sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : America's Cup: Spy vs Spy - Serious, or straight from the comic books?
America's Cup: Spy vs Spy - Serious, or straight from the comic books?


'Team tender to starboard, Oracle spy boat to port - Emirates Team NZ - AC72 Aotearoa February 12, 2013'    Richard Gladwell ©    Click Here to view large photo

Surveillance is part of America’s Cup life. Everyone does it. Coach Rod Davis muses on what can be learned – and the rules that regulate it.

At times the America’s Cup seems just like Mad Magazine’s Spy vs Spy. One team keeping tabs on another and a game of, not so much dirty tricks, but pranks played both by and against the spy.

Teams have paid dearly over the years for a lack of understanding of what the opposition was up to.

Rod Davis  Chris Cameron-ETNZ©  
Perhaps the best-known and costly lack of insight was about Ben Lexcen’s winged keel on Australia II. A couple pictures shot early on and the America’s Cup would have never left the New York Yacht Club.

Every team watches every other team, takes notes, pictures, collects gossip, even starts a little gossip to see what shakes out.

So what are the teams hoping to learn? Why are THEY doing things differently than US. Why are THEIR boards more curved than OURS? THEIR wing sets up differently than OURS. Is that good? By keeping logs of the progression of sails or boards, watchers can learn along with those being watched.

The spies watching Emirates Team New Zealand are very interested in our foiling: how do we do it? How much wind do we need? And how fast is it?

How does a team learn these things? Collect the information and then the hard part – make sense of it. Pictures and videos are good, but the human eye often picks up things that seem to melt into the picture. So good people and good notes are important.

Watchers would give anything to measure the other team’s real boat speed and wind angles, but that is very hard to do. Often the number you get is only within 10% of the real speed. Hardly priceless information.

The ubiquitous Oracle spy boat follows Emirates Team NZ - AC72 Aotearoa February 12, 2013  Richard Gladwell_©   Click Here to view large photo
It helps immensely to know what you are looking for before you start observing. Set the targets and position yourself to get the pictures that you need. Without a target and a plan, endless hours can be wasted for little useful information.

Then comes the tricky part. In the piles of pictures, notes and hours of video what’s rubbish and where are the gems?

The danger lies in jumping to conclusions that turn out to be an incorrect. Chasing phantoms costs both time and money.

Any Rules about Spying?

Of course, this is the America’s Cup and we have rules about everything. Surprisingly, these rules are pretty straightforward.

- Nothing illegal. So no phone taps, no trespassing, no buying the information from a third party etc.
- On the water you can’t observe within 200 metres of their boat or base. This does not apply if you are on land or a public dock. Oh, and no spy planes, no helicopters, U2s, drones… all prohibited.
- No tapping into their private radio channels.

What happens if you break these rules?

Long lens at work again in the Viaduct Harbour as the Emirates Team NZ AC72 prepares to pass through the Viaduct Bridge in daylight. -  Richard Gladwell_©   Click Here to view large photo
A team protests to the international jury just as Luna Rossa did about Oracle a few months ago. Oracle infringed the 200-metre rule to take pictures of the Luna Rossa boat. Oracle thought they were within their rights to take pictures if they were stopped and Luna Rossa sailed to them.

An observation team can easily find themselves within 200 metres if the cat unexpectedly turns and comes at them doing 30+ knots. That is not a serious foul, maybe not a foul at all. But if you continue to take pictures as the boat go by, you are breaking the rules. The solution is easy, put the camera down, motor outside the 200-metre boundary at a prudent speed and pick the camera back up.

The jury deducted five sailing days from Oracle’s allotment for their infraction. Juries have been known to get more than a little annoyed at illegal information gathering. In 2003 One World started each round robin and knockout series on minus one point. They had to win a race just to get to 0-0 score because they 'acquired information in violation of the rules'.

As far pranks, the stuff of Spy vs Spy: Props of spy boats have gone missing overnight, once a boat was boarded, crew striped, clothes stolen, leaving them to go home naked. Paint ball guns have been known to be out of the water.

Misinformation is the nemesis of information gathering. And Coutts is the best at misinformation. So you always ask yourself, it this real or what they want me to believe?? Did I mention that you America’s Cup could make you paranoid?


by Rod Davis writing for etnzblog.com

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=106984

1:11 AM Wed 27 Feb 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup
2011 Emirates Team New Zealand news

Related News Stories:

27 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Docking out - Image gallery
27 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Am-Cam video of AC72 racing on the Hauraki Gulf
27 Feb 2013  America's Cup: The Beginning of the End
27 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Paul Cayard confirms second AC72 build in Sweden
26 Feb 2013  America's Cup: On board Emirates Team NZ's new AC72
26 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Artemis Racing suspends sailing program to modify AC72
26 Feb 2013  Youth America's Cup 2013 - Aussies to compete in September
26 Feb 2013  Camper to sponsor Emirates Team NZ in America's Cup bid
25 Feb 2013  America's Cup: Red Bull Youth teams for September announced
23 Feb 2013  America’s Cup World Series - Tom Slingsby takes turn to helm Oracle
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

The first eight days of the Volvo Ocean Race have been filled with more excitement and tighter racing than anyone could have anticipated. Up until Saturday morning, Leg One has left the fleet with few tactical options and therefore has kept everyone tightly packed as one unit of seven boats. ... [more]  

The 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds kicked off on October 20th in Clearwater, USA, and it was hard work from the start: in 5-6 kt of breeze, offshore to start the day and side-on to close it, pumping was in order for the 54 boys and 28 girls gathered here for the 2014 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 9 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video. ... [more]  

It’s the dawn of a complicated day in the Volvo Ocean Race. Let’s face it: we’re not having a very good time on Dongfeng. We lost distance last night, and our leading position. The day got dull afterwards. Sailing straight ahead, with the spinnaker up, in light winds. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 10 onboard Team SCA. Two days, eight hours, thirty-four minutes, and ten seconds, nine seconds, eight, seven, six, five… over the last few days the clock has gotten louder and louder as it counts down to October 23rd at noon—the time when we cross the equator and the time when myself and six other sailors join the rest of our crew in King Neptune’s court. ... [more]  

For Pablo Arrarte Elorza, the Volvo Ocean Race is a tough challenge. Not as far as physical effort is concerned because this likeable Spaniard is a very strong guy. For Pablo, the race is mostly a culinary war of attrition because the food that the team has bought with it on the race does little to please his gourmet palate. ... [more]  

The team at The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta are very happy to announce that entries are now open for the 2015 Regatta, taking place March 5 - 8. The team hopes to see lots of return entries as well as new ones this year, all coming to celebrate the event's 35th year. In order to celebrate this milestone year, there will be some new features this coming season. ... [more]  

After three complete days at sea only three boats competing in the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race have passed the northwest tip of Sicily, roughly the halfway point of the race. The prevailing wind remains weak, but is expected to strengthen this afternoon coinciding with the arrival of bulk of the fleet t the Egadi Islands. ... [more]  

Last week the Volvo Ocean Race was all about VMG downwind sailing, with Dongfeng being the star performer. After DFRT took the lead, they shortly lost it again 36 hours later after hitting something in the water and losing their rudder. Two hours later they were up and running again with the spare in. Impressive stuff. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Fight to the finish by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Igor Simicic's maxi, Esimit Europa 2 is expected to finish the Rolex Middle Sea Race in the early hours of tomorrow morning. However the 100ft carbon fibre canting keel Maxi is under serious pressure to secure their fourth Line Honours victory in the race. ... [more]  

Italy won two races (windward-leeward race (ninth race) and coastal race (11th race), Switzerland won the second race of the day (10th race) and Ireland the last one (12th race). A lot of tactics was required to make best use of the little wind. The first race (windward-leeward race, 0,8nm) started at four knots. A second start under black flag happened. ... [more]  

PredictWind have made significant improvements to the swell forecasting models and added new locations. Integrating the new 50km global wind forecast with ocean current data has created the most advanced swell modelling available online. By combining PredictWind forecast data with ocean current data, the effect of the wind on swells can be accounted for ... [more]  

The battle continues for the lead in the Volvo Ocean Race, with the front running being taken up by different competitors on a regular basis. With the first boats about to enter the Doldrums, anything can happen - with the outcome being decided by navigational skill and experience, rather than being resolved on a computer. ... [more]  

The Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup, now in its 12th year, is known around the world as an international championship of junior champions. It runs parallel to the penultimate event on the World Match Racing Tour, the Argo Group Gold Cup. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet charges the door of the Doldrums Casino *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The Volvo Ocean Race has lifted intensity again on Day 9 with the fleet spread across 100nm of ocean and charging in a line for the turning point of Fernando de Noronha, 220nm off the Brazilian coast. ... [more]  

As expected the third day of the 2014 La Torche PWA Grand Slam proved to be a quiet affair with very light winds throughout the day. After a chilly and overcast start, the sun eventually broke through to produce another beautiful afternoon in La Torche. ... [more]  

The first eight days of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race have been filled with more excitement and tighter racing than anyone could have anticipated. Up until Saturday morning, Leg One has left the fleet with few tactical options and therefore has kept everyone tightly packed as one unit of seven boats. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. The sun’s out. It’s warm – not too hot, but warm enough for just a tee shirt. Ian Walker is stood at the helm of his Emirati boat, generous Atlantic trade winds whistling past his ears. 'We’re going straight through,' he claims, confidently. 'What Doldrums? - they’re going to say. Azzam isn’t even going to slow down.' ... [more]  

At 1700 CET in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, 113 yachts had rounded Stromboli, the active volcano that marks the most northerly point of the course. Race leader on the water, Esimit Europa 2, was less than 20 miles from Favignana and preparing to turn south with 289 miles to go and is expected to finish the race in the early hours of Wednesday 22 October, which would be well outside the course record ... [more]  

It is with great pleasure that the Star Sailors League announces that two more top Brazilian sailors will be joining the fleet of 20 super-champions taking part in the Star Sailors League Finals 2014 being held for the second consecutive year at Nassau Yacht Club in the Bahamas between December 1st and 7th. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team Alvimedica. It’s hard to explain the complexity of the weather in this part of the world. No computer model or forecaster can accurately predict the winds because the air here is dry and warm, 23c now, and the typical barometric pressure gradients that generate them become very weak. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team SCA. We’re a boat on a mission: catch the fleet. And they’re getting closer by the mile. The first time I sailed past Cape Verde islands was in 2010 when I was helping deliver a catamaran from Gibraltar to Antigua, W.I. ... [more]  

Thailand bids for 2016 IODA ‘Optimist’ World Championships by Jordan Rumsby, Royal Varuna Yacht Club
Pattaya's Royal Varuna Yacht Club has submitted a bid to host the 2016 International Optimist Dinghy Association World Championships, offering the world's most talented junior sailing teams a chance to experience the steady wind, sunshine, smiles, great food, and family-friendly attractions of Thailand's top dinghy sailing destination ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this second gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 Prizegiving ... [more]  

Bill Green - builder and sailor passes on by Malcolm McKeag, Scuttlebutt Europe, Lymington, England:
Bill Green, San Francisco-born sailor, Navy jet jockey (not a lot of people know that); US Coastguard; shrimp-boat hand (not a lot of people know that either); One Ton Cup winner and most latterly proprietor of Green Marine slipped quietly away from this life ... [more]  

Tom Burton (AUS) retained World #1 in the Laser after a tremendous fight back at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao where he picked up bronze. The Australia had a tough opening day, finishing down the pack in both races but as the week progressed he worked his way up and sealed bronze on the final day to keep hold of World #1. ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - A hard day's night by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Rolex Middle Sea Race - As high pressure moved in from the north, the area around Stromboli had virtually no gradient wind and for those yachts yet to reach Stromboli, a south flowing current has slowed proceedings even further. For the competitive offshore yacht racer, performing well in light wind is more difficult than blasting through a storm at top speed. ... [more]  

34th Student Yachting World Cup - France knew today its best day since the beginning of the competition. They spent the two races at the very first positions, even rivaling with the ultra-dominant English team. They showed today an astounding panache, and can now hope to improve their ranking before the end of the SYWoC. ... [more]  

The Chinese entry Donfeng Race Team, has lost her lead on Day 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race, with boats on the east and western side of the course threatening. Two hours before the most recent sked at 0640hrs UTC, Dongfeng was still being listed by Volvo Ocean Race as the leader. But Team Brunel is now listed as the leader, but on a time taken projection basis, Team Brunel is fifth. ... [more]  

Flying Dreams is a movie directed by the talented Elsa Blayau is an ode to ocean, water sports and femininity. Based on an original idea from Alex Udin, Elsa Blayau transformed the project to a complete story and brought it to reality with this realization. ... [more]  

The 70th running of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is living up to expectation with 98 high-calibre entries received so far, from Sean Langman’s 1932 built Maluka of Kermandie, the oldest and smallest boat at nine metres, to the super maxis. The most talked about boat though, is the Verdier Yacht Design and Vplp 100 footer, Comanche. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 8 plus Videos *Feature
Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design Challenge - Youngerman wins
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Santander team victorious
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Waves continue to pound on day 2
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng consolidates lead on Day 8 *Feature
RS:X Youth World Championships - All set for Clearwater action
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Slow road north
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 – Dongfeng Race Team - A risky call
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Escaping the shroud of Mount Etna
Farr 40 Worlds: Day 4 Image and Video gallery *Feature
Australian 18 Footers League’s Major A. Frizelle Trophy
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leader gambles on Island windshadow
2014 Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Final day video highlights
2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Plenty of time
Coast Guard rescues two near Wachapreague
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 2
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Massive swell on day 1
Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Al's Ocean Cafe
Argo Group Gold Cup survives Hurricane Gonzalo
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng regains lead after incident packed Day 7 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Dramatic video of Dongfeng rudder replacement   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica bounces back   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA expecting the expected + Video   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - New record for Mediterranean classic   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Medallists decided across six fleets   
Volvo Ocean Race - Impressive turnaround for Dongfeng Race Team +Video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Race closer than leaderboard suggests - Leg 1, Day 6   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng Race Team break rudder after collision   
2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Famous breeze frustrates   
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 1   
Sunfish World Championship - Victory for Argentina's Francisco Renna   
Volvo Ocean Race - Feeling the pressure six days in   
Volvo Ocean Race - Alvimedica cautiously cruising down coast of Africa   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel still within striking distance   
Volvo Ocean Race - Testing times for Team SCA + Video   
Beijing 2008 Olympic legacy lives on in Qingdao + Video   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - A return nearly 20 years in the making   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Game on for remaining fleets   
Farr 40 Worlds: Day 2 Image and Video gallery *Feature   
Day 5 of the Chris Benz Lüderitz Speed Challenge: 4 more records!   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT