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America's Cup: Coach Ray Davies explains how chase boat practice works

by Sail-World.com/NZ 25 Feb 16:54 PST 26 February 2021
Emirates Team New Zealand just out of a start against their chase boat - February 21, 2021 - America's Cup 36 © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

With the Protocol eliminating the once familiar sight of teams trialing two America's Cup Class yachts against each other, the teams have had to resort to chase boats and simulators to mimic a race situation.

The Challengers have the advantage of race training in the challenger only rounds of the selection series for the Parda Cup. Luna Rossa is the best prepared on the race course with 22 races spanning the America's Cup World Series, and three rounds of the Prada Cup.

Emirates Team New Zealand has only had the six races in the America's Cup World Series in December. However the Defender does have the advantage of seeing the performance data from the Prada Cup and can input that into simulators to mimic boat performance and get a view of Luna Rossa's relative performance.

Similarly with startline/racing tactics which can be analysed in the simulator and playbooks developed, along with counter moves. Both Challenger and Defender can test their playbooks on the water against a chase boat.

Here Emirates Team New Zealand coach, Ray Davies explains how it all works. Davies was a co-coach for ETNZ in the 2017 America's Cup win, and is a very experienced Match Racer, being tactician for Dean Barker for many years on the World Match Racing circuit.

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