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Sail-World New Zealand- December 23, 2013 - Christmas round-up

by . on 23 Dec 2013
Giacomo (NZL) - CYC Trophy 2013, Sydney Andrea Francolini
Welcome to's New Zealand newsletter for December 23, 2013

While Rolex Sydney Hobart Race news will dominate Sail-World over the coming week, there is plenty of other sailing activity happening around the world, and we will try and provide some balance.

The fleet is now confirmed at 94 entries, bolstered by a 12 entry Clipper 70 fleet, as part of their race around the world, with another two of the older Clipper 68's competing.

Only one New Zealand yacht, Giacomo (Jim Delegat) is entered. The Volvo 70, and 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race winner is expected to give to the supermaxis a hurry up, but it will take exceptional conditions for her to win.

Several New Zealanders are sailing in the Sydney to Hobart, and we will do our best to maintain contact with them during the race.

Although the early predictions are for the race record to fall, our latest routing using!Predictwind indicate that the record is safe at this stage. Further, the optimum routing indicates some quite radical navigation is required to achieve just the fastest route. The reality is that the race leaders do not deviate that much from the straight line course, for reason of the extra distance sailed, but will slide to either side to take advantage of the changing weather relative to the rest of the fleet and their nearest competitors.

The major event on the 2014 sailing calendar for New Zealand will be the 2014 A-class Catamaran Worlds.

In this edition of’s newsletter we carry the latest details of the entries, including confirmation that Emirates Team NZ’s Glenn Ashby will be competing along with several other team members – we are trying to find out the names.

Also competing will be Peter Burling and Blair Tuke – current World and European Champions in the 49er class, and winners of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup series in San Francisco.

Word is that some foiling versions of the 18ft Single handed catamaran will be sailing in the regatta.

There is rumour aplenty on the America’s Cup front, however little is really expected to materialise until the deadline for San Francisco to submit its proposals to stage the event are tendered to the Cup organisers.

That deadline is believed to be before Christmas, and at that point we will know if the most reluctant of Cup venues has its hand up for another round – date to be determined.

Currently the City’s Supes (Board of Supervisors) are trying to publicly digest a funding shortfall of $5.5million on the last event. With an election looming next year, and Larry Ellison not exactly being the favoured son of many amongst the City’s liberals, expect a couple of years of posturing.

Do we need a replay of the Supes’ antics from 2010-2012? No.

Contrary to oft stated opinion, San Francisco is not the greatest sailing venue on the planet. By our calculation 40% of the scheduled races were delayed (beyond the same day) over the course of the 34th America’s Cup Regatta. That was largely due to some loopy wind limits at both ends of the scale – but that statistic doesn’t make San Francisco any better than a lot of other places in the world.

On its day the venue is a great sailing stadium, but not that great that the series could not be sailed elsewhere.

Another issue that will come to a head in the coming months will be the topic of a nationality clause in the future America’s Cup. Around that is the dearth of US sailing talent coming through at an Olympic and Youth level.

Most of the developed sailing countries do not have this issue. New Zealand being a notable case in point, and it is good to see the new move for Oceanbridge Sail Auckland with the travel grants for $2,000 each being offered to top Youth sailors in the event.

This is similar to the Olympicsail that used to be staged off Takapuna, offering similar grants to Olympic class winners – and was one of the reasons why New Zealand sailors rose to ascendency on the 1980’s, winning three medals at each of the 1984 and 1988 Olympics and another four in 1992. Politics saw the event moved to other venues. It died a lingering death, and New Zealand yachting was the poorer for it.

Putting some needle into the local competition lifts standards. Putting some cash (or near cash) on the finish line is a good way of putting and edge into the racing – and hopefully the move by Oceanbridge will have the same effect to that of Olympicsail almost 30 years ago.

A significant milestone was reached last Friday, with the e-Book on the 34th America’s Cup reaching its funding deadline. We have a couple of stories on this project in this newsletter. It is significant for the fact that the knockers who predicted the project would never fly, had to eat their words. Secondly it gets some independent coverage of the event into the market – and something that can be read online, rather than the normal coffee table book.

In this edition, we feature links to one extract of the type of material that has been developed – with a look and a think. Having been on the water for the race in question, the example provides a new view of what happened, and what could have happened – providing a different insight to the battle which had so many enthralled.

Finally a very Merry Christmas to all our readers and supporters – we hope you have enjoyed our coverage over the past year, and look forward to the start of yet another busy period come Boxing Day.

Stay tuned to website for all the latest news.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

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