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Sail-World NZ e-magazine - Nov 2, 2018 - Cup latest...Anti-Trust escalates..

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz 1 Nov 2018 21:51 PDT 2 November 2018
American Magic - AC75 Surrogate - October 27, 2018 © Amory Ross


Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for November 2, 2018

There's plenty going on in the sailing world over the past 10 days.

Our lead story seems to be exclusive, with World Sailing being given notice of a possible investigation by the European Commission an Anti-Trust agency. The complaint was lodged by Devoti Sailing, who has won the Gold medal in every Finn class event in the Olympics since 1996. We have been waiting for this development which hinges around the use of single suppliers for Olympic classes. This investigation may come to nothing, on the other hand, it could be cataclysmic for the Olympic side of the sport. Classes other than Olympic are not affected in any way.

As you may be aware at Sail-World we run story readership statistics, which we don't publish. Let's look at what has made the top four in New Zealand over the last ten days.

America's Cup always dominates the news in New Zealand, and the same is true for the other seven Sail-World racing news regions around the world.

#1 American Magic launch AC75 surrogate

The top-ranked story, is on New York Yacht Club's team American Magic and the launch of their surrogate AC75. It was only posted on Sunday - so it has picked up readership fast.

For all the negative comment said about the AC75, there is no doubt that the boat has traction amongst sailing fans. Looking back over the last 99 days, the highest ranking story is on INEOS Team UK's T5 surrogate AC75 sailing in the Solent.

Second highest ranking story over the past 99 days is that of the second AC75 surrogate sailing story, with video which was posted at the end of August. The latest AC75 surrogate story - just up for 72 hours sits at in fourth place.

That's three out of four for the America's Cup.

We can say for sure that there is real public and fan interest in the AC75 - despite the fact that to many eyes it appears to have come straight out of university sailing engineering project.

The New York Yacht Club entry - a name which sadly for American Magic, resonates much better with Cup fans - is the first surrogate to be launched that has come out close to the Protocol allowed length overall limit of 12 metres (39ft 4").

The word on the Cup Rialto is that the NYYC's surrogate is an MC38 - or a standard hull built by McConachy Boats.

That was the option touted in the early days with several teams said to have been in the market for that option. The MC38 has a useful hull shape being large flat and wide.

But the issue with the surrogates is how well they scale up to an AC75.

Certainly, when ETNZ launched their AC45 Surrogate and with an extended rudder gantry, they cleverly managed to stretch the 45fter to have the foiling geometry of an AC50.

The other approach is for a team to invest their money on a simulator instead of a surrogate AC75. The advantage with the simulator is that you can sail 8hrs a day - and there is nothing to say you can't sail at night as well - but you need to have confidence with the correlation between the virtual AC75 and the physical AC75.

Maybe Emirates Team NZ have a big advantage in that area, and could well go straight to an AC75 launched in May 2019, rather than having to launch an interim boat.

Click here for the full American Magic launch Surrogate AC75 story

#2 Look aboard SailGP's F:50

Staying with the same theme, the second highest rating story on Sail-World New Zealand looks at SailGP's F:50 sailing at speed on Bream Bay.

Posted a few hours later than the NYYC's surrogate AC75 story, the F:50 attracted less than half of the readership of the AC75 story - in New Zealand - and even more so worldwide.

Not much has come out of the SailGP camp despite having a major build underway for many months. It has been clear that while there is fan interest in the way the AC50 has been morphed into the F:50, that SailGP is not the same event as when Larry Ellison had the America's Cup on the mantlepiece of his superyacht.

The story we published on Sunday came about after SailGP posted a short 26 second video. Half of that video was SailGP logo, so viewers got a whole 13 seconds of F:50. With HD video, and the ability to slow down to quarter speed on Youtube, the result is reasonably high-quality video for study purposes, and the ability to freeze-frame on particular points of interest.

From the slow-mo video, it is plain that there has been a lot of design work and thinking put into the F:50 and it appears to be a very good boat. There are a lot of very subtle features on the boat and the F:50 should perform very well on the SailGP circuit. It will be very fast, challenging to sail and probably very forgiving.

Without seeing the F:50 sailing in person, or seeing live or unedited video, we can't tell the flight properties of the F:50 - but in the very limited video available she looks fine. But so did the teams when they released videos of their AC50's in the build-up to the 2017 America's Cup. But on the water one boat was clearly superior in many respects - which were easily detectable with an objective eye and ability.

Click here for the full SailGP Onboard details revealed of F50 story

#3 World Sailing makes an 11th hour move on Olympic Events.

This story, on the Board of World Sailing's decision to try and introduce a Mixed Keelboat into the 2024 Olympics, ranked #3 in New Zealand. But worldwide was #1 story in UK, #2 in Asia, USA and Europe, #3 in New Zealand and #9 in Australia. In terms of the total story reads worldwide, World Sailing's admission was a clear second bouncing the F:50 story into third on the basis of total world readership.

For many months, we have been following and covering the selection saga of the 2024 Sailing Olympics Events and Equipment, or in sailing parlance the Olympic classes to be sailed in the 2024 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Marseille.

The process is nearing a self-imposed decision point being made at this week's Annual Conference in Sarasota, Florida.

The reality is that the International Olympic Committee don't need final confirmation of events until mid-2021. However, with seven of the ten Olympic events slated for a possible change it is not fair to Olympic organisers to leave confirmation of the decision until two months before the start of the Olympic Regatta in Enoshima .

On Monday, World Sailing did an about-face on a decision made five months earlier and decided that the wacky Mixed One-Person Dinghy event was not viable in the Olympic context. The decision has been lampooned from the time that it and two others of similar ilk were made.

World Sailing said nothing of the other events in the same novelty category - the Mixed Kiteboard Relay, and the Mixed Two-person Dinghy. World Sailing's Regulation requires "that each Event at the Olympic Sailing Competition is, and will be likely to remain, the pinnacle Event for that discipline or area of sailing."

You can hardly say argue that an event which is not sailed at World Championship level "is...the pinnacle Event for that discipline or area of sailing," as stated in World sailing's Regulation 23.1.2 which is in the section covering Events and Competition Rules.

After ditching the Mixed One Person Dinghy event, World Sailing's Board came up with a proposal for a Mixed Two-person Keelboat. That idea was rejected in the May Mid-Year Meeting which selected the 2024 Events, which can only be changed at a Council level with a 75% majority.

The offshore keelboat move reeked of some playing politics.

A day later Ng Ser Miang, a former World Sailing Vice President, and now a member of the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee ripped into World Sailing Board proposal.

Writing on his Facebook page, Ser Miang made it clear as to what he thought of the proposal - both as a sailor and from the Olympic body's perspective.

It should be remembered that the Summer Olympics are the International Olympic Committee's property and it is they who are mindful of how new events enhance their property. The 28 summer Sports come into the IOC property by invitation, not by right.

So the comments of Ser Miang must be taken very seriously. That doesn't seem to be the situation, with second-hand reports coming out of Sailing's Annual Conference saying they thought the Singaporean's Facebook account must have been hacked!

Also in this edition, we have a four-part interview series with World Sailing President, Kim Andersen (DEN), none of them made the top 10. But there is a lot in there for those who want to understand the sport, its issues and future.

And if you are are in the Olympic classes, on a progression that leads to the Olympic classes, or are a few steps away from the level, then you too, need to start coming up to speed on these issues. If they haven't already, it will cost you a lot of money if there is a change or choice.

Having been caught several times in these situations during a competitive sailing career, these decisions are never easy to swallow and move on.

Click here for the full Keelboat proposal slammed by IOC Exec Com member story

#4 Tank farm clearance gets underway

Rounding out the top four stories of the last 10 days is about the America's Cup bases being a few tanks closer to completion. It received good interest in NZ, Australia and USA.

There's plenty of images in there of an 80-year-old eyesore being removed. And while taking the images it was a great feeling to be able to form an impression of how Wynyard Point will look, denuded of those dreadful tanks.

Fortuitously Emirates Team New Zealand posted up a time-lapse video of the tank clearances which gives another view of the project.

For sure Wynyard Point will be a great asset for Auckland and New Zealand when the tank farm is finally levelled and the country receives a multi-functional piece of a prime real estate and which we understand will be legally locked away from developers and others who have commercial designs on the area.

Click here for Clearance of America's Cup base sites underway

All these stories and more follow below.

Between newsletters you can follow all the racing and developments in major and local events on www.sail-world.com by scrolling to the top of the site, select New Zealand, and get all the latest news and updates from the sailing world.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

Please forward your news stories and images directly to Sail-World NZ as text in the email and attach images in the standard way for emails. Our email address is in the Contact section of sail-world.com/nz

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