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12 months on from America's Cup start..24hr record video

28/05/2018


Sail-World NZ e-magazine - America's Cup a year later

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Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team NZ - Race 5 - Qualifiers - Day 1, 35th America's Cup, Bermuda, May 27, 2017 - photo © Richard Gladwell


Dear Recipient Name


Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for May 28, 2018

Seems hard to believe that a year ago today the 35th America's Cup got underway in Bermuda with the first day of racing in the Qualifiers,

Six races were sailed, due to the cancelling of racing on the first day, May 26, with strong winds. No-one seemed to mind at the time, and after what we saw on the second day of the Challenger Semi-Final it was a very good decision by Race Director Iain Murray.

To commemorate the racing 12 months ago, we will be re-publishing our reports from each day of racing along with material from other sources which we couldn't tap into at the time, due to unavailability or time constraints.

The first day was a mixed bag for Emirates Team New Zealand - they definitely came to the regatta short of a competitive gallop. In their much-awaited return match with Oracle Team USA, the Kiwis led for much of the race, but the race practised USA team goth through on the final beat and sailed away to a race win.

That win was more value for bragging rights, and OTUSA skipper was cock-a-hoop at the media conference that night. Unfortunately, we don't have the video for this session or any other event in the 35th America's Cup as all video and images were taken down by parties associated with the Golden Gate Yacht Club. They also did the same for coverage of the 2013 America's Cup. Quite why this action was required is a mystery to most Cup fans. Certainly, it is contrary to the rights given for recording the video and images under the Protocols for both those America's Cups.

Land Rover BAR - Race 6 - Qualifiers - Day 1, 35th America's Cup, Bermuda, May 27, 2017 - photo © Richard Gladwell
Land Rover BAR - Race 6 - Qualifiers - Day 1, 35th America's Cup, Bermuda, May 27, 2017 - photo © Richard Gladwell
Fortunately, at Sail-World NZ we have our own image libraries (9,000 images from the first day of six races) and Emirates Team New Zealand were able to do a workaround on Cup coverage and ran the highly successful Dock-Out and Dock-In Shows each day - which has some of the official race videos.

We're not going to re-run everything from 12 months ago, but there is now more information than we had at the time and were able to put together after each race day. So hopefully we can give you a better view of how Bermuda unfolded, without the nervous tension of the eventual outcome.

The Volvo Ocean Race continues with the leaders expected to finish in Cardiff, Wales inside 24 hours. The lead is now effectively shared between team AkzoNobel and Team Brunel who on the live tracker are now just 0.3nm apart.

The fleet has now slowed from a sleigh-ride that saw a new 24-hour sailing record set for the Volvo Ocean Race of 601.3nm set by team AkzoNobel, breaking the previous mark of 596.6nm set by Ericsson 4 in the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race.

Land Rover BAR's shore crew performed a herculean repair after the collision with Softbank Team Japan - America's Cup Qualifier- Day 1 - photo © Harry KH / Land Rover BAR
Land Rover BAR's shore crew performed a herculean repair after the collision with Softbank Team Japan - America's Cup Qualifier- Day 1 - photo © Harry KH / Land Rover BAR

In this edition, we have some reports, but more remarkably some drone footage from Team Brunel who was chasing hard but turn in a daily run of just over 20nm under the mark set by AkzoNobel.

There may be some adjustment to the world record mark, as we only see reports every six hours and the mark is a rolling 24-hour record. So the team will no doubt re-trace their tracks and work out the greatest distance travelled in a 24 hour period.

The only yacht which has exceeded the mark set by team AkzoNobel is Comanche, the 100ft supermaxi, which set the mark of 618nm back in 2015 in the course of a trans-Atlantic race. Some record-setting conditions caught up with the VPLP-Verdier design and they opted to alter course and chase the record before resuming her course for the finish off The Lizard of the 2015 Trans-Atlantic Race.

Leg 9, from Newport to Cardiff, Day 6 on board Brunel. Sending it in the foggy North Atlantic. 24 May, Leg 9 - Newport RI to Cardiff - 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 9, from Newport to Cardiff, Day 6 on board Brunel. Sending it in the foggy North Atlantic. 24 May, Leg 9 - Newport RI to Cardiff - 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race
Today marks the closing date for submissions on the second Resource Consent Application for the plan for the America's Cup bases in Auckland following a compromise agreement reached between Emirates Team New Zealand, Auckland Council and the Labour-led Coalition Government.

Should we be surprised that it has taken 12 months just to reach this point - leaving just 16 months for the bases, or at least some of the bases to be available for occupation by Challengers?

The situation has arisen because those responsible for long-term planning on the Auckland waterfront failed to develop a contingency plan for the hosting of an America's Cup in Auckland should Team New Zealand have been successful in 2007, 2013 or 2017 - in all three years, they reached the Match.

Damage to port hull Land Rover BAR - Race 6 Qualifiers - Day 1, 35th America's Cup, Bermuda, May 27, 2017Qualifiers - Day 1, 35th America's Cup, Bermuda, May 27, 2017 - photo © Richard Gladwell
Damage to port hull Land Rover BAR - Race 6 Qualifiers - Day 1, 35th America's Cup, Bermuda, May 27, 2017Qualifiers - Day 1, 35th America's Cup, Bermuda, May 27, 2017 - photo © Richard Gladwell

Ironically while the cost of the development has been claimed to be a significant factor, with the Council and Government agonising over a $30million gap which was claimed to make the deal too rich.

A few weeks after the March 26 deal being struck and with two parties claiming to have got the best deal for the taxpayer and ratepayer, they jointly resurrected the opportunity for a $1.5billion waterfront/central Auckland Stadium.

The issue with the lack of a long-term plan is two-fold.

Firstly the local and national government seem to view the America's Cup hosting as just a passing aberration and an opportunity to free up Wynyard Point of the fuel and hazardous substances storage tanks, ahead of time - and once the immediate Cup defence is over in 2021, they can continue with their long-term plan.

Finn Masters Worlds - El Balis, Spain - May 2018 - photo © Robert Deaves / Finn Class
Finn Masters Worlds - El Balis, Spain - May 2018 - photo © Robert Deaves / Finn Class

Those involve the development of the area currently taken for America's Cup bases for apartments, hotel and corporate offices. The northern half of the point gets turned into park and green space - and once again Auckland could find itself back in the embarrassing situation of having to defend the America's Cup without a venue.

The other equally serious issue is the lack of planning or even understanding of the opportunities Auckland has to create a superyacht servicing facility using land currently occupied by Orams and the Site 18 used by Southern Spars for rig servicing.

Last Tuesday, the Queensland Government beat the slow Kiwi politicians to the draw, announcing a bold initiative to chase the superyacht servicing business, which they value at AUD$630 million currently and believe they can grow to AUD$1.1billion by 2021.

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 9, from Newport to Cardiff, day 3, on board Brunel. Peter Burling at the helm. - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 9, from Newport to Cardiff, day 3, on board Brunel. Peter Burling at the helm. - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race

That is based on the 200 superyachts that visited Australian waters in 2016/17. The Australians have probably woken up to the fact that superyachts need a five-year refit to maintain their insurance, and there is now a mandatory servicing requirement which typically costs 10% of the vessel's value.

Auckland and national politicians have struggled to work out what the superyacht industry is worth. One report from 2014 put the value at just $30million with 35-40% of that being oil changes. One Council politician quickly dismissed the value of the superyacht industry - see the quote in the story in this edition - as being of insufficient value to Auckland to even bother chasing.

Leg 9, from Newport to Cardiff, Day 7 on board Brunel. 25 May, Leg 9 - Newport RI to Cardiff - 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 9, from Newport to Cardiff, Day 7 on board Brunel. 25 May, Leg 9 - Newport RI to Cardiff - 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race

While the Australians didn't say so in so many words, it is clear that they have a good starting point given their already strong superyacht traffic - 200 vessels a year - double the number that visited Bermuda for the last America's Cup. Auckland is expecting 100 vessels for the 2021 America's Cup, and the opportunity for the Banana-benders is to attract a percentage of the America's Cup visitors to Queensland superyacht yards for servicing.

One of the depressing aspects of the America's Cup Defence is that local and national politicians are long on options for expensive transport solutions and other aspirational projects. But they have no idea as to how to develop a competitive local and national economy and how to give New Zealand a competitive edge. The hands-off approach is maybe fine in a world where you are either a leader or follower. But the politicians are neither - they just get in the way.

Zhik is moving to a new show room in Penrose - photo © Zhik
Zhik is moving to a new show room in Penrose - photo © Zhik

The 2024 Olympic classes issue continues to bubble away, and we have a few more angles on it in this issue.

From our calculations the consequence of including four Mixed classes in a gender equal Sport means that Universality will take a hit. It would seem that ten less nations will be competing in the 2024 Olympic Regatta in Marseille. Whether that makes a difference within the International Olympic Committee remains to be seen. For sure if they score Sailing and all other sports on the numbers at the 2024 Olympics, it will not be a good look for the Sport. But back in 2008, the IOC looked at the numbers of nations contesting the qualifying trials. That being so for 2024 there would probably not be a drop, and maybe a slight increase.

Gus Miller - Finn Masters Worlds - El Balis, Spain - May 2018 - photo © Robert Deaves / Finn Class
Gus Miller - Finn Masters Worlds - El Balis, Spain - May 2018 - photo © Robert Deaves / Finn Class
One of Sail-World's contacts, Gus Miller has been filing daily reports from the Finn Masters World in Spain. The event attracted a fleet of over 350 entrants - which is a superb entry for a one-design class, and one that a week previously was placed under threat of being kicked out of the Olympics.

The wind was almost a complete no-show El Balis, giving the sailors plenty of opportunity to discuss their plans to keep the Finn as an Olympic class.

In an opinion piece from the last day of the regatta, the octogenarian gives his summary of the views from around the boat park.

Jose´ Doreste (63), Gus Miller (83) and Gerardo Seeliger (71) Final Day - Finn Masters Worlds - El Balis, May 2018 - photo © Gus Miller's Camera
Jose´ Doreste (63), Gus Miller (83) and Gerardo Seeliger (71) Final Day - Finn Masters Worlds - El Balis, May 2018 - photo © Gus Miller's Camera

Gus Miller has a very interesting life-story read here the former Marine, wrestler and ocean racer had the choice of sailing in the Whitbread Race in 1973 or contesting the Finn for the 1976 Olympics. He chose the latter and is still competing at the age of 83.

One of his assets is the ability to look at sailing through a different lens than others who have grown up in the sport from early childhood. Winning a Finn Gold Cup race at the age of 56 years old is a special achievement. As Gus notes in one of his diaries, the years seem to fall away from the instant he steps aboard his Finn - and slowing down is not an option.

The Finn Masters Worlds was a great event more for the spirit in which it is sailed, than the race results - and underlines what is missing from many aspects of sailing, particularly at the professional and Olympic levels.

Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team NZ - Race 5 - Qualifiers - Day 1, 35th America's Cup, Bermuda, May 27, 2017 - photo © Richard Gladwell
Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team NZ - Race 5 - Qualifiers - Day 1, 35th America's Cup, Bermuda, May 27, 2017 - photo © Richard Gladwell

Follow all the racing and developments in major and local events on 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.

All stories are available on Sail-World.com/nz

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

Finn Masters Worlds - El Balis, Spain - May 2018 - photo © Robert Deaves / Finn Class
Finn Masters Worlds - El Balis, Spain - May 2018 - photo © Robert Deaves / Finn Class

 
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