Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

America's Cup 2013 - On Match Point

by . on 19 Sep 2013
Oracle Team USA in action Oracle Team USA media
Welcome to Sail-World.com's latest Newsletter for the 34th America's Cup

Wind limits once again robbed fans and the sailors of another race in the 34th America’s Cup.

This time the hair trigger on the wind limit was activated just a few seconds before the start – where the wind cannot average more than the 19.9kt limit for more than 30 seconds.

On Monday the whole day was lost due to strong winds, and several other days have been restricted to just one race per day.

The wind alarm was triggered as Emirates Team New Zealand were on Match Point for the regatta. Both competitors ignored the radio call, and kept racing.

Despite starting at the unfavoured port entry into the start box, Emirates Team NZ adopted different tactics and confounded Oracle Team USA, by using a regular timed start to hit the line with pace and were in the lead at Mark 1.

Things being what they are they were well on the way to securing an America’s Cup win, but that will have to wait for another day.

At the media conference, Oracle Team USA tactician Ben Ainslie, said he had heard the radio call before the boats crossed the line, but ignored it – in case he had mis-heard, and didn’t want to be accused of botching a vital America’s Cup race on the basis of a misunderstood radio call.


While everyone understands that safety measures were introduced after the Artemis disaster, the effect of these has robbed the 34th America’s Cup of a lot of local following. Particularly when sailing savvy fans know that a normal wind limit is around 25 kts and is not adjusted for tidal flow.

Race 11 was everything that we have come to expect in this America’s Cup.

A close race between two very high speed catamarans, sailed by extremely competent crews, who are developing their boats and sailing techniques as the series progresses, to the point where there is almost no certainty who will win on a given day and if one team enjoyed an advantage one day, it can easily vanish the next.

This is not your father’s America’s Cup, where the outcome of the regatta was known five minutes after the first cross.

This is something the likes of which has never been seen in sailing before, and which may never be seen again.

Hopefully that will not be the case, and the sailing vision which Larry Ellison planned and underwrote is just magnificent sport.


What slips most people by, when the speeds are discussed, and closing speeds in particular, and comparisons are inevitably made with motor racing or some such anachronism.

The factor that too many commentators put their hand over, is that these boats are achieving these speeds through wind power alone. Until San Francisco in September 2013, it was hard to imagine travelling at power boat speeds (in fact most powerboats couldn’t keep up with these AC72’s) and just powered by wind force alone.

Isn’t that the ultimate green sport?

The ingenuity behind these boats just has to be seen to be believed, and they are a tribute to man’s creative thinking and applied engineering.

As the 34th America’s Cup marches to what most believe will be an inevitable conclusion, thoughts turn to the future.

Certainly most whole heartedly want to stay with this concept of boat, but are aware of the need to get more competitors into the game, and believe that can be done by dramatically lowering the costs.

The only way to do this is to tackle the issue head on, and introduce salary caps, and budget caps. They exist in other sports and the penalties for breach are so eye-watering you wouldn’t contemplate a work-around for fear of being caught.


Fiddling with the boat size won’t work. Even if the regatta were held in a tiny P-class dinghy, you are dealing with a breed that could assemble a 30 strong design team to develop the ultimate 7fter, and add another 30 into the support team.

Simply if the objective is to reduce cost, then the 65% of the budget that is personnel must be addressed head-on.

Anything else is just fiddling around the edges, and will yield the same result as all the other so-called cost cutting measures – failure.

That’s all from me from San Francisco. It’s been a great ride and I’ve enjoyed every moment – and there have been some absolute jaw-droppers on the water.


Full marks to Larry Ellison for creating this event. He doesn’t receive the credit he is due in his home town. He’s been out on the water most days and hopefully he can at least take the self-satisfaction that he has been able to lift the sailing game to a place where it has never been before.

This will be remembered as a fantastic event – but one which can be improved and taken to another level. But those are questions for another day.

Stay tuned to our website www.Sail-World.com for daily updates on how the action finally unfolds in the 34th America’s Cup.

I am heading back to Auckland now and will be heading straight to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron to watch race 12 and possibly 13.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell

Sail-World's America's Cup News Editor

To subscribe a friend to Sail-World's FREE newsletter http://www.sail-world.com/canada/newsletter_subscribe.cfm!click_here


Stay up with the latest sailing news, as it happens, on our website www.sail-world.com


Zhik Dinghy 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

So what’s it really like?
For ages now, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and 24-hour runs For ages now, well it seems like that anyway, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and incredible 24-hour runs. In their own very unique way they totally represent the technical avant-garde, and thank God for that. Where would we be without their impressive shapes, wonderful rigs, and now of course, foiling magic.
Posted on 6 Mar
The price of legacy
Malcolm Page OAM, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist, became the Chief of Olympic Sailing for the USA on January 1 Malcolm Page OAM, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist (470) with Nathan Wilmot in 2008 and Mat Belcher in 2012, became the Chief of Olympic Sailing for the USA on January 1 this year. In and of itself it is hardly the freshest news, and well and truly yesterday’s fish wrapper. It was also a wise choice on behalf of Team USA, for he has succeeded in both the physical and commercial arms of our sport.
Posted on 5 Feb
You spin me right round
Vinyl records went the way of the dodo with first CDs, and then now with the likes of MP3 and streaming. Vinyl records went the way of the dodo with first CDs, and then now with the likes of MP3 and streaming. Recently, we have had unbelievable records set by Thomas Coville and then Armel Le Cléac’h. Soon (with over 1200nm in the bank as it were), it would seem to be the turn of the crew on board IDEC Sport for a record after their spin right round, as well. This is quite simply, terrific stuff.
Posted on 23 Jan
Lounge Music
What a groovy time that all was. Very sophisticated, and was the world so much simpler back then or what? What a groovy time that all was. Very sophisticated, and was the world so much simpler back then or what? It even managed it’s own parody with Jerry Lewis and the über-cool Purple Pit in the original Nutty Professor. I’ll just have an Alaskan Polar Bear Heater right now, thank you… Some will get their noses all twisted up about now saying it is all elevator music, but it was so well orchestrated
Posted on 15 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart - The Weather Gate
In order to win the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race there are three things you absolutely need to have accomplished In order to win the iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race under IRC or ORCi rating, there are three things you absolutely need to have accomplished. Two of these you can certainly do something about, whereas the third is entirely out of your control.
Posted on 25 Dec 2016
Flight of the Pterodactyls
And you can be sure that it is very much a product of, and absolutely going to change, the future of our sport. OK. Well that pretty much sets up a mindset from a time long, long ago. However, this is something from the here and now. And you can be sure that it is very much a product of, and absolutely going to change, the future of our sport. The SuperFoiler is 7.9m long, 5.14m wide, has a 12.5m rig and a 295kg sailing weight. It has been developed to be the fastest course yacht ever, so to get a handle on
Posted on 27 Nov 2016
It’s Chuck’s fault!
The blame rests squarely with the much venerated, and truly celebrated US sports photographer, Chuck Lantz The blame rests squarely with the much venerated, and truly celebrated US sports photographer, Chuck Lantz. Had he not shown me this image he took during the recent Rolex Big Boat Series on San Francisco Bay, then this editorial would not have come to pass.
Posted on 26 Sep 2016
…and don’t call me Shirley!
Ah yes! It could only be the truly inimitable Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen) from Airplane! Ah yes! It could only be the truly inimitable Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen) from Airplane! (And that takes us all the way back to 1980 – believe it or not.) You know the lines; it’s when Ted Striker says, “Surely you cannot be serious?” To which Rumack then replies, “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley!”
Posted on 19 Sep 2016
The door’s been flung open – again
Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing gets sexier for Tokyo Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing may get sexier for Tokyo 2020. Yes, the proverbial door has been cast ajar before, often to much fanfare, and not that much has been achieved.
Posted on 28 Aug 2016