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09 Nov 2013
Sail-World New Zealand: November 9, 2013 - The treadmill has stopped
Due to a couple of technical upgrades, expected and unexpected (neither our fault) we missed a newsletter earlier this week.
The sailing scene has lost a lot of it pace over the last month, and the feeling on this side of the desk is quite surreal.
A run of events which started with the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race in early November 2011 continued to its finish in July 2012, and then the Olympics ran through August 2012, at which point the America's Cup picked up with launches of the first AC72, finally coming to an end on September 25, 2013.
That is almost two years of constant Twitter monitoring, waking early to check emails on the mobile alongside the bed, and deciding whether to get up or have another hour's sleep. Then constantly checking emails and other news sources etc during the day for the latest news or crisis - often into the early hours of the morning.
Now it is the sailing equivalent of the Silent Spring in New Zealand, with the focus going on local events and matters other than the high profile Grand Prix races.
What underlined this reflective time was a scan across the highlight images on the top of the Sail-World website, and the realization of how dominated they were by multihulls sailing at high speed, and how much that had become a new norm in the sport.
Gone are the times when you could be sailing a keelboat upwind, and see a multihull ahead, sailing not much faster, but crabbing sideways as she tried to get up wind - and next tack the multi was way behind.
This week the New World Order of sailing again took centrestage with the setting of a new Discovery Route Record, the maxi trimaran Spindrift 2, from Cadiz, Spain to San Salvadore in the Bahamas, a theoretical distance of 3885nm, or a sailing distance of 4500nm.
During this time the maxi trimaran, skippered by Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard hit a top speed of 46kts – which is very comparable with the top speeds achieved in the 34th America's Cup of around 48kts.
Bertarelli's team took about six and half days for the crossing. The first skipper to sail the classic route, Christopher Columbus, took 70 days.
Dona Bertarelli - Spindrift Racing - Offshore training October 2013 Chris Schmid/Spindrift Racing
We have the best coverage still and video images we can find in this edition of Sail-World, and look forward to more on board images and footage in the days to come.
The Coastal Classic, as we noted in the last newsletter was a great race – mainly because of the quality of the fleet rather than the level of record setting.
The upcoming Sydney Hobart Race promises to be the same.
Talking to Southern Spars yesterday afternoon, they report that they will gave four new rigs being stepped in race contenders.
One of those, Loyal – the former Speedboat - has been in Auckland. Wild Oats XI will step a new rig with a weight reduction of 300ks aloft. The new Beau Geste (HKG) and Ichi Bahn (AUS) will also feature Southern rigs.
Long protected as a monohull only race, the next Sydney Hobart will see an unofficial race over the same course by the two ORMA60's Team Australia and TeamVodafoneSailing. Team Australia holds the Official Record for the port to port, Sydney Hobart course of just over a day and half.
Certainly the battle between the monohulls and multihulls will be watched with great interest. To most eyes it is bizarre that while these boats have been long accepted for trans-Atlantic and Round the World short handed racing, they are still barred from one of the classic events on the world offshore calendar.
The tub thumping ahead of the 35th America's Cup has begun, with talk of what is ahead for the shape of the next event. At Sail-World we are still running the research into what happened in the 2013 America's Cup. While that may provide some answers to the Kiwi fans anguish it does pose some very serious questions as to what happens in future events, and how the game changing that went on in the course of the 34th America's Cup.
While some of the finger pointing invariably is in the direction of the Challenger of Record and Defender, equally the pressure will come on the would-be Challengers as to what they can practically do to stop the rules creep which greatly erodes their chance of success in an event staged along the same lines as AC34.
Equally talk of one-design elements in the America's Cup is a complete nonsense, as it just opens a new legal can of worms. And an event which is perceived as being too legally complex becomes even more complex.
Don't forget that the one design, single manufacturer items which were the subject of 'Kingpost-gate' were not picked up by the measurers, and the offending boats had competed in four events with the non-complying equipment. The boat tampering was picked up by someone who was not a measurer, and only because the offending boat moved into a more public domain and the issue was picked up accidentally.
Sorry there are real questions to be answered when a Defender preaches the doctrine of cost reduction when the 34th Protocol was announced, and then three years later lines up with a team of over 200 people compared to the Challenger's 120 - which even then is excessive for the available budgets in the competition.
Would be Challengers, looking for funding and sponsorship, will have to answer these questions of trust and integrity in future competitions.
Against this backdrop, is a huge relief to be able to run stories of club and regular racing, where people do compete fairly and have fun. So we look forward to the Sir Peter Blake Regatta (details of entry in this edition). The WetaFest in Tauranga on 22-24 November. The Flying Fifteen Worlds in Hong Kong and the two separate Trans-Atlantic races in both the two-handed and single handed categories.
Sail-World has almost completed the upgrading and enhancing of our systems. If you do have issues with the newsletter, or the website, please drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org your feedback to date has been invaluable. Thank you to those who have provided it.
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