Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Dinghy Wetsuits

America's Cup- Roaring Kiwi Thunder in San Francisco

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 9 Sep 2013
Dean Barker and crew acknowledge their fans on shore after winning their second race of the day. - America’s Cup Chuck Lantz http://www.ChuckLantz.com
Take a walk around the America’s Cup Park, located at Pier 27/29 in San Francisco, and you’ll immediately notice three things: a sea of t-shirts proudly displaying Emirates Team New Zealand’s (ETNZ) colors, lots of Kiwi and Aussie accents and huge New Zealand flags. The Stars and Stripes are also present, of course, but in smaller doses (both physical size and sheer number) and with far less national zeal than the Kiwi contingency.

Imagine the Super Bowl, the World Series and the Stanley Cup taking place on the same day. For the Kiwi team and their loyal fans who travelled half a world to see the 34th America’s Cup, this regatta represents the absolute pinnacle of professional sports (with the possible exception of rugby), and, as ETNZ skipper Dean Barker has said on several occasions in so many words, ‘nothing less than victory will do’.


Step outside the media center and listen to the howls and cheers of excitement, all issued in an antipodean accent, and it becomes dead obvious that Barker’s words perfectly echo that of his countrymen. Nothing less than victory will do, but, based on ETNZ clean sweep yesterday, that’s now starting to become more and more of a possibility.

As for American fans, ours is a harder lot to rally around. Sure, Oracle Team USA is populated with some of the best sailors in the world, their leadership comprised of some of the biggest and most revered names in sailing and their design team spot-on.

The worry? The same thick antipodean accents that are heard from ETNZ’s boat during the races can also be heard from the comms coming off the 'American' boat. Sure, Old Glory flies high from Oracle’s mighty wingmast, but there just simply isn’t the same panache amongst American fans as there is from the Kiwi contingency.



To be fair, Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA’s Australian skipper, is a huge name around the San Francisco waterfront, but in the States it’s baseball and football players who command the limelight, not sailors.

Even with the AC34 posters and flyers all over town, odds are good that Spithill could walk into a pub or restaurant on the other side of town without causing too much of a stir. Juxtapose that with Barker’s likely reception anywhere in Auckland (depending, of course, on how this week goes), and, well, the pixels self-populate.

Couple this with some legitimate bad PR that Oracle earned through their 'dervish in a dolphin striker' revelations from last month, and it becomes a bit more clear as to why more American/Oracle fans decided to be less vocal than their 'friends' from DownUnder, even if the crew also includes ace American sailors such as tactician John Kostecki, grinder Rome Kirby and Tom Slingsby, who is half American and half Australian (his mother is a Yank).

So what does this nationalistic banter have to do with the racing? Nothing, of course, but a fan can’t help but wonder if this is having any sort of psychological impact on the 'American' team as they attempt to defend.

Couple this with the fact that Oracle now needs to win eleven of the next fifteen regularly scheduled AC34 races to successfully defend, while ETNZ only needs to win seven more bullets to take sailing’s greatest prize back to Auckland, and Oracle’s true psychological nature comes into focus.



The weather is currently foggy in SFO, but the morning sun is burning off this layer and the forecast calls for relatively light winds, so hopefully the Race Committee can rifle-off another two great races today.

For anyone planning a visit, Marina Green offers amazing views of the course, while the America’s Cup Park is the best spot on the waterfront to take-in the finishing-line action. Just be prepared for a roar of Kiwi spirit, as all of New Zealand is demanding nothing less of their team than a rousing victory and the corresponding celebrations in Auckland.

Perhaps Oracle fans should consider this case study and wave Old Glory a bit higher in the San Francisco sky during today’s races.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearMusto 2016 660x82 3Sail Exchange 660x82 1

Related Articles

It’s all moving on…
The starting point was seeing that Phaedo3 had taken Line Honours in the Newport Harbour YC Cabo Race. The starting point was seeing that Phaedo3 had taken Line Honours in the Newport Harbour YC Cabo Race. I am still thinking about Miles Seddon’s great material about what is like on board from So What’s It Really like? True, he was not there for this run down the West coast of the North American landmass, but it is a little akin to his ‘spray back vortex’, the vacuum caused by the incredible feats
Posted on 20 Mar
MYC Helly Hansen Women's Challenge 2017 - Crosbie Lorimer Images
In what is fast becoming a tradition, the Manly Yacht Club Helly Hansen Women's Challenge keelboat races started off In what is fast becoming a tradition, the Manly Yacht Club Helly Hansen Women's Challenge keelboat races started off in wet weather today (Sunday), before clearing to a fine afternoon. The fleet of 23 yachts enjoyed moderate 15-18 knot east nor'easterlies for their harbour course. Little Nico, skippered by Sonja Walters, with Katie Spithill at the helm, relished the downwind running
Posted on 19 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
Securely moored to the quay, or cast adrift?
With boating, you have to cast the lines off in order to go and get into it. With boating, you have to cast the lines off in order to go and get into it. However, when it comes to your insurer, you kind of expect that they’re going to be as bound to you as the standing rigging is to the mast, the ring frames to the hull, or the engine mounts to the runners, and the propellers to the shafts, skegs and cutlass bearings. Whom would you rather be insured with?
Posted on 15 Mar
So what’s it really like?
For ages now, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and 24-hour runs For ages now, well it seems like that anyway, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and incredible 24-hour runs. In their own very unique way they totally represent the technical avant-garde, and thank God for that. Where would we be without their impressive shapes, wonderful rigs, and now of course, foiling magic.
Posted on 6 Mar
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Sydney Hobart Race-Dark and stormy, well because it is Dark and Stormy
Proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart Well it is now dark and the rain 'storms' have passed, but proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart, the custom Murray 37, Dark & Stormy had a wonderful exchange on the radio. Quite possibly it was co-owner and Navigator Terry Courts on the VHF in the super-frank exchange with Hobart Race Control at around 1928hrs on 29/12/16.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016