Emirates Team New Zealand are the top monohull sailing team in the world, with wins in America's Cup, two Audi MedCup wins in the TP52's, plus Louis Vuitton Trophy wins and more recently in the Extreme 40s. Plus the team have a wealth of experience in Round the World racing.
Puma, led by top US sailor, Ken Read, were the second placegetter in the last Volvo Ocean Race in what was, by their admission, as rushed campaign. So they are a good benchmark with a wealth of VOR70 sailing experience, which the other two teams lack, as teams - notwithstanding that there are some outstanding individual Volvo sailors aboard the boats.
So it will be a fascinating race - even just amongst the three teams we have mentioned.
We have reports in this edition from the World Match Racing scene - from the Nations Cup and the first round of the World Match Racing Tour, Match Race France.
NZ's Laurie Jury - One ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final 2011 Howard Wright /IMAGE Professional Photography - Copyright
On the back of the International Sailing Federation announcements last weekend on the Olympic Events for 2016, we have three stories on the developments that flow from that decision. Womens International Match Racing Director looks at where womens match racing is headed after the 2012 Olympics. The current world Tornado champions look at the impact of the Mixed Multihull on the catamaran scene. And there's a new contender on the Womens HP Skiff scene - although quite why any manufacturer would participate in an ISAF Evaluation Trial after the newly selected Womens Keelboat was ditched before it had even made one Olympic regatta.
We might live in a throw-away society, but that is ridiculous, and ignores the costs of all participants in the Evaluation trial, and the additional costs of the selected boat/manufacturer in bringing their one-design up to the ISAF requirements for Olympic competition.
No more news on the America's Cup Challenger of Record withdrawal, save for some trying to claim the situation is not unprecedented. That might be marginally correct in one situation, 1974 when the Royal Thames were left to run the Challenger Series after not having a boat. But that is a long time ago - before the advent of the Louis Vuitton Cup, and the notion that in the current circumstance that it is an option for a teamless Italian Club to be the Challenger of Record, and have the right of veto in matters of the Protocol is just bizarre.
The 1992-1995 situation where there was a Challenger of Record Committee, may be an option as previously discussed. However or the Event organisers, or the Club itself, to have now run for now three days without so much as a public word, is curious, to say the least.
The Hutchwilco New Zealand Boatshow is over for another year. We hope to have a report in a future issue. However despite all the economic gloom, by all reports the show was a resounding success, with people deciding that it is time to start spending and all the standholders we spoke to reported excellent sales, and were most encouraged about the economic situation ahead, for the marine industry.
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