Welcome to Sail-World.com's eleventh America's Cup Newsletter for the 34th America's Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand has won Louis Vuitton Cup, and once again will take on the mantle of Challenger for the America's Cup.
This is New Zealand's third stint as the America’s Cup Challenger since 1987 - sailing in multi-challenger Cups. Fourth if you include the Deed of Gift Match in 1988. The team has twice Defended, and has always made the Louis Vuitton Cup Final. That is the best record of any team in America’s Cup history.
Under the burgee of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the Team has been the Defender or Challenger in the last five America’s Cups.
By any measure, the Kiwi team dominated the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup. But for a flat battery in Race 2 of the Final when they were leading, the New Zealand team would have won every race they sailed, and led around every mark.
The New Zealand team has never had to come from behind. In all its wins, Emirates Team NZ has led out of the first gybe – that’s after the first minute of every race.
As thoughts shift to the future, that record could indicate their greatest strength, and point to their greatest weakness.
This 34th America's Cup will be a clash of campaign styles, and history, as much as of the teams and crews.
Emirates Team New Zealand has really only themselves to sail against, plus some very limited racing against Luna Rossa. A few days in Auckland; four races in the Round Robin; plus seven more in the Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup. And that’s it.
Oracle Team USA come from a traditional campaign base running a two boat build up program. Although their plans were upset with the capsize in October 2012, the Defender did take the opportunity the catastrophe afforded to re-align its design program to develop and rebuild their first boat into a full foiler, and to become a good training boat for their second generation AC72.
Oracle Team USA has been able to run two boats, both testing for speed and training tactically. The team has two outstanding match racing skippers, who will push each other around much more than has been Dean Barker’s lot thus far.
Emirates Team NZ will only have the luxury of a trial partner for the few days before the match, when Luna Rossa fronts up and acts as a training partner.
Traditionally the Challenger has come off a program that has allowed them to run their own in-house two-boat testing, before getting the day in day out work-out against 8-10 other teams in the Louis Vuitton Cup. That exercise invariably has its ups and downs and surprises – all of which serve to harden the successful Challenger.
This eighth Louis Vuitton Cup has been contested by just three teams, one of whom lasted just four races in the Semi-Final phase of the competition - a long way from being the most testing of series which has been the hallmark the Louis Vuitton, and indeed the very reason why the event was conceived.
One of the traits of unsuccessful Challengers, is the fact that they often have their best racing in the Louis Vuitton and arrive battle weary and shell-shocked for the America’s cup match.
This latest Louis Vuitton Cup is not in that category. Only a flat battery deprived Emirates Team NZ of the record of winning every race, and leading around every mark in the Challenger Selection Series.
The Kiwis have countered this not unexpected situation by opting for an intense coaching and analysis process. That search for perfection produced some of the most beautiful sailing technique seen in the sport.
But will it be enough to carry the day on September 7?
No-one really knows. And for all its tragedy, Jury Hearings, on the edge sailing, and sheer spectacle, the 34th America’s Cup, at this juncture , appears to be finely poised.
In San Francisco, Sail-World.com will have a team of seven producing our own video, still images and telling the stories of the 34th America’s Cup, as well as drawing on the best of other available content from the event.
We will be continuing to produce this newsletter, but for latest sailing and America’s Cup news stay tuned to our website www.sail-world.com - and enjoy the ride!
In this edition we feature another of the video, and image galleries from Maritime Productions, harking back to previous America's Cups and providing a nice offset to the 34th Match. This video focuses on the 1974 America's Cup which was notable for both the size and quality of the Defender fleet, and the entry into the America's Cup world of several of the personalities that were to shape the sport for the next ten years - certainly until 1983.
On the defender side there was Ted Turner, Dennis Conner, along with several of the old guard. And on the Challenger side there was Alan Bond, Ben Lexcen and the core of the Australian team that would be the first winning Challenger in 1983.
Don't miss the extract from Bob Fisher's excellent book, An Absorbing Interest, featured in this story.
Stay tuned to our website www.Sail-World.com for daily updates on how the action unfolds in the 34th America’s Cup.
Richard Gladwell .
Sail-World's America's Cup News Editor
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Louis Vuitton Cup Final - Emirates Team New Zealand - LUNA ROSSA/Studio Borlenghi-Borlengho/Butto
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11:52 AM Tue 27 Aug 2013GMT
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