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Sail-World NZ Newsletter: Tough times - March 30, 2018

29/03/2018


Sail-World NZ Newsletter: Tough times - March 30, 2018

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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai. Around Cape Horn. - photo © Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race


Dear [recipient name]

Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for March 30, 2018

There has been an awful lot happening over the past few days.

First, the tragedy in the Southern Ocean on Tuesday (NZT) when John Fisher, a Brit resident in Adelaide, was knocked over the side of SHK Scallywag, never to be seen again.

Second, Auckland is all but confirmed as the Venue for the 36th America's Cup after an 11th-hour effort by Emirates Team New Zealand to come up with a new plan that would be acceptable to the politicians and funders.

Third, Emirates Team New Zealand published the Class Rule for the AC75 class to be used in the 36th America's Cup.

Kevin Shoebridge, Tina Symmans and Mayor Phil Goff after the Auckland Council voted in favour of the new America's Cup proposal - March 29, - photo © Richard Gladwell
Kevin Shoebridge, Tina Symmans and Mayor Phil Goff after the Auckland Council voted in favour of the new America's Cup proposal - March 29, - photo © Richard Gladwell

The latter proved to be a damp squib, with little in the new rule that had not already been signalled or guessed. Confirmed were the crew numbers set at 11 human beings. Maybe the rule makers were wary of someone developing Rodney Robot, or Michael Muscle to be able to turn in a superhuman performance on the grinders. The rule is clearly not written by someone used to drafting class rules. It is long on specifics, particularly on structures - which may reduce the number of calls to the Measurement Committee - but for the layperson, it is a difficult read.

Interestingly the overall length of the hull translates to 67.6 feet - well short of the class moniker of AC75 (feet), maybe the bowsprit is included to get to the mid-70's total length.

The crew will number 11 - an average of 90kg which is not that big considering that some big grinding units will be required. There is no quota for female sailors. However, with the low average weight, the gender door may have opened as clearly one or two lighter female crew members are going to have a favourable trade-off with the higher average weight of the remainder of the crew.

Not too much is revealed about the arms, as the topside foils are known - except they will be battery powered - using supplied one design power packs.

Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 12 on board Turn the Tide on Plastic. 28 March, . - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 12 on board Turn the Tide on Plastic. 28 March, . - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race

The above commentary is based on a late-night skim read of the new Rule - all 62 pages of it, released at midnight last night. More will no doubt be revealed next week.

The Extraordinary Meeting of the Governing Body of the Auckland Council completed the laying on of hands for Auckland to host the 36th America's Cup. We have a couple of stories relating to the meeting itself, yesterday and the lead-in on Monday evening when the Coalition Government and Emirates Team New Zealand released the plan accompanied by separate media releases.

Tellingly the plan - even the version circulated by Auckland Council featured the Emirates Team New Zealand logo.

Success may have many fathers, but clearly, ETNZ was the mother of this plan.

Sketch plan of the Viaduct Hybrid proposal from MBIE - photo © MBIE
Sketch plan of the Viaduct Hybrid proposal from MBIE - photo © MBIE

One source very close to the action commented to Sail-World: "I can assure you that it was ETNZ to the rescue after they bothered to do the numbers properly on the Wynyard Plan".

That rescue plan hatched in nearby Beaumont Street involved finding another $35million, which was achieved by grabbing the media and regatta administration facilities - to have been run out of the Viaduct Events centre - and using that for a base for Emirates Team New Zealand.

Quite where the media and all important television crew will be housed remains to be seen. A popup building on the end of Halsey Wharf looks to be the logical spot.

As a plan, it will be difficult to deliver ahead of the August/September 2019 deadline - necessary for the serious team to be able to sail in the summer of 2019/20. Several months have been lost with the aborted Resource Consent process - which has cost $2million - and will be refunded by the Government.

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - 36th America's Cup - photo © America's Cup Media
Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - 36th America's Cup - photo © America's Cup Media

The mood within the Council Meeting yesterday was very good, in contrast to the heated outbursts that have marked the previous three meetings of the Governing Body when it has discussed America's Cup. Sure some of the firebrands were absent. The public was excluded for the first hour of the meeting - ostensibly to hide discussion on commercially sensitive financial matters.

But most of the numbers were in the cost matrix in the thin supplied report. More likely is that the cash-strapped Council was told of the Government's role in funding assistance and the fact that they needed to sign-off on this deal and pronto - or lose the Cup hosting to Italy.

Remarkably the final vote was unanimous.

Despite the acrimonies early in the process, yesterday was like the calm after the storm. At this point, there is no reason to expect that level of co-operation will continue Everyone is now working toward the same goal with an agreed plan and funding, and the task now is to make the 36th America's Cup as good as it possibly can be. Next battle has to be the protection of what little remains of the marine industry in that Wynyard Point area.

Team Brunel digs in hard in the final miles before rounding Cape Horn - photo © Yann Riou/Team Brunel
Team Brunel digs in hard in the final miles before rounding Cape Horn - photo © Yann Riou/Team Brunel

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet has rounded Cape Horn and is in the South Atlantic. Five boats are currently racing, with MAPFRE pulling into a bay at the tip of South America to effect mast track repairs.

The fleet has had one of the roughest rides through the Southern Ocean in the history of the round the world races. The videos and images contained in a couple of stories in this newsletter are a testament to that, and the drone footage is spectacular and awesome in the literal sense of that over-used word.

John Fisher pictured at the finish of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race. - photo © Richard Gladwell
John Fisher pictured at the finish of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race. - photo © Richard Gladwell

On Tuesday morning NZT the terrible news came through of the loss overboard of John Fisher from SHK Scallywag.

Yesterday, a news update from the Shore Team of the boat revealed that he had been temporarily unclipped when the boat surfed and did a crash gybe on the wave. John Fisher was knocked overboard, and was probably unconscious when he hit the water.

One can only imagine the scenes on board when they realised that he had gone overboard, and had to turn and motor against the Southen Ocean maelstrom to search for their lost crewmate.

It is inevitable that there will be another inquiry and hopefully, this will be led once again by Rear Admiral Chris Oxenbould, with Stan Honey and Chuck Hawley assisting. Already they have one investigation running into the Hong Kong fatality involving Vestas 11th Hour Racing. They did an outstanding job with the Vestas Wind inquiry in the 2014/15 race - and it is only through learning from these incidents can safety be progressed.

Jacklines running the length of the cockpit floor on Scallywag - photo © Richard Gladwell
Jacklines running the length of the cockpit floor on Scallywag - photo © Richard Gladwell

One issue that will come up will be the subject of double tethering - in other words, that crew hook onto two points when moving - so that at least one tether is always in use.

Another will be that of automatically inflating life jackets and activation of other immersed safety gear. The issue is that many crews removed the auto-inflate mechanism from lifejackets to avoid these inflating when doused as a boat goes through the wave. This has the obvious downside that if you go over the side unconscious then auto inflation mechanism will not be triggered, and you sink rapidly.

Recovery of a crewmember is never easy - as we saw on SHK Scallywag when crew member Alex Gough went overboard on Leg 4 in broad daylight, a modest breeze and choppy seas. The only reason he was spotted was that he raised an arm. He was glimpsed by a lookout, and she guided the helmsman to him.

A bollicking from David Witt was probably Alex Gough's worst memory of the experience.

Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board MAPFRE, Aerial shot, the crew were peeling with 35-40 knots of wind, 28 March, . - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board MAPFRE, Aerial shot, the crew were peeling with 35-40 knots of wind, 28 March, . - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race

I only met John Fisher once, during the stopover in Auckland when he gave several media and guests a walk through SHK Scallywag. He is one of those people who you meet for five minutes and feel like you have a friend for life - he just had that way about him - and a great crew member and person to have on your side. He made an instant impression on everyone he met.

The many tributes from others who sailed with John speak of the same attributes.

Our condolences to John's family and friends at this terrible time.

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 09 on board Dongfeng. Daryl Wislang trimming the mian whil Vestas is trying to stay in our wake - photo © Martin Keruzore / Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 09 on board Dongfeng. Daryl Wislang trimming the main while Vestas is trying to stay in our wake - photo © Martin Keruzore / Volvo Ocean Race

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

 
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 05 on board MAPFRE, sunset time. 22 March - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 05 on board MAPFRE, sunset time. 22 March - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race

Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board Brunel. Drone picture. 400 miles from Cape Horn. 30 knots of wind. 5-6 meter waves. Drone back on board. Thanks to Kyle Langford for his help on launching and catching the drone. 28 March, . - photo © Yann Riou / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board Brunel. Drone picture. 400 miles from Cape Horn. 30 knots of wind. 5-6 meter waves. Drone back on board. - photo © Yann Riou / Volvo Ocean Race

Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 10 on board Vestas 11th Hour. 26 March, . The team waiting for the right moment to gybe. - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 10 on board Vestas 11th Hour. 26 March, . The team waiting for the right moment to gybe. - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Race

 
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Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 10 on board Turn the Tide on Plastic. Liz Wardley. 26 March, . - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 10 on board Turn the Tide on Plastic. Liz Wardley. 26 March, . - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 10 on board Vestas 11th Hour. 26 March, . Stacey Jackson. - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 10 on board Vestas 11th Hour. 26 March, . Stacey Jackson. - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 10 on board Brunel. Abby Ehler doing her checks at the aft of the boat. 27 March, . - photo © Yann Riou / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 10 on board Brunel. Abby Ehler doing her checks at the aft of the boat. 27 March, . - photo © Yann Riou / Volvo Ocean Race

 
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Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 10 on board Brunel. Nina Curtis on deck despite her small injury. 27 March, . - photo © Yann Riou / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 10 on board Brunel. Nina Curtis on deck despite her small injury. 27 March, . - photo © Yann Riou / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board Vestas 11th Hour. 27 March, . Spray position, get low. - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board Vestas 11th Hour. 27 March, . Spray position, get low. - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 13 on board Dongfeng. Drone shot in the southern ocean. 28 March, . - photo © Martin Keruzore / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 13 on board Dongfeng. Drone shot in the southern ocean. 28 March, . - photo © Martin Keruzore / Volvo Ocean Race

 
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Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board MAPFRE, surfing the southern ocean, Guillermo and Sophie at the hatch, 28 March, . - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board MAPFRE, surfing the southern ocean, Guillermo and Sophie at the hatch, 28 March, . - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board Turn the Tide on Plastic. 28 March, . - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board Turn the Tide on Plastic. 28 March, . - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board MAPFRE, Aerial shot, the crew were peeling with 35-40 knots of wind, 28 March, . - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board MAPFRE, Aerial shot, the crew were peeling with 35-40 knots of wind, 28 March, . - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race



Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 Day 12: MAPFRE suspends racing due to damaged mast track
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The America's Cup Defender and Challenger of Record have published the AC75 Class Rule for the 36th America's Cup.

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Bacardi Moth World Championship at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club - Day 3
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Volvo Ocean Race: Fatal MOB was freak accident
Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag have issued a statement and timeline of events which led to crew member John Fisher being lost overboard on Monday (UTC). The Volvo65 appears to have been caught in a series of situations which led to the fatal incident.

 
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7, Day 11: Fleet closing in on Cape Horn with Scallywag heading to Chile
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Vovo Ocean Race: 65kts on final approach to Horn
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Bacardi Moth World Championship at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club - Day 2
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America's Cup: NZ has close call on Cup Venue
The combined prevarication of Auckland Council and the Labour-led Coalition Government came close to scuttling Auckland's Hosting of the 36th America's Cup.

 
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Updates on Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7
The seventh team, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, is working to recover from the tragic loss of crew member John Fisher, who went overboard over 24 hours ago and is now presumed lost at sea, given the cold temperatures and rough sea conditions.

Volvo Ocean Race: SHK Scallywag sponsor pays tribute
Lee Seng Huang and Sun Hung Kai & Co. owner and sponsor of Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag have issued a statement following the loss overboard of UK born, Adelaide resident John Fisher during the Volvo Ocean Race.

 
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Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag sailor John Fisher presumed lost at sea
This morning I am extremely sad to inform you that one of our sailors, John Fisher, from Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag, is now presumed to have been lost at sea.

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Search and rescue operation continues for Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag sailor
The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) is continuing to lead efforts to recover Volvo Ocean Race sailor John Fisher (UK), who was reported overboard off Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag early on Monday afternoon UTC.

 
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Volvo Ocean Race: MOB search continues with other vessels
Sail-World NZ understands that the search for missing crew member John Fisher has been called off as night is falling in the search zone. Nine hours are believed to have passed since Fisher went overboard from SHK Scallywag.

Man overboard on Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag
Race Control for the Volvo Ocean Race has been informed by Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag of a man overboard incident, on Monday afternoon at approximately 13:42 UTC.

Bacardi Moth World Championship at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club - Day 1
Day 1 of the Bacardi Moth World Championship in Bermuda was postponed today due to gale force winds.

 
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 Day 9: The Southern Ocean bites back
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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ give consent to new Plan
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 Day 8: Respite for fleet as Team Brunel takes pole position
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TTTOP pass Point Nemo and reset for more big breeze to come in Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7
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Volvo Ocean Race: Scallywag's week in the Southern Ocean
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KZRaceFurlers

Bailey Insurance

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