Welcome to Sail-World.com's eighth America's Cup Newsletter for the 34th America's Cup,
Fireworks on Friday night in Auckland, New Zealand as Emirates Team NZ's Grant Dalton, and his counterpart in Oracle Team USA squared off at a black tie fundraising dinner in front of 700 guests.
It was the vexed issue of television coverage that caused the first verbal punches to be thrown between the two New Zealand team heads. As the evening progressed it turned out there wasn't a lot they could agree on, except that if either team win the 34th America's Cup, multihulls will stay.
We have reports from the evening in this edition of Sail-World.com's America's Cup newsletter.
On the water, two teams in the 34th America's Cup have called time-out. Arguably the other two are doing the same - in a different way.
The Italian and New Zealand Challengers who have been working up in Auckland, have packed up and Luna Rossa has arrived in San Francisco. They have gone go to their temporary base at Alameda, alongside Sweden's Artemis Racing. Emirates Team New Zealand will be the last to arrive and will head for their new base, in what was supposed to be the central location for the event of Piers 30-32, in downtown San Francisco.
The New Zealanders are expected to start sailing in San Francisco on May 23rd.
The timelines for the other three are that Luna Rossa is expected to be sailing on May 8-10, a couple of weeks or so before Emirates Team NZ.
Artemis Racing are expected to launch the second AC72 after Emirates Team NZ start sailing, but before the end of May.
Oracle Team USA launched their second AC72 a month earlier, on April 23 and will move into a one/two boat campaign for the Defence.
How the Oracle Team USA campaign will run is one of the questions answered by their COO, Grant Simmer, in a two-part interview in this edition of Sail-World.com's America's Cup newsletter.
Simmer also touches on many other interesting points, including the comment that Oracle's first AC72 was not designed as a full foiling boat, and only swung down that path late in the piece. A path down which they accelerated after seeing the New Zealanders foiling on the Waitemata, after their fourth day of sailing.
He also rates the New Zealanders as being ahead of the Defenders 'at this moment'. But is confident of their ability to close the gap. That exercise won't be helped by the fact that Oracle have had a couple of time-out periods. The first being for the racing period of the America's Cup World Series, sailed in Naples, Italy from April 18-21. The second was the five day no-sail penalty which started 26 April and ran to April 30, for the spying infringement by Oracle in Auckland, where they were caught inside the permitted 200 metre when checking out Luna Rossa.
We have an extract from a second interview, with Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena, by Pierre Orphanidis of Vsail.info. Sirena has some fairly blunt comments on the current America's Cup. Maybe it is because English is his second language, and the weasel words don't come easily to his lips. Sirena tells it how he sees it.
The two San Francisco based teams remain something of an enigma.
Oracle Team USA, seem to have made significant gains in their foiling performance. The revamp of their first AC72 has given the opportunity to upgrade her to be closer to their second boat, which foiled successfully and easily on her first sail.
The other area under question is that of turning the corners while foiling. From Am-Cam footage Oracle Team USA would still seem to have some ways to go to get to the standard of Emirates Team NZ. From what we have seen with our own eyes, the New Zealand crew are very slick, and the slow down of the boat when cornering is minimal, and there seems to be little doubt that they are able to gybe while fully foiling.
Artemis Racing, like Luna Rossa, have kept a low media profile. The performance of their first AC72 has been interesting in that they were the only one of the three to opt for a non-foiling approach. Many involved in catamaran design have said that approach has merit, but the speeds of which the AC72's are capable, have made foiling imperative.
The team have announced that they have changed tack on this design fundamental. Artemis have also put together a foiling AC45. The team has retrofitted foils to their AC72, and their second AC72, due for launch in late May, will be solidly in the foiling quarter.
Meantime they are testing foiling AC45's against the Defender Oracle Team USA.
There are some very talented people in the Artemis Racing camp, and one of the questions, still hanging, will be whether that group can close the gap on the other three teams, in the time that remains.
One of the Artemis Racing team, David Brooke, collapsed in his apartment, in mid-April, and was diagnosed as requiring a liver transplant. We have the story and updates in this edition. David's family are with him, and greatly appreciate the support shown, by Artemis Racing and all the other members of the America's Cup family in San Francisco and around the world.
Finally, we mark the passing of Jack Sutphen, a member of the America's Cup Hall of Fame. Jack was best known as the support skipper for Dennis Conner's many campaigns. He coined the phrase Mushroom Crew which has been the quiet badge worn by all those who have sailed in the tune-up boats in America's Cup campaigns, knowing that while their role is largely unsung, what they do largely determines whether their first boat will win. An incredibly unassuming man, Jack will be greatly missed by all who crossed tacks with him in their sailing lives.
Jack Sutphen began his America’s Cup career in 1958 as a sailmaker with Ratsey & Lapthorn on City Island, NY. - Bob Greiser-Outside Images
Stay tuned to www.sail-world.com - for the latest updates on the progress of the America's Cup teams and also the America's Cup World Series due to start in Naples, Italy on April today with the Coastal Race.
Richard Gladwell .
Sail-World's America's Cup News Editor
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6:37 AM Mon 6 May 2013GMT
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