Of America´s Cup, Etchells in Oz, Samui and offshore multihulls

Emirates Team NZ training May 29, 2013
The America's Cup has got back into gear in San Francisco, with the first sailings for Challengers Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand, and the Defender Oracle Team USA has now resumed sailing.

So far there is still no answer to the question as to who is the fastest. We have been analysing video closely and have some ideas as to where the teams are strong, and not so good. But it is a work in progress as the team are obviously working hard on those weaknesses.

Over the last few days we have published a host of videos. The ones we pay most attention to are the Amateur-video - because they show long sailing sequences without heavy editing, which are a feature of the teams' videos which are produced to sell the sizzle rather than the steak.

Luna Rossa with Oracle Team USA17 astern - San Francisco, May 23, 2013

Similarly with images from both amateur and team sources.

Currently the challengers are continuing with their program from Auckland - a mix of straight line sailing and speed development. With Emirates Team NZ we are seeing a little more unsteadiness from what occurred in New Zealand. Whether that is a reflection on the puffy wind conditions, or testing new daggerboards, other developments and techniques, who knows? Their's to know, ours to find out. To help you find out - look at the videos and start picking the differences between the boats.

One thing that Emirates Team NZ have been doing very impressively, is the first reach of the America's Cup course - hitting the mark with speed, and doing beautiful carving gybes, with minimal speed loss during the gybe. The one mark rounding to go upwind is equally impressive. No foiling gybes have been seen - yet.

In the video we have seen, Oracle Team USA are only straight lining, their speed looks excellent. Stability excellent. A way better performance than we saw with the first boat, which struggled to get foiling properly,and then couldn't stay up in the air. The crashes back into the water might have made great photos, but they were not good for speed.

Spinnakers on day 2 - ADCO Etchells Australasian Winter Championship

Etchells Australasian Winter titles - World Champions set for battle. The Australasian Etchells Winter Championship which will be sailed off Mooloolaba from June 6-9th 2013 is shaping up to be one of the toughest in its 17 year history.

There will be around 40 one design Etchells yachts fighting it out, on the offshore Mooloolaba course over the Queen’s birthday weekend, with three past and current Etchells World Champions in the fleet. The Sail-World team will be on the water in Mooloolaba as it has been for the last six years. More in this newsletter.

Ichi Ban (foreground) and El Coyote battling it out in IRC Two. Photo by SamuiPics.com. - Samui Regatta 2013
Samuipics.com

The just finished Samui regatta provided some triumphs for Australian sailors with Matt Allen´s Ichi Ban winning nine races in a row in IRC division 2. It has been much closer in the 40 foot division in Asia, now amongst the hottest on the world stage and the Australian built Sydney GTS 43 is emerging as a very competitive design with two or even three more likely to join the Asian fleets.

TeamVodafoneSailing - Start Auckland Suva Race, 2013

On the New Zealand scene the 2014 Auckland to Bluff Race, is gaining momentum. So far there are eight inquiries or entries, with four of those coming from Australia.

Team Australia on way to the finish - New Sydney Hobart passage record holder Team Australia - blasts home
Jane Austin

Most significant of the Australian entries/enquiries is that of Sean Langman in the ORMA 60, Team Australia. Langman´s 60ft multihull, built to the same rule as the well-known New Zealand boat TeamVodafoneSailing recently smashed the Sydney Hobart passage time and she can potentially add some real interest to the Kiwi offshore race, particularly if she is joined by other large multihulls.

Because of strong weather conditions, especially in events like the Sydney to Hobart, multihulls are still not allowed to race alongside the monohull fleets in major Australian offshore events, and potentially the Auckland to Bluff Race could develop into the serious, and very spectacular offshore multihull event of the Southern Hemisphere.

And in a made for television moment Sir Ben Ainslie and his all British crew set a new race record aboard J.P.Morgan BAR in the J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round Island Race overnight.

2013,J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
Patrick Eden


Lots more news today with a busy sailing week ahead.