunday, and four comprehensive wins for the Kiwi challengers. Where Jimmy Spithill and Team Oracle go now, who knows.
Spithill and Team Oracle came back once before, big, four years ago in San Francisco, and the only crumb of comfort for the Aussie skipper is that the point they won from winning the qualifiers here, means they trail 3-0 and not 4-0, but Team Oracle is in a hole and four more wins for Peter Burling and his crew means that Emirates will snuffle the oldest trophy in world sports, put in it’s own Louis Vuitton case and ship it back to the Southern Hemisphere.