America's Cup shenanigans...Fizzer in Laser Europeans...ANZ Fiji Race

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 17 Jun 2014

America's Cup shenanigans...Fizzer in Laser Europeans...ANZ Fiji Race

Oracle Team USA skipper James Spithill - has Oracle succeeded in getting NZ out of the America's Cup?  Carlo Borlenghi/Luna Rossa©
Welcome to's New Zealand e-magazine for June 17, 2014

The America's Cup has dominated the sporting and general media for the past week, polarising fans and others.

Team New Zealand scored an own goal, with a media conference on Friday, Black Friday, which resulted in a lot of skewed and sensational reporting.

The media group at the conference were split in two - those that were focused on the sailing and getting the Team's view on the new Protocol, and those more interested in the Team's financial state.

Oracle Team USA's attacks on their opponent were without precedent. While they could have been understandable in the context of a media conference at the AC regatta, at this stage of the America's Cup they were nonsensical.

This is a time when the Defender, if they are genuinely trying to create a more commercial event, should be working with the teams to improve the event. Instead, it transpired that they had not even spoken to the last Challenger, and instead had used television and radio interviews in NZ to attack Team New Zealand. To what gain?

The attacks were backed up with social media grenades from two of the US team.

Grant Dalton, Emirates Team New Zealand CEO talks to media at a press conference at the team's base in Auckland.   Chris Cameron/ETNZ©

What was achieved?

For sure Oracle has succeeded in rattling Team NZ's cage, and has managed to drop them in it with the NZ Government funders, forced a rift with many of the NZ public, and couldn't have done more to get a top competitor out of the next America's Cup.

Time will tell if they have succeeded.

Team NZ erred in the media conference, by answering question on their financial state, and particularly questions on funding and sponsorship applications. They should have completely closed down that line of questioning, as has always been done before.

Few in the general media understand how the funding and sponsorship cycle works in the America's Cup, and they amply demonstrated that ignorance on Friday.

Face-off: Dean Barker(NZL, skipper Emirates Team New Zealand), the America's Cup trophy, James Spithill (AUS, Skipper Oracle Team USA)  ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget ©

Calls for New Zealand to get out of the Cup, start an alternate event, publicly declare team salaries and expenditure just demonstrate again that lack of America's Cup background knowledge - and their readers, viewers and listeners deserve better.

Even more disturbing is the tendency, quite prevalent overseas, to run a dramatic, cliche-ridden introduction to a story in order to pull the viewers' attention, when the report that follows is quite balanced and accurate.

The Protocol for the 35th America's Cup was announced, or rather emailed, early last week. It did contain some very serious flaws. Several of these were quickly addressed a couple of days later, and now the document is more workable - particularly given the mechanisms that are there for changes.

The document is still remarkably short on timing, and doesn't even say the year the next America's Cup will be held, let alone the dates and venues for any of the preliminaries and the Match itself. There would be a lot of blanks in any sponsorship proposal relating to the 35th America's Cup, and going to a potential backer looking for money in 2014 just makes a Challenger, and the Event, look half-arsed.

Oracle Team USA digs in allowing Emirates Team NZ to claim the inside space at Mark 1 in Race 10  © Richard Gladwell

Oracle Team USA did cop a lot of criticism over the loaded document, particularly as much of what they had accused former Cup holders, Alinghi, now seemed to be in the 35th Protocol.

It is easy for the media and others to recall the lofty ideals and volumes of indignant assertions made when Oracle were the Challenger, and in hot pursuit of Alinghi through the New York legal system. We hoped for better. In the first edition of this Protocol, Oracle seemed to have out-Alinghied Alinghi. Suddenly all Oracle's legal umbrage in 2007-2010 sounded rather hollow.

Turning the other cheek, Team New Zealand came out on Black Friday and said that the amended Protocol (Version 2) was now workable. A statement that has now been acknowledged by Russell Coutts. Hopefully, this sorry saga has finished, although the damage had already been done to Team New Zealand.

While the hard words were being said, and motives were being questioned, Most media missed the fact that Oracle lost another three of their First XI America's Cup winning crew.

Fun foiling on your Laser with Glide Free Foils  Glide Free

A total of five who sailed USA-17 to victory, in September, have gone to other America's Cup teams. Those who remain are the Australians, Kiwi Joe Spooner and the sole US national, Rome Kirby.

Oracle suffered a further major loss in Dirk Kramers, a top designer, whose Cup experience extends back to 1977 and is a three-time winner of the America's Cup. He has joined the British challenger, Ben Ainslie Racing. Oracle's three-time Cup winner Jono Macbeth (NZL) goes with him as BAR's Sailing Team Manager.

Three of the Oracle sailing crew went to Italian Challenger, Luna Rossa, who are now geared up with over 80 in the team, and look to be in full operation.

Another leading US sailor - twice and current World Foiling Moth Champion Bora Gulari (Michigan) has also signed for Luna Rossa.

NZL Sailing Team on the final race-less day of the 2014 European Laser Championships in Split, Croatia  Petar Prkic

In this edition we have tried to provide the best coverage we can of the past week, including a full length, unedited video of the Black Friday media conference, along with a back of the room interview with Grant Dalton. Judge for yourself.

Sunday Star Times front page with Team NZ forcing a rugby story off the front sports page  © Richard Gladwell
Stay tuned to our website for the latest developments.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

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ANZ Fiji race: Fifties finish in torrential rain
Richard Gladwell/,
Three of the five 50fters finished the ANZ Fiji race early Friday morning having sailed the last stages of the race in heavy rain that at times cut visibility to less than 200metres. First home in the dark was the David Nathan skippered V5 which finished at: 04:50am, followed over an hour later by the Bakewell-White 52, Wired (Rob Bassett) with Vamos and(Connel McLaren) around 30 mins later.... [more]
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Collinson FX Market Commentary: June 17, 2014 - KIWI's meteoric rise
Collinson FX,
June 17, 2014: The KIWI's meteoric rise, due entirely to the RBNZ, and the corresponding rise in interest rates is having an impact. The economy is now starting to show the effects of RBNZ aggressive policies contradicting trading partners monetary policy. The AUD continues to trade steadily around 0.9400... [more]
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America's Cup: Team New Zealand gets more traction than the All Blacks
Richard Gladwell/,
The pulling power of the Team New Zealand brand was demonstrated once again on Sunday, with a story on the America's Cup team taking the lead spot on the front page of a major Sunday newspaper. What was even more powerful was that the story about the team's much reported media conference on Friday afternoon, was up against a controversial win by the All Blacks over the touring English Rugby tea... [more]
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NZL Sailing Team: Laser Euros ends with no racing on the final day
Jodie Bakewell-White,
The 2014 European Laser Standard and Laser Radial Championships, has come to a close in Split, Croatia. With no racing possible on the final day due to more light winds the final results remain as they stood at the end of day five. It has been a challenging series for both sailors and organisers with Split becalmed over the second half of the regatta and just one gold fleet race sailed over the... [more]
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America's Cup: Shoebridge responds to Oracle obsession with Kiwi team
NewstalkZB and Sail-World,
Emirates Team NZ Chief Operating Officer Kevin Shoebridge told Newstalk ZB's Tony Veitch the syndicate has always been open about the fact it would struggle this year. Later in the interview he covered the attacks that have been made on Team NZ by Oracle's Jimmy Spithill, describing him as having an unhealthy obsession with the team and its management.... [more]
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America's Cup: Team NZ fine with two venues despite cost + Video
Richard Gladwell,
Emirates Team NZ CEO, Grant Dalton is receptive to the concept of having to sail the America's Cup Selection Series at two venues, despite the additional costs. After the team's media conference on Friday, Dalton was asked if he would rather have all the Challengers sailing at the Match venue instead of the split venues, as proposed by the new Protocol - if there are more than four Challengers... [more]
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NZL Sailing Team: Only one race sailed on another light air day
Jodie Bakewell-White,
It was another tough day for the race committee and sailors in the 2014 European Laser Standard and Laser Radial Championships, on now in Split, Croatia where just one race was completed by the gold fleets on the penultimate day of the regatta.... [more]
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Emirates Team NZ: America's Cup quite winnable under new Protocol
Richard Gladwell,
On Friday, Emirates Team New Zealand became the first team to publicly respond to the Protocol for the 35th America's Cup. The Team surprisingly revealed that after an analysis of the Protocol and the changes that had already been made, or signalled, that the document was reasonable and the Cup considered to be quite winnable by the team.... [more]
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America's Cup: NZ Govt looks to sponsors to come to Team NZ party
Richard Gladwell,
After the Friday media conference was held by Emirates team New Zealand to explain their financial position, and put their reaction to the 35th America's Cup Protocol, the NZ Minister of Economic Development, Steven Joyce, held a separate media conference in Wellington.... [more]
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America's Cup: Dalton reports good progress with sponsors + Full Video
Richard Gladwell,
Exclusive: Emirates Team NZ CEO Grant Dalton reported that good progress had been made with sponsors, and that many of the other barriers in the way of a campaign for the 35th America's Cup had been marginalised. Dalton said the team had delivered on the NZ Govt's requirements as a precursor to committing to a package of a similar magnitude to its investment in the 2013 America's Cup.... [more]
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World Match Racing Tour - Williams on the brink of perfection + Video
Alpari World Match Racing Tour,
Match racer Ian Williams has been the dominant force on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour in recent years. The four-time World Champion from Great Britain came close to achieving a record fifth title at the end of last season, which would have put him ahead of the legendary Peter Gilmour's tally of four.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica welcomed in force + more Dock Talk
Volvo Ocean Race,
The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 won't be visiting the sailing-crazy town of Newport, Rhode Island for nearly a year but anticipation is already sky-high after Team Alvimedica sailed in this week. Despite the miserable weather, the town came out in force with a flotilla of vessels on Monday to welcome their 'home boys' led by resident Charlie Enright, who is skipper, and fellow American Mark Towill.... [more]
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America's Cup - Luna Rossa Challenge details team + Video
America's Cup,
On Thursday Luna Rossa Challenge released a number of videos and stories detailing their team for the 35th America's Cup. Patrizio Bertelli, the passionate team principal of Luna Rossa, introduced Max Sirena as skipper for the second consecutive challenge.... [more]
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ANZ Fiji Race: Three boat match race set to go down to the wire
Richard Gladwell/,
S-W Exclusive:The three 50fters which are leading the final stages of the ANZ Fiji race look set to finish in darkness Friday morning, if the wind holds. The sixth day of the 1100nm race has been a game of Cat and Mouse, as one boat makes a break and the others either elect to cover or make a break themselves.... [more]
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America's Cup: Spithill says that Challengers were offered second AC62
Richard Gladwell/,
S-W Exclusive: In an interview broadcast on NewstalkZB Thursday afternoon, NZT, Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill says that the America's Cup Challengers were offered the option of having a second AC62 but turned it down. Spithill says the offer is still possibly open to acceptance by the Challenger group.... [more]
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North Sails New Zealand clients dominate 2014 Auckland to Fiji Race
After four days of mostly punishing upwind sailing followed by some champagne reaching conditions, the Botin 80 Beau Geste and Juan K VO 70 Giacomo have claimed first and second on line and between them, dominated the correct time results.... [more]
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ANZ Fiji race: Beau Geste first home in Denarau, Giacomo finishes
Richard Gladwell,
Beau Geste, the Botin 80 owned by Hong Kong yachtsman, Karl Kwok, and skippered by Gavin Brady has taken line honours in the ANZ Fiji race. She crossed the finish line around 1130hrs NZT... [more]
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America's Cup - Sir Ben Ainslie launches British Challenge + Video
Mark Chisnell,
Sir Ben Ainslie, one of Britain's most talented sailors, has now launched his bid to win the America's Cup, the 163-year old trophy never won by Great Britain. The Duchess of Cambridge, a keen sailor herself, attended the launch at the Royal Museums Greenwich to show her support for the campaign.... [more]
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