Sail-World New Zealand: March 4, 2014 - Kiwis give Aussies the One Two

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C-Tech (NZ) heads for the finish line as the rest of the fleet follow - JJ Giltinan Championship 2014
Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for March 4, 2014

Unexpected light winds have played into the New Zealand team's hands on Day 4 of the JJ Giltinan Trophy sailed on Sydney harbour, on Tuesday.

After trailing a young Australian crew for most of the shortened race, New Zealand's Alex Vallings, with Chris Kitchen and Josh McCormack, fought hard in the light winds to hit the front on the final beat, and hung on downwind to score notable race win.

Not to be outdone a second New Zealand boat, Yamaha, helmed by David McDiarmid, with Andrew Archibald and Mark Overington, also slipped by the Panasonic Lumix crew just short of the finish line to make it a Kiwi One Two for the third race of the series.

Slow progress downwind - JJ Giltinan Championship 2014

This isn't your father's JJ Giltinan Trophy.

In bygone days there was no shortening of course - in 2014, so far none have gone the full distance.

Commercial considerations have meant that the series is being held later in the season to maintain interest in the class and season.

The downside of that decision is that winds are lighter and this has played into the hands of the lighter Kiwi crews, who are the first to get three stringing in the fickle Sydney breeze.

Today on Sydney harbour the two Kiwi boats picked all the shifts right and left the locals to find the holes and crannies in the breeze - on a course where local knowledge generally plays a huge premium.

We are carrying the racing live on Sail-World, starting at around 5.00pm in the late afternoon NZT, and delayed coverage the following day.

You can watch it it at home or in the office. Or, do like we did today, have it playing on your mobile phone - if you have an iPhone or Android smartphone.

Leaders at the bottom mark - Day 3, JJ Giltinan Trophy, Race 1

On Thursday morning, Sydney Harbour will be the launching point for the 35th America's Cup when Team Australia - the entry by Challenger of Record, Hamilton Island Yacht Club - launches their AC45 ahead of a work-up series against Defenders, Oracle Team USA.

The US entry is expected to be sailed mainly by Australians, who formed the nucleus of the winning crew in 2013, with 2012 Olympic Gold medallist, Tom Slingsby, helming the US Ac45.

The AC45's will be racing in their original state, and have not been converted for foiling.

Staying with the America's Cup, Sail-World's US editor, David Schmidt, who is based in Seattle, chats with fellow Seattle resident, Paul Bieker, one of the designers for Oracle Team USA.

Bieker paints a rather different picture of life within the US Defender as they looked to be disappearing down the San Francisco plug-hole in the first week of the regatta. And then elaborates on what turned the team around. Again that is quite a different view from the rather gung-ho accounts we have heard from the team publicists. but it is a remarkable story all the same - and a lot more credible.

Pictures of Alex Thomson the skipper of the Hugo Boss IMOCA Open 60 race yacht walking up the mast of his yacht whilst sailing. Credit - Lloyd Images/Alex Thomson Racing
Lloyd Images/Alex Thomson Racing

Late today we published the video of round the world sailor, Alex Thomson's remarkable stunt of walking up the mast of the 60ft canting keelboat, Hugo Boss, and then doing a dive from the 30 metre spar.

While the video has gone viral on the sailing interweb, we have several still images to accompany the video of the remarkable stunt.

We have also featured his earlier, more well known, keel riding attempt - on an earlier Hugo Boss sponsored yacht. That video has attracted over two million views in two years - which is really giving the sponsor a great return for their investment in Thomson's program.

Emirates Team NZ's AC72 would blitz the Coastal Classic record in the conditions forecast for the 2014 event.

This morning it was announced that anew owner had purchased a majority shareholding in North Technology Group - the local components of which comprise Southern Spars and North Sails.

We have carried the official media release, and have added several images from inside the impressive Southern Spars custom built facility in Avondale. The images don't really do justice to the facility in terms of the size and scale of the floor. Look closely at the size of the people in in some of the elevated images, and realise that the spars you can see on the factory floor are for Volvo 65's and bigger - right through to the top end of the superyacht market. Then you start to get some idea of the scale of things.

RG030214-437 - Southern Spars - inside the New Zealand spar manufacturing facility, part of the North Technology Group
Southern Spars

Don't forget to follow the JJ Giltinan Trophy live on Sail-World, starting at 5.00pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. It's great viewing. Where else are you going to see a top fleet of 34 18fters sailing in the one fleet?

Pictures of Alex Thomson the skipper of the Hugo Boss IMOCA Open 60 race yacht walking up the mast of his yacht whilst sailing. Credit - Lloyd Images/Alex Thomson Racing
Lloyd Images/Alex Thomson Racing
If you miss the race, make sure you catch the replays, highlights and post race interviews all on video, all on www.Sail-World.com/nz

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

sailworldnzl@gmail.com

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The finish as Gotta Love It 7 edges out Thurlow Fisher Lawyers - Day 3, JJ Giltinan Trophy, Race 1

RG030214-435 - Southern Spars - inside the New Zealand spar manufacturing facility, part of the North Technology Group
Southern Spars

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers just shades The KitchenMaker for fourth place - JJ Giltinan Championship 2014