America’s Cup day 4

Day 4 of racing in the America’s Cup with Oracle USA defending against Team NZ.

Team NZ put on a spurt at the start and lead all the way in light shifty conditions. Mid race they had stretched out to a handy lead, but Oracle closed up to make it a one mistake race. Team NZ held on for another win.

I wouldn’t call it an emphatic wind, it got quite close towards the end. One mistake could have swung the result.

Team NZ now lead 5-1 in the first to 7 series.

Race 2 today

Oracle seemed to really stuff up their start.Team NZ snookered them and shot out to an easy lead over the line.

Oracle closed right up in leg 3 but Team NZ shot out again. Seems quite fickle.

Leg 5 Team NZ out to a large lead.

An easy win in the end. 100% fly time, the commentators are calling it almost a perfect race.

6-1 to Team NZ, match point.

But…we’ve been here before, in San Francisco an 8-1 lead on match point turned into a wrought loss after Oracle came back with new speed.

This time the experts say that big technical improvements are far less likely due to the deliberate similarity of the boats.

Racing will resume tomorrow just after 5 am NZ time (two races scheduled).

A report on today’s racing: Super Sunday belongs to Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand

Americas Cup day 3

Racing has resumed in the Americas Cup between Team NZ and Oracle USA. Team NZ currently lead the first to 7 series by 3-0.

Most interest is on what improvements both teams might have made during the 5 day break.

Race 5

Oracle started too soon so immediately concede a penalty, giving team NZ the early advantage. But the gap has closed right up.

Another penalty to Oracle and from there Team NZ has stretched a long way out in front, but commentators say that there is no question that Oracle is quicker than last week.

A clinical and slick Team NZ win again to go to 4-0.

In a post-race interview Jimmy Spittall agrees that they have increased their boat speed but at the cost of manoeuvrability, which was evident in a number of bad jibes when they dropped off their foils and lost a lot of ground.

Race 6

Oracle start better and lead around the first mark. But another wobbly jibe lets Team NZ back in.

Round gate 4 Oracle have a good lead. But suddenly Team NZ are in front. And then Oracle beats them to the last gate and has a handy lead again.

And Oracle have sailed a very god race to pull off a good win.

4-1 to Team NZ going into day 4 tomorrow.

America’s Cup – day 2

Team NZ is racing Oracle Team USA again in the second day of racing in the Americas Cup in Bermuda.

Team NZ had started the first to seven series at -1 due to a previous round quirk, but after winning both races on the opening day they led 1-0 going into the second day of racing.

This is being broadcast live on Sky Sport and delayed broadcast on Prime TV.

Newshub: America’s Cup 2017: Live updates – Team New Zealand v Oracle Team USA – day two

Race 3

1:10 pre-start – Team NZ gain the early advantage as they draw closer to the start line. Spithill trying to push Burlingto the outside line. Both boats on their foils immediately, neck and neck to mark one.

Team NZ gradually stretched their lead through the race. The seem to have better boat speed overall and have avoided making any drastic mistakes. Oracle under pressure make some mistakes.

Finish- The Kiwis blitz to the line leaving the Americans in their wake A fantastic performance by the Kiwis, clinical throughout as they lead from start to finish. The American boat has struggled to cope with Team NZ upwind, and that’s been the story of the series so far.

Race three – Team NZ win by 49 seconds.

So it’s 2-0 to team NZ with one more race to go today.

Race 4

Pre-start – Both boats jostling for position. Bad gybe by Team NZ sees them on the backfoot, in a tricky predicament as they edge to the line. Great recovery from Burling however, and he takes the early lead as they race to mark one.

Halfway through the race Team NZ are about 200m ahead.

Leg 5/7 – The lead has been cut down to 40 seconds but it’s still looking very comfortable for NZ out there.

There’s scant comfort when you know that one mistake can lose a race and can even break a boat.

Leg 6/7 – The advantage is almost a full kilometre now. Both crews seem almost a little stunned by this utter NZ dominance.

Team NZ go on to win another race to go 3-0 up.

Finish – It’s a margin of 1:12 in the end for the NZ boat on an almost perfect day’s racing for Peter Burling and their crew.

So it’s dominance for Team NZ so far, but there is now a break in racing until next weekend.

Can Oracle come up with another miracle improvement?

Americas Cup final

The start of the finals series in the Americas Cup between Oracle USA and Team NZ started in Bermuda this morning NZ time.

Oracle need to win 7 races to win, Team NZ need to win 8 (they incurred a penalty due to an odd heats rule and started the final on -1).

I couldn’t avoid seeing the results of the first two races on Twitter but I’m watching delayed coverage on Prime now.

The first race looks like a rout. Oracle won the start but received a penalty and Team NZ took over the race from there.

Team NZ started well in the second race, lost all of a large lead on one leg, then raced away after a poor gybe by Oracle.

After day 1 it is 1-0 to Team NZ.

Little then and now on Shewan

Andrew Little has made a bit of a habit of  jumping into criticisms of people associated in some way with National. One of those criticisms and a refusal to retract and apologise has resulted in Earl Hagaman filing defamation proceedings against Little this week.

In another example, in Parliament in April Little attacked tax expert John Shewan, who had just been appointed by the Government to investigate New Zealand’s handling of foreign trusts.

Andrew Little: Can he confirm that John Shewan and Don Brash advised the Bahamas that its financial services be zero-rated for value-added tax in order to protect the offshore services industry of that country?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No. I am not aware of that level of detail.

Andrew Little: I seek leave to table an article from a Bahamas news outlet, not widely available—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! The member is seeking leave to table a document. I want to listen to what it is. If there are interjections coming from particularly my far-right quadrant, that makes it difficult. Would the member start his introduction again as to what the document is.

Andrew Little: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I seek leave to table a media report from the Bahamas, not widely available, on the advice given by John Shewan and Don Brash to the Bahamas Government to the effect that international financial services be treated as zero-rated to protect—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The document has been well and truly described. I will put the leave and the House will decide. Leave is sought to table that particular media article from the Bahamas. Is there any objection? There is none. It can be tabled.

  • Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.

Andrew Little: Does he not see that there is a fundamental problem with appointing a person to review our foreign trust laws who has advised a Government on how to protect its tax haven status?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member has proven over the last 2 weeks that he is completely unfit to judge who—

Little has now admitted he was wrong – late on Saturday away from Parliamentary attention.

RNZ: Little admits Bahamas accusation was wrong

Labour leader Andrew Little has admitted he was wrong when he said two months ago that John Shewan advised the Bahamas government on how to maintain the islands’ tax haven status.

Mr Little said when he was appointed that the appointment cast doubt on the Prime Minister’s judgement.

At the time of Mr Little’s original criticism, Mr Shewan told RNZ News the trip to the Bahamas had absolutely nothing to do with its status as a tax haven, and any suggestion of that was complete nonsense.

The Labour leader now says that after meeting with Mr Shewan, he accepts his explanation that while he advised the Bahamas government on tax matters he did not advise it on how to maintain its tax haven status.

Mr Little said statements he made in April were based on a report in a Bahamas newspaper.

Google can be an opposition politician’s friend – and can also lead to embarrassment if not used thoroughly and carefully.

NZ Herald quote Little in: Andrew Little: ‘I was wrong’

Labour leader Andrew Little has today backed down from comments that the man charged with investigating New Zealand’s offshore trusts industry had advised the Bahamas Government on protecting its financial sector from tax changes.

“In April, I made statements concerning advice provided to the Bahamas government by John Shewan, the person appointed to review the disclosure rule concerning foreign trusts in New Zealand. Those statements were based on a report in a Bahamas newspaper,” he said.

“After meeting with Mr Shewan, I accept his explanation that while he advised the Bahamas government on tax matters he did not advise them on how to maintain their tax haven status.”

That was posted at 5:52 pm on Saturday, not exactly a high profile time slot.

It’s good to see Little concede that he made a mistake and apologise, even if the timing of this looks a bit like he is trying to do it with a minimum of media attention.

And I wonder why it has taken Little so long to do this. It was pointed out at the time he made the accusations that he could have been wrong, and it should have been quick and easy to have checked out his facts back in April.