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23 Apr 2013
Sail-World New Zealand: April 23, 2013
We are still working out the wrinkles in our newsletter system, hopefully these have passed, and we expect to resume normal service in there near future. We are unhooking the Sail-World servers from the farm, this week, and that will be the final (nervous) step in the transition to the Cloud.
Tomorrow, Oracle Team USA are due to launch their new AC72 on April 23 in San Francisco. On Monday she was wheeled out of the shed, and the wingsail erected. We have photos in this edition of Sail-World.com's newsletter of the new AC72 along with some shots from the right angles of the first boat to provide a point of comparison.
Over the weekend, Emirates Team NZ competed in the final edition of the America's Cup World Series in Naples. Overall most would hail the event a success, with crowds of 120,000 attending each day of the regatta - to put that in perspective that is double the capacity of Eden Park.
We have been running full coverage of the America's Cup World Series, Naples on www.sail-world.com, including Bob Fisher's excellent daily reports and with Linda Wright photographing exclusively for Sail-World.
It is hard to tell at this stage if the event is sustainable - the accounts won't be made public - and it is still building an audience in most regions. TV revenues are not believed to be substantial at this stage either.
The corollary of course is with the 2007 America's Cup, which returned a substantial profit including a significant in the millions dollars to the top teams, and lesser amounts to the lower finishers.
The right time to judge the whole America's Cup event will be after it has finished. For sure the AC72's are the most spectacular boats ever seen racing - and the fact that they can race close to shore withing easy view of spectators will be a significant factor in determining spectator appeal, and leverage to sponsors.
Right now the 34th America's Cup is a cake that smells very appetising , but is still in the oven, and yet to be iced.
In terms of official results, Emirates Team NZ didn't have a great regatta. They departed the Match Racing segment early after a collision with Luna Rossa, while rounding a mark. Some were surprised that Luna Rossa was allowed to get away with luffing at the last seconds, causing damage (in most definitions of the rules) and while Emirates Team NZ was in the wrong, in our view the Italians should also have picked up a penalty under RRS14, which requires a right of way boat to take avoiding action when it is clear the other boat is not keeping clear.
The incident, and subsequent penalty, also raised an interesting point, which is that if a boat is penalised (usually to the point where the other boat has to get clear ahead) then can the other (non-penalised boat) slow down, burn up time as they sail down the track and remove the opportunity for the penalised boat to catch up in the remaining portion of the race?
In the fleet racing, Emirates Team NZ ran hot and cold, with two wins on the Saturday being offset by two premature starts on the Friday, and being caught in irons just a minute before the start in the final race. The way bonus points are allocated, mean that the winner of the final race will essentially take the series.
A rough points calculation we did today, scoring the series on the normal low points system, had Oracle (Slingsby) winning by one point from Emirates Team NZ, with the weekend's winner Luna Rossa Swordfish finishing fifth, Luna Rossa Piranha (4th) taking third place and Ben Ainslie Racing finishing fourth.
That calculation puts a different perspective on the result. The point is that ACWS regatta doesn't have a lot of relevance to the 34th America's Cup.
The untimely death of six times Volvo OR/Whitbread RTWR competitor Magnus Olsson (SWE) at the weekend, aged just 64 years has rocked many in the sailing world. He was a larger than life character who will be sorely missed. We have two tribute stories in this edition of Sail-World.com. Don't miss the 'Talk, Talk, Talk' video.
Another making us all aware of our mortality is New Zealand professional sailor, David Brooke, scion of one of New Zealand's great boatbuilding, design and sailing families. Currently with Artemis Racing ahead of the 2013 America's Cup, Brooke collapsed and had an emergency liver transplant in San Francisco.
His father Don, has kindly kept us updated as to David's situation, and we pass on his reports in this edition. Hopefully David is on the mend, but by all accounts it was a very close run thing. Our thoughts and prayers are of course with David and his family.
For the all the negative lines that come out of the America's Cup, it is great to see the competitive animosity set aside at time like these, and the family certainly appreciate the support they have received from Artemis Racing and the wider sailing family.
In Hyeres, the New Zealand Sailing Team have got underway to a good start in the fourth ISAF World Sailing Cup event, with Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox scoring two wins and a fifth to lead the 63boat Mens 470 fleet. Josh Junior is fourth overall in the Mens Finn. We will be updating each day on this regatta.
C-Tech(NZ) and Smeg (Aust.) battle during Race 7 of the JJ Giltinans Frank Quealey
This ANZAC Weekend, 13 18ft skiffs will be sailing on Auckland Harbour - including four of the top Australian boats. This is the biggest and best 18ft fleet to be seen in Auckland for some time, and is testament to efforts that have gone in behind the scenes in New Zealand and elsewhere to get the class up to a new level. They will be the Curtain Raiser/Main Event (depending on your point of view) for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco in September, when the 18fters sail for the Nespresso Trophy.
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