Welcome to Sail-World.com New Zealand for April 19, 2014
We had some great feedback from the image gallery of Steinlager 2, which was posted on our website earlier in the week, along with some notes on how the former Round the World Race winner is being used by her new custodians, the NZ Sailing Trust.
As we note in the story, the NZ Sailing Trust has 28 schools in their program, and are always keen to add more. Or if you are a corporate looking to do some team building one day aboard Steinlager 2, give the Trust a call.
Often these schools are Decile 1 schools, where the kids just don't have the opportunities that the kids from better socioeconomic areas have.
Going for a sail on a yacht like Steinlager 2, must be a fantastic experience for these youngsters. You can see it on their faces. Hopefully some of the inspiration from the day will stick - whatever they do in life.
On the back of the Yachting NZ report on the involvement of New Zealanders involved in the AC45 boat tampering, speculation has picked up internationally with US sources saying that Oracle Team USA wingsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder (NED) has been given a five year suspension from the sport by the International Sailing Federation's Disciplinary Commission.
On the basis of our research, it would seem that the recommended penalty is quite excessive given that de Ridder has already spent six months out of the sport, and has lost the opportunity to be part of the winning crew in the 34th America's Cup. A five year ban from the sport will take him out of the next Volvo Ocean Race, and will even extend out to 2018 - which will see him miss the 35th America's Cup as well.
On top of that, as a professional sailor, he suffers a complete loss of income for that period, unless he takes a role as a consultant or coach. A financial penalty of that magnitude on an individual is excessive, by any measure.
The matter will go before the ISAF's Review Board - who can accept the Disciplinary Commission recommendation, or modify it.
In a story we look at the issues surrounding this recommendation, there is a lot more downstream, if ISAF do decide to proceed along the path that has been prescribed.
The inexplicable part of the whole saga, is why Oracle Team USA members would have even bothered to try and cheat the class measurements in this way. The changes are so minor, and barely speed enhancing to be worth the effort - let alone the horrendous consequences. While Oracle Team USA management may complain about the penalty and treatment they have received, at the same time they owe their fans an open explanation as to why this cheating took place and why so many of their team were involved. But frankly, the time for that has passed.
The rumoured penalty does have some serious ramifications for the sport at all levels, not the least of which is the questioning of individual officials to the level of scrutiny that the International Jury have been subjected to by others. At the same time, that judicial body cannot defend itself and put out their side of the affair - as competitors and teams insist on a very selective confidentiality. The Jury are now subject to a very selective trial by social media.
Looking ahead to the 35th America's Cup, for which the Protocol has not yet been released, we feature an excellent interview by San Francisco based yachting correspondent, Kimball Livingston, with Gino Morrelli - the other half of the noted US design team Melvin and Morrelli.
In this interview (we did a similar one with Pete Melvin last February during the A-class catamaran worlds), Morrelli sets out their approach with the AC62 and the concepts. Certainly they have learned from the AC72 experience, and have sat down with Oracle Team USA and the other teams to work out the parameters for the new boats.
The upshot would seem to be that the AC62 will be similar in speed to her older sister, but safer, and easier for the teams to run. Hopefully those factors will encourage more teams into the 35th America's Cup.
On Wednesday night and Thursday morning, Auckland was battered by strong winds and rain. Gusts in excess of 60kts recorded in the Auckland harbour entrance.
Those winds and sea conditions forced the postponement of the start of the International Paints Auckland to Tauranga Race from 10.00am to 4.00pm, Friday. The fleet has now finished with the Elliott 35 Crusader taking line honours and a second Elliott Bushido taking second place almost two hours later. There was a big lead change on the Coromandel coast, just hours from the finish - we have the details in our story, and the change can be seen in the waypoint times.
In this edition we have a short story of the conditions experienced on Thursday, with a couple of graphics from PredictWind.com showing some of the features of the storm. However it is at time like this when PredictWind's new mobile app comes into its own.
Our preference is to look at PredictWind on an Android phone with a large screen - and you literally have the latest weather at your finger tips - from predictions to actual observations.
Giacomo (NZL) blasts to the Junction Bell mark off South Head - SOLAS series Crosbie Lorimer
For instance, on late Thursday morning a viewer could see that the winds were still predicted to be strong until midday or early afternoon. From the observations, we could see that the breeze had moderated a little and has started to swing north, but on the east coast at Great Mercury Island, it was still averaging 50kts. Using the weather routing feature, if the race started at 4.00pm, then the Volvo 70 Giacomo would take 9hrs and 25 minutes for the race, which is equal to the race record. Unfortunately Giacomo elected not to race after the delayed start - so we will never know, but in the past when Predictwind has been used to predict race finish times and placings, its calculations have been very accurate against the data known at the time of the forecast.
Not bad for a phone that sits in your pocket, is it?
Womens sailing, in our view, generally still gets a bad rap. That is despite the ISAF moving (under the cosh of the IOC) to make sailing a more gender equal sport. Despite the introduction of new Olympic skiff and catamaran classes, women sailors never seem to be able to get considered at the level where they would be included in a full race crew on merit.
Sure there are some exceptions, but generally that is not the case.
In this edition we feature the new direction taken by Olympic Gold medalist and Twice Rolex Sailor of the Year, Anna Tunnicliffe who is now following the dual path of CrossFit competition and Extreme 40 sailing.
Anna Tunnicliffe - combining CrossFit with sailing Anna Tunnicliffe
Tunnicliffe is tactician aboard Alinghi - a situation encouraged by the weight restrictions, and the opportunity to carry one lighter weight sailor aboard. Some have opted for a lightweight male sailor. Others have opted to take a woman on board and there some top women sailors now competing in the Extreme 40's. Tunnicliffe is tactician and can be seen working on the boat, doing what is required physically, and then at the end of the race she heads for the back end of the boat for a debrief with the helmsman.
Those who watched her in the Extreme Sailing Series may have seen her trip on a rope and head overboard. The commentators reported that she had grabbed onto the crossbeam and had done a quick chin-up to get back on board. Anna says she caught herself with her right leg and left hand on a rope as she slipped off and flicked herself back on board, fortunately without touching the water - as they were winning that race. Either way it is a superb physical achievement, but with her level of training, should not surprise.
Anna Tunnicliffe's CrossFit program has taken Womens sailing to a new level of physical strength and fitness, and hopefully the day is not too far off when crew selectors look at a Womens sailing Gold medalist with the same enthusiasm as do a Mens Gold Medalist.
This weekend we have plenty coming up with a host of National Championships already underway, the Auckland to Tauranga Race has finished and a Solo Trans Tasman is getting underway. We have our first report from the Toyota Optimist Nationals - which has attracted a fleet of 272 young sailors from four countries.
Stay tuned - and if you are involved in one of those events, please send your news through on the link below.
Anna Tunnicliffe - combining CrossFit with sailing Anna Tunnicliffe
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