Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for December 2, 2012
Some interesting developments on the America's Cup scene over the past few days.
Most significant is the 'letting go' of Terry Hutchinson, a very experienced professional sailor, and skipper of Artemis Racing. He been with the team since its inception. Although the team's fleet racing events have been less than stellar, (along with a few other supposed top teams), they made the semi-finals of both the match racing events in the America's World Series in San Francisco this year. So that would point to deeper issues in the team.
In this edition of Sail-World.com's Newsletter we look at the situation in a little more depth than the team's media release.
By any measure, Artemis Racing have had their setbacks, and now look to have realised that they are running out of time, and really have to get people on board of the likes of Loick Peyron, who joined initially in a training capacity only. Our gut feeling is that Peyron has told the team bosses, they aren't going to make it, going the way they are, and hence the reshuffle.
Bottom line we believe this is a gain for Artemis Racing.
Over the past week, the protests have been flying - mostly generated by Italian Challenger, Luna Rossa. This morning we sat down and pulled it all together and have the protests themselves and the implications explained - as best we can speculate - given the prohibition on the teams conducting protests in public.
Luna Rossa joins the AC72 foiling club Luna Rossa Challenge 2013
The spying protestations have been well publicised, but it has always been part and parcel of the America's Cup, however there is a difference between information gathering and performance assessment and disrupting a team's legitimate trialling. The switching of venues for the America's Cup World Series, has also been rattling around for some time. Initially many were suspicious that America's Cup Regatta Management were pandering to the behest of the Defender and Challenger of Record. But after ACRM's actions in the last protest, over the way AC72's were to be measured, few could seriously accuse ACRM of being anything other than neutral and independent of the teams.
In this edition of Sail-World.com's newsletter we have the announcement of the development of all carbon fibre Laser masts and booms, by a Northland company working closely with Kilwell Fibretube. The advantages of the spars (although not licenced Laser product) is that the days are over of staggering to your boat with a rigged mast and sail attached. The light weight carbon spar by CSpar is aimed at people who do not want to compete in top level championship racing, where they can't be used, but who do want to enjoy their sailing and have FUN!.
Obviously the strength of carbon spars means the days of straightening aluminium Laser spars are gone, and the new spars should have an unlimited life. The sails also seem to set a lot better on the even bending spar, too.
The concept of using unlicenced gear is not new. Rooster Sails have been around for some time, and it was an obvious development to produce the carbon spars for use in the Laser class.
Tony and Matthew Smith are behind the project. Tony is a multiple World Champion in the Int Contender class and is one of the few people in sailing who can claim to have won a world title using a boat they built, made the sails and spars and raced themselves. He has been a professional dinghy builder, mast maker and sail maker, as well as being an appendage construction specialist for the Prada America's Cup Team in the IACC era. Matthew Smith has Whitbread and America's Cup experience before moving into mast construction and rigging. His new spar building and rigging facility is in Whangarei, where the carbon Laser masts will be put together using tube supplied by Kilwell Fibretube.
Not much in it - Grand final match up, Steele vs Rooklyn - 2012 Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship www.SailPix.com.au
Kilwell are one of those NZ companies who fly under the radar of most. But they have developed very high quality carbon fibre tube product in various sizes, and will sell as much or as little as a customer wishes to buy. They have led the market into the place where it needed to go with carbon - being a cost effective high quality product. Kilwell tubes are used to build masts and spars for several Olympic classes including the new Olympic Womens skiff the 49erFX.
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