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sail-world.com -- Rod Davis: Thoughts on San Diego - Before and After

Rod Davis: Thoughts on San Diego - Before and After    
Tue, 15 Nov 2011


Coach, Rod Davis writes for ETNZblog.com on his return to his hometown, San Diego for the America's Cup World Series.

First he reflects on the Port Challenge Series, and in a prior posting he previews the series and presents an interesting statistic

So far, so good. May be too good

The first two days of the Port Cities Challenge, in San Diego are done and dusted. A practice regatta for the big show, as the points don’t carry forward to the rest of the America’s Cup World Series.

Superstition has it that winning the practice regatta is bad luck. Let’s hope not, at least this time.

A win for Emirates Team New Zealand should not have been in the cards. The sailing team got to San Diego the evening before the first race, after a 12-hour flight and three-hour drive to, and then down the west coast of California.

It was not an ideal build up, especially as the other teams had been sailing for quite a few days. The game plan was to knock the rust off and be 'good to go' by Wednesday when the real racing starts. But there you go, sailboat racing is unpredictable. Expect the unexpected.

Why did we win? By and large we started well, had decent speed, and a few breaks fall our way. We realise and acknowledge the teams that did the training, have improved noticeably from Plymouth, and that would be all the other teams.

Still, if we improve with each day, we should be able to neutralise the lack of time sailing on the Bay. Still winning the practice regatta…… all my years with the Italians has made be superstitious

On a personal note it a good feeling to see your children succeed. Hannah works for the race management of ACWS. Many of the boys say the race management works for her. Certainly her organisational and people skills are working well for her (something Hannah got from her mother!) What is the bit disconcerting is the power shift. America’s Cup is my world, Hannah has only been in it tiny fraction of time, yet Hannah is no longer my daughter….I am her Dad….. The power shift is complete.

Rod Davis blogs on his home town – San Diego

This week we are back in San Diego to prepare for the third ACWS event. (America’s Cup World Series) Translation: we are going to race the 45ft winged cats in San Diego harbour.

It’s home town for me, I grew up (if I ever really grew up) and was educated by the California education system. (If I ever really got educated). Coronado High School class of 'a while ago'.

San Diego harbour is home to the biggest US Naval base in the Pacific. They have it all here, aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, ships of every description, and planes. The Navy love their planes as much as their boats.

There is a constant stream of weird aircraft landing at the Coronado’s North Island Naval Station. The Top Gun school is just a few miles inland. It’s an exciting place if you into hardware of war, which would be about every male between five and ninety five.

Interestingly, perhaps even surprisingly, the spectators of San Diego might not be blown away by the sight of a winged cat ripping along the water. Remember, San Diego local boy Dennis Connor did a 65ft cat with a wing back in 1988 to rout New Zealand’s 'big boat' monohull.

In 2006 Oracle used the ideal conditions to develop their massive wing for the trimaran before shipping it all to Valencia and the infamous DOG match.

Still the locals have not seen more than one wing in action at any one time. In a few weeks they will see nine. Should be a good show.

From the strange but true file: percentages of sailors from the country of their challenge for the next America’s Cup

USA – Oracle 5% (one person)

France - Team Energy 83%

Sweden – Artemis 6% (one person)

France – Aleph 88%

Korea – Team Korea 0%

Spain – Green Com. 15%

China - Team China 20%

New Zealand – ETNZ 90%

Food for thought.

Coach

by Rod Davis



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