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Posts Tagged ‘America’s Cup’

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In a move that’s been telegraphed since we first reported on some of the inter-team intrigue while in Bermuda, Luna Rossa boss Patrizio Bertelli announced in an interview with La Stampa yesterday that America’s Cup 36 will indeed end the reign of the America’s Cup multihull in favor of something significantly slower.  ETNZ was forced to send out a confirmation of the lead-assisted future after Bertelli broke the news, explaining that ETNZ design coordinator Dan Bernasconi has been working on a number of ‘exciting monohull concepts’ with potential challengers and designers .  The Kiwis maintain that the new Protocol will be available by the end of September.a

The decision is as depressing as it is exciting:  The last three cycles have seen more innovation in high performance sailing than in the previous 30, with the Cup going from a dopey exhibition of obsolete design and sailing technique to an honest-to-goodness extreme sport whilst dragging the entirety of the sport along with it.  Consider: Without the DoG battle, there’s no AC72.  Without the AC72, there’s no foiling multihulls and no L/J foils.  There’s no foiling A-Cat, no GC32/EXSS foiler, no Phantom, no foiling Nacra in the Olympics, and the monohulls aren’t immune to the effect; the foiling IMOCA/Volvo Super 60 owes its existence to the ETNZ innovation.  Literally every exciting development in fast sailing since 2012 has come directly from the AC cats, and their inclusion in Sailing’s ‘pinnacle’ finally gave credibility and respectability to multihullers – sailing’s redheaded stepchildren for a century.

On the other hand, with the true 90% ballast ratio’d leadmines finally dead and buried, the new focus on what we expect to be an upwind-and-downwind foiling monohull may drive a new age for monohull sailing, and that’s something to celebrate.  For far too long, the Moth has been the only monohull foiler to set the world on fire, and a few hundred million in development could work wonders towards bringing their level of performance that much closer for the average dinghy or (lightly) ballasted monohull.

So what will it look like?  We’d love to think it’s wide open, with the ETNZ board and Bertelli’s management allowing all sorts of development variations.  Centerline T-foils, mixed horizontal and vertical appendages, powered control surfaces – all the gadgets.  Unfortunately, that ain’t reality, and there’s no way Dalts is going to give away his biggest competitive advantage – Guillaume Verdier’s knowledge of big monohull foilers – by allowing an outlier design the room to shock the world.  Look for something like the Volvo’s Verdier design brief, but with lighter weight, more appendages, and a clever control system. We expect AC36’s racers to look far more like cats than any monohull you’ve ever seen.

September 11th, 2017 by admin

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You’d think with the America’s Cup over and weeks left before we get any news on the new protocol, the AC world would be quiet.  Think again!  Here are a few bits of info:

*ETNZ boss Grant Dalton survived a 110 mph motorcycle crash at the infamously dangerous Isle of Man TT, and not only was he unhurt, but he jumped back on the bike and kept going.  Grant Dalton definitely does not need to harden the fuck up.  There’s more about Dalts’ motor racing obsession in this piece in Stuff.

*About a thousand students honored Pete Burling with an awesome haka when he returned home to Tauranga last week.  If you have any illusions about the Kiwi passion for the Cup, watch and learn.

*Jimmy Spithill admitted to hiring private detectives and a Bulgarian thug to scare the piss out of a Kiwi internet troll after the 2013 Cup.  It’s part of the new Spithill biography that we discussed with author Rob Mundle in the SA Podcast earlier this summer.  Read about the episode in another Stuff piece.

*If you’re tired of printing out stolen web photos for your America’s Cup wall art, head over to trademe to get your hands on a 5-foot wide oil painting of ETNZ’s Bermuda victory.  It’s pretty pimp.

Stay up to date in the AC Anarchy forum.

August 30th, 2017 by admin

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Like flies to honey, the chance to solve a big civil engineering problem always draws out the clueless creative types, and the 36th America’s Cup is no exception.  Auckland’s architects and thinkers are now flooding the media with ideas on where, exactly, to hold the AC in a town that’s busting at the seams.

Ignoring the total lack of understanding of the scale of a race course is the above ‘stadium sailing’ proposal from this Noted article, and it’s not the best or the worst – just the most fun.  The blurb for the stadium pitch is below, and 7 others are in the piece.

Herbst Architects  like the idea of the Cup being a catalyst for the development of infrastructure, and they’ve identified two key pieces that are missing from the city: a second harbour crossing for mass transit rail, and a stadium. Their cup proposal provides both, positioning a stadium as a feature in the Waitematā between the city and the North Shore, loosely aligned with Wynyard Wharf. The stadium would be designed with a playing field that can be dismantled to allow America’s Cup races to be run between the grand-stands. Access to the stadium is via the mass-transit rail tunnel beneath.

 

August 10th, 2017 by admin

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Blair Tuke made all the local papers when he signed up with MAPFRE last month with taglines like “Tuke Aims At First Triple Crown.”  John Kostecki famously became the first – and only – sailor to hold the distinction of winning a Whitbread/VOR, Olympic medal, and the America’s Cup, but since JK’s medal was only silver, it left things open for Tuke to be the first to get the “Real” crown – the golden one.

The pin-up looking Olympian may be fighting for it against a familiar face, with Pete Burling looking for all the world like he’s the latest addition to Bouwe Bekking’s Brunel entry in the Volvo.  There have been rumors of Burling looking for a big deal from one of the teams for a while now, and Bekking knows the importance of fast drivers more than perhaps anyone who’s done this race. This pic from before the Fastnet popping up in the forums doesn’t seal the deal, but the fact that Bouwe hasn’t been returning calls lately makes us think the Burling announcement is imminent.

Rumors continue to swirl about NZL 49er FX standouts Alex Maloney and Molly Meech joining another Volvo team, but whether it’s the long-awaited Team 8 (perhaps a Kiwi-ish effort under the management of Craig Monk) or they do part-time duty for an already-entered while training to improve on their Olympic Silver we do not yet know.  One great skiff driver and one giant of an athlete…both under 30…why wouldn’t you?

Talk it up in the VOR thread.

August 8th, 2017 by admin

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Who knew Dennis Conner had a podcast? Love him or hate him, we’re glad to see his voice out there in public.

Listen to him beat up on Bermuda, Russell Coutts, nationality rules, and kids on his lawn in this half hour episode of whatever the hell he’s calling it.

August 7th, 2017 by admin

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Just 500 bucks gets you the boat that ended the Oracle era, from the guys that make hundreds of nice yachting models.  Buy it now.

(These guys built my Melges 32 half model, and it is fabulous. – ed).

 

July 29th, 2017 by admin

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Clean’s back, this time with his final America’s Cup thoughts, and this time, with a slew of experts to dig into it with.  First, two longtime yachting scribes 6 decades of AC coverage between them; Associated Press sailing correspondent Bernie Wilson and longtime Aussie scribe Rob Mundle, who pull no punches in an analysis of went went right and wrong on the business and media end of AC35.

Next, a tech talk with the man behind the on-screen broadcast graphics known as Liveline, multiple world-record-holding navigator Stan Honey.  Find out what it will take for other events to get the kind of broadcast tech the Cup enjoys, and hear more ultra-geeky TV tech info from the ultimate tech geek.

Finally, a chat with America’s fastest foiler, double Moth world champion Bora Gulari, about the recent carnage in the Mackinac Race, his picks for the Moth Worlds, and his overall thoughts about an America’s Cup he was once destined for with Luna Rossa: Foil design, controls, and a great discussion on what Bora would like to see in the next America’s Cup (hint, it ain’t a multihull!).

Special thanks to all of you who’ve liked, shared, or commented on the SA Podcast; thanks to you, we passed the 200,000-download milestone last month, and our monthly averages are now over 30,000 downloads.  Please keep it up, and let us know if you’ve got someone we absolutely must talk to. Subscribe to the SA Podcast for two dozen episodes so far, with more great shit to come! (iTunesStitcher)

Show notes:

Intro

00:00:19 Sailing Anarchy current podcast numbers – 200K downloads – thank you listeners! 00:01:04 Reach out on itunes, stitcher, [email protected] if you have any show ideas. 00:05:55 The Ellison Era – the good, the bad, the ugly. 00:16:30 Cup media program, media coverage. 00:18:50 The in-person experience at AC Bermuda, 00:19:33 Broadcast/production problems with analysis. 00:26:222 Clean goes to Nacra 17/49erFX/49er European Championships – what to expect.

Bernie Wilson & Rob Mundle – Pre-America’s Cup – in Bermuda                                      

00:28:55 Intro to Bernie Wilson and Rob Mundle, plug for Mundle’s soon-to-publish Spithill biography. 00:30:57 legendary parties and the Society of International Nautical Scribes (SINS). 00:34:00 Does the Associated Press see sailing as a major sport? How do they cover it and why? Who is following the SA in mainstream media? 00:46:22 ACEA/Coutts/Bermuda administration; did Russell take his eye off the prize? “If they want to be mainstream, they have to act like a mainstream   sport.” 00:54:22 “Good riddance to Larry Ellison and the Cup. The Louis Viutton effect vs. the Red Bull effect. 00:58:00 will the US get behind an American challenger? 1:01:08 The Cup as a hooker and Coutts as the pimp.

Stan Honey – A Touch of Genius & A Taste of Brilliance               

01:03:07 Stan’s interesting month in Bermuda, his role in the 2017 AC. 01:06:42 Stan’s/Liveline’s role in AC35, differences between SF and BDA systems. 01:08:52 Factchecking Spithill’s claims that the software caused his multiple OCS. 01:11:20 On screen graphics/green screen/Hockey Puck swoosh from 1993/geeky broadcast stuff. 01:15:19 Bringing Liveline to lower budget classes/events. 01:18:18 Too much information for sailors? 01:21:08 Tech’s ability to make the sport less intimidating for both fans and competitors. 01:22:55 Storytelling, digital streaming, customizable interactive viewing, the PGA tour, professional directing. “The key to everything is the story.” 01:27:43 Stans’s experience at the AC, overall highlights. 01:28:45 Stan’s transpac record, what’s next. 01:29:35 That’s a wrap – custom feed and the importance of the storytelling team.

Bora Gulari Interview – Midwest Tech

01:35:27 Mackinac carnage – what happened to Natalie J? 01:38:38 the MOD aboard Meridian X, thoughts. 01:41:48 Safety conscious sailing – more sensible these days or more reckless? 01:43:19 Battle of the Lakes superboats, damage to Earth Voyager. 01:45:15 America’s Cup impressions, good vs. bad matches, and the problems with the grinding. “It just doesn’t feel right to me.” 01:47:46 Foil shapes and changeable surfaces, new Gitana, flaps. 01:50:07 Wing trimming vs. sail trimming. 01:51:25 automatic foiling, the Holy Grail of perfectly stable/low drag foiling. 01:53:07 The rise of Burling – luck vs. skill vs. maturity. 01:54:05 Foil shape analysis of AC. “Aspect ratio is king”, daggerboard shredding. 01:59:19 Getting personal/emotions at missing the Cup after being part of Luna Rossa team. “They definitely got the short end of the stick.” 02:01:53 Underdogs and outsiders. 02:03:15 If Bora picked his perfect boat for the next AC, what would it be? Why don’t we have widespread automated electronic foil control now? Other formats, “I think the Superfoiler has a lot of potential.” 02:10:30 Bora pulls out of Moth Worlds. 02:13:27 Moth Worlds form guide.

02:19:30 Outro/What’s next for the Sailing Anarchy Podcast/Wishlist for future talks

 

July 24th, 2017 by admin

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A couple of days of Lake Garda gorgeousness saw 149 sailors take the line at the Italian Nationals – a/k/a the Moth Pre-Worlds, which starts Tuesday.  A few unknown names like Burling, Outerridge, and Slingsby are enjoying the low-pressure environment, while Paul Goodison took five straight bullets to beat up on second place Rob Greenhalgh.  Check back tomorrow for some form guide action and a podcast with absentee 2x World Champ Bora Gulari about the fleet. Photo by Martina Orsini with results here and some good action over at the Moth Worlds facebook page.

 

July 23rd, 2017 by admin

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Like a whirlwind of brilliance and carbon fiber, Russell Coutts leaves a path of devastation behind him.  First in NZ, where to many he is still one of the biggest traitors in the island’s sporting history.  Then to Switzerland, where his divorce from Alinghi was so nasty there was a rule written specifically to ban only him from AC32.

Then to the US, where after a brilliant comeback and a great event in San Francisco, he found ways to completely alienate the majority of the team’s American supporters for the recent Cup:

First by removing the competition from the country that won it; second by decisions that brought bad ratings and made it expensive (or downright impossible) for Americans to watch the majority of racing, and third by saddling San Fran with an unexpected, 8-figure bill – a move that ensured no US host cities bid for the event with even a fraction of what Bermuda came up with.

It appears that familiar old Coutts tornado has left another wrecked venue in its path now that results are in from the parliamentary election we reported about before the Cup that was held this week in Bermuda.

On Tuesday’s General Election, the mostly white, ruling One Bermuda Alliance party (the OBA – jokingly called Oracle Booster Association in online chatter)  suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the mostly black Progressive Labor Party, many of whose members had been strongly critical of the money spent to bring the AC to the island.

The election was a true landslide in the tiny island nation, with the PLP receiving 20,059 votes, or nearly 59 percent, while the OBA secured 13,832, with resigning PM Michael Dunkley complaining that the biggest issue in the country is its “racial divide.”

While we are certain that there are much bigger, far reaching components to the OBA’s thumping than just the America’s Cup, it probably didn’t help the race problem to spend millions and millions of dollars on perhaps the least racially diverse sport on the planet?

 

July 21st, 2017 by admin

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If there’s one thing that bothered us during the buildup to AC35, it was the way they treated the Cup itself; that doo-doo brown Louis Vuitton case was bad enough, but the pair of white-gloved rent-a-guards toting the silver cup everywhere brought it into parody territory for just how silly the ultra-rich can be.

Despite the Cup’s only historic damage coming from a 1997 Maori protestor’s sledgehammer, Dalts and the ETNZ team has gone 180 degrees in the opposite direction.  No white-gloved douchebags, the public getting their chance to touch it at most of their victory tour stops, and ETNZ foil trimmer Blair Tuke using the Cup for rum and cokes aboard an Emirates flight (as he gets ready for his own quest to be the first sailor to get the first true Grand Slam in history (Olympic Gold, AC win, and VOR victory) aboard MAPFRE in the next Volvo.

Carlo Borlenghi photo.

 

July 20th, 2017 by admin

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