America's Cup boils over... ANZ Fiji Rough-house ... Bye to San Fran?

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Giacomo - Start ANZ Fiji Race, June 7, 2014
Welcome to Sail-World.com’s New Zealand e-magazine for June 10, 2014

The America's Cup has featured in prime time news in all media, almost every day, since the announcement of the new Protocol, last week.

Even though the regatta is more than three years away, no boats have been launched; no teams have entered - yet it is a mainstream news story.

On the water, the ANZ Fiji Race is well underway, with the first of the cruisers having finished.

The two race leaders, Beau Geste and Giacomo are 240nm and 278nm respectively from the finish, making 15-17kts and look set to finish on Wednesday.

Behind those two, the fleet has a bit on their hands with boats reporting headwinds of 30-50kts on Monday night.

Beau Geste powers away - Start ANZ Fiji Race, June 7, 2014

So far, four of the original 20 starters have pulled out with seasickness, structural damage (2) and hydraulic issues on their canting keel.

The race is developing much as forecast by Predictwind. The advice from the Routing function was to sail east on the first night and then tack about 0400hrs on Saturday morning, at which point you'd be lined up nicely for Fiji. Not bad for an application that you can run on your smart-phone, laptop or PC.

The Volvo 70 Giacomo initiated that move around midnight on Saturday and tacked again four hours later. Since then they have been hard on the wind, but not to the point of tacking, and have now cracked sheets and are on the final reach to the finish.

Crusader - Start ANZ Fiji Race, June 7, 2014

Their only problem is that their rival, Beau Geste, covered, pulled the same move and made the same gain. but given that the 80ft Botin design has to give the Volvo 70 about 1.5hrs per day on rating, and given that they will take five days to complete the course, Giacomo has a six-hour window in which they must finish if they are to beat Beau Geste.

Behind them the fleet battled winds reported at 30-50kts, and dead on the nose.

Most of the fleet has now tacked, heading east and trying to get hold of the same easterly shift that has been there all race.

In this edition, we have galleries of images from the start, and twice-daily reports using the various data feeds and information available. You can stay up to play with the latest action on our website www.sail-world.com

Oracle Team USA v Emirates Team New Zealand. America's Cup Day 8 San Francisco. Emirates Team NZ leads Oracle Team USA on Leg 4 of Race 11

As we mentioned at the top, the words 'America's Cup' can certainly galvanise NZ opinion like no others.

The event seems to be one that every Kiwi has an opinion on - who they like or don't like as players, what they think of the teams, the rules, the controversies, the money. And whether or not the whole thing is just a complete waste of time, or the greatest sporting event in world history?

The fascination of the Cup seems to be like the classic game of backyard rugby, where you take on the team from over the road, in their backyard, playing to their rules, and with one of their mothers for a referee. If you can win that away game, then it is all on the next week, at your place, and making it as hard as you can for them to win.

Despite coming up against an All Black test, the America's Cup once again galvanised public opinion, led the prime time TV news - and the new cycle isn't even a week old.

But should we be surprised, after all the last America's Cup pulled the biggest TV audience ever for a sporting event in New Zealand - with over a quarter of the NZ population watching.

San Francisco, 11/09/13 34th AMERICA'S CUP America's Cup Final 5 Emirates Team New Zealand vs Oracle Team Usa, James Spithill - Skipper ORACLE TEAM USA

The themes, this time, are your classical America's Cup lines. A US billionaire, running a team led by one of NZ's most loved/despised sons, and a Knight of the Realm to boot.

They're up against the home team portrayed as bunch of bloodied Kiwi battlers, who'd just been handed the latest set of lopsided rules, designed to clean them out of the competition, if they didn't go broke first.

Most media can relate to the scenarios that spin from those storylines, and duly obliged.

Oracle Team USA opened up the battle on three fronts - announcing a Protocol that gave an advantage to the Defender like they had never had before.

Next they picked a fight with the world controlling body of sailing, the International Sailing Federation, by virtually cutting them out of the first edition, and putting the America's Cup above the dictates of the ISAF.

And then there is the battle to be the next venue. Who will pay how much and give what concessions in what has become known the Commercial Cup. Our information is that San Francisco is in serious trouble - but that was predictable from the outset.

In this edition, we have the latest stories and commentary on the various developments.

Oracle Team USA v Emirates Team New Zealand. America's Cup Day 2, San Francisco. Emirates Team NZ fans at Marina Green

Oracle Team USA have gone on the offensive with their attack on Team New Zealand management, launched on Friday morning breakfast TV news in NZ. Grant Dalton followed up with an hour long radio interview on Sunday afternoon. We have both interviews in this edition.

Then Russell Coutts let go on Facebook, with a series of five questions for Kiwi fans on why it was OK for Oracle to have two boats to the Challenger's one each. Of course, he omitted to explain why the Defender needed to have two boats AND sail in the Challenger Selection Series, but that is par for the America's Cup.

Five time winner of the America’s Cup winner and Olympic Gold medalist, Russell Coutts
Yes, it's definitely game-on in the 35th America's Cup - we have all the action in this edition of Sail-World, and carry the ongoing news on our website www.sail-world.com

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

sailworldnzl@gmail.com

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San Francisco, 12/09/13 34th AMERICA’S CUP America’s Cup Final 5 Emirates Team New Zealand vs Oracle Team Usa Emirates Team New Zealand Director Grant Dalton


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