Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

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]
Zhik ZKG 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

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