Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring J-class

Fisher's View- 'Isn’t that a dainty dish to set before the King?'

by Bob Fisher on 19 Nov 2011
Emirates Team NZ stares down the barrel of a defeat - Match Racing Semi-Finals America’s Cup World Series, San Diego ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/

Bob Fisher, one of the worlds top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in San Diego for the Third round of the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having competed for Britain in the Little America's Cup and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

Dear Diary – Day 5 - America's Cup World Series - San Diego, California, USA

Semi-finals Friday

With owner Larry Ellison in the sixth-man seat aboard Oracle Racing 4, Jimmy Spithill and his crew turned on a strident performance to beat Emirates Team New Zealand in two straight races to go into the final of the ACWS Match Racing Championship.

It wasn’t totally one-way traffic, but Spithill’s match racing ability provided him with an edge that Dean Barker did not seem able to match.

In the first race, Oracle Racing 4 attacked in the pre-start and Jimmy lived up to his soubriquet 'Pitbull' to force the Kiwis over the line two seconds early. When ETNZ had taken her penalty, the Oracle Racing team was nine seconds ahead at the first mark.

From then on, Spithill drew away on each leg of the course to finish 1:09 in front. One up and so was the Oracle Racing team’s tail, but this time all the hunting was to no avail. ETNZ was just ahead as they started and led around the first mark where Oracle Racing gybed instantly, but it was not a good one and ETNZ led by 12 seconds through the leeward gate.

John Kostecki, the Oracle Racing tactician had sensed that the left-hand side of the windward leg would be favoured and called Jimmy to head that way. Barker failed to cover and the split was as much as 500 metres. There was indeed more wind on the left side of the course and as both boats tacked the advantage switched from the Kiwis to the Oracle Racing team who led by 22 seconds through the gate.


The fight appeared to go out of ETNZ and slowly Spithill and company drew ahead to finish 34 seconds in front to claim a place in tomorrow’s final. 'I’m very happy,' said Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts, 'In these boats you don’t need much extra breeze to make a big difference.'

Crewman Joey Newton admitted that there had been a great deal of work carried out on the 'soft' sails since the last regatta, in Plymouth: 'We have changed the sizes and the shapes, and it has made a big difference.' 'Cheese' de Ridder explained that the trimming of the wing, with its three different elements was much more of a matter of experience than it had been with the eight element wing on the 90-foot trimaran USA-17 in which Oracle Racing had won the America’s Cup: 'There are no instruments, I have to do it all by feel.'

Yann Guichard, the skipper of the French Energy Team said: 'We spent much of the morning deciding what we wouldn’t do in the pre-start,' and true to his word, acted on the decision to stay away from Artemis. It obviously frustrated Terry Hutchinson and his team that the Energy team refused to engage.

Artemis led from the start with Energy Team close behind at the first mark, but when both boats went for their first gybe simultaneously, the technique of the experienced French multihullers proved devastating. They turned inside Artemis and were up to speed before the Swedish team and shot into the lead. Nothing that Hutchinson could do made any difference and the French drew away to win by 26 seconds.


Their second race was a carbon copy of the first with Artemis leading by six seconds around the first mark and Energy Team gybing inside the leader soon after rounding to take the lead with a better accomplished manoeuvre and sail away to a 1:03 victory and the place in the final to meet Oracle Racing Spithll.

Barz Optics - Melanin LensesNewport Boat Show 2016 660x82Zhik Yachting 660x82

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Does the America's Cup really need a Star Chamber?
The first meeting of the three-man America's Cup Arbitration Panel is believed to have taken place in London The first meeting of the three-man America's Cup Arbitration Panel is believed to have taken place in London in the past week or so. Officially the date hasn't been publicly announced. The venue hasn't been publicly named, and the parties have appeared before a Panel that is publicly nameless.
Posted on 23 Jul
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on Emirates Team NZ's road to Bermuda
Part 2 of the interview with Emirates Team NZ skipper Glenn Ashby. In this part of the interview we look at what is going to happen once Emirates Team NZ get their 'AC49.5' sailing in Auckland, and how the campaign may shape up before they leave for Bermuda. Ashby wouldn’t be drawn on whether Team New Zealand had started their AC50 build, with July being the usual start of what is usually a five-month build and commissioning period for an end of December launch.
Posted on 10 Jul
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on Emirates Team NZ's new AC49.5
Sail-World talks with Emirates Team NZ skipper, Glenn Ashby on what is different about the team's new test boat Just under 11 months out from the 35th America’s Cup, Team New Zealand does not seem to be in its customary place at the front of the starting grid to be the first to launch their Challenger, or are they? Although they will be one of the last of the six teams to launch an AC45 Surrogate, Emirates Team New Zealand may have stolen a march with a boat that is as close as you can get to an AC50.
Posted on 9 Jul
Gladwell's Line - Emirates Team NZ launches shadow AC50
Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC4 Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC45S - as the test boats are called in the Protocol which governs the 2017 event. The bloated Protocol, which now runs to 83 pages of legalese, is restrictive on the size of boat that can be built as a test platform but doesn't restrict the number that can be built.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Rio 2016 - Double Olympic medallist on the delights of Guanabara Bay
Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist Bruce Kendall updates on the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist, and now a windsurfer coach, Bruce Kendall has made several trips to the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. He updates on the pollution issue which is clearly not going to be resolved in a couple of months, and also shares his views on the venue from a sailing competition perspective.
Posted on 14 Jun
America's Cup - Artemis win Chicago as Team Japan wins two races
Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. After losing the first official day of racing due to light winds and the non-arrival of the onshore breeze, Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. From a racing perspective this was probably the best day of racing yet in the series which counts for points in the Qualifying Series of the America's Cup in 11 months time.
Posted on 12 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates TNZ NZ and Oracle capsize in Chicago Practice
Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA capsized in Practice Racing at the Louis Vuitton ACWS Chicago There was action aplenty on Practice Day at Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago, after Emirates Team New Zealand capsized in their match with Oracle Team USA, and then Oracle Team USA capsized later in the day. Team NZ's skipper skipper Glenn Ashby performed some impressive acrobatics ejecting from the AC45 capsize, without injury.
Posted on 11 Jun
America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
America's Cup - AC50 construction uncovered - Part 2 - Wings and Costs
Second part of a two-part series looking at the AC50 construction progress at Core Builders Composites Second part of a two-part series looking at the construction progress at Core Builders Composites, and features of the AC50 class which will be used in the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda. Tim Smyth takes us on a tour of the CBC facility in Warkworth, and hour's drive north of Auckland. Where several AC50's, components and wingsails are under construction or have already been shipped to the teams.
Posted on 5 Jun