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Posts Tagged ‘America’s Cup’

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Every now and again some rich guy tries to dispute the validity of an America’s Cup challenge, and a couple of hours ago this photo surfaced to nip all that in the bud.  The photo, shot aboard ETNZ principal Matteo De Nora’s 46m Imagine, shows the Commodore of the CVS handing over their Challenge to the Comm of RNZYS at the actual moment ETNZ completes its dominant run over Oracle Team USA.

Chat about the new Challenger of Record in the COR thread here, and vote for the kind of boat you’d most like to see in AC36 in Auckland in the Next AC Boat Poll thread here.

 

June 28th, 2017 by admin

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This could very well be the final briefing of the ACRM age. regatta director Iain Murray and head judge Richard Slater answer our questions and lay out Day 5 of the 35th America’s Cup Match.

June 26th, 2017 by admin

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This great piece from the aptly named “Civilian” news. Its slogan?  All The News That Fits On A Page. 

After two consecutive wins against Team Oracle in Bermuda, Emirates Team New Zealand have set themselves up perfectly to lose the competition 7-6.

The New Zealanders pushed themselves out to a 6-1 lead this morning, maintaining the position they’ve held for the last four years; one win from victory.

Helmsman Peter Burling said he was “very happy” to have reached the same milestone the team did in 2013.

“A large match-point lead is what we’ve been aiming for this whole competition,” he said, ”so we’re very happy to get here, and we feel we’re now well poised to lose from this point on.”

But despite a cautious optimism, Burling says the job isn’t done yet, and that it “won’t be easy” to lose another six races in a row.

“That will be a challenge,” he said, “and I think Jimmy [Spithill] and his crew will certainly give it their best shot.”

For his part, Spithill isn’t counting his chickens either, and is instead planning to race boats.

“We’re not taking this for granted, no,” said Spithill, who answered questions today flanked by 3 screens playing the last race of the 2013 Cup in San Francisco. “The consensus amongst our guys is really, this is going far, far too much to plan for our liking.

“In some ways it almost looks like they’re trying to give us the win, so we have to be wary of that.”

Asked if he could turn the video down so reporters could hear his answers, he replied “No, I won’t do that.”

Despite the fact there may only be one race left in the competition, Oracle has demanded four more press conferences for tomorrow morning, as Spithill feels he hasn’t talked enough yet.

June 26th, 2017 by admin

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For some reason, a nervous Kiwi nation can’t be consoled by talking to their countrymen, so they turn to Mr. Clean to calm their frazzled nerves.  Here’s a strong 7 minutes of live radio with Sailing Anarchy and Newstalk ZB’s Larry Williams on what to expect for Day 5 of the America’s Cup Match.

June 26th, 2017 by admin

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While the Bermudians should be proud of providing an excellent in-person experience for fans of America’s Cup racing, the media output from the event has been – until quite recently – far weaker, with the dull press conferences at the centerpiece.  Fortunately they allowed longtime Chicago media pro (and F-18 and A-Cat racer) Laura Muma to take over last week, and with Mr. Clean showing the rest of the reporters how to get their hands dirty after his arrival, things are finally getting interesting.  Still, we absolutely love this shot posted by Facebooker MOA BEER last night of Pete “Sam The Eagle” Burling and Jimmy “Rowlf The Dog” Spithill.

To watch Jimmy finally begin to crush under the pressure of a woefully unprepared and underperforming America’s Cup effort, head into last night’s Press Conference, below.  Two more races today (if necessary)…and we’ve learned not to make any predictions when things are on Match Point.

June 26th, 2017 by admin

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Is today the day the battle really begins?  Maybe so, but you’ll need a good weather report first.  Here’s that and much more as shot live just a few minutes ago in the BDA. Click for a discussion of yesterday’s penalties (with data), discussion of rudder and board mods, and other rules questions answered by AC head judge Richard Slater and regatta director The Big Fella, plus a bonus interview with commentator Simon Shaw and legendary Kiwi broadcast voice Peter Lester.

June 25th, 2017 by admin

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The hardest-digging sailing journalist in Italy spotted the former Ruler of the Cup in Bermuda last week, and his short interview with Ernesto Bertarelli touches on the kind of stuff any fan of AC history or high performance sailing will want to know.  Our translation, with thanks to the always-good work of Luca Bontempelli and La Gazzetta.

Sporting an Alinghi watch and hat, in a great mood, Ernesto Bertarelli is back in his element: water – or rather, the America’s Cup.   He enjoys talking with everyone.

Bertarelli: “The other night I was having dinner at the home of Russell Coutts [holy crap! -ed], and we had a long chat about everything.  Except sailing. Against the beauty of Bermuda I realized he had nothing against anyone.  Life is too short to waste on bickering.  In fact the thing I am most proud of in my years of America’s Cup racing is the personal relationships that I built. From pilot to rafts to the most important person in the Cup, I had a lot of testimonies of affection. This for me has great value. “

He was more than once in the shore base with the Kiwi team: “They showed me the base, I tried their simulator, we spoke, I can tell you that I am not the next Challenger of Record. I believe it to be Patrizio Bertelli with Luna Rossa if the Kiwis win.

One cannot tell whether he is ready to challenge, but there is no doubt the Cup is one of his passions, and underneath, there’s work going on for an Alinghi return to the AC soon.

“It’s important to increase the number of teams at this competition, doing what’s necessary to ensure there is a base of 8 to 10 challenging teams.  Of course keeping the same boat will make this easier.”

On Nationality requirements [reported as probably 80% of the sailing crew if the Kiwis win -ed]. “It is something I could support.  Speaking as a Swiss, after years of Alinghi  now there are a generation of sailors who are now adults, and they are ready to enter Cup racing. I do not see problems with this rule.

Does Bertarelli have any other ideas?  “Do not expect four years for the next edition, but three at the most.  In the meantime, have racing in the interim to keep the plate warm.  The TV product is there, but it needs development.  We always compare the AC to Formula 1, but there is a big return for F-1 teams and sponsors, and that’s something we still do not see with sailing. You must give something concrete to the sponsors who want to finance a team, and of course you must have more nations – including Italy – which has always been a great engine for the Cup.”

What do you think of the Cup up to here? “I really like the boats, which are fascinating and hold great potential in the future.   I was invited on board the French cat, thanks to Frank Cammas, and it really shows that they still have a lot of potential to be developed. With a few tweaks of the plumbing, they can become really fascinating boats “.

Bertarelli has always been a talent scout. Is Peter Burling the new Russell Coutts?  “He’s has those ‘killer eyes’ and is a real talent.  no question he has a huge career in the America’s Cup ahead of him.
The question that many people do now if New Zealand wins.  Will the Cup return to monohulls?  “I think that would be a huge mistake. If you want to make a modern monohull you always have to add a wing, a foil. Then the boat would become complicated for strength. I personally do not think a monohull works.
Then you are missing the America’s Cup? “For once I’m happy and peaceful. I enjoy it a lot, I like racing, they are all nice. I enjoy without anxiety or work. It’s part of my life, it’s in my blood.”
Luca Bontempelli
Gian Luca Pasini
Full interview in Italian here.

June 25th, 2017 by admin

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Artemis Racing skipper Nathan Outerridge could have been one slip-and-fall away from turning the tide on the quick Kiwis and moving on to an Oracle that he clearly feels would have been an easier test, but he’s good natured and honest about it in this 10 minute long interview with Mr. Clean on the pierside in Bermuda.  Clean finally brought some good questions to an island that’s seen weeks of fluff from the vast majority of reporters on the ground, and his subject – also the guy commentating if you watched NBC or the NBCSN app in the states – is one of the brightest and most accomplished sailors in the sport.  Learn about Nath’s feelings on his loss, whether Artemis will challenge again, Nath’s opinion on the speed difference between the two AC boats, and Burling’s mental toughness as the young Kiwi goes into tomorrow with a 4-1 lead. That and more in this 10 minutes with the flying Aussie from Lake Macquarie.

June 24th, 2017 by admin

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Bermuda internet may not be quick enough for a live show down on the docks at the AC Village, but Mr. Clean’s loaded up 18 minutes of pre-race analysis (in two parts, above), including some seriously interesting rumors about Oracle’s case of the slows and the interesting Challenger possibilities opening up if ETNZ can close it out this weekend.  With 8-12 knots on call today and less tomorrow when Race Director Ian Murray can add a third race if it’s match point, most are expecting this to be over by Sunday night.

Keep an eye on Facebook for interviews and analysis all day long.

June 24th, 2017 by admin

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Clean Report

For the longest time, I was boycotting the America’s Cup.  Despite Bermuda’s proximity to the US and kind invitations for us from a number of teams and sponsors, I didn’t want to lend any legitimacy to a venue that, in my opinion, represented a betrayal to America and all those fans who’d supported Ellison in Oracle’s huge legal and then design battle against Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team.  If you’re balls deep in the Cup like we are, you’ll remember that SA was extremely hard on Bertarelli for his proposed changes to the AC, which we saw as sabotage of the history and legacy of the AC.  So hard, in fact, that we became embedded inside Oracle Team in Valencia, running daily talk shows from their base and helping in the effort to demoralize Alinghi. And when asked why Larry Ellison’s plan was any different than the “Ernievision” plan for the Cup, my answer was simple and became rote: “If he shows that he’s not, we’ll be just as hard on him as we were on Ernesto.”

I missed the incredible excitement of San Francisco in 2013 thanks to a conflict with the Little America’s Cup, which my small crew streamed live from Falmouth, England during the day before watching the AC matches late in the night with the entire C-Class fleet – all at the club where Ben Ainslie learned to sail.  While a great experience – and still the coolest boats ever – I’ll never forgive myself for not being on the ground during the most fascinating and compelling competition in yachting history.

A year later, when Ellison removed the Cup competition from the USA and still later when the so-called ‘Framework’ was signed by all the teams but one, we realized that Larry – or henchman Russell Coutts –  in fact had quite similar ideas to Bertarelli: Profit to come from shopping the venue out to gullible governments, and sponsor VIP fulfillment thanks to an annual perpetual league of racing.  Neither idea is a bad idea, but neither idea comes close to the Deed’s intent, and neither idea is the America’s Cup.

Fast forward to just before the LV Qualifiers last month; I was riveted to my computer and the SA forums watching incredible racing in the kind of boats that SA has been begging for since something like 2005.  Finally, there really was something in sailing that captures some of what I love about Formula 1, and I wasn’t there!  With no decision made, I sent a little feeler e-mail out to the AC folks via their Media Accreditation Application.  I made it clear I wasn’t looking for Media Center access, didn’t need a Media Boat, and wasn’t interested in parties, accommodations, press kits, swag bags, or any of the other bullshit that most events use to try to convince reporters to be nice.  In fact, I didn’t need anything at all other than attendance at the press conferences.

Imagine my surprise when I received this e-mail, even before deciding whether to head over to the island.

Dear Alan Block,

Thank you for your media accreditation request for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda.

Your accreditation request has been received and considered. Unfortunately it has not been accepted which means you will not be issued with a media pass and access to the 35th America’s Cup Media Centre.

Please be aware that entry to the public facilities at the 35th America’s Cup does not require a media accreditation pass. Our website, www.americascup.com/tickets will provide you with all information regarding the range of ticket packages that are available.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Ferrando, Media Centre Manager

Immediately after the shock wore off from what is my first-ever media accreditation denial, I booked my ticket to Bermuda.

Next, I set about trying to figure out how a modern sporting event, sponsored to the tune of $77M by an island nation – one that relies nearly entirely on American tourism – could reject the single most-read publisher of sailing content in America.  The handwriting was on the wall already as far as the commercial success of the event; the interest among Americans was at an all-time low, the early ratings on MSNBCSN were dismal, and the event must be desperate for american eyeballs.  And yet even after sending over proof of the million-plus American readers of this site, I got another rejection – this time, after the thing had been kicked uphill to their Comms Director.

Dear Alan,
Your email below has been forwarded to me so I can reply.
We judge each application for media accreditation to the 35th America’s Cup on its own merits, bearing in mind the resources we have available in the Media Centre.
As with various others, we have decided to exercise our right to decline your application. 
Sincerely,
Tom Webb

In the media world, that’s called a non-answer, and I correctly guessed that Tom Webb – a real media professional whose worked with much tougher reporters than me in his F1 days – had nothing to do at all with this decision. I wrote back:

Thanks for the personal response Tom. Can you please explain what those criteria are, and whether or not non-accredited individuals are permitted in the press conferences?  To be frank I couldn’t care less about the media center, media boats, or any other trappings of entitled reporters. I do however know that our readers want to have their questions represented…
By this point, I knew that nothing I wrote would change things, because this was personal.  I had pissed off Sir Russell, and this was his revenge.  Petty? Maybe.  Showing a total lack of the most basic understanding of the media and concern for the event’s sponsor?  Absolutely.  The expected response showed up shortly thereafter:
Hi Alan,
Non-accredited personnel are not allowed in the press conferences.
Tom
I let it end there – the last thing I’d ever do is beg the America’s Cup for accreditation, preferring to use my anger to fight back in the best way I know – by reporting on it.
I remain hopeful that it was really all just a minor screwup and that I’ll get an invitation to this afternoon’s presser, but you won’t find me holding my breath!
Keep watching this page for more AC coverage until the end.

June 24th, 2017 by admin

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