Team Emirates New Zealand has seemed to consistently one step ahead of Team Oracle USA tactically, leading Oracle to replace John Kostecki with Ben Ainslie as tactician. But have the tactical failures been Kostecki's fault or do Oracle's problems run far deeper?
America's cup commentator, and Annapolis native, Gary Jobson points out on his blog that aboard Oracle the tactician is forced to pull double duty as a grinder, while the Kiwi's tactician Ray Davies does not have grinding duties and can focus all his energy on studying the wind and the opponents boat.
The reason for this? The Kiwi's installed a self-tacking jib system on their boat while the American's are forced to manually shift the jib to opposite sides of the boat during tacks. The self-tacking jib is relatively common on modern yachts but Oracle still decided against installing the system which is potentially proving decisive during the AC finals.
Read more about the Kiwi's self tacking jib from New Zealand's oddly named news source Stuff