Team NZ must shed 'scar tissue', says Bertrand

Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:34pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Emirates Team New Zealand face a huge challenge to deny Oracle Team USA a miracle comeback in Wednesday's winner-takes-all showdown, but can still win if they forget their "scar tissue", says former America's Cup-winning skipper John Bertrand.

Oracle won two more races on Tuesday to extend their streak to seven, frustrating a sailing-mad nation of 4.5 million who thought sport's oldest trophy secured after New Zealand had earlier stormed to an 8-1 lead.

Bertrand, whose Australia II yacht ended 132 years of American dominance by winning the 1983 challenge, said New Zealand had done little wrong out on the water, but had unquestionably been trumped in the technical race.

"Oracle team USA have come on strong from a technical point of view and from a sailing point of view," Bertrand told Reuters in a phone interview.

"They've made some very, very excellent decisions over the last 10 days. They've updated and the boat's basically increasing speed.

"There is a speed differential. There's no question about it, but part of it is definitely tactics as well out on the water, make the right calls at the right time.

"The interesting thing about sport is that the slate is clean. If the Kiwis go in, learn from what they've done so far and the mistakes they've made and then just clear the brain and just get on with tomorrow's race with no scar tissue -- that's their big challenge.

"If they can do that, then they can actually still win it."   Continued...