Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Fisher's View- Day Zero ACWS San Francisco - Coutts on the ACWS

by Bob Fisher on 22 Aug 2012
Skippers Media Conference - America’s Cup World Series San Francisco 2012 Event 1. Back row, James Spithill (Oracle Team USA), Santiago Lange (Artemis Racing), Max Sirena (Luna Rossa), Yann Guichard (Energy Team), Dean Barker (Emirates Team New Zealand), Nathan Outteridge (Team Korea), Terry Hutchinson (Artemis Racing), Front Row – Russell Coutts (Oracle Team USA), Ben Ainslie (BAR Racing), Paul Campbell-Jones (Luna Rossa), Phil Robertson (Team China). ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/

Bob Fisher, one of the world's top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in San Francisco, CA, USA for the sixth round of the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having won the 1967 Little America's Cup, with Peter Schneidau on Lady Helmsman, and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

Dear Diary – Day Zero - America's Cup World Series - San Francisco, CA, USA

Russell Coutts was holding nothing back when he talked with a small media group the day before the America's Cup World Series 2012/2013 began. He was unreserved when asked about the relative merits of Match and Fleet racing: 'I think the guys who made the Deed of Gift, and changed the event from a fleet race to a match race, [if they were still about] would think the move was a pity.'

Coutts was clearly thinking of the spectacle he believed would take place on San Francisco Bay over the forthcoming five days, which will culminate in a winner-takes-all fleet race on Sunday. The high point of the week's racing, which everywhere the ACWS has been held previously has been the focus of spectator attention, is bound to be a major spectator attention grabber here and not so much attention will be devoted to the match racing.

Creaking at the seams - the result of back problems, Russell, who told me over a year ago: 'Fish, I'm too old for this sort of shit,' and promptly proved it the next day by pitch-poling an AC45 in San Francisco Bay, agrees that the younger sailors do have an advantage, but says that the older ones have their moments, particularly when the conditions are tricky.

Looking across at the four-time gold medallist, Ben Ainslie, he said that it would take even him time to acclimatise to multihull racing. I reminded him that he had said six weeks ago in Newport, RI: 'I can't wait to see young Benjamin go head-to-head with Jimmy.' That still holds true, but he thinks it will take Ainslie a full six months to be up to the same speed as Spithill.

Coutts will be sailing Oracle Team USA number 5 and admitted that he had raced against Ainslie: 'I had a match against Ben yesterday and he kicked my butt!' He added that he didn't expect him to do exceptionally well in the forthcoming regatta, but added: 'Come October [the next ACWS], watch this space.'

Against criticism of this venue, Coutts shrugged. There are strange currents and wind shifts but: 'The best sailors are those who can read the wind and current on the water,' he said, adding: 'Some of my favourite places to race are like that - Cowes and the Solent, for example.'

He predicted that the AC72s would be more dramatic than the AC45s and that curved foils would present a new series of problems. There would be times when straight foils would be quicker, and that the difference would be marked. 'The best teams will be those who adapt quickly to changes,' he said, adding: 'there could be a difference in 2-3 knots between boats if trim changes go wrong, particularly with the boards.'

Next time the Cup is held, Coutts wants to see a significant cost reduction, even suggesting boats of 55 or 60 feet as being big enough to be significant to the spectators. Times, they could be a'changing.

Cheers,
Bob

PS. It's bloody cold here!

Wildwind 2016 660x82Harken AUS Reflex 660x82Hamilton Island Luxury

Related Articles

America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
34th America's Cup - Oracle pumping claims are flawed - Update
Claims that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 34th America's Cup are seriously flawed Claims by an American journalist, Bruce Knecht that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 2013 America's Cup are seriously flawed. The allegations received considerable airplay in New Zealand on Friday and over the weekend.
Posted on 6 Mar
America's Cup - Another win for Oracle Team USA in California Courts
America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away another complaint America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away a complaint brought by former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell. Mitchell's complaint against his former team was dismissed by a San Francisco Court on Wednesday. The amount of damage/injury claimed was stated as $400,000.
Posted on 12 Feb
America's Cup - No action against Kiwi sailor, but rule changes made
The International Sailing Federation has changed the process for Rule 69 Hearings in line with CAS recommendations One of the Oracle Team USA crew members found by the International Jury to have been involved in boat tampering activities with the America's Cup World Series regattas ahead of the 34th America's Cup has not been further penalised by the International Sailing Federation.
Posted on 19 Nov 2015
Star Sailor League - Szabo and Ducommun take Championship and $25,000
The Star Sailors League Lake Grand Slam champions are George Szabo (USA) and Patrick Ducommun (SUI) after a thrilling fo The Star Sailors League Lake Grand Slam champions are George Szabo (USA) and Patrick Ducommun (SUI) after a thrilling four-boat final in light winds on Lake Neuchatel. It was the only race in a total of ten that the pair had won. They take the US$ 25,000.00 first prize.
Posted on 13 Sep 2015
Star Sailors League - Finalists decided on Lake Neuchatel
The third day of the Star Sailors League Lake Grand Slam was “on hold” for hours The third day of the Star Sailors League Lake Grand Slam was “on hold” for hours due to a lack of breeze on Lake Neuchatel, and finally called off at 1600. Races 8 & 9 will not be held.
Posted on 12 Sep 2015
America's Cup - ISAF and Cup Jury summonsed by California Court
Five members of the AC34 Int Jury and the Int Sailing Federation have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court The International Sailing Federation, the controlling body for world sailing, and the five individuals who made up the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court, to answer a lawsuit.
Posted on 9 Sep 2015
Dean Barker's Blog - Back into the racing
Five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on his split with Team New Zealand and life since Writing on his blog at Kiwi Yachting Consultants' websites, of which he is a substantial shareholder and director, five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on life since Team NZ. This is my first blog for quite some time. In fact since September last year when I was still a part of Team NZ racing in Istanbul for the Extreme Sailing Series.
Posted on 20 Apr 2015
America's Cup- Mitchell fires new salvo at ISAF Jury Officials
Matthew Mitchellhas advised that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members Matthew Mitchell, previously a member of Oracle Team USA, has issued a media release advising that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members with the sport's International governing body (ISAF). This action follows on from his recent claims about the actions of another team member Simeon Tienpont, now with Challenger Luna Rossa.
Posted on 5 Feb 2015