Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for March 10, 2013
On Friday afternoon the two America's Cup AC72's working out of Auckland, Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand, staged a series of semi-formal race training sessions off Takapuna Beach.
In this edition of Sail-World.com's newsletter we feature a three image galleries and a long video clip of one of the sessions.
All these were shot from the seawall off Takapuna, which offered a remarkable vantage point for America's Cup fans, who could scarcely believe what they were seeing.
As one fan commented, with a semi-dazed look as he walked past, 'it's been a summer and a half'. Sure has.
The video shot, with a regular camera using a big lens in video mode, takes in the short pre-start which is quite different from the usual that we have seen in monohulled America's Cup sailing.
The short first reach is quite spectacular, as the boats accelerate and try and get the best line for the turning mark. At that point they become foil-borne for the ride downwind.
This is a new type of racing with distances between the boats often being quite large in terms of visible distance, but quite close in terms of time between the competitors.
It was hard to tell the differences upwind, from the two sessions that we saw, but the beat back to Auckland went to Luna Rossa, with Emirates Team New Zealand being clearly dominant on all the other legs. While Luna Rossa was trailing Emirates Team New Zealand, the difference was not great, unless the NZers had taken their foot off the speed pedal once safely in front.
The differences between the boats looked to be small but all running the NZers way and added up to a significant advantage. Luna Rossa certainly looked fast but not as refined as Emirates Team NZ, would be our summary of the two sessions, if really one can tell too much at all.
As a spectacle the racing impressed tremendously, by being close to shore. At a distance, it lost a lot, even though being able to be viewed through binoculars, but the shoreside racing, just a couple of hundred metres off the beach, was jaw dropping.
Underway not to far away from Takapuna Beach, on Auckland's Lake Pupuke, the OKI 24-hour Race is underway. This event has taken a number of different forms over the years, but is now limited to 40 Lasers, with two crew swapping throughput the 24 hour period.
If you are down at the Lake, take the opportunity to check out the Lancer Airdock, which is being used for transfer of the crews.
In recent years an Optimist event lasting six hours has been added. This year there are singlehanded crews racing for the first time.
Significantly the function of the event is to raise finds for Murrays Bay Sailing Club's junior development program, two products of which skipper Dean Barker and tactician, Ray Davies, now feature on Emirates Team NZ's AC72.
If you have sailed at Hamilton Yacht Club over the years, you will be interested in signing up for the club's 75th Jubilee, with the links contained in a story in this edition of Sail-World. Certainly it was different world sailing some impressive boats on the lake - including 12ft skiffs. The registration list is open to view, and contains some very notable names in New Zealand sailing. Sail-World has received many photos from the era and will be featuring these in the coming days on www.sail-world.com
Off the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the Harken Schools Championship is being sailed this weekend, in the Elliott 7 fleet. Ten crews are competing with Hutt International leading after the first day.
One of the predecessor classes the current Elliott 7 fleet, in fact the boat that started what is now the RNZYS Lion Foundation program was the Elliott 5.9. The class is still going strong and will be hosting its 30th anniversary with the Nationals at the club where it all started - Bucklands Beach Yacht Club. We feature a look back at the still popular class, in this edition.
And from the South Island, we are carrying a report from another long-standing New Zealand class, the Young 88's who conducted the Young 88 South Island Championships on Lyttelton Harbour in early March. See the report and images in this edition.
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by . - 5:42 PM Sat 9 Mar 2013 GMT
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