Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZ on 20 Apr
Artemis Racing seems to have the measure of Oracle Team USA after Practice Sessions 2 & 3 Austin Wong | ACEA
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, and the third major Practice Session having concluded in Bermuda, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months.


The latest Practice Session was conducted almost entirely in winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.

The obvious take out from the series is the 9-0 score for Artemis Racing, taking four races off the Defender Oracle Team USA.

However, the Swedish team did win their two races against the Defender in the previous Practice Session 2 - and have taken six wins on the trot from the Defender.

By any measure that is a significant result.


For sure Oracle Team USA may not have had their best daggerboards fitted, and Artemis Racing could be a step ahead of the rest in that regard.

Commenting after the finish of Practice Session 2, Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill said: 'The fact is, I think everyone only has one set of foils at this point, so in lighter winds everyone was compromised somewhat.'

Given the complexity and options afforded by the daggerboard rules, coupled with the fact that most if not all teams have suffered unexpected breakage, it is not really certain that apples are being compared with apples in the daggerboard stakes.

In other words, Artemis Racing might be the only team of the five with daggerboards optimised for the strong breezes.

Either way it's a guessing game at this stage. Every team knows what they are using, and think they know, to varying degrees of accuracy what their opponents are doing. Those watching from the sidelines have no real idea of what is happening - and can only react to actual events and sighted developments.


There may be some better answers in the next session which gets underway on April 24, local time. That is a five-day session - and may be the first opportunity for Emirates Team New Zealand to line-up with come of the other Challengers at least.

Given Oracle Team USA's current position there would seem to be little point in the Kiwis lining up against the Defender.

Emirates Team New Zealand has always been critical of the Challengers sailing against the Defender, and it would be hypocritical if the Kiwis were to change their stance.

Equally, there is little point in the New Zealanders lining up against Softbank Team Japan. The Japanese are seen as a sub-set of the Defender's campaign and would be too useful a benchmark. Although as Oracle Team USA CEO Russell Coutts noted after the Third Practice Session 'Soft Bank Team Japan needs to address their reliability issues...'

So maybe expect a limited showing by Emirates Team New Zealand in Practice Session 4.

The reality lies in skipper Glenn Ashby's comment on their isolated training in Auckland and what will happen when the Kiwis check in with reality in Bermuda: 'We are either going to come in, in good shape or having plenty on.'


Expect Team New Zealand to continue playing their own game.

While there will be plenty, who expect them to show their hand, forgetting that part of the Team Zealand tradition has been to largely train alone.

In 2013 they turned up in San Francisco having only had a very limited work up against Luna Rossa, who while the second best challenger were slow and were not consistent. In previous Challenges, their way has usually been to train in the Hauraki Gulf, in a patch of water that resembles the Match venue and work away during the New Zealand summer.

From what we have seen on the video from Bermuda, and what we have been able to see with our own eyes on the Waitemata, Emirates Team New Zealand looks to be as sharp as Artemis Racing and may be sharper.

The test will be if the Kiwis can get around the course in Bermuda without a slowing splash-down. They would put them well ahead of the others, and in the video analysis, splash-downs were what cost valuable metres. To some extent, splash-downs are a measure of several factors - and are easily visible on video.


The other issue from the Practice Sessions is that Oracle Team USA may well rue their decision to race against the Challengers.

While giving them some target practice, it does also mean that their results will be compared with the Challengers - and commented on.

It is a lose-lose for the Defenders. If they give the Challengers a resounding hiding, then Oracle Team USA are criticised for getting their measure in a way that is against the traditions of the Cup.

Lose in the way they have against Artemis Racing, and Oracle Team USA get a hammering for being off the pace.

Of course, Oracle Team USA are used to the comeback, but this Practice Session stuff is different. It will be interesting in the next session if they can step up in their handling, speed and results.

Follow all the racing and developments in major and local events on www.sail-world.com by scrolling to the top of the site, select New Zealand, and get all the latest news and updates from the sailing world.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

sailworldnzl@gmail.com

To subscribe to Sail-World.com's NZ e-magazine published two or three times weekly go to www.sail-world.com and click on Newsletter and Subscribe. You can see previous newsletters by clicking on Newsletter and then Archive from the drop-down menu.

To check if you have been missing one or more Sail-World newsletters - then check on Archive in the Newsletter section - and if you are missing some, then enter a new gmail.com email address for you.

If you want to contact Richard Gladwell directly email: sailworldnzl@gmail.com or call (+6421) 301030 or by Skype at sailworldnzl





NaiadPredictWind.com 2014Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82

Related Articles

An interview with Ray Redniss about the STC’s annual Block Island Race
I caught up with Ray Redniss, the Block Island Race’s longtime PRO, via email to learn more about this classic event. I caught up with Ray Redniss, who has served as the PRO for the Block Island Race and the Vineyard Race (September 1, 2017) for the past twenty-plus years, via email to learn more about the state of this classic, early season New England event.
Posted on 22 May
An Q&A with Jeremy Pochman about 11th Hour Racing’s impressive efforts
I interviewed Jeremy Pochman of 11th Hour Racing to learn more about this forward-thinking environmental non-profit. 11th Hour Racing is doing some of the most forward-leaning environmental work in the entire marine sphere, and I wanted to learn more, so I reached out to Jeremy Pochman, 11th Hour Racing’s Strategic Director and Co-founder, to ask a few questions. All sailors are strongly encouraged to give this interview the time it deserves.
Posted on 15 May
A Q&A with Don Adams about Sail Canada’s plan to win Olympic medals
I caught up with Sail Canada CEO Don Adams to hear about Team Canada’s High Performance Plan for winning Olympic medals. Sail Canada, Canada’s national sailing authority, is implementing a new High Performance Plan with the aim of improving on their recent Olympic sailing performances. I caught up with Don Adams, CEO of Sail Canada, to learn more about this ambition plan for helping Canadian sailors win Olympic medals while also helping to inspire younger generations to pursue the Olympic-sailing dream.
Posted on 8 May
America's Cup - Southern Spars AC50 build for Emirates Team NZ + Video
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map 27 years after Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, Southern Spars were called on to build Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup Challenger. Here's a look behind the scenes at the composite engineering process Southern Spars employ on projects ranging from Volvo OR spars, to Olympic bike wheels to an AC50
Posted on 1 May
She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
A Q&A with Nicole Breault about women’s match racing in the USA
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about women’s match racing in the USA and about her upcoming Clinegatta. I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women’s match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Posted on 17 Apr
America's Cup - Team NZ return fire at Coutts' social media bullets
Emirates Team New Zealand have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers Emirates Team NZ have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers in a media release on Thursday (NZT) over the team's daggerboard use. In the release, replayed by America's Cup Events Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO Sir Russell Coutts on his Facebook page. It was claimed that the Kiwi team had an issue with daggerboards and were using a rule they had not supported to keep sailing
Posted on 2 Apr
A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar