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Sail-World NZ - March 8, 2019 - Am Cup moves.. Kiwis dominate in JJ Giltinan

08/03/2019


March 8, 2019: JJ Giltinan Trophy..Ides of March looms for America's Cup

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C-Tech was a narrow winner over Honda Marine in Race 3 of the 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship - photo © Frank Quealey


Dear Recipient Name

Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for March 7, 2019

There's plenty of action on the New Zealand and world sailing scene, as you can see by the content and stories we have for you below.

In Sydney, New Zealand's defence of the JJ Giltinan Championship is progressing well with two races left in the regatta.

There are four New Zealand teams competing - the defending champion Honda Marine, ASCC - runner up in the 2018 event and an outstanding performance from her rookie crew led by Josh Porebski, C-Tech skippered by Alex (Ginge) Vallings who is synonymous with the 12ft skiff and 18ft skiff scene, and Maersk Line sailed by a rookie crew led by Peron Pease.

After finishing second in controversial circumstances in the 2017 JJ's, Honda Marine dominated the regatta in 2018, and is doing the same again. What the Kiwis didn't know before leaving Auckland was if they were sailing faster than the Australians, and the results would tend to indicate that was indeed the case.

Doldrum like conditions prevailed for Race 5 of the JJ Giltinan Championship - March 6, 2019 - photo © Michael Chittenden
Doldrum like conditions prevailed for Race 5 of the JJ Giltinan Championship - March 6, 2019 - photo © Michael Chittenden
One simple statistic underlines the Kiwi dominance - the Australian crews, sailing in their home waters - have only won a single race of the seven sailed to date. Honda Marine has won four races, C-Tech and ASCC have won a race apiece.

This is in the regatta that prior to last year had not been won by a New Zealand boat for 40 years, and given that the Australians enjoyed a substantial home town advantage - the JJ Giltinan Trophy had been considered to be almost unwinnable.

What is impressive about Honda Marine's performance is their ability to sail themselves out of trouble - none more so than in today's second race. They were back in eighth place going into the second and final beat and came through to be first and enjoying a reasonably safe lead going into the final run to the finish.

Same for ASCC helmed by 49er sailor Josh Porebski, who scored a first and second in the races sailed today - and came within a few metres of coming away with two wins from two races. ASCC has been a little up and down this regatta, but like Honda Marine, they can make bold moves and reap the rewards. It is quite remarkable to watch - given that it is Sydney Harbour - and the Kiwis are sailing against generations of local knowledge.

Honda Marine, C-Tech and Noakesailing - Race 3 - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Sydney harbour - March 5, 2019 - photo © Michael Chittenden
Honda Marine, C-Tech and Noakesailing - Race 3 - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Sydney harbour - March 5, 2019 - photo © Michael Chittenden

All the Kiwi boats have had their moments in the regatta - with C-Tech winning the third race - sailed in the most extreme conditions to date with the seabreeze gusting to 25kts. Maersk Line got into the lead bunch today - her second foray into the top ten.

Coverage of the regatta has gone up several notches this year, with up to ten cameras being deployed, including extensive use of drone-borne cameras which replace helicopters - in fact, there are no choppers used for the coverage.

That means greatly reduced costs, and no downdraft to interfere with the race-boats.

Aeromedia, owned by one of the 18ft skippers in the regatta Jono Whitty is providing many of the facilities and production for the event.

Another key part of the production team is the camera cat - an aluminium rocketship which started life carrying commentators and has been modified to take a small camera and video production team.

ASCC and Honda Marine battle for the lead at the finish of Race 7 - JJ Giltinan Championship - Sydney Harbour - March 2019 - photo © Aeromedia
ASCC and Honda Marine battle for the lead at the finish of Race 7 - JJ Giltinan Championship - Sydney Harbour - March 2019 - photo © Aeromedia

The point that sets this event apart from the others is that the commentary team is on the water, and can see the video that is being transmitted. There is none of the oft-criticised studio based commentary team who are disconnected from the events on the water.

The lead, or continuity commentator, Mark Heeley has a very good understanding of the event, and the 18fters generally. English born and with minimal accent, he speaks clearly and is easy to understand. Mark has been associated with the event for many years. He is on the camera cat along with two other commentators - one of whom is usually a guest commentator of the likes of Andrew Buckland, Peter Shipway and Iain Murray - who are able to bring a fresh perspective to the racing and provide some interesting comment on other matters sailing in between.

The camera work is very good - given the very raw circumstances. This regatta we have been treated to some outstanding sequences of 18ft skiffs at full flight, sailing with big rigs downwind in a big seabreeze.

Is the JJ's the best sailing TV in the world? It's hard to think of one that's better.

ASCC and Smeg clearly win the start in Race 7 on day 5 of the 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship  - photo © Frank Quealey
ASCC and Smeg clearly win the start in Race 7 on day 5 of the 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship - photo © Frank Quealey

This regatta is a must see - it is broadcast live on Youtube - and embedded on the home page of Sail-World. Other broadcasters of sailing events should be taking very careful notes of this unique, raw and very high-quality live production.

For sure the now largely one-design 18ft skiffs would have made a much better Olympic Event sailing a nine or 12 race series than watching a two-night two-handed Offshore Race.

Camera team on hand to catch all the action as Winning Group powers to the finish line in Race 4 of the 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship - photo © Frank Quealey
Camera team on hand to catch all the action as Winning Group powers to the finish line in Race 4 of the 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship - photo © Frank Quealey

Pay to Play

The America's Cup is never dull - even though we are still four months away from seeing the first AC75's launched.

On Tuesday, there was a rare if not unique moment in America's Cup history when the competitors were able to resolve a dispute relatively amicably - short-circuiting an Arbitration Panel hearing set down for next week.

We have the full story in this edition - mostly compiled by reading between the lines and talking to some of the parties directly.

April will be crunch time for the Late Challengers - on April 1 - they have to pay the first instalment of their Late Entry Fee - $250,000. Then at the end of April, they have to lodge their $1million Performance Bond.

It is not spelt out in the Protocol amendment when the Late Challengers have to pay the first instalment of their $1million entry fee. The pre- existing Protocol says it is within ten days of their Challenge being accepted.

Windward mark rounding on day 3 of the 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship - photo © Frank Quealey
Windward mark rounding on day 3 of the 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship - photo © Frank Quealey

Given that the three Late Challengers had the legality of their Challenge taken to the Arbitration Panel, one assumes that all non-refundable entry payments and performance bonds were suspended until that situation was resolved. But with now the smoke has been cleared, all outstanding Entry Fees must be paid by March 15, 2019 - a week from today.

That includes the second regular entry fee payment, which could be deferred. However in the original Protocol, the first two payments of $275,000 each had to be made by February 28, 2019, so that's another half million or so also now due by the Ides of March.

The third payment of the second half of the Entry Feee of $275,000 falls due on May 31 and the final payment at the end of August. Final Payment of the late Entry Fee is $750,000 on October 1.

C-Tech and Honda Marine battle for the lead in Race 3 - JJ Giltinan Championship - Sydney Harbour - March 2019 - photo © Michael Chittenden
C-Tech and Honda Marine battle for the lead in Race 3 - JJ Giltinan Championship - Sydney Harbour - March 2019 - photo © Michael Chittenden

The point being that while the Late Challengers may have won a reprieve from an Arbitration Panel Hearing, the Ides of March are now a very poignant date for that group.

Missing that or any payment deadlines will now mean a quick trip to the Arbitration Panel, who following previous Cup precedent will usually give a further seven days grace - and if that is not met the team will exit the 36th America's Cup.

Triple action on the first windward leg during race 2 of the 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship - photo © Frank Quealey
Triple action on the first windward leg during race 2 of the 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship - photo © Frank Quealey
Launch dates

While the financial pressure may be on the late Challengers, those intending to launch two AC75's are under a time-squeeze.

News out of Italy is that Luna Rossa will launch their AC75 in July 2019. The first round of the America's Cup World Series has been pushed out into the European Spring of 2020. Whatever the ACWS dates, there is the imperative to get the first boat right- as well as early to maximise learning to be fed back into the second AC75 or race boat.

The extension of the AC75 V1 launch dates to July - a month ot two from what was expected to be May-June, will impact on the launch date for the second AC75 for the Super teams. Clearly, there is a need to get as much of the design learnings transferred from the AC75V1 to the race-boat - which is allowed to be launched after February 15, 2020.

History shows that the first launched AC race-boats are usually the most successful. Build times are now reasonably refined at around 18 weeks, and few construction shortcuts can be taken, as the designers have always wanted as much time as possible to resolve their tradeoffs before doing a final design sign-off.

Honda Marine - 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Sydney Harbour, March 2019, - photo © Michael Chittenden
Honda Marine - 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Sydney Harbour, March 2019, - photo © Michael Chittenden

There is also the restraint that ASC75 hulls can only be altered by 12.5% of the surface area (previously it was 25% of one hull). It is going to be essential to get the first launched's hull shape optimised so that can be carried over into the race-boat. Remember that with their test boats no-one has resolved the trade-off between a hull shape that allows a boat to foil earlier against one that presents the least aero drag.

Team New Zealand may be getting some good answers from their simulator, but they are also the most time rich of the teams, and will be able to have a good look at the other teams first AC75 designs, before committing to their race boat.

And then for the Challengers most of whom are coming from the Northern hemisphere/Europe, there is the shipping time to be factored in - unless they opt to fly their race boat to NZ and save 8-10 weeks in transit.

Of course, as they are sailing in their home waters, and don't have to peak until two months after the Challengers, Emirates Team New Zealand has more elasticity in their timelines. But for the Challengers, the end of the runway for the 2021 America's Cup is coming up fast.

Appliances Online (BRett Van Munster) - Race 2 - JJ Giltinan Championship 2019, March 3, 2019 - photo © Michael Chittenden
Appliances Online (BRett Van Munster) - Race 2 - JJ Giltinan Championship 2019, March 3, 2019 - photo © Michael Chittenden

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Between newsletters, you can follow all the racing and developments in major and local events on www.sail-world.com/nz or 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

 
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Honda Marine and Appliances Online bow to bow heading for the finish - Race 2 - JJ Giltinan Championship 2019, March 3, 2019 - photo © Michael Chittenden
Honda Marine and Appliances Online bow to bow heading for the finish - Race 2 - JJ Giltinan Championship 2019, March 3, 2019 - photo © Michael Chittenden

 
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2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Sydney Harbour, March 2019, - photo © Michael Chittenden
2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Sydney Harbour, March 2019, - photo © Michael Chittenden

 
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Day 3 - downwind - 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Sydney Harbour, March 2019, - photo © Aeromedia
Day 3 - downwind - 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Sydney Harbour, March 2019, - photo © Aeromedia

 
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