Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On the Water Boat Show

Fisher's View- Cascais - The finale – devil take the hindmost

by Bob Fisher on 15 Aug 2011
Emirates Team New Zealand sails around the spectator fleet before the final fleet race of the America’s Cup World Series in Cascais Portugal. 14/8/2011 Chris Cameron/ETNZ© http://www.chriscameron.co.nz

Bob Fisher, one of the worlds top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in Cascais, Portugal for the first round of the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having competed for Britain in the Little America's Cup and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967. After three rides on an AC45 on three consecutive days, he's developed a habit.

He writes:

Dear Diary – Day 10 The finale – devil take the hindmost - America's Cup World Series - Cascais, Portugal

We were pre-prepared for Plymouth this morning and treated to an introduction to the Facebook generation when ACTV supremo, Gary Lovejoy, described Plymouth Sound in football stadium-like terms. The Hoe, which is graced by Drake’s statue close to the spot where he allegedly played bowls as the Spanish Armada sailed into the English Channel, became 'The Kop' or the 'Stretford Road end' of the pitch.

One could tell then that the perceived audience for ACTV was radically different from any that the America’s Cup had generated in the past. But perhaps this is due to the heavy football background of many of the executive of ACEA. Successful on that field of pplay, they are expected to radicalise sailing coverage to attract audiences, while the Flintstones are forgotten.

And so to the so-called Super Sunday . . and the opportunity for Jimmy Spithill to demonstrate to the boss, Larry Ellison, how it should be done. Larry claimed the sixth man spot and Jimmy appeared to be ready to present the dainty dish to set before the king with a classic, well-timed run into the start to lead the fleet to the first mar and on down the run.
All looked set for Spithill to provide Larry Ellison with a double – the fleet race win to add to the match racing title he had scored on Saturday – particularly as he rounded the windward mark, at the halfway stage, with an 18 second lead. But as Jimmy headed to the starboard side of the run, Dean Barker and ETNZ headed for the port side, gybed and picked up a stronger breeze to go into the lead.

Terry Hutchinson in Artemis also managed to pass Spithill as he too was able to find a better slant of stronger breeze in the 5-9 knots of northerly breeze. The course available was fairly narrow, but this demonstrated the importance of constantly looking for the stronger breeze – the gradient across the course was not great but amplified by these exciting boats.

Catamaran racing is very different from any previous America’s Cup racing, but it is interesting to see that it is the younger members of the 'old faces of AC racing' that are appearing at the front of the fleet. They are rapidly learning the craft of multihull racing. One or two more experienced multihullers, like Mitch Booth of the China Team, are having their moments, but the loss of two key members of his crew before the series started did not aid his effort.

The big surprise however has been the performance of Chris Draper and Team Korea. The British former 49er world champion and Olympic bronze medallist, who has plenty of experience in Extreme 40s, took this fleet by storm and was undoubtedly the most improved team at this first World Series regatta. The seventh in the final race belies the strength of this team that was fourth in the match racing.

The last race gave the Luca Devotti inspired Spanish Green Comm team and opportunity to prove its ability. Luca has been promising improvement all week and while there is no doubting the talent, its coordination was dubious, but today’s fifth, just behind the two Oracle boats brought out all the old Devotti ebullience.

1983 Cup winner John Bertrand was sixth man aboard Emirates Team New Zealand – lucky devil. I wanted that seat.
Insun - AC ProgramYachtspot J Boats Sportsboats 660x82Harken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82

Related Articles

A Q&A with the RORC’s Nick Elliott about the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race
I caught up with Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, via email, to learn more about the world-famous Rolex Fastnet Race. When one stops to consider the world’s best ocean races, the Royal Offshore Racing Club’s Rolex Fastnet Race, which starts on Sunday, August 6, 2017, is never far from mind. I caught up with Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, via email to learn more about the race’s history and evolution, its challenges, and the amount of work that goes into pulling off this world-famous regatta.
Posted on 1 Aug
Tank killers
Not all that long ago, the US Army started using depleted Uranium shells. Not all that long ago, the US Army started using depleted Uranium shells. These shells were wickedly awesome at their job, which was killing enemy tanks in their tracks (and yes the pun is fully intended). The mighty, turbine powered, M1 Abrams became even more formidable, and their crews somewhat safer again.
Posted on 24 Jul
Ian Walker - Musto Ambassador on the Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup
Ian Walker on his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup We speak to Musto ambassador Ian Walker about his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup, his new desk job, sailing for fun, and 20 years of the John Merricks Sailing Trust.
Posted on 23 Jul
Black Jack Yachting. Bigger boat. Bigger team. Even bigger performance
Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus. Some were sail makers, like Skipper Mark Bradford and also Vaughan Prentice from North Sails’ Brisbane loft. Others were riggers, such as Bruce Clarke, and there are even boat builders, like Gary van Lunteren, as well as Ash Deeks.
Posted on 20 Jul
Gladwell's Line - America's Cup returns to its new home and thinking
Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness and will open a new era of America's Cup, New Zealand and World Sailing. A rookie crew won the most prestigious trophy in sailing, and one of the most difficult to win in any sport.
Posted on 29 Jun
SuperFoilers Are Go!
SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets in the great scheme of things, they come together in the one form as harmoniously as a Rolls Royce, and also deliver intense energy way past the sum of their parts, just like some amazing band.
Posted on 28 Jun
Poppy takes Australia to her dad who’s afflicted with Parkinson’s
It’s a very sad way to begin such a great voyage. Not that you would know from the ultra-effervescent Poppy Moore... It’s a very sad way to begin such a great voyage. Not that you would know from the ultra-effervescent Poppy Moore, mind you. So the chance to talk with her and learn her tale was fantastic, and she is also the best one to recount it. “I decided to sail around Australia to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s, because my father’s got Parkinson’s
Posted on 5 Jun
Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600 - It just works
Every now and then a boat just clicks. It has all the right bits, of the correct dimensions, in the appropriate places Every now and then a boat just clicks. It has all the right bits, of the correct dimensions, in the appropriate places, and out of it all you get something that simply sings. The Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600 is one of these craft. It was designed and built in parallel to the other, more well known versions of the brand’s vessels, and benefits from being more geared towards performance, without going tot
Posted on 23 May
The return to Coffs!
The word is out that the new race to Coffs Harbour is on. The phoenix would run once again in the Christmas timeslot The word is out that the new race to Coffs Harbour is on. The phoenix would run once again in the traditional Christmas timeslot, and also be the much easier to digest 200 or so miles. The ‘new’ race would also be geared towards club racers, so they, and their non-pro crews could be out and back, and almost more importantly, returned to work before anyone missed them. Bring it on...
Posted on 22 May
America's Cup - Southern Spars AC50 build for Emirates Team NZ + Video
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map 27 years after Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, Southern Spars were called on to build Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup Challenger. Here's a look behind the scenes at the composite engineering process Southern Spars employ on projects ranging from Volvo OR spars, to Olympic bike wheels to an AC50
Posted on 1 May