Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

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.

Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82Protector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Shawn Macking about the StPYC’s Sailing Center and OD fleet
I talked with Shawn Macking, the StPYC’s waterfront director, to learn how the club is getting more people out sailing. I caught up with Shawn Macking, waterfront director of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, via email to learn more about the club’s Sailing Center, its hefty investment in a new fleet of ten J/70s, and how the StPYC is using this infrastructure to expose more people to the sport we all love.
Posted on 13 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016