Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Fisher's View- A gift horse in need - America's Cup WS, Naples - Day 1

by Bob Fisher on 16 Apr 2013
Photographers and Media at the Casina Pompeiana, Villa Comunale all trying to photograph ACWS skippers - America’s Cup WS, Naples Media Conference April 16, 2013

Bob Fisher, one of the world's top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in Naples, Italy for the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having won the 1967 Little America's Cup, with Peter Schneidau on Lady Helmsman, and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]He writes:

Day 1: Tuesday in Naples

‘Never look a gift horse in the mouth’ is standard advice, but perhaps it should have the rider, 'but make sure it has some teeth’.

Today’s media 'conference', for want of a better word, was a shining example of a gift horse in need. It was held in a building with bare walls and more echoes than enough – and the behavior of the 'media' not actually involved was appalling – they talked loudly (with undoubted increase in volume because of the acoustics of the room) and the photographers, who had earlier had uninterrupted access, were among the worst. Interviewing a skipper was a painful operation.

Nevertheless, It was possible to talk with an upbeat Emirates Team New Zealand skipper, Dean Barker, who won the local coastal race last weekend. As he was fully aware, Naples has taken to this event like nowhere else and this was fully evident in this one-off event that was organized quite separately from the America’s Cup World Series. Dean looks on this final regatta in the ACWS as: 'A good opportunity for racing before San Francisco [and the three-team Louis Vuitton Cup series that lasts two months] and this is the same type of racecourse as that in San Francisco.'

'With the AC-72, we have had lots of testing,' he explained, 'but you need to get into the smaller AC-45s to sharpen your racing skills. And there will be ample opportunity here for that with eight other top skippers aiming for the podium, even if some of the acknowledged 'greats' like Jimmy Spithill, Russell Coutts and Loick Peyron are missing.

Chris Draper, in Luna Rossa – Piranha made an impressive showing here last time and has a teammate in Francesco Bruni with Luna Rossa – Swordfish. In addition, double Olympic gold medallist in the Tornado class, Roman Hagara, is steering the Artemis boat, while the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Ben Ainslie, is steering his own boat – JP Morgan BAR – and has shown form already in the AC-45s.

Barker wasn’t allowed to speak solely about this regatta, most journalists wanted to find out more about the progress of the AC-72s, and that is hardly surprising as that is what the America’s Cup is all about.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]'Getting an AC-72 round the course in heavy conditions is going to be difficult,' he admitted, 'but we have had some good practice with Luna Rossa in Auckland, and I presume that they have also benefited.' What he didn’t add was that it will have been more useful than the short amount of trailing Oracle had with Artemis (from which Artemis learned the awful truth).

Ainslie, who laughingly declared: 'Navigation has never been my strong point,' when questioned on missing a mark in the coastal race, believes, 'hopefully, we will be in the top end of the fleet come next Sunday.' He observed: 'The conditions here are lighter than San Francisco, and we are going to have to learn how to use the gennakers and Code Zero sails.' The importance will be finding out how to sail deep and fast with these 'extras'.

Bearing away into a gybe at the first mark was also critical, according to Ainslie. 'This is where races are won and lost,' he said, adding that keeping within the course boundaries was also of primary importance because: 'you can’t bank on it always being a square course.' Ben too was looking to the AC-72 and his role in Oracle and beyond. While the money for this AC is guaranteed, when he goes it with a British team next time round with sponsorship from J.P.Morgan, he didn’t see all of the cash coming from the one source: 'We will need some element of private money.'

Much of what the skippers wanted to talk about was the future, but for Mitch Booth, back to skipper China Team, it was with mixed emotion. Mitch was undoubtedly the best technical commentator that has been used on the ACTV, but he has been sidelined from that, as he explained: 'Because I don’t speak American!'

© This report and images are copyright to Bob Fisher, Linda Wright and Sail-World.com and may not be republished without permission

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesNewport Boat Show 2016 660x82InSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug
Gladwell's Line - The challenges of Guanbara Bay
The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer course, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest of the 2016 Sailing Olympics. Over shadowed by a 1300ft tall granite and quartz mountain in the shape of a sugarloaf, the bay suffers from dramatic windshifts, and huge variance in wind pressure.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug
Rio 2016 - Day 2 brings more tumult for some, salvation for others
The course area may have changed, but Brit, Nick Dempsey's performance early on stayed the same. The course area may have changed, but Brit, Nick Dempsey's performance early on stayed the same. He picked up where he left off on Day 1 in Race 4 of the Men's RS:X class on the Escola Naval race area to record his third win in four races. Poland's Piotr Myszka finished second with Brazil's Ricardo Santos third.
Posted on 10 Aug