sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : America's Cup: Rod Davis - still looking for answers after Cup defeat
America's Cup: Rod Davis - still looking for answers after Cup defeat


'Oracle Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand on the Final Race of the 2013 America’s Cup'    Carlo Borlenghi/Luna Rossa©    Click Here to view large photo

Emirates Team NZ coach, Rod Davis, admits he is still a bit stunned, three months after the conclusion of the 34th America’s Cup, and the shock loss by the Challenger, after being on Match Point.

Part of Davis' post-Cup frustration-relief therapy is to go sailboat racing every chance he can - and by is own admission, that is a lot of sailing, at present.

'It’s still hard to believe that we out-prepared Oracle by that much, ahead of this regatta, and lost the regatta', he says with the incredulity of the 9-8 result, still to fully register.

'It is hard to come to grips with it. Normally when you out-prepare a team by that much in any sport, you come away with a victory. And it didn’t happen that way.'

'Suddenly Oracle ended up with a better package, and that’s amazing and depressing!'

For sure, the America’s Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA, realized they were well off the pace in the early stages of the regatta, and began to play for time.

Rod Davis  Chris Cameron-ETNZ©  
Their first ploy was using their Postponement Card on just the third day of racing when they only had one win from five races, and Emirates Team New Zealand were just two race days away from winning their third America's Cup.

At the time Regatta Director Iain Murray commented that the Postponement Card was intended to allow boats to recover from structural damage, not call for a time-out to allow them to re-group. But this was not stated in the rules, and Oracle Team USA elected to pull the pin on the racing after being passed again, sailing to windward on Leg 3 – a race which Emirates Team NZ went on to win by 65secs.

'If you look at the results, we had 19 races in the regatta, and at the near half-way point, after the first nine races, we were six wins and three losses' says Davis. (Two Oracle wins where spent to offset a Jury imposed penalty, so the points score was 6-1 at that stage.)

'And after the next ten races, we were two wins and eight losses. So the trend was that Oracle was getting stronger all the way through. But in the second half of the series, we couldn’t buy a break', says the Olympic Gold and Silver medalist, with the frustration and disbelief still clear in his voice.'

'We had three races taken off us, and we were leading in all three. As the clock went on Oracle were getting stronger and stronger. With hindsight maybe we should have pushed to do more racing earlier on in the series.'

'We had an option to that and we didn’t,' he says, referring to the decision by both teams not to use a reserve day to make up races lost, early on in the series. Oracle Team USA were later reported to have used the day to make substantial changes to their rudders.

'Honestly I don't think anyone appreciated, at that point, it was going make a difference'

08/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Final Match - Race Day 2  ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget_©  
'The call was made not to race on the Reserve Day (September 16)' says Davis. 'As to why? You’d have to ask Emirates Team NZ upper management.'

'So you look back at it, and see it differently now' he reflects.

Davis believes the key error made by Emirates Team New Zealand was showing their hand too early on the foiling of their first AC72.

'The major mistake that I see in the campaign was letting the world know we were foiling way too early. From a Sponsor, Press and Public point of view it was a coup, but for the big picture and winning the Cup, it was a liability' he says.

He discounts the notion that regardless of Emirates Team NZ’s first foil-borne flypast up the Waitemata Harbour, and subsequent foiling with TVNZ on board, the other teams, with their spy and surveillance programs, would have spotted the foiling AC72 anyway.

'They didn’t know the extent of it, however. We could have kept the extent of it a lot quieter.'

'It wouldn’t have happened in the Russell Coutts' era of Team New Zealand. In 2000, they changed bows out on the water, out of sight of spies, so nobody knew they were doing it,' he recalls.

'It says something that if you want to keep secrets, then you have got to be damn serious, truly committed, about keeping secrets,' he adds.

Responding to a question on the wind limits and the effect they had on the racing, Davis believes that both teams got it wrong.

'The funny thing about the wind limits is that Oracle wanted to lower the wind limits and wanted them a lot lower. We said 'no, we’ll go from 33kts to 25kts', and Oracle wanted it down at 20kts, because they wanted to position the limit low in the wind range, because they thought they had a good downrange boat, and our big powerful boat was going to be a good up range boat.'

'But we get into the America’s Cup and it's all wrong!'

'We’ve got the light air boat and Oracle have got the heavy air boat. Halfway through the series Oracle was pushing to have the wind limits increased again! (Oracle Team USA wanted the base limit increased from 23-25kts, which was rejected by Emirates Team NZ as they didn't want a change mid series click here).

'How do both teams get it so wrong?' he asks.

ETNZ fully lifted during a recent training day  Graeme Swan   Click Here to view large photo
Superstitious New Zealand fans should have known something was likely to happen in Race 13, given their team’s complete lack of luck in the preceding nine days of racing.

The abandonment of Race 13 when the New Zealanders had a lead of 1000 metres, just short of the finish when the 40 minute time limit expired, caused widespread disbelief, given that AC72’s had been sailing at speeds of up to 20kts.

'I guess no-one really understood that you couldn’t start a race in eight knots and not finish within the time limit.' Davis explains.....

'I don’t think that Oracle knew that any better than anyone else at the time, although they may claim they did now, because Oracle was pushing to race in light with thinking (wrongly) they were going to be quicker in eight knots.

'We knew the time limit was going to be close, but nobody that I know of can say that before that race started, that you could not finish, if you had to use a gennaker or Code Zero.'

'Iain Murray never knew that, none of the other teams knew that. Oracle says they knew it after the fact.'

'We had just never sailed a San Francisco race in that light a breeze before,' he added.

Davis has sailed in 11 America’s Cup campaigns, for four different national teams – as a coach and a sailor. Many consider 'Hot Rod' to be the consummate hired gun. Now the tide is running the other way with many wanting a return to the stronger nationality requirements that existed prior to 2007, and even a return to the near absolute nationality rule that existed from 1958 to 1983, and was only seriously diluted after the 2003 America's Cup, by new Defender Alinghi, who sailed in 2007 with one Swiss National aboard.

'It’s not what I think (Davis says he is in favor of a nationality rule) but it's what Oracle thinks' he responds. 'Oracle is talking about a nationality clause, but if you look at it, why would they want a nationality clause? They only had one American on the boat this time. It makes no sense.'

'Sometimes you don’t listen to what people say; you watch their position and figure that they will do what’s best for them. I can’t see a nationality clause coming out of Oracle.'

'I don’t think Larry Ellison cares if there are not a lot of Challengers, so long as he hangs onto the Cup. I don’t think we will see much change in the nationality rule,' he concludes.

America’s Cup - Artemis Racing foiling on their AC45 in San Francisco  Sander van der Borch_- Artemis Racing ©  
With the Protocol for the next America’s Cup now not expected to be announced until at March, a least. Davis is more than a little skeptical about the reality of cost reduction. With his long America’s Cup experience, he is well aware that cost reduction is a topic that is often discussed, but never delivered.

'We might see some changes in the one-design components of the boat - to try and make the boats less expensive by saving on designer costs.'

'To try and make the America’s cup less expensive is a difficult, difficult thing to do. All you need is one team, one guy, who is prepared to spend more money and time and that will drag everybody else in that direction to match them and be competitive.'

'How are you going to trim the budget by 20%? I don’t see it happening in reality'

'They want to have the AC45’s racing in the future and do the ACWS type circuit. But that has a cost to it. And should those 45’s be modified to be foiling like the AC boats? If so, that’s going to be more expensive, isn’t it? '

'How do you practically pull cost back? I pity the poor guy who is responsible for that', he says, shaking his head.

The cynicism that there will be any change in the Nationality rules, coupled with the re-signing of crew by existing teams, is perceived as making it difficult for new teams to get established – and having to start with completely new sailing talent.

As a highly experienced coach, at both America’s Cup and Olympic level, how would Davis approach crew selection and training with a new team?

'From a sailing team’s perspective, with new young talent you would get stuck into some big, say 60+ feet multi hull racing. And try and get their heads around that. The AC45 will work for them to a certain extent as far as the wings and stuff, because I expect the wings to stay.'

'You want a good balance of youth and enthusiasm and experience, then let the experienced guys teach the new sailing talent how to deal with these boats and what we know about starting and racing and all that. Then turn the youth lose to use their talent and do what what they love to do, race sail boats'

'From a design standpoint you are going to have to draft in from other teams as much design talent as you can, but before you can do that you need to have protocol to know what/if you're designing hulls, boards, wings...

The Challenger of Record, Team Australia look set to emulate this approach – having been unable to sign their established America’s Cup sailors. Instead they are looking to draw on a not insubstantial pool of Olympic and other talent and go without the America’s Cup 'heavies'.

'I don't know if it guarantees a will to win the Cup with that sort of approach,' says Davis, 'but you will do a very good job. And the America’s Cup is up for a revolution anyway, in terms of younger, fresher talent in all the sailing teams. There has to be.'

The five time Olympian sees Emirates Team New Zealand as being in a similar situation, having to rejuvenate a long established team.

'Team New Zealand has gone with the same team from 2007 and that is probably the same core team from more than ten years down the road.

'I think there has to be a new group that comes in. That has to be good news for New Zealand, because New Zealand has got a really good crop of new young sailors coming through right now.

'They might be a click young, but the passion and talent means they’ll close the gaps pretty damn quick.'

'The tricky part, and the part that needs clever management is the balance of experience and youthful aggression. That is not something that just happens, it takes insight to all the different perspectives; the new talent, the experienced veterans, and both their Olympic and AC aspirations. All this has to be blended into dominant, across the board successes. It can be done, it's tricky to do but must be done'


by Richard Gladwell

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=118184

12:51 AM Mon 6 Jan 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup

Related News Stories:

11 Jan 2014  America's Cup:Gary Jobson goes One on One with Jimmy Spithill
01 Jan 2014  America's Cup: Russell Coutts on the 34th and 35th America's Cups
21 Nov 2013  America's Cup: Where to now, for Artemis? Iain Percy gives the answers
19 Nov 2013  America's Cup: The Comeback - Video
14 Nov 2013  America’s Cup 35 - Slingsby re-signs with Oracle Team USA
31 Oct 2013  America's Cup: Martin Tasker shaves it off for Movember
26 Oct 2013  America's Cup: Dutch take no further action against de Ridder
22 Oct 2013  The America’s Cup and Music + video
16 Oct 2013  America's Cup: Pete Melvin - Emirates Team NZ design guru - Video
15 Oct 2013  Oracle Team USA recycle composites in America’s Cup-Class Yacht
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race: Leading the Charge - your VOR Form Guide by Ben Gladwell, Boating New Zealand - www.stu
For the first time, the Volvo Ocean Race is to be contested in a strict, one-design class. The emphasis is shifted from who has the best boat to suit the conditions to who has the best men - or women - onboard. ... [more]  

Three America's Cup sailors have been named in the top 20 sports earners, in a list published in the New Zealand Herald this week. Topping the list is Sir Russell Coutts with a claimed earnings of $13million. He is just a $1million ahead of an English Premier League player, Winston Reid, and motor racing ace, Scott Dixon. All Black captain, Ritchie McCaw is ranked #5. ... [more]  

Melges 32 World Championship - Prepare for off-the-charts action by International Melges 32 Class Association
Entering its sixth World Championship season, the International Melges 32 Class Association has raced at arguably every world-class venue on the globe, has seen the most respected pro and amateur sailors on its courses and most importantly, learned valuable lessons of what owners and sailors want so that the Melges 32 continues to be strongest one design grand prix sportboat on the planet. ... [more]  

With light winds continuing to dominate on day six of the Davidoff Cool Water Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam, the decision was made to begin the Reno SUP Challenge during the afternoon, which saw twelve teams battling it out in heats of two for a place in tomorrow’s final, to keep the crowds entertained. ... [more]  

Photographer Carlo Borlenghi was on deck for day three of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez to capture these stunning images of the action. ... [more]  

The IFDS Rankings for Paralympic Classes have been released. It's a British 1-2 at the top of the 2.4mR Rankings with Megan Pascoe at world number one and Helena Lucas at world number two. 2014 World Champion Heiko Kroger (GER) sits at world number seven but counts less regattas than those above him. ... [more]  

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and Rolex are happy to reveal the Nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2014. ISAF received nominations for the 2014 Awards from across the world for sailors representing all aspects of the sport. ... [more]  

Like the name implies, the goal of the boater-funded BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is to educate boaters about safe and clean boating. The Foundation is looking to fund Grassroots Grant projects that utilize new, innovative approaches that encourage safe and clean boating among the boating public. ... [more]  

The 35th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race is fast approaching and appears likely to rewrite the record books. Entries are shortly due to close and the Royal Malta Yacht Club is already bracing itself for the biggest fleet to grace its island home since the Great Siege of 1565. The Ottoman Armada of 450 years ago was recorded to be 193 in strength. ... [more]  

The Notice of Race for ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, scheduled for 25-31 January 2015, has been released. On-line entry will open on 10 November 2014. The deadline for priority entries with regards to quotas is 5 December 2014. Entries must be received no later than 5 January 2015 to qualify for early entry. ... [more]  

A stellar list of just under 100 broadcasters has been lined up to showcase the world’s toughest ocean challenge, the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, to a new global audience of fans. The 12th edition has offered channels a line-up of a new 39-part weekly half-hour show plus special short bespoke features. ... [more]  

Photographer Eugenia Bakunova of leading Russian website www.mainsail.ru was on the water at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez on the French Riveria , and provided this gallery of images of the classics and other yachts racing on Day 2 ... [more]  

New Ragamuffin 100 emerges from the hull build in Nowra *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Ragamuffin 100, which started out as a modified Elliott design, Maximus, is another supermaxi undergoing a major rebuild or retrofit. Across the Tasman, the new Ragamuffin 100 will be virtually a new boat with a a new hull design by Andy Dovell / Syd Fischer / David Witt. The hull mould and shell was built by Innovation Composites at the Nowra facility. ... [more]  

Southern Spars ships the world's tallest masts by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Leading world sparmaker, Southern Spars, has shipped two spars for a new 85 metre ketch. The superyacht will carry two 93metre masts which will be the world’s tallest rigs on one gigantic yacht. ... [more]  

Professional sailing photographers from all over the world are invited to join the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award 2014. Started in 2009, the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image is the world’s premier photography competition dedicated to the sport of sailing. The prestigious trophy will be awarded during the World Yacht Racing Forum in Barcelona, on December 11, 2014. ... [more]  

David Kellett (AUS) is to be awarded the ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy which honours an individual for their outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing. The ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy, first presented in 1988 in memory of Beppe Croce, the ISAF President from 1969 to 1986, will be presented to Kellett at the 2014 ISAF Annual Conference in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. ... [more]  

After being graced with plenty of late summer sunshine during the opening days of the event, more autumnal weather moved in on the fifth day of the Davidoff Cool Water Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam with grey skies and infrequent showers. Unfortunately though the light winds continued as the sailors endured another lay day. ... [more]  

In a move that is expected to benefit recreational boaters, on Oct. 22 the US Coast Guard will drop the current life jacket type code scheme -- Type I, II, III, IV and V -- that has been used for years to label and differentiate the types of life jackets and their specific use. ... [more]  

Kate Nota and her team onboard the J/111 Odyssey won the Ripple Effect Short Video Contest, which was part of the Ida Lewis Distance Race this summer (August 15). ... [more]  

The largest Laser World Championship in history will be taking place on the south coast of France when 515 sailors, representing 36 different countries, begin racing on October 5 to open the 2014 Audi Laser Masters’ World Championships. The Laser remains one of the best and most popular boats worldwide in which to enjoy the sport of sailing. ... [more]  

Carlo Borlenghi was back on the water for day two at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

It has been an interesting journey so far for the Chinese team in the Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng Race Team. Approximately 10 months ago this team set out on a mission to select and train Chinese recruits in the hope that they would be ‘race ready’ for the start of leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race fans can now carry the world’s toughest ocean race in their pocket, thanks to the launch of a new official mobile app. Developed for both iOS and Android systems, the app is available for download from the App Store and Google Play now – and boasts a host of exciting features which will allow users to be closer to the on-water adventure than ever before. ... [more]  

Race teams planning next season’s calendar could do worse than sign up for the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series 2015 which runs from 16-24 January. This event, which kick starts the Caribbean race season, was re-launched in 2014 with a new race format and plenty of record-breaking opportunities. It proved such a success that an even bigger entry is expected in 2015. ... [more]  

Photographer Eugenia Bakunova of leading Russian website www.mainsail.ru was on the water at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez on the French Riveria , and provided this gallery of images of the classics and other yachts racing ... [more]  

Sunset+Vine|APP, the Oxford-based unit of the multi-award winning UK independent TV sports production and media company Sunset+Vine, has helped ISAF smash all previous broadcaster records for the recent Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships. ... [more]  

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne - Don’t forget to enter the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne. There are only two days left to take advantage of the discounted entry price offer. ... [more]  

2014 12 Metre North American Championships - Two days of a northerly (first strong, then light) and one day of a building southwesterly put six 12 Metre yachts to the test at their North American Championships, which were held off Newport, R.I. over September 26-28. Gunther Buerman’s (Newport, R.I.) KZ-3 and Dennis Williams’ (Hobe Sound, Fla.) Victory ’83 defended their titles ... [more]  

The waiting game continued on day four of the Davidoff Cool Water Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam as the light winds continued. Over the course of the day a few sailors took the opportunity to make the most of the small waves on offer, either surfing or SUPping. After spending the day on hold the sailors were released at 4:30pm. ... [more]  

After Gmunden, Austria, in 2011 and Cala de' Medici, Italy, in 2012 and after a pained second place, same points with the Portogues 'Credite Egs' in Portosin, Spain, last year, the Italian crew coming from Puglia 'Euz II Monella Vagabonda', with Sandro Montefusco at the helm and his brother Paolo as a tactician, confirms for the third time the Platu 25 World Championship title. ... [more]  

Carlo Borlenghi was on deck for the first day of competition at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on site for day one of racing at the 2014 Les Voiles de Saint Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

The final day of the 2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship ended up being a half day of sailing due to a complete shutdown of the wind. However, the fleet completed enough races to count Gold Round Robin 3 and crown Ladies and Gentlemen as the back-to-back Team Racing Champions. ... [more]  

National Sailing Hall of Fame inducts eight
2016 ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - Bid guidelines now published
Volvo Ocean Race: Last medical training for the onboard sailors +Video
2014 Melges 20 Pacific Coast Championship - Images by Erik Simonson
J/105 North American Champs- Rod Wilmer and Terry McLaughlin succeeds
Extreme Sailing Series: Burling and Tuke back on board for Nice Act
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen wins US event
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA's AC72 takes to the streets
Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Canfield wins first Dutch Match Cup
Pantaenius and Camper & Nicholsons Marinas become strategic partners
Kite Foil Gold Cup Australia 2014 – Day two video
Bart's Bash: Update and Video - Information overload!
2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship - Day 2
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - USA leads Denmark in Sheboygan final
2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - Benz Faget wins third mallory
J/105 North American Champ - Wilmer/McLaughlin team maintain advantage
Images from Cannes: Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai
Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai: Cannes at its best
Dutch Match Cup - Gilmour keeps clean sheet in Lelystad
Dutch Match Cup - GAC Pindar through to fifth consecutive semi-final
Hobie 16 Open North Americans and 2015 Pan Am Games qualifier overall   
Volvo Ocean Race - Frostad on Boat Design and final changes (Part II) *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race 10 days to go – Frostad on cultural change (Part I) *Feature   
2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race on NBC Sports Network in the U.S.   
2014 J/24 World Championship - Will Welles’ Cougar clinches   
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Meldgaard and Le Berre ready for semis   
2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - Day 3   
2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship - Day 1 + Video   
America's Cup: Then and now - Coutts on why Oracle won, and the Venue   
Byte CII World Sailing Championship comes to Royal Varuna, Thailand   
Dutch Match Cup: Canfield wins Qualifying, six set for Quarters battle   
12 Metre North Americans - A blast from the America’s Cup past   
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup qualification system published   
Volvo Ocean Race: Mapfre named as Spanish team sponsor + Video   
Extreme Sailing Series returns to Nice for the penultimate Act of 2014   
ISAF invites bids for 2016 Women's Match Racing World Championship   
2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Melbourne - Teaming up   
Mascalzone Latino Jr. named 2014 Melges 20 European Ranking Champion   
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Le Berre keeps winning in Sheboygan   
Hobie 16 Open North American Champ and Pan Am Games Qualifier - Day 4   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT