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Of Rolex Sydney Hobart, Jimmy Spithill on AC34, kickstart and more

by Rob Kothe & Richard Gladwell on 18 Dec 2013
Giacomo, the former Groupama, stacked with Kiwi talent is ready to race - 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race © Andrea Francolini / Rolex http://www.afrancolini.com
There’s plenty of Rolex Sydney Hobart news in this edition of Sail-World.com’s newsletter, as the build up for the Boxing Day race continues apace.

We’re expecting to have some great coverage this year with a big team in Sydney for the start. Coverage will be being handled from Australia and around the world, with our 24x7 team.

The fleet this year is arguably the best ever assembled, evidenced by the lack of talk about whether the race record will go, but with more focus on who will win the races within races.



For sure the spotlight will go on the 100ft supermaxis, but just below them are a group of yachts that could spring a surprise – Jim Delegat’s Volvo 70, Giacomo the former Groupama, which has performed well in early hit-outs against the bigger boats.

Then there Karl Kwok´s new 80 footer Beau Geste, which left Auckland yesterday bound for Sydney. Why then? Not a weather window, just the time the crew from the 52 footer could assemble in Auckland after their very successful hit out on the Pittwater and offshore. We talked at length to Gavin Brady in recent days, so we will give you the latest on this interesting program.

One of the intriguing aspects of the race will be the performance of Wild Oats XI – the images as she was hoisted from the water yesterday reveal why. She has been nick-named the 'Swiss Army Knife' as blade-like appendages sprout in abundance. (we have the latest pix including the new diving board.)



On the America’s Cup scene, we are told there is plenty of action happening below the surface, but there is not a lot that is visible.

For sure you hear snippets, sometimes yesterday’s rumour becomes today’s confirmed news. Sometimes what you are told emphatically turns to nothing.

What is surprising is the retention by many of the existing teams of their key people from the last campaign, meaning the opportunities for any new teams to acquire AC72 experienced talent are reduced. That also points to a lack of change on the nationality rule – but time will tell on that front.

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The answers from the last America’s Cup are still not definitively answered, but one of the best commentaries we have seen came this week and last on Radio New Zealand National, as the two interviewers spoke with Dean Barker and Jimmy Spithill to get their view of what happened, and the reasons for the eventual success of Oracle Team USA, and also why Emirates Team New Zealand lost the vital edge they enjoyed at the start of the series.

We have provided some transcripts of the key points of the interviews, but the real value is in listening to the audio themselves – each is about 30 minutes long. Judge for yourself.

We are currently transcribing our own longer version of an interview with Jimmy, that we will release over the coming weeks.

At Sail-World we almost daily requests for DVD’s etc of America’s Cup racing – both the series just completed and previous Cups.


To the best of our knowledge there are no DVD’s commercially available due to a number of reasons. There is a project, currently seeking backers, to produce a multimedia e-book of the 34th America’s Cup, using the Kickstart funding model. This requires the public and fans to pledge to support the project financially – with their pledges only being called up if the project reaches its required funding level and will deliver.

We feature the story, its initiator, Jack Griffin, and how you can help, in this issue. The standard of the content appears to be excellent, and there are some samples of what is intended – you can also see more on www.cupexperience.com It doesn’t take much – pledges start at $5 – and there is two more days to run to get this project’s funding completed, and its on track now!!!. And the backers get a record of the 34th America’s Cup that would otherwise not exist.

Stay tuned to Sail-World.com website for all the latest news.

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