Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Gladwell's Line- Cup fever hits New Zealand heartland

by Richard Gladwell on 21 Sep 2013
San Francisco, 34th America’s Cup Final - Oracle Team USA Carlo Borlenghi/Luna Rossa© http://www.lunarossachallenge.com
Wind limits once again robbed fans and the sailors of another race in the 34th America’s Cup, but not after Oracle Team USA notched another win, in the first race of the day, on Day 9 of the regatta that seems to have no end.

As yesterday, the wind measure was reset several times for the second start of the first race of the day. Eventually a start was attempted, however the race officials were up against the 2.40pm deadline, after which no racing is allowed to be started.

As yesterday, the long story short, was that the pre-start wind limit was exceeded and that killed all further racing for the day.


In the first race, Race 12, Oracle Team USA took full advantage of an error made by Emirates Team NZ, who were forced to tack away just before the start to avoid Oracle Team USA. Barker’s response to Spithill’s luff was the correct one. The timing of it so close to the start meant that Emirates Team NZ has no time left to set up again for the start and giving away that sort of margin to Oracle Team USA, who are greatly improved since the start of the regatta is a big ask – too bigger ask.

At the post match media conference the question of wind limits was again raised. And Oracle Team USA put into the public arena, the fact that they have written to the Challenger suggesting that the wind limit should be increased. Barker’s response was that they initially wanted a 25kts limit. Oracle Team USA wanted 20kts, and Regatta Director Iain Murray struck a compromise at 23kts – and then made the tidal adjustment to the wind limit, that is unique to this event.


Barker responded to the Oracle taunt on the wind limit, by saying that he believed the event should be sailed under the rules that were set at the outset of the racing, and not changed midway through the Regatta.

Presumably he would be of a different mind, if the rules were applied retrospectively and Emirates Team NZ were given back the win for the first sailing of Race 9, when the pin was pulled, after a wind limit was exceeded, about one third of the way up Leg 3, while they were leading

But of course that would have given the Kiwi’s the Match Point they need to take the America’s Cup back to New Zealand.


In San Francisco, frequent questions are asked of the New Zealand team if they feel the pressure of their supporters back in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

For sure the enthusiasm in Auckland, at least, is just unbelievable and almost at Rugby World Cup level.

Last year's Rugby World Cup win was a monkey off the Kiwi’s backs - having only won previously in 1987. For a sport which is akin to a national Religion, 25 years between wins is an eternity.

Back off the plane this morning into Auckland, we got out first inkling of the state of the Kiwi yachting nation, when the pilot came on the PA system to give the usual discourse on weather conditions in Auckland (yes, it is raining), and then proceeded to spend three or four minutes telling the passengers how they could see the America’s Cup racing on TV and that it would start in a couple of hours time.


Going through Customs, one of the officials there went up the line telling her captive audience to make sure they should 'Lean with Dean' a reference to the 'Lean on Us' campaign run by major and long time Emirates Team NZ sponsor, Toyota.

Heading from the airport to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, there was no traffic. The morning rush-hour has gone, Traffic level’s could be best described as light to moderate – with everyone staying home to watch the racing.

Hardly surprising when the opening day attracted an audience put at 820,000 thousand viewers – and that is in a country of just over four million in population. Any TV show, radio show or website running America's Cup coverage has been rating its red socks off, since the start of the Match.


At RNZYS it was standing room only. And that is in the entire ground floor of a very large building which had three TV screens set up for members and guests. We counted at least five major media organisations (TV and radio) running live from the RNZYS.

Apparently it was a similar scene in Shed 10, on the Auckland waterfront - which is also packed out. Plans are now underway to accommodate people in The Cloud - a massive public viewing facility developed for the Rugby World Cup.

Arriving home to pick up the NZ Herald – with the frontpage and first six pages are devoted to America’s Cup, then there is a few pages break, before another couple of AC pages follow, plus another four or so in the Sports section.

The America's Cup completely dominates talkback radio - and leads the prime time new on both majaor TV channels.


Yes, New Zealand has a very bad dose of America’s Cup fever.

While the support is undoubtedly for the team, Kiwis desperately want to get the monkey of the 2003 loss off their backs - hence the intense interest.


[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]

Southern Spars - 100Protector - 660 x 82Mackay Boats

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