sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : America's Cup: Spy vs Spy - Serious, or straight from the comic books?
America's Cup: Spy vs Spy - Serious, or straight from the comic books?


'Team tender to starboard, Oracle spy boat to port - Emirates Team NZ - AC72 Aotearoa February 12, 2013'    Richard Gladwell ©    Click Here to view large photo

Surveillance is part of America’s Cup life. Everyone does it. Coach Rod Davis muses on what can be learned – and the rules that regulate it.

At times the America’s Cup seems just like Mad Magazine’s Spy vs Spy. One team keeping tabs on another and a game of, not so much dirty tricks, but pranks played both by and against the spy.

Teams have paid dearly over the years for a lack of understanding of what the opposition was up to.

Rod Davis  Chris Cameron-ETNZ©  
Perhaps the best-known and costly lack of insight was about Ben Lexcen’s winged keel on Australia II. A couple pictures shot early on and the America’s Cup would have never left the New York Yacht Club.

Every team watches every other team, takes notes, pictures, collects gossip, even starts a little gossip to see what shakes out.

So what are the teams hoping to learn? Why are THEY doing things differently than US. Why are THEIR boards more curved than OURS? THEIR wing sets up differently than OURS. Is that good? By keeping logs of the progression of sails or boards, watchers can learn along with those being watched.

The spies watching Emirates Team New Zealand are very interested in our foiling: how do we do it? How much wind do we need? And how fast is it?

How does a team learn these things? Collect the information and then the hard part – make sense of it. Pictures and videos are good, but the human eye often picks up things that seem to melt into the picture. So good people and good notes are important.

Watchers would give anything to measure the other team’s real boat speed and wind angles, but that is very hard to do. Often the number you get is only within 10% of the real speed. Hardly priceless information.

The ubiquitous Oracle spy boat follows Emirates Team NZ - AC72 Aotearoa February 12, 2013  Richard Gladwell_©   Click Here to view large photo
It helps immensely to know what you are looking for before you start observing. Set the targets and position yourself to get the pictures that you need. Without a target and a plan, endless hours can be wasted for little useful information.

Then comes the tricky part. In the piles of pictures, notes and hours of video what’s rubbish and where are the gems?

The danger lies in jumping to conclusions that turn out to be an incorrect. Chasing phantoms costs both time and money.

Any Rules about Spying?

Of course, this is the America’s Cup and we have rules about everything. Surprisingly, these rules are pretty straightforward.

- Nothing illegal. So no phone taps, no trespassing, no buying the information from a third party etc.
- On the water you can’t observe within 200 metres of their boat or base. This does not apply if you are on land or a public dock. Oh, and no spy planes, no helicopters, U2s, drones… all prohibited.
- No tapping into their private radio channels.

What happens if you break these rules?

Long lens at work again in the Viaduct Harbour as the Emirates Team NZ AC72 prepares to pass through the Viaduct Bridge in daylight. -  Richard Gladwell_©   Click Here to view large photo
A team protests to the international jury just as Luna Rossa did about Oracle a few months ago. Oracle infringed the 200-metre rule to take pictures of the Luna Rossa boat. Oracle thought they were within their rights to take pictures if they were stopped and Luna Rossa sailed to them.

An observation team can easily find themselves within 200 metres if the cat unexpectedly turns and comes at them doing 30+ knots. That is not a serious foul, maybe not a foul at all. But if you continue to take pictures as the boat go by, you are breaking the rules. The solution is easy, put the camera down, motor outside the 200-metre boundary at a prudent speed and pick the camera back up.

The jury deducted five sailing days from Oracle’s allotment for their infraction. Juries have been known to get more than a little annoyed at illegal information gathering. In 2003 One World started each round robin and knockout series on minus one point. They had to win a race just to get to 0-0 score because they 'acquired information in violation of the rules'.

As far pranks, the stuff of Spy vs Spy: Props of spy boats have gone missing overnight, once a boat was boarded, crew striped, clothes stolen, leaving them to go home naked. Paint ball guns have been known to be out of the water.

Misinformation is the nemesis of information gathering. And Coutts is the best at misinformation. So you always ask yourself, it this real or what they want me to believe?? Did I mention that you America’s Cup could make you paranoid?


by Rod Davis writing for etnzblog.com

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=106984

2:11 AM Wed 27 Feb 2013GMT


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
2011 Emirates Team New Zealand news

Related News Stories:

27 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Docking out - Image gallery
27 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Am-Cam video of AC72 racing on the Hauraki Gulf
27 Feb 2013  America's Cup: The Beginning of the End
27 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Paul Cayard confirms second AC72 build in Sweden
26 Feb 2013  America's Cup: On board Emirates Team NZ's new AC72
26 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Artemis Racing suspends sailing program to modify AC72
26 Feb 2013  Youth America's Cup 2013 - Aussies to compete in September
26 Feb 2013  Camper to sponsor Emirates Team NZ in America's Cup bid
25 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Red Bull Youth teams for September announced
23 Feb 2013  America’s Cup World Series - Tom Slingsby takes turn to helm Oracle
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World











420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,




















Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay


















America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,












America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,






Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe On the Final two days of the Reebok CrossFit Games
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   
International Moth Worlds - Victory for Nathan Outteridge + Video   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo   
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead   
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard   
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue   
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC   
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014   
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race   
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video   
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory   
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on 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