by Rod Davis
Emirates Team NZ’s AC72 flying low and fast up the Rangitoto Channel
Double Olympic medalist and long time US and NZL America's Cup crew, skipper and coach, Rod Davis, looks at AC72 land base drills
The show must go on. The team programme calls for crew drills and we are looking to create an AC72 cat racing environment complete with tacking, gybing and rounding marks. Never mind the weather forecast is foul, we go anyway.
The boys just have to tough it out as they run to the shed that houses the AC72. We are doing the whole short-course drill inside, out of the weather but more importantly it does not count as one of our sailing days.
When you are allowed only 30 days of sailing, you need to get creative in how you train.
There are eight grinding pedestals, 30 buttons to change linkage to drive different winches (twice as many as the old boats because you have two hulls to sail from), 190kg boards to go up and down, hydraulics that make an big jet aircraft look like a kids toy - and the boat is 46ft wide
With only 11 crew there are more jobs than you have hands… efficiently going from job to job will be the key.
Think it more like a rugby play walk through. Implant into everyone’s mind each person’s position now and in the next 10 seconds and to know instinctively what gear and linkage to be in, when to switch over to lift the board, or operate the hydraulics. Then the walk through goes a little faster and a little faster still.
Like a beep test, where you run from one edge of the court to the other, except we will have them running across the trampoline, jumping into position and grinding way.
Joe Allen, the crew coach is in charge and the whole exercise is videoed from several angles. Pity help the ones who still haven’t figured out their job or are lagging behind at the end of the session.
Me, I am responsible for making realistic as possible.
Bring on the fire hose. I love this job.