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Southern Spars

Dancing bears, AC and OD news—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 28 Mar 2013
Emirates Team New Zealand AC72 training on the Hauraki Gulf. 3/12/2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ© http://www.chriscameron.co.nz
The America’s Cup world has long been fraught with espionage, snooping, and straight-up spying, coupled of course with some good old-fashioned stick chasing. Rod Davis, Emirates Team New Zealand’s coach and a long-time AC spin master, recently came clean about some of the cloak-and-dagger work that he’s been involved with over the years, all in the name of capturing the Auld Mug.

'Muddy the water enough and it’s hard to pick fact from fiction, as people are inclined to believe what they want to believe,' wrote Davis of the AC-related PR tactics that are commonly employed. 'Teams do have some scope to cover their tracks.'


'For example, in the 2000 America’s Cup, we (at Prada) had a boom that was way ahead of its time and only half the weight of all our competitors’ booms,' wrote Davis. 'We knew we were on to a winner and did not want Paul Cayard and his boys next door to find out about it. So whenever the boom was moved, four people did the job even though two could have easily lifted it.'

Also AC related, news just hit the wire that Stephen Barclay, CEO of the America’s Cup, recently confirmed the creation of The America’s Cup Arts and Entertainment Committee. This organization, which will be led by Mickey Hart, a former drummer with the Grateful Dead, is tasked with helping to steer the shore-side entertainment that will be a big part of AC34.

'The sails, the boat, the current, the wind, the integration of the sailors. These guys are rhythm masters,' said Hart after sailing with Oracle Team USA. 'They are dancing with the wind and the current. It’s fascinating.'

While Hart prepares the war drums in San Francisco, ETNZ is rapidly winding down their sailing program on New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf and are getting ready to ship their AC72 and her wingsails to San Francisco for the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup (July 4). According to reports, the mighty cat should be foiling with her friends on San Francisco Bay by late May.

Get the full AC report, inside this issue.


Meanwhile, sailors are enjoying great conditions at this year’s BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival (March 25-31). According to reports, a new Round Tortola Race record has already been established this week, and the sailors were also treated to great conditions for the pursuit-style Race to Norman Island. Be sure to stay tuned to the website for more reports from this sun-soaked regatta as the event unfurls.

And in One Design news, the big story is the upcoming Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre (ISAF Sailing World Cup), where sailors in eleven Olympic and Paralympic will compete for top international honors. Several teams are entering this regatta undefeated, and plenty of others are using this event to launch their next Olympic campaign so the pressure is on for everyone. Get the full report, inside, and stand by for detailed reports once the racecourse action begins.


Also inside, check out the event preview of the upcoming Les Voiles de St Barth (April 8-13), get the latest download from the Women’s International Match Racing Series, and don’t miss the racecourse reports from the kiteboarding’s African Course Racing Championships 2013. Enjoy!

May the four winds blow you safely home,

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