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Posts Tagged ‘Emirates Team New Zealand’

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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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As press conferences go, this is a good one; young Slingers looking like a deer in the headlights and Jimmy getting grilled on the early retirement for Oracle.  Watch the whole thing; Ray is always a chuckle and Jimmy’s finally being his old compelling self, and now’s the time to get to know them.

September 10th, 2013 by admin

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Based on what we saw yesterday, Russell Coutts won’t need to search too far to see where the wheels came off the bus.  It wasn’t ruddergate.  It wasn’t the cheating or the penalties (though Russell Coutts is taking a hell of a bollocking on his Facebook Page). It wasn’t too much or too little partying, or bad designers, or bad outfits, or having an old boat.  It had nothing to do with safety, or with Bart.  And it certainly wasn’t a pre-start no call by the umps.

Nope – Oracle Team USA lost the 34th America’s Cup almost a year ago; October 16th, 2012 to be exact, when Jimmy sent the boat down the mine and got blown out to sea.  And it wasn’t the capsize itself; had Fresh and Tugboat and the other great seaman on Oracle properly planned for capsize and righted the boat without destroying her only wing, Oracle would almost certainly be on top now.  Or tied at zero, at least.  But in a competition where time is the single most important commodity, that cold day in October changed everything.  It stole months of training, modding, developing, and sailing from Spithill and his team just as ETNZ was learning how to sail above the water.

ETNZ are winning not with a major design advantage; they are winning it with practice, hard work, and time in the boat.  Have a look at the detailed data (Race 1 Race 2); Oracle are a second or two behind on the legs they sail well, with major errors costing 20 or 30 seconds.  The Kiwis are quicker to accelerate, quicker to gybe, and significantly faster at getting up to speed after tacks – that’s opening up their starts and making their tactics a lot simpler, and as long as Ray Davies keeps sailing perfectly, and if the wind stays strong, by next Sunday the Cup will be sitting in First Class on its way to the land of the long white cloud.

 

NOW YOU SEE ME

Meanwhile, the live TV feed from Race 1 was perhaps the single most exciting sailboat race we’ve ever seen on any screen.  For all their problems, the AC72 is simply awe-inspiring at speed on a big flat screen.  When they’re changing leads with every tack, coming within inches of each other through the spray and the noise, and it’s all caught by amazing cameras and the brilliant LiveLine system, it’s easy to cheer for Larry Ellison even as his team fades.  Could the commentating be a lot better? Sure.  Do we wish the NBC feed had no commercials?  Of course.  But from the graphics to the intros to the shots to the action, Race 1 was as good as any Super Bowl or Tour De France we’ve ever seen.

Furthermore, someone seems to have pulled all the Youtube geo-restrictions down for this America’s Cup, letting anyone, anywhere watch the action live.  We’ve been asking for it for months, and it’s great to see someone at ACEA decide to focus on maximum audience, rather than maximum TV audience.  Nice going, all – especially Ken Read.  The full replay (unfortunately, without Ken Read) is here, the Virtual Eye animated replay is here, and it’s worth checking out the 22-minute press conference here.

HAIL MARY

Is it time for fans of Oracle Team USA to slit their wrists?  Not quite yet, though Spithill and Kostecki’s look and sound at the post-race presser wasn’t inspiring.  If the wind stays below 15 or 16, a good start may win the race.  Under 10, Oracle may be a a lot quicker – no one yet knows.  The data say that NZ sails faster on all points of sail, even if they have to sail extra distance to do so.  Kostecki and Coutts and Spithill spent all night learning what it means, and Sunday’s racing should be something special.  We’ll have it right here on the front page.  Martin-Raget and Cameron photos.

 

 

 

September 8th, 2013 by admin

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Grant’s boys on ETNZ continue to keep the pressure up on the America’s Cup defender, and Oracle won’t be happy to see that NZ’s second AC72 has just been delivered from Cookson’s to the Kiwi’s Auckland base.  In contrast to the US team, we’re quite happy – every day ETNZ gets on Oracle gets them that much closer to an exciting, close match rather than the Defender walkover that many feared.  More details in the AC Anarchy thread.

January 16th, 2013 by admin

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