Sail-World New Zealand: January 12, 2013 - The AC intrigue continues

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Wild rides - 12ft Skiff Interdominions, Day 5, Worser Bay, Wellington, NZ
Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for January 12, 2014

Despite having ended over three months ago , the 34th America’s Cup still pulls the headlines, with major features being run in NZ newspapers, and with the International Sailing Federation, running its own five part series between Gary Jobson and Jimmy Spithill.

Jobson is an America’s Cup winner (back in 1977), an America’s Cup commentator and also an ISAF Vice President – so this is more than just another interview with another journalist.

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San Francisco 34th AMERICA'S CUP America's Cup final Oracle Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand Race 16 Photo: © LUNA ROSSA/Carlo Borlenghi

As time goes on a few more cats get released from the bag, and a few interesting points come out of the ISAF series which we feature in this edition. Here’s one short extract:

'Now the physical changes, what did we do? We re-turned the wing a little bit so we basically, we powered up the bottom flaps a little bit more. That's , I guess, the equivalent of really just powering up your mainsail or setting your mast up to just put some more shape there. Essentially dropping some rig aft in your boat. The other thing we did was take off the long spine, the bowsprit I guess you could call it. That was aggressive because if we had any light air races, which we had a couple, and if we had taken that off, we were lost. Plain and simple.

The Code Zero sail which is a lot like a genniker for the sailors in here, we basically need about nine or 10 knots plus to not need that. So we'd just foil them downwind, get on the jib and the apparent wind would just drag you down to a deeper angle. But it was like a 6 or 7 hour job and often we would make the call at midnight based on weather modelling. It was a huge amount of pressure for our weather team and for all of us to take on. And we were making this call at 6:00am. But it made a difference.


San Francisco 34th AMERICA'S CUP America's Cup final Oracle Team USA Race 16 Photo: © LUNA ROSSA/Carlo Borlenghi

Little has been heard to date from the Emirates Team NZ side. But in this newsletter we feature an interview with team coach, Rod Davis, who looks at some of the factors and errors made by the Challenger, and also what he sees coming down the track for the 35th America’s Cup. Here’s a couple of extracts

'The major mistake that I see in the campaign was letting the world know we were foiling way too early. From a Sponsor, Press and Public point of view it was a coup, but for the big picture and winning the Cup, it was a liability' he says.

Davis discounts the notion that regardless of Emirates Team NZ’s first foil-borne flypast up the Waitemata Harbour, and subsequent foiling with TVNZ on board, the other teams, with their spy and surveillance programs, would have spotted the foiling AC72 anyway.

'They didn’t know the extent of it, however. We could have kept the extent of it a lot quieter.'

'It wouldn’t have happened in the Russell Coutts' era of Team New Zealand. In 2000, they changed bows out on the water, out of sight of spies, so nobody knew they were doing it,' he recalls.


L to R: BAR team members Paul Goodison, Sir Ben Ainslie and Matt Cornwell stand in front of the J.P. Morgan BAR AC45 at the London Boat Show 2014, ExCeL, London.

For the last couple of days we have been reading an advance copy of 'Winging It', the first book to be published after the 34th America’s cup.

We’ll be publishing a review on this, once we have a full copy. But it is very much from the American perspective, and a must buy for all the new fans of the America’s Cup, as it describes the intricacies of the event going right back to the first race in 1852.

One of the interesting aspects of the book is its coverage of the development of the AC72 rule, and the various options were looked at and decisions made – and then long-time Cup fans can reflect on how those impacted on the final outcome of the regatta.

But while most commentators have focus on what happened at the end of the regatta, the key factor is just how Oracle Team USA got the time they did to effect the changes to turn the regatta around. By our calculations racing only took place as scheduled on just six of the 15 race days, making the 34th America's Cup one the worst, if not the worst to be affected by weather and winds exceeding wind limits.

Matt Stevens and Emma Berry (NZL) 12ft Skiff Interdominions, Day 4, Worser Bay, Wellington, NZ

The 12ft skiff class are about as far away from the America’s Cup class rules as you can get – the Ultimate Box Rule – 12ft long and almost anything goes.

The class has been staging its Interdominion Championship at Worser Bay, Wellington over the past week. New Zealand crews took the top three placings. Alex Vallings and Fraser Brown winning the overall title and the Silasec Trophy, after winning two races on the final day. The top Australian crew, Nick Press and Tim Barraclough finished a very close fourth – just one point out of third. Four Australian crews finished in the top ten – so while the New Zealanders won the Brooke Trophy for teams points, it was a good regatta – with the ANZAC skiffie spirit still burning strongly.

Suffice to say the 12fters provide some of the most spectacular images seen on the interweb and they certainly obliged at Worser Bay as Wellington turned on the breeze – as only Wellington can do. Catch several galleries of great images from Garrick Cameron in this edition.

Alex Valling and Fraser Brown - C-Tech - 12ft Skiff Interdominions, Day 5, Worser Bay, Wellington, NZ

We don’t have a final report as yet, but have put together the information and results as best we can, please stay tuned to www.sail-world.com for the contest wrap, when it comes available.

At Tauranga, the most historic trophies in junior sailing, the Tanner and Tauranga Cups have been sailed. We have reports on both series in this edition.

Wakatere Boating Club’s Kate Stewart, has become just the third ever female winner of the Tauranga Cup.

Kate Stewart (Wakatere Boating Club) winner of the 2014 Tauranga Cup.
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Stay tuned to Sail-World.com/nz website for all the latest news.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

sailworldnzl@gmail.com

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