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Posts Tagged ‘Emirates Team New Zealand’

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Grant Dalton doesn’t reveal the deepest darkest secrets of the America’s Cup in this 90-minute chat with Mr. Clean, but the Emirates Team New Zealand head man touches on a wide variety of subjects regarding the Bermuda AC, the AC75 monohull, and the just-announced protocol for the next one (natural disasters notwithstanding 😉  Get balls deep into the 26th Sailing Anarchy Podcast with Auckland vs Italy, trickle-down technology, the supercomputer vs. the mobile phone, how disbelieving the Kiwis were that the rest were so far behind, who nicked the videos of AC34 and 35, and much, much more in this frank discussion with one of the iron men of the sport.  Direct listen or download here for the podcast-challenged, and please subscribe to the SA Podcast on your iPhone or Android device.

Show Notes:

00:00-10:27 Intro
11:27 Who wrote the protocol and explanation of its genesis
13:17 Off-water battles in the Bermuda Cup buildup, and obstacles thrown up by Coutts & friends
14:47 Why should challengers trust you to be more fair as organizer than the America’s Cup Event Authority were to ETNZ?
15:34 “The most ridiculous stacking of the deck in modern times came from Alinghi”
15:57 How much has Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron been involved in the protocol process?
16:57 About the Cup’s national NZ road show coming up
18:07 Why is it OK to take the Cup to a boat show but not a car show?
18:57 How the RNZYS will help lessen the load for Dalton and the TNZ staff.
20:57 What information did you base your decision to go to a monohull? What’s the real motivation?
25:57 The density of breeze in Auckland and the frailty of the Cup cats. Dalts: “16 knots here would pull an AC50 to pieces”
26:41 On NZ’s huge tech advantage in Bermuda. “For the life of me I can’t figure out how all the other teams were so far behind us”
26:57 How keeping the AC50 would almost definitely guarantee another TNZ win
28:07 How many concepts are being considered for the actual boat? Are ETNZ consulting with other potential challengers besides Luna Rossa?
30:03 Does the design rule schedule mean TNZ and Luna Rossa get an unreasonable head start over other challengers?
30:57 Why can’t you say whether or not the boat will lift out of the water?
31:57 Would you lose Glenn and Burling and the other speed junkie tech heads if you go to a heavier, more conventional type of boat?
32:47 Ashby’s huge beard and his two months on walkabout
34:07 Dalts’ motorcycle crash in the Isle of Man TT
36:02 Bicycle grinders and the openness of the AC36 design rule. “We have no intention of banning bicycles”
38:52 Box rules vs open Rules, and the element in the next AC of “one-design supplied parts”. Don’t want to stop innovation in areas that can help the average yacht racer, eventually.
41:30 Clean’s disappointment with the residency requirement, and Dalts explanation of what he thinks people are misunderstanding about the new nationality/residency rule.
43:24 Finding the balance between a rule that would exclude many countries and one that will help reduce the mercenary culture in the sport, and how to get teams to look to their own countrymen first for crew.
48:07 Dalts: “They commit to a team and a country rather than a worldwide circus where they’re guns for hire to an owner who doesn’t realize he’s getting ripped off”
48:57 Surrogate boats, regatta schedules, and high entry fees for the pre-regattas. “This will allow us to create a financial pool so we don’t have to be beholden to a city for funds.” Dalton says ACWS events were driven by venue fees in bad places or at bad times for sailing. “Make it great for the yachties, and the rest is easy.”
52:27 With the residency requirements and lack of venue certainty right now, how does ETNZ ensure teams spend enough time in Auckland to justify the money the venue will have to spend to prepare for the Cup?
53:42 Dalts’ sample schedule for Challengers.
57:12 Is the Italian Option really just Dalts holding Auckland’s feet to the fire? What’s with the natural disaster thing?
59:05 Two boat testing for ETNZ and no one else? How about a defender challenge?
60:58 There are ways around two-boat bans, but it might not help anyone. Dalts: “SoftBank was Oracles B boat, but they couldn’t get it up to speed fast enough”
61:42 Fan questions begin: Soft sails or hard sails? Hybrids?
62:51 Limiting electronics? More PlayStation type controls? Dalts analogy for ac35: “Oracle were still a mobile phone and we were a supercomputer”
64:27 Sailhandling, stored power and the team’s philosophical problem with combustion engines on AC boats.
65:37 What happened with the AC34 and 35 Facebook pages and videos? Were they stolen?
67:06 IF you can get the media back, will you publish all the video from those Cups for free to the world?
67:57 who owns the Liveline graphics system and do you intend to have them back in the mix for the worldwide audience?
69:02 Free to air distribution for AC36!
74:37 Omega time, Swiss Timing, and how am entirely new graphics system might be going into the AC46 broadcast
76:27 Entry period closes before venue announced. How is that ok? (Answer, it might not be).
77:57 What are you looking to get from Auckland and the NZ government to make the event possible?
80:01 How much will a basic, unembarassing campaign cost? “People will still spend 160 million” to try to win
81:38 Biggest sponsorship mistake made by most campaigns
82:57 Happy to see Louis Vuitton go, or will you miss them?
84:07 Burlington vs Tuke, Mark Turner’s shock departure from the Volvo Ocean Race, and Dalts’ picks for the 2017 VOR
86:42 Uniting the major races, World Sailing, and where the sport is headed at the pinnacle.
87:42 Exactly what they’re releasing in November and how Dalts will judge whether it was the kind of technological success he hopes for.
88:47 What’s by far the most read site in New Zealand (guess?), AC Anarchist Stingray gets a shoutout, and out.

Thanks for all your questions, and head over to the Protocol discussion in AC Anarchy.

October 3rd, 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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The first of Mr. Clean’s podcasts from Bermuda dropped yesterday, and while it’s half the usual length, it’s full of fascinating stuff from maybe the most important member of the Cup-winning New Zealand team – ETNZ wing trimmer Glenn “Lenny” Ashby.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the SA Podcast here: (iTunes   Stitcher).  Show notes:

How his time as a kid, watching the C-Class cats on the beach and other ultra-fast sailboats near Melbourne, led to his career.  About wing development boss Steve Collie’s work and their different design philosophy for wing handling compared to the other teams.  “You can’t fly a plane with a piece of rope!”  Why no one else copied their wing system, and how many secrets are they still guarding?  How did their wing trim and foil loading give them stability without penalty, and enable their slick maneuvers.

Once and for all, were they sandbagging in the earlier rounds?  “We kept our good fruit for the end!”

How did they balance the need to push and develop the boat with the fact that any breakage in Auckland might mean an end to their campaign? “27 hours before the first race of the America’s cup was the first time we had all of our good componentry on the boat”. What was the actual speed difference between Oracle and ETNZ?  To what does Glenn attribute Pete’s 7-1 advantage over Jimmy in the starting box?  What maneuvers could they do that no one else could?

In what conditions does the jib hurt boat speed, and why didn’t they go bareheaded in their racing?  Will wing sailed boats in the future need jibs?

Why did Glenn and so many sailors take less money than other offers in order to stay on ETNZ?  Just how close did ETNZ come to shutting their doors and walking away from competition back in 2015?  Will Glenn return with ETNZ for the next America’s Cup?  If he was given a free hand to pick any boat for the next America’s Cup, what would it look like?

Did ACEA/Oracle’s shenanigans provide additional motivation for ETNZ to fight their hearts out?

Next for Lenny: Moths? A-Cat Worlds?  Vacation?

Photo thanks to Sander Van Der Borch/America’s Cup.

July 6th, 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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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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The Kiwis finally lifted their skirts yesterday to absolutely destroy Ben Ainslie Racing in light Bermuda breeze, foiling their way around the course easily while Ainslie wallowed his way to a DNF.  Even Oracle looked weak in their win against Barker compared to ETNZ, and if light air reigns – as it should around half the time in Bermuda in June – we may have just seen the ascent of the next America’s Cup Defender, thanks in part at least to the Verdier-led design team that came up with the slick gull wing foil that allowed them to foil so much easier than the rest of the fleet in the light.

Meanwhile, Ainslie and Groupama Team France continue their race to the bottom; just two days to go with Artemis, Softbank, and Cammas all fighting to avoid elimination.  Our money is on France to go down, but after seeing Ainslie’s morale fall apart on camera and Artemis’ sudden issues, don’t count a meltdown out amongst either of them!

Talk about all of it in the buzzing AC Anarchy Forum, and check your ‘local listings’ for plenty of ways to watch the AC, even if the powers that be haven’t deigned you with any racing footage at all.

 

 

June 2nd, 2017 by admin

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As expected, in any breeze at all, the Bermuda America’s Cup will be sailed entirely above the water if Emirates Team New Zealand’s most recent practice is any indication.  Watch the 11:30 mark of this video from AC junkie MyIslandHomeBermuda for an incredible sequence of foiling tack/foiling rounding/foiling gybe and note the stability on the Kiwi AC50; is ETNZ once again too stable for speed, or do they finally have it right?

 

April 24th, 2017 by admin

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Will the wrapped items prove to be the Great White Hope for Team New Zealand and anyone who wants to see the America’s Cup go to a better steward than Coutts and Ellison?  Or will this be the most irrelevant ‘unboxing’ in yachting history?  Either way, they’re ready to go; let the practice comparisons and “I Spy” games begin!

Only time will tell, and there ain’t much left – and the recently tipped Oracle is already back on the water after just two days of downtime…

 

April 11th, 2017 by admin

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We’ve expected Barker to get eased off the helm of ETNZ for quite some time now, and the only nasty or surprising part of the affair was the shitty way he found out.  Kiwi’s biggest radio station RadioTalkZB gave our Senior Editor a call to discuss the controversy over Barker’s axing this morning; listen to the six minutes with host Rachel Smalley by clicking the player above.

 

February 26th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 12.14.00 PMAfter the ass-kissing statement of support released last week by the ‘Euro 4’ AC35 challenger heads (Ainslie, Sirena, Percy, Cammas), we’re unsurprised to learn that, according to AC authority and AP writer Bernie Wilson, Russell Coutts specifically told ETNZ to stay home from a major, confidential Challenger/Defender summit meeting later this week in London.

According to Wilson’s piece, “the event authority is working with the teams “to further define an event based on the published protocol.” Coutts said that after he heard from another team [emphasis ours -ed] the Kiwis didn’t want to want to proceed on that basis, “I rang them up and said, ‘It’s best that you not come.’ We have four other challenging teams and the defender that want to work together to have a great event this time and in the future.”

We’re not quite sure what Coutts’ offered to get formerly logical and critical guys like Sirena on board with whatever failure-doomed plan Coutts is trying, now that his greed and hubris sent Iain Murray and Team Australia into the void previously occupied by Vincenzo Onorato.  Discounted entry fees?  Access to some of OTUSA’s old data archives? It’s gotta be something, because they all know that Australia’s Challengus Interruptus makes Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison look like some of the biggest buffoons in international sport.

Coutts’ latest bit of nastiness to his countrymen is just one more folly from a guy who is almost comically bad at the business of sport, and the same question is on every AC watcher in the world’s lips:  Why would one of the world’s best businessmen keep Russell Coutts at the head of the AC organization when he has failed at every single AC-related business decision he’s ever made, including the most costly boondoggle in the history of modern sport?  It ain’t the biggest newspaper in the world, but the Otago Daily Times has one possible answer: They say Coutts’ contract may have a ‘Bertarelli Clause’, guaranteeing Coutts the top job until he gives it up himself.

Golden Gate Yacht Club members are not happy.  Notwithstanding their recent “support”, Challengers are not happy.  Sponsors are not happy (or nonexistent).  And fans are not happy.  Hell, even Obama has a 40% approval rating.  But how long will the notoriously headstrong Larry Ellison continue to allow his reputation and the sport he loves to be screwed over by a piss-poor businessman who’s proven that he is terrible at everything…except for one skill:  Winning the America’s Cup?

Unless this is all part of the plan…screw everyone and you might not come so close to losing the next one?

Is there anyone in the world left that supports Russell Coutts?

 

July 28th, 2014 by admin

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