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06 Aug 2013
Sail-World New Zealand: August 6, 2013 - Countdown to the Semi-Finals
Tomorrow, Wednesday, the Semi-Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup get underway.
For New Zealand fans the series is of academic interest only. Their boat has gone through to the Finals, and it would be a huge upset for her not to become the Challenger for the 34th America's Cup.
While the superstitious might cringe at that remark, it is the reality.
This week in San Francisco, Emirates Team New Zealand have been putting the final edges on their preparation.
Not a lot is being said about new developments, however one of Sail-World's team in San Francisco, Chuck Lantz, was on the water and captured some interesting shots of the New Zealand boat foiling on a near windward course. Whether she was sailing an efficient course was not clear. However what was amazing was the amount of twist able to be carried in NZL5's wingsail (pictured above).
Of the two protagonists, Luna Rossa have said very little, and will be looking to step up from their performances against Emirates Team NZ, in what was supposed to be the Round Robin phase of the regatta.
Artemis Racing will like Rolling Stone Keith Richard's oft-repeated quote at live concerts 'Pleased to be here; pleased to be anywhere'. The fact that they have made the start line is a major achievement. Anything they achieve on the race course will be a bonus.
The third member of Sail-World's team in San Francisco, Bob Fisher caught up with Artemis Racing's Adam May earlier this week, and we carry his thoughts on what Artemis Racing has been able to achieve in seven days of sailing. Also included are a couple of videos with the Artemis crew members, who by any measure are an extremely talented group. But even for them, progressing to the next round will be a big ask.
In this edition of Sail-World.com's newsletter, we feature the build up for both teams as they enter the knockout phase of the regatta. Our coverage includes official video plus the much-lauded Am-Cam video from John Navas, which really shows the AC72's at their best with long lingering sequences - catching that last bit of a foiling gybe, or watching an AC72 head off into the distance on San Francisco Bay.
We also cover several Decisions handed down by the International Jury. The first covers the creation of Hero Shots by the America's Cup Events Authority, where Luna Rossa claimed their image had been defaced. There were some interesting twists in that one, where the ACEA admitted the shot complained of had been taken off Takapuna - so it wasn't one from the Event. Also while they claimed that the yachts had not been defaced, they left Luna Rossa's yacht club insignia on one, albeit inadvertently.
The others concerned the No-Shows by Luna Rossa - resolved by payment of $70,000 to two Charities plus Jury costs of $20,000. Then there was the series of Questions asked by Emirates Team NZ regarding the status of Defence Trials and other matters. We think the Jury got that one wrong, but it is a complex case with the Decision running to 14 pages.
Main action for the week will come not in San Francisco, but in La Rochelle, France at the World 470 Championships.
Normally in a post Olympic year, one would expect the competition to be diminished. But with many countries now running the system where grants for the coming 12 months are substantially based on performances in class World Championships, these post-Olympic Worlds are keenly contested by both the competitors from the previous cycle looking to go again, but also by those looking to make their mark for 2016.
New Zealand has got off to a good start with reigning Olympic Champions, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie leading the Womens fleet after the first day, while Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox are third overall. The Australian crew, also Gold Medalists in 2012 at Weymouth, lead the Mens fleet – so at first blush things would seem to have taken up pretty much where they left off.
We'll cover this regatta on a daily basis with the excellent daily reports from Yachting New Zealand's Jodie Bakewell-White, and the official reports, plus what we can find on individual blogs and social media.
A couple of significant sponsorship announcements came across our desk yesterday, with the Coastal Classic becoming the PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic. And on the other side of Christmas, the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta has announced that Port of Auckland becomes the naming rights sponsor.
Not a lot has been heard from the Volvo Ocean Race, due largely to the focus on the America's Cup.
Yesterday, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing announced that top British Round the World Sailor and Olympian Neal McDonald would be joining the team. We carry the story in this issue, along with photos of the first of the Volvo Ocean 65's under construction at Green Marine.
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