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Sail-World.com : America's Cup: The End of the Beginning
America's Cup: The End of the Beginning


'Oracle Team USA - final preparations ahead of the relaunch - January 2013'    Guilain Grenier/Oracle Racing©

Here is the Editorial from Sail-World.com's sixth America's Cup Newsletter for the 34th America's Cup.

We are now in the Year of Cup - in fact, in just over five months, the first racing will be under way in the Louis Vuitton Cup.

The end of January also marks the end of the first limited sailing period - where test sailing and racing by the AC72's is limited to just 30 days.

If you are in the school that regards this limit as some sort of a report card then click here to see the days left for each team.

Artemis Racing fits a new wingsail in San Francisco -  Erik Simonson_©_www.pressure-drop.us  
Only one, Emirates Team NZ used their full quota of 30 days allowed. Luna Rossa will go close, and the two San Francisco domociled teams will be well short of the mark.

Using this same scale, it will be interesting to see how the two Auckland based Challengers, Luna Rossa and Emirates Team NZ, fare in the next phase - which starts February 1, 2013 and runs through to May 1, 2013. In this period, the Protocol governing the America's Cup, permits the teams to sail for 45 days per boat.

With just one AC72 commissioned each, Luna Rossa and Emirates Team NZ will not doubt sail all they can. To get through their allowed days, the teams will have to sail, on average, every other day, for the three months. On current sailing rates that is unlikely to be achieved. Then the Auckland teams will have to pack base and head for San Francisco at the end of April, while the San Francisco teams continue uninterrupted - save for Oracle Team USA's Int Jury imposed time-out.

So both Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing, have the ability to catch up some time - but will it be enough?

Historically time has been the one commodity you can't buy in the America's Cup, and whether the teams are variously ahead or behind, won't become apparent until July.

The clear theme coming through from Emirates Team NZ is that the time for boat development is fast running out, and the emphasis must turn to achieving day to day racing reliability. At this juncture, the same mantra applies to all teams.

Mike Drummond - involved in every America’s Cup since 1987, and with three Cup winners -  Herreshoff Marine Museum_.   Click Here to view large photo
Next week, the new phase of this year's America's Cup begins with the launch in Auckland of Emirates Team NZ's second AC72. They are expected to be sailing by February 7, 2013, local time or February 6 on the West Coast of USA.

That timeline is expected to be similar for the re-launch of the ill-fated USA-17 for Oracle Team USA. A key question will be the degree of rebuild versus redevelopment of the Defender's 72ft catamaran. Within the scope allowed by the rules for hull and wingsail modification, Oracle Team USA may have taken the opportunity to jump half a generation, in AC72 design. Or maybe not.

Guessing who is ahead in the America's Cup game has been one of the fascinations of the aficionados, who examine every photo and video frame to garner that last glimmer of insight. We admit to being guilty as charged on this count, but also are well aware that one more fact can change an impression completely. Cup-watching is a great pastime, but the only real benchmark is on the race course.

Understanding how the America's Cup AC72's work is beyond the ken of most sailing fans. To try and give Sail-World readers an understanding of the issues and thinking, we sat down with former Oracle Racing Technical Director, Mike Drummond - and got his views, over the course of an hour. We have the interview split into two parts in this edition of Sail-World.com's America's Cup newsletter.

Emirates Team NZ have been particularly open with their campaign, allowing the New Zealand media inside the building hangar during the build of both their first and second AC72's. In this edition we have the story, images and video of the second of these 'Open-Homes', along with video interviews with Technical Director, Nick Holroyd and team boss, Grant Dalton. For the train spotters what is happening in the background is almost as interesting as what is being said in the interview.

But certainly it is a view we have never seen before, in almost 30 years of Cup reporting.

For the other teams we are a little light on content. With the the America's Cup in the situation where it desperately needs to build a fan base, and with just four teams operating, one would have expected a lot more open approach. More hard hitting behind the scenes stories about the boats and the challenges of the moment. Even if things are not going that well, or there is added pressure.

It’s a tough job but someone has to do it, Grant Dalton being interviewed for prime time TV news - Emirates Team NZ - Media Day January 17, 2012 -  Richard Gladwell_©   Click Here to view large photo

Sadly that hasn't happened. Whether the entertainment theme changes in the months to come, remains to be seen. America's Cups aren't for the happy clappers. It's a tough, high pressure game.

Professional sport is a study of people, and teams under stress. In this America's Cup, there has been stress by the sackful. Aside from the Oracle capsize, the fans have been shown too little of it, and teams' reaction under pressure. The Event is much the poorer for that.

Other sports maintain a high visibility and empathy with their fans by letting them inside the roller doors, and speaking frankly about the lows as well as the highs. It's a lesson those running this America's Cup need to learn, and fast.

Max Sirena reflects on Luna Rossa Challenge’s progress so far in Auckland -  Luna Rossa Challenge 2013  

We will be publishing further America's Cup newsletters, when there is sufficient content and/or on milestone occasions -this will be once a month, until the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

In the meantime stay tuned to www.sail-world.com - next week in particular - for the latest on the two AC72 launches.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Sail-World's America's Cup News Editor

Oracle Team USA - final preparations ahead of the relaunch - January 2013 -  Guilain Grenier-Oracle Racing©  

The Y - structure looking forward - Emirates Team NZ - Media Day January 17, 2012 -  Richard Gladwell_©   Click Here to view large photo

Tactician, Ray Davies, puts his electrical skills to good use working on the electronics fitout - Emirates Team NZ - Media Day January 17, 2012 -  Richard Gladwell_©   Click Here to view large photo


To read the whole Newsletter click here

If you'd like to subscribe to this newsletter that is the place to do it.


by Richard Gladwell

  

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2013 America's Cup
Newsletter Editorial NZ

Related News Stories:

27 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Spy vs Spy - Serious, or straight from the comic books?
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
22 Feb 2013  Red Bull Youth America's Cup 2013 - Decision day coming
22 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Am-Cam video of Oracle's AC72 foiling in San Francisco
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News - USA and the World

Today, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) took to the water for the first time from their temporary base in Southampton, sailing their foiling AC45. The boat originally raced under BAR colours during the America’s Cup World Series in 2012-13, and has subsequently been modified to fly on hydrofoils. ... [more]  

The calm weather returned on day five of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam as the wave sailors recovered from yesterday’s punishing, but brilliant, conditions. After a chilly start, with the thermometer reading just five degrees celsius, the temperature soon rose with the appearance of the sun, making for another stunning autumn day. ... [more]  

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A day and a night of uncertainty - later, the Doldrums will come to an end for the Volvo Ocean Race teams. By tomorrow morning, the fleet should be sailing safely in the southeasterly trade winds. So – who won this equatorial lottery? What was the best place to cross this convergence zone, where two hemispheres and two weather systems collide? ... [more]  

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Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Onboard Team Alvimedica. The synopsis is pretty straightforward: we are stuck in the Doldrums. Stuck, and stuck real good. All things considered, yesterday was actually pretty decent. We had a quick morning rainsquall that was able to power us south through the first line of ITCZ clouds already towering above our heads by 10AM. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie gunning for glory by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122, Artie has emerged as the hot favourite to become the overall winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. However, at 16:00 CET, Artie was still 80 miles from the finish and the Mistral storm is still raging. In addition, there are several yachts behind Artie that could still claim the overall prize. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team SCA. Today I would like to share another perspective with you. Given the kind messages from Team SCA followers that we have been receiving onboard (thank you!), it would seem daily reports from our onboard reporter Miss Halloran and our onshore media crew have been doing a wonderful job of sharing our journey thus far. ... [more]  

The 17th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship took place from 15-18 October in San Francisco, USA. Hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, the 2014 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds welcomed 19 international entrants - comprising teams from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Turkey and the United States. ... [more]  

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Rolex Middle Sea Race - Big breeze and lumpy seas by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
There are 92 yachts still racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The expected frontal system arrived around Midnight last night at the northwest corner of the course. Reports of storm force winds and big seas have been received by the Race Committee and 25 yachts had officially retired from the race by 15:00 CET on Wednesday 22 October. ... [more]  

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Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 10 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
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Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 1 turns inside out in Doldums *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
As reported earlier Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race would seem to have gone from being a tightly fought contest to being a procession to Cape Town. Even though only 40% of the course has been sailed, the distance between the boats are significant (other than the two lead boats) and look set to increase. ... [more]  

Student Yachting World Cup - After those days of sun and light air, the weather was upside-down with a cloudy sky threatening us of heavy shower at any time and a strong wind fluctuating from 15 knots to 25 knots! Two windward-leeward races took place today as the wind became far too heavy in the early afternoon. The 13th race began this morning: a second start occurred under black flag. ... [more]  

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Volvo Ocean Race: Big gains for two boats in Doldrums *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Two boats have made big gains in the Doldrums, with the western-most competitors apparently not stopping and sailing though the convergence zone between northern and southern hemispheres, without dropping below 8kts. Team Brunel and Abh Dhabi Ocean Racing have both made big gains on the rest of the fleet - and the two easternmost boats - Team Vestas Wind and Mapfre, in particular. ... [more]  

In spite of Hurricane Gonzalo's thrashing of the Onion Patch last week, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the people of Bermuda are ready to host the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 6 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). All 20 teams have arrived safely from their corners of the world and will practice for a day and race on Wednesday. ... [more]  

While the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup always offers opportunities for young people to have new experiences, coping with Hurricane Gonzalo offered the 14 competitors traveling from overseas to Bermuda a hurdle that strengthened their respect for this island nation. Many of the 14 competitors spent layover time in either hotels or airports and some are now guests in homes without electricity. ... [more]  

Dynamic Stability Systems welcomes last week’s decision by IMOCA to place no further restrictions on its class rule. This permits both the six new IMOCA 60s currently under construction, as well as the existing fleet, to be fitted with the lateral lifting foils which DSS has spent the last decade pioneering. ... [more]  

Groupe Beneteau today announced its sponsorship of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider and ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. Groupe Beneteau is the world's leading yacht builder, and will now become a significant presence in high-performance sailing with its support of both the US national sailing team and North America's premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. It’s the place where the northern and southern winds meet, where a sailing race can be won or lost in an instant. And with its complex and confusing conditions, lack of breeze, and stifling heat – it’s also a place that most sailors can’t wait to see the back of. But there is one good thing about the Doldrums. ... [more]  

The Atlantic has proved to be a test for the VO65s in the Volvo Ocean Race and their teams as a battle of gybing down the west coast of Africa broke out, keeping all boats in a relatively tight-knit pack for much longer than expected. Having passed Morocco and the Canaries, we were drawn to the tricky-to-handle magnet of Cape Verde. ... [more]  

It’s the dawn of a complicated day in the Volvo Ocean Race. Let’s face it: we’re not having a very good time on Dongfeng. We lost distance last night, and our leading position. The day got dull afterwards. Sailing straight ahead, with the spinnaker up, in light winds. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 10 onboard Team SCA. Two days, eight hours, thirty-four minutes, and ten seconds, nine seconds, eight, seven, six, five… over the last few days the clock has gotten louder and louder as it counts down to October 23rd at noon—the time when we cross the equator and the time when myself and six other sailors join the rest of our crew in King Neptune’s court. ... [more]  

For Pablo Arrarte Elorza, the Volvo Ocean Race is a tough challenge. Not as far as physical effort is concerned because this likeable Spaniard is a very strong guy. For Pablo, the race is mostly a culinary war of attrition because the food that the team has bought with it on the race does little to please his gourmet palate. ... [more]  

The 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds kicked off on October 20th in Clearwater, USA, and it was hard work from the start: in 5-6 kt of breeze, offshore to start the day and side-on to close it, pumping was in order for the 54 boys and 28 girls gathered here for the 2014 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships. ... [more]  

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After three complete days at sea only three boats competing in the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race have passed the northwest tip of Sicily, roughly the halfway point of the race. The prevailing wind remains weak, but is expected to strengthen this afternoon coinciding with the arrival of bulk of the fleet t the Egadi Islands. ... [more]  

Last week the Volvo Ocean Race was all about VMG downwind sailing, with Dongfeng being the star performer. After DFRT took the lead, they shortly lost it again 36 hours later after hitting something in the water and losing their rudder. Two hours later they were up and running again with the spare in. Impressive stuff. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 9 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
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Igor Simicic's maxi, Esimit Europa 2 is expected to finish the Rolex Middle Sea Race in the early hours of tomorrow morning. However the 100ft carbon fibre canting keel Maxi is under serious pressure to secure their fourth Line Honours victory in the race. ... [more]  

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