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Prada Cup: Day 3 Preview - Course A - American Magic's Dean Barker's home patch

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 16 Jan 14:13 PST 17 January 2021
Dean Barker and the afterguard of American Magic - Day 2, Prada Cup - January 16, 2021 - 36 America's Cup © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

For Day 3 of the Prada Cup, racing will shift to a new course area, in an unusual response to the predicted wind.

For the first time in the Prada Cup, Course A off Auckland's East Coast Bays, and North Shore suburbs, will be used.

For American Magic helmsman, Dean Barker, the call couldn't be better - the top end of the course is off his old sailing club Murrays Bay SC, and its southern end is off Black Rock on Milford Beach. The course will parallel the coastline - and the waters are where he sailed Optimists, P-class and all his Youth sailing up until the time he won a World Youth Championship sailing in the then Laser class.

Two races are due to be sailed - and if there are delays then the Regatta Director is not allowed to start a race after 6.00pm.

The first race - Round Robin 2, Race 2 Luna Rossa (ITA) vs INEOS Team UK (GBR) starting at 3.15pm NZDT

The second race - Round Robin 2, Race 3 American Magic (USA) vs Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (ITA) starting at 4.15pm NZDT

Best vantage point will be Kennedy Park, Castor Bay.

At race time the wind is expected to be swinging from the North through to the West as a front moves through the area.

Winds are forecast to be blowing from the North at 1400hrs, from the NW at 1500hrs and from the West at 1600hrs - the start time approximately of the second race of the day.

Wind strength is averaging 13-16kts and gusting 23kts. The AC75's should be hitting top speed in these conditions.

If that latter strength does eventuate ahead of forecast for the second race, then it is likely that the maximum limit - measured over a 30second rolling box car average, starting nine minutes and ending four minutes before the start.

How to follow the racing:

From my Spy Guide (covering all vantage points which I have been using to follow the AC75's since September 2019) you can guage the best sites for viewing from shore - binoculars are recommended but not necessary:

Devonport Wharf - easy parking but no real views past North Head: Course C

Torpedo Wharf - good parking, good views and a shed to shelter in - but you can't see up the Rangitoto Channel - Course C

North Head - lower is better - Course C

Takapuna Grammar - Course B

Takapuna Boat ramp - Course A

Bottom of Tiri Road - parking is a bit of a problem but there is a nice wooden deck they have put there for people to set up cameras on. Dean seems to sail off there a lot - he lived around that area. - Course A

Kennedy Park off Beach Road up from Castor Bay. Drive in and from the carpark you will see a limestone gravel path - off the end of that is a set of wooden steps down the cliff, they are very sound and with several landings, you can walk down - and shoot from about halfway down. - old America's Cup course area - good for speed training

Further up there are parks at the top of most cliffs, the furthest north I have shot is off Rothesay Bay.

Eastern Beach - just look on Google maps - Course E

Musick Point - look on the street views of Google maps there is a road through the Golf Course - with a car park at the top, park there and walk through to your right, there is a clearing there opening right up onto Tamaki Strait and Waiheke. Should take 40 minutes in light fast traffic. - Course E

The Auckland City Guide as as follows:

Courses A, B and C will provide great viewing for people on North Shore.

  • Course A - good viewing to be had from Milford and Takapuna beaches.
  • Course B - Cheltenham Beach, Narrow Neck Beach, Maungauika North Head
  • Course C - Maungauika North Head, Bastion Point, Tamaki Yacht Club and Mission Bay
  • Course D - Southeastern beaches will be the place to watch, with locations including Achilles Point and Glover Park
  • Course E - Action on this course is within sight of Maraetai and Musick Point.

    Getting around during the 36th America's Cup

    It will be busy, so plan ahead get there early and allow plenty of time for travel. The 36th America's Cup Village, located at the start of Hobson Wharf will be open on Race days - 9am-11pm; Non race days -10am-10pm Public holidays - 10am-9pm.

    For the best transport links and for all info click here

    Listen via radio - highly recommended to get the best on shore viewing experience

    Radio for Prada Cup and the Match AC 36 Auckland 2021

    There are two options - all with commentary by the world's leading America's Cup broadcast commentator, Peter Montgomery and two co-commentators. They are not on the water but are in a studio with all the essential feeds and are real-time (no delay or latency on AM radio)

    Online with iHeartRadio (an internet App Note downloadable from the Playstore (Android) or AppStore (Apple).

    This App will work anywhere in the world - but online there is a time lag of around 30 - 40 seconds.

    New Zealand only, there is a in real time commentary, with terrestrial Radio.

    For the Prada Cup and the Match

    Online with iHeartRadio Search for iHeartRadio then enter GOLD AM

    Auckland in real time you need a Radio.

    Tuned to GOLD AM 1332, previously the frequency for Radio Sport (or on Gold AM old Radio Sport round rest of NZ)

    Then for the Match also NEWSTALK ZB FM 89.4 AM 1080

    Television coverage in New Zealand is Live on TV1 starting at 2.00pm

    On the Internet live coverage is available on Sail-World's home page www.sail-world.com.

    For those who have been geo-blocked, an experienced sailing journalist will be updating regularly on the progress of the racing along with comments picked up from the TV feed. Sail-World has the only sailing photo/journalist on the water, and the report will be further updated after the conclusion of the racing to provide an accurate record and independent record of the day.

    Video coverage is generally is available on Youtube and search for/subscribe to America's Cup

    Or from the America's Cup website www.americascup.com

    Some countries may be geo-blocked due to TV rights issues. You can usually get around these by a VPN (Virtual Private Network) piece of software which will mask your location. Or download the Opera browser and view through that - which is understood to contain its own VPN.

    Here is the download link - we ave used Opera only for a few days, it seems to be very good www.opera.com/features/free-vpn

    The explanation for countries which are geo-blocked (mainly USA) is as follows:

    On NBC Sports, the schedule is as follows (no extra paid subscription needed):

    6 days of PRADA Cup live

    10 days are same day delay

    1 day is next day delayed

    The first two days of the Match will be live

    The next two days will be same day delay - delayed by an hour for scheduling reasons

    The final three days are TBD

    Generally, the delayed broadcasts are because of wider scheduling issues with other sports events.

    NBC Sports carries the ACTV 'World Feed' and the schedule gets stronger as the competition progresses- including Friday night 9pm Live on NBC Sports on both of the next two weekends.

    With regard to NBC Gold (paid extra)- every race is live (World Feed) as well as multi feeds. *Note we have no control of what they charge for the NBC Gold

    With regard to YouTube in the US:

    All highlights are available as soon as produced and posted each day.

    However the full live racing is delayed by 48 hours.

    Basically Live racing and highlights coverage is available on americascup.com in all markets where YouTube operates, except for those covered by the NBC arrangement outlined above. And I am purposely not going into detail on broadcast territories because every other territory the digital streaming rights are separated and available to all LIVE no matter what broadcaster is showing it.

    Press Conferences: Live streamed on YouTube without restriction anywhere. These start about an hour after the completion of racing.

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