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America's Cup- Rod Davis- Working with/against the old team

by Rod Davis on 2 Feb 2012
Emirates Team NZ and Luna Rossa wait for the wind © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

Emirates Team NZ's coach, Rod Davis describes what it is like working with Luna Rossa and coaching against his old team:

A change is like a holiday. We are back to training for racing, a week off from testing and development work on our SL33s and working through ideas for the new boat. I must say, it is very nice to be back in AC45 mode and doing ' real' coaching again.

Our dance partner this vacation is Luna Rosa. I should point out it is more of a mental vacation, than a physical one. The hours are long and the boys are being truly hammered with drills, practice racing and testing sail combinations. Still they come off the water buzzing, that same feeling when your brain says 'lets do more laps' but your body is struggling to keep up.

For me the Prada relationship is a pretty easy, because we speak the same language, no not Italian but the same language when it comes to running drills and races. When I say, we are going to run a 20 second drill or top-mark schmcale drill, both teams know what I mean and how to run the drill.


The reason is simple, I coached Luna Rossa through two America’s Cup campaigns. Steve Ericson, my counterpart over at Luna Rossa, was with me then and is still there now. Certainly that eases the teething pains of two teams, competitors in fact, working together.

Each of the teams has its goals. Simply put we have four big targets and dozens of smaller ones.

1- Help ACRM and ACTV with their new wing extension – the wings are 4.2 metres taller and need to be tested in every way before the next regatta in Naples. No one wants any unpleasant surprises at the last second.

2 – Race the crew for Naples. With the long gap between San Diego and Naples regattas, a polish up is in order so we ssen the risk of being a bit rusty.

3 - Up skill our sailing team, an on-going project for ETNZ that gets a big boost this week.

4 - Sail testing. We’ve got some new sails and boat speed ideas to try out. Tuning with Prada’s AC45 allows us to see if they work. The AC45s don’t have instruments to compare data, besides I prefer old-fashioned, two-boat tuning when it comes to learning about racing and speed.

Frenzied days, but I could not be happier.







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