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Sail-World NZ: Oct 14 - Four AC75's splashed...Sneaky move against ETNZ ...RS Feva's at Manly

14/10/2019


Sail-World NZ - October 14, 2019: America's Cup launchings

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Emirates Team New Zealand passes Rangitoto Lighthouse - Waitemata Harbour - October 12, 2019 - photo © Richard Gladwell


Dear Recipient Name

Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for October 14, 2019

It has been a busy fortnight with the Auckland On the Water Boatshow, preceded by a second round of AC75 launchings by two of the five America's Cup teams.

The new venue for the Auckland On the Water Boat Show got varying reactions. For the most part they were positive - meaning there will be some adjustments for the 2020 edition, which will be interesting given that the America's Cup will be in full swing.

Those spoken to on the marina seemed well pleased - commenting that the show had more of a boat-show feel to it than was the case when it centred around what is now the Emirates Team NZ marina.

Four AC75s are launched - October 2019 - photo © Crosbie Lorimer
Four AC75s are launched - October 2019 - photo © Crosbie Lorimer

This year there was the usual tsunami of visitors queuing to get in at 10.00 am on the Thursday morning, and from there it never seemed to have the visitor voids which characterised previous shows. Maybe it was due to the show dates being positioned in the school holidays.

Whatever, Sail-World had our best ever show. The America's Cup theming with large posters of three of the Challengers AC75's plus the Defender's Te Aihe, attracted a lot of interest, with fans, and the merely intrigued. They seemed pleased to have the opportunity to view and compare the differences between the four AC75's using large study shots, rather than trying to pick their way through the AC75 design jigsaws on a computer screen or smaller.

After a couple of questions and with a few minutes' of explanations, most seemed to understand how the AC75's worked and wanted to see more.

Harder to work out was whether the kids came away with a better understanding of AC75 foiling physics than their parents. But there can be no doubt that the advent of foiling has transformed the mainstream sports fans' perception of the sport of sailing. You certainly don't hear the quips "like watching the paint dry/like watching flies crawl up a wall" used in the context of a contemporary America's Cup.

Emirates Team New Zealand dips a 49er - October 2019 - photo © Richard Gladwell
Emirates Team New Zealand dips a 49er - October 2019 - photo © Richard Gladwell

For sure there are those who love pulling on a blazer, along with pants of distinctive hues, and yearn for the return to displacement monohulled sloops, tight match racing, and its rules and tactical framework.

But that formula doesn't work for those outside the Blue Blazer bubble.

Remember the in-sucking of breath when it was announced that the 2013 America's Cup would be sailed in (then) displacement wingsailed catamarans - which soon became foilers?

Eastern Viaduct Entrance to the marina, in front of the Viaduct Harbour watering holes - Auckland On the Water Boat Show - Final day - October 6, 2019 - photo © Richard Gladwell
Eastern Viaduct Entrance to the marina, in front of the Viaduct Harbour watering holes - Auckland On the Water Boat Show - Final day - October 6, 2019 - photo © Richard Gladwell

Those boats created one of the most memorable America's Cups of all time.

The AC50 was an attempt to build on the AC72 concept and bring in more teams. But the move to the smallest boat to have ever competed for the Cup was a mistake. The America's Cup Class for 2017 should have been left as the AC62, adding to the grandeur and presence that a bigger boat can bring. The announcement of the boat type, venue, and likely dates should have been made at the final media conference in San Francisco and captured the enthusiasm of the new fan base and media - who had just witnessed a thrilling sporting event.

When the AC75 was announced, it appeared to many to be a product of a university science project or an oversize bath toy. Would it stay upright, let alone sail?

In fact, from everything that has been seen to date, the AC75 performs very well and looks to lift the public perception of sailing to a new level.

NYYC - American Magic - Newport RI - photo © Daniel Forster
NYYC - American Magic - Newport RI - photo © Daniel Forster

The wonderment is that in these Green Times that a boat without any reliance on fossil fuels can outstrip all but the fastest powerboats, and will sail at four times the wind speed in a light to moderate breeze.

At Sail-World, we can see from by our readership statistics that there is huge interest in the upcoming America's Cup. In September we had 760,000 stories opened, up from 640,000 the previous month. Both months smashed out of the park the former record of 553,000 stories read - set in the December 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. We are seeing readership numbers the likes of which we have never seen before. It is quite a remarkable situation - and only just the beginning.

The America's Cup dominates the S-W story statistics - regardless of whether or not a region has an entry in the event.

INEOS Team UK's first AC75 emerges from the team base in Portsmouth - photo © INEOS Team UK
INEOS Team UK's first AC75 emerges from the team base in Portsmouth - photo © INEOS Team UK

The four AC75's launched over the last month are the most divergent designs yet seen for boats from the same class rule.

That divergence, while maybe a little disconcerting for the traditionalists, doesn't seem to have deterred the new sailing fans - who now see the sport as being on the same technical level as Formula 1.

In this edition, we have various analyses, images, and videos of the launch of the two latest Challengers, and comment on all four.

For those who have been fortunate to see Te Aihe strutting her stuff on the Waitemata, the dire predictions of the America's Cup sages, now seem quite hollow.

Britannia shows her cockpit and deck layout - photo © INEOS Team UK
Britannia shows her cockpit and deck layout - photo © INEOS Team UK

From what we have seen, the AC75 sails well, and from what we have seen on Te Aihe, she has few vices and seems to be quite a forgiving boat.

The occasional spectacular splashdown, we are told looks a lot worse than it feels on board.

For sure there are teething problems, but these don't seem to be serious misjudgments on the part of the designers. The Kiwi's sessions on the water seem to be of their typical duration, assisted by the onset of daylight saving. There has only been one session that has been foreshortened due to gear failure.

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli shows her centreline bustle - photo © Luna Rossa
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli shows her centreline bustle - photo © Luna Rossa

Shoreside, there will be an update on Thursday morning. But in the interim, the construction of the teams' bases is well on time and running under budget. The Luna Rossa base has been handed over to the Italian team. The two bases on Wynyard Point for INEOS Team UK and New York Yacht Club were handed to the teams some time ago.

In this edition, we have some comment on the fourth challenger, Stars + Stripes Team USA, with a couple of sponsorship/partnerships. We check each story directly with the team, and can only publish what we have confirmed. Our last discussion with the team (a fortnight ago) was that they "would definitely be in Auckland".

Luna Rossa makes the most use of a full moon - photo © Luna Rossa
Luna Rossa makes the most use of a full moon - photo © Luna Rossa

For all the latest news from NZ and around the world see below.

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

Simon and Ashton Cooke - RS Feva North Island Championships - Manly Sailing Club, October 2019 - photo © Manly Sailing Club
Simon and Ashton Cooke - RS Feva North Island Championships - Manly Sailing Club, October 2019 - photo © Manly Sailing Club

 
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RS Feva North Island Championships - Manly Sailing Club, October 2019 - photo © Manly Sailing Club
RS Feva North Island Championships - Manly Sailing Club, October 2019 - photo © Manly Sailing Club

 
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North Island RS Feva Championships at Manly SC, October 2019 - photo © NZ Sailcraft
North Island RS Feva Championships at Manly SC, October 2019 - photo © NZ Sailcraft



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