Sail-World New Zealand: July 18, 2013 - America's Cup Fever breaks out

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 18 Jul 2013

Sail-World New Zealand: July 18, 2013 - America's Cup Fever breaks out

America's Cup Fever is beginning to turn into an epidemic in New Zealand, as proper racing has got underway in San Francisco. Sadly only one contested race has been sailed to date, and it may be that there are only two more in the Round Robin before the outcome is known.

The fans are split into two groups – those who don't really follow yachting as such, but are mesmerized by the sight of wingsailed foiling catamarans at two or more times the wind speed.

Then there are the sailing nuts that follow every nuance, and for whom anything less than 24hr live television coverage is a travesty.

The breaking Cup Fever epidemic manifests itself in many ways.

Emirates Team New Zealand skippered Dean Barker (NZL) wins over Luna Rossa skippered by Massimiliano Sirena (ITA) by 5.23 minutes.  Paul Todd/Outside Images ©

There's people like my 91year old mother, who has watched every Louis Vuitton and America's Cup race live since 1987 – until this year when there has been only one race on free to air television. But she'll watch any sport in which New Zealand is competing.

Then there's one of my long time friends, who has a foot in either camp. He's in hospital recovering from a surgery epic, and subsequent complications. I went into the Critical Care Unit (that's one ward away from Death Row), with my 17' laptop in hand, as I heard he'd been bitching about missing the race on Sunday. (A sure sign he was on the recovery.)

When I went in, he was half asleep, with a few tubes, hanging out of him.

Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Chases Emirates Team NZ - Louis Vuitton Cup
  Luna Rossa / Carlo Borlenghi

'Wanna see the America's Cup?' There was a croak followed by a terrible chesty cough as he came vertical, with the adrenalin kicking in. Twenty seconds later he had gone to eyes half shut to wide open, as I hooked up the mobile phone to the laptop, pushed his pills and potions to one side, and we settled down for 40 minutes of surreal sailing television.

There wasn't a lot said. He couldn't. He'd had a tracheotomy, and this evening, was a man of very few words. With several smashed teeth as a result of some surgical shenanigans, to boot. Speaking didn't come easily to someone who usually had a lot to say.

But all that was forgotten as he followed the flying foilers in San Francisco.

There was the occasional gasp 'Wow, that's unbelievable!' As he pumped a bit of air through his voice box. He was in another world. 'Did you see that?' Yes I had, at least ten times already, but I didn't tell him that.

After about 30 minutes, a blue gowned specialist who had been attending a chap over the way, popped his head around the curtain, wondering what was going on. I was expecting to get kicked out.

Emirates Team New Zealand skippered Dean Barker (NZL) wins over Luna Rossa skippered by Massimiliano Sirena (ITA) by 5.23 minutes.  Paul Todd/Outside Images ©

A tallish man, he leant over the top of the screen. 'Wow, those boats are incredible, aren't they? You should see the technology they use – it's amazing!' And then took off to do what he does best, leaving us to enjoy the rest of the race.

My mate certainly enjoyed it. Just the tonic he needed.

The only thing wrong with the Louis Vuitton Cup is that there is not enough of it.

The solo Round Robins should never have been allowed to happen. It's a daft option.

The teams are there to race. And if Artemis declined to race, then the other boat should at least have been invited to compete in their place (but not eligible for the point). That's what the Challenger Series is all about – to build strength into the Challenger – who ever that ultimately is.

Emirates Team New Zealand skippered Dean Barker (NZL) wins over Luna Rossa skippered by Massimiliano Sirena (ITA) by 5.23 minutes.   Paul Todd/Outside Images ©

What is interesting is that despite the solo racing the replays on Youtube have got good viewership.

The first solo race got over 85,000 views, the next two solo races got 71,000 views, and the only contested race got 87,000 views. Then someone decided that they wouldn't put uncontested races on YouTube.

Don't forget those viewing numbers are in spite of widespread YouTube viewing blocks in many countries where there are TV rights broadcasters.

In NZ, to TVNZ's credit they haven't followed Cup organiser's example, and are broadcasting each and every race live, (on their web channel) and also have the replays of every race available as well.

Weird as it may seem, the solo races are very good. Not so much for racing contest – it is a speed trial. But for the specialist commentators who have been in operation – Luna Rossa's David Carr and Emirates Team NZ's Richard Meacham – giving some great insights and explanations that are just not possible in the context of a 40 minute race with two AC72's sailing at over 40 kts.

As we have said before, the time to judge this America's Cup will be once it is over. Not before.

Emirates Team New Zealand wave to spectators after finishing their round robin 2 match of the Louis Vuitton Cup against Artemis Racing who were not sailing.   Chris Cameron/ETNZ©

Aside from the Louis Vuitton Cup, the other event of interest at present is the ISAF Youth Worlds in Cyprus. Current Emirates Team NZ skipper, Dean Barker, is a former gold medalist in the singlehanded Boys Laser event in this regatta.

While the Regatta is generally the major development event for the Olympics, the real measure is the performance in the Teams Trophy – awarded for the combined points of a competing country. The outcome is a test of the depth of young talent in the top nations.

Of late, New Zealand teams have largely fluffed it on the Opening Day, and have never really recovered. Although for sure there have been the brilliant performers and medalists who go onto greater things.

29er - Day 2, ISAF Youth Worlds, Cyprus  ISAF Youth Worlds

This year, it is a better pattern – with a good first day, a better second, and holding the line on the third. All crews are very tight – all being in the top six in their respective classes. After three days New Zealand lies in third overall, despite being represented in only five of the eight events. We have daily reports on the regatta, thanks to Yachting NZ's Jodie Bakewell-White.

We have coverage of the Optimist Worlds, too, which are now underway on Lake Garda, Italy. Along with the French 420 Nationals, being sailed in France, oddly enough.

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Emirates Team New Zealand launch NZL5 for their round robin 2 match of the Louis Vuitton Cup against Artemis Racing.   Chris Cameron/ETNZ©
Stay tuned to website for all the latest news.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

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Day 3 SL16 NZL Isaac McHardie, Micah Wilkinson - 2013 ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships  © Icarus / ISAF Youth Worlds

Leonard Takahashi-Fru (NZL) Day 1, 2013 Optimist World Championships, Lake Garda, Italy  Matias Capizzano ©

ISAF Youth Worlds: NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team stay in top six
Jodie Bakewell-White,
The Sail First ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships on now in Limassol, Cyprus has passed the mid way mark and all five of the 2013 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team remain in the top six places in their fleets. The best placed include Isaac McHardie (Hamilton Yacht Club/RAYC) and Micah Wilkinson (Ngaroto Sailing Club/RAYC) who continue to dominate in the SL16 multihull, while Markus Somerville a... [more]
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America's Cup: A busy day on San Francisco Bay + Video
John Navas,
Sail-World's John Navas was on the water today in San Francisco to capture the action as four AC72's from three teams jousted on the America's Cup course. Here is his still image gallery and video of the day's practice.... [more]
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2013 Optimist Worlds: NZL Yachting Trust team Day 1 at Lake Garda
Angus Haslett,
The first day of the regatta dawned dull and overcast with virtually no breeze - but the locals said the wind would come and it did with an Ora wind arriving around 11am and whilst it started off a little shifty by the time racing was underway it was a good 15-18 knots with a few good gusts to watch out for.... [more]
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Coutts Quarter Ton Cup - Stunning final race
Royal Corinthian Yacht Club,
The final day of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2013 produced one final stunning race in perfect conditions for the 26-strong fleet. Again the boats had to wait for wind and several of the teams will have been hoping that it would fill in early enough to run multiple races, but it was not to be and only one start was possible before the 14.30 cut off time.... [more]
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America's Cup: Parties and Posters go to the International Jury
Richard Gladwell,
Two of the parties at least, in the 2013 America's Cup, seem to be keen to have another piece of each other in the Jury Room. America's Cup Events Authority COO, Stephen Barclay has lodged two protests with the International Jury, the first believed to be over the non-attendance at the Louis Vuitton Party, at the opening of the Louis Vuitton Cup, by Italian Challenger, Luna Rossa.... [more]
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America's Cup: Can Emirates Team NZ foil upwind? + Video
John Navas,
Sail-World's resident photo and videographer, John Navas, was out on the water today and captured video of Emirates Team NZ's AC72 sailing a near windward course while foiling. Speed is dramatic - 30-35kts clocked off the chasing powerboat - compared to the usual 20-23kts seen in racing to date.... [more]
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America's Cup: Artemis is alive and well - Bob Fisher exclusive
Bob Fisher,
In a vast hangar (formerly part of the Pan Am Seaplane base) on West Tower Avenue in Alameda, the Artemis Phoenix is arising from the ashes of the May 9th accident that took the life of Andrew Simpson. It hasn't been an easy process, as Paul Cayard,pointed out. 'Quitting or retiring was not an option, but every one of the 130 people in this team has had different agenda to satisfy.'... [more]
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Collinson FX Market Commentary: July 18, 2013 - ANZAC gap closes
Collinson FX,
Collinson FX Market Commentary: July 18, 2013 -Bernanke is 'gone-burger' and so he is unlikely to change his leopards spots! His long awaited appearance in front of congress revealed little in terms of QE and thus the markets remained steady. The Fed is the great driver of equities, commodites and bonds and Bernanke is unlikely to change his course before he cashes in his chips.... [more]
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America's Cup: Three teams, four AC72's in practice session on Bay
Chuck Lantz,
Emirates Team NZ, Luna Rossa and both Oracle Team USA's AC72s were on the water today, taking advantage of a Reserve Day to get in some practice. Skies were partially cloudy, with some sunshine getting through, with good breeze in the 12-15k range. A perfect day for the America's Cup AC72s. All photos by Chuck Lantz, one of Sail-World's on-scene photographers.... [more]
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French 420 Nationals: Day 2 - Kiwis wait for the fog to lift again
Rob Burn,
Rob Burn Reports from Day 2 of the French 420 National Championships: Yesterdays report from the lovely Brittany seaside town of Plenuef Val Andre, hosting the French 420 National Champs started with the corny Yogi Berra line 'It's Deja Vue all over again'. We sat around all day waiting for the fog to lift for the second day in a row.... [more]
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ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Kiwis dominate on day 3 +Video
At the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, New Zealand's Isaac McHardie and Micah Wilkinson are dominating the SL16 fleet after the third day of racing in Limassol, Cyprus. McHardie and Wilkinson have opened up a 14 point advantage over their rivals having won five of nine races with four remaining over the final two days of competition.... [more]
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The definitive history of the America's Cup
Barry Pickthall,
The America's Cup is in chaos. This year's event in San Francisco is looking to be a farcical parade - a shadow of the greatest show on earth promised by Cup holders Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts. In the age of Facebook, they promised to transform the coverage both on the web and on TV and with it bring Superbowl audiences.... [more]
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34th America's cup - Images of Luna Rossa vs Artemis
Carlo Borlenghi,
Images of Luna Rossa vs Artemis by photographer Carlo Borlenghi who was out on the water in San Francisco.... [more]
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Louis Vuitton Cup: Softly, softly catchee monkey . . .
Bob Fisher,
It was nothing more (nor less) than an exercise in sailing an AC-72 in light airs when the Luna Rossa crew graced San Francisco Bay with their elegant silver and red boat for an hour on a grey Tuesday afternoon. There was no excitement, but none had been expected, although the mandatory body armour seemed superfluous to requirement and more restrictive to movement than the sailors might have pref... [more]
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America's Cup: Artemis Racing completes stress testing
Over the weekend the Artemis Racing Team completed comprehensive structural testing of its second AC72. This significant milestone represents the culmination of around the clock work of two months by the team's designers, engineers and shore team.... [more]
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America's Cup: AC72 sailing explained - all you ever need to know
John Navas,
Program for Australian TV to promote America's Cup participation, featuring John Bertrand, skipper of Australia II, wing keel winner of the America's Cup in 1983, and narrated clips of AC72 catamarans in 2013 by John Navas. For those who want to understand the basics of AC72 sailing, this is an excellent primer on both the basic and finer points of AC72 sailing.... [more]
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Navatek and Lancer Industries team up to support NZL's Youth AC Team
Kristine Lederis,
American based Navatek Ltd and New Zealand's Lancer Industries ltd have teamed up to provide on water support for the NZL Sailing Team with Emirates Team New Zealand for the Red Bull Youth Americas Cup regatta. The Red Bull Youth Americas Cup regatta takes place in the AC45 catamarans, during the short break between the Louis Vuitton Cup and Americas Cup in early September... [more]
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Louis Vuitton Cup: Emirates Team NZ wins another sail-over
Bob Fisher,
Emirates Team New Zealand tore around the 9.09 nautical mile course without the attendance of her opponent, Artemis, in 16 – 18 knots of south-westerly breeze in an impressive manner. She completed the course in 25:56 and recorded a top speed of 40.62 knots. Bob Fisher reports she is estimated to gain 100 metres on each foiling gybe... [more]
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America's Cup: Louis Vuitton's Images of the Day - July 13, 2013
Paul Todd,
Top international photographers Paul Todd and Bob Greiser are shooting for series sponsor Louis Vuitton, at the Louis Vuitton Cup which had its first contested race today, July 13. Today was their first race day on the water, here's Paul Todd's view of the day.... [more]
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America's Cup: Dean Barker reflects on Race 4, Louis Vuitton Cup
Dean Barker,
Emirates Team New Zealand have lined up for their first real race of the Louis Vuitton Cup. Writing on his blog at Kiwi Yachting Consultants' websites, of which he is a substantial shareholder and director, skipper Dean Barker gives his views of the fourth day of racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup.... [more]
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Louis Vuitton Cup: Blackwash on the water in Cup Opener
Bob Fisher,
The much-heralded first match between Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa was all over in a flash. The spark was at the start when Dean Barker and his crew 'hooked' the Italian boat and prevented Chris Draper, the Luna Rossa helmsman, from bearing away until the Kiwis were fully in control of the situation.... [more]
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Louis Vuitton: Comfortable win for Emirates Team NZ in first real race
Richard Gladwell,
Emirates Team New Zealand won the first race by a margin of five and a half minutes, sailed in wind conditions that were close to the top end of the new lowered wind limit. Emirates Team NZ controlled the start pinning Luna Rossa to windward and well away from the start line.... [more]
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