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Posts Tagged ‘ETNZ’

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As the 35th America’s Cup “Deadline Day” hit us here in the US,  The Royal NZ Yacht Squadron became the first team to formally announce that it ponied up the millions required for a challenge to Golden Gate Yacht Club, and that Emirates Team NZ would be their representatives. “We look forward to working with the other teams to create a great event. [emphasis ours]“.  

The solo Kiwi news release, along with Dalton’s emphasis on ‘working with the other teams’ tells us that Russell and Grant definitely haven’t kissed and made up; you can expect a more coordinated flurry of news today as ‘Russell’s Four” – the teams that pledged their lukewarm support to Coutts and the Cup a couple of weeks ago – are likely to have worked with AC AlphaWhat on a distribution schedule.  In other words, when the Cup is ready to tell you who challenged and who is the new Challenger of Record, they’ll fucking tell you, you impatient twat!

Meanwhile, RadioSport NZ’s D’arcy Waldegrave grabbed Mr. Clean for a morning drive time chat about the challenges the Kiwis face on “The Sauce”, also known as “New Zealand’s Loosest Sports Radio Show“.  Listen to it above.

 

August 8th, 2014 by admin

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With just six months left to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race, CEO Knut Frostad is now facing his biggest challenge, because earlier today, Grant Dalton announced that the ETNZ mob will definitely not be competing in the 2014-15 edition of the race.  This sets up a massive problem for Frostad and those, like us, who believed the move to One-Design was a prudent one, and those, like us, who believed a strictly manufactured boat could possible bring costs down enough to see a fully subscribed field of 8 teams.

It looks like both Knut and SA were wrong on this one, and we’re not sure why:  Were the cost savings on the VOD65 simply not big enough over a VO70?  Is the corporate world simply not interested in this kind of yacht race?  Did the VOR staff simply not bring enough sponsor development and negotiating skills to the table?  We just don’t know.

What we do know is this:  If Pedro Campos and his Spanish VOR team didn’t have leverage before in their bargaining for the best price on a Volvo 65, they sure do have some now!  Expect an announcement from them next week, and expect 6 boats on the line in Alicante.

 

May 2nd, 2014 by admin

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Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 9.57.17 AMUPDATE:  STORY LARGELY CONFIRMED BY DALTS

Once again, Grant Dalton has shown he can get blood from a stone, if Pierre at Valencia-based Vsail’s latest Volvo Ocean Race scoop is accurate (and we have every reason to think it is).  Pierre reports that Emirates Team New Zealand has teamed up with Spanish bank Mapfre to get their hands on the sixth Volvo One-Design 65 in a project much like Chris Nicholson’s Camper/ETNZ joint that pulled off a stunning second-place the last go-around.

Pierre’s sources say the total budget is around 16 million Euros, with 10 of those coming from ETNZ.  A longtime SA source who asked to remain anonymous tells us that was the number to ensure Nicho’s role as skipper; 3-time VOR racer Pedro Campos will have a managerial role along with Dalton.

With a number of Spaniards committed to the Barcelona World Race the ETNZ/Mapfre venture’s full crew makeup will likely be a mostly Kiwi and Aussie affair.  This means only one or two boats are left for purchase, and if our earlier rumors continue to prove correct, that leaves a British and German team fighting it out for the last spots.  You’ll know more when we do, and eventually, the thread knows all.

 

February 25th, 2014 by admin

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It’s been another interesting week in the wide world of sailing on screen; here are the pieces we liked the most:

brand new friend

The number of Americans going sailing is still very near an all-time low, but as of this week, we’re in what may strike you as a surprisingly good mood about the state of the sport here in the good old US of A.  Why?  Because, based on Senior Editor Mr. Clean’s time at the 3-day US Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diego, we truly believe that, for the first time since Sailing Anarchy’s birth 15-odd years ago, our sport’s governing body seems to be on the right track – a track that, if it continues, will lead to real growth in the part of the sport that really matters – the base.

All the Yacht Clubs and all the regional racing authorities and all the ‘welcome newbies” programs can’t change the fact that we need far more people sailing recreationally to get more people racing, and one of the most impressive parts of the Leadership Forum was the makeup of the 600-odd attendees; almost half were female, with a median age of less than 40.  US Sailing doled out over $7000 in travel subsidies to help dozens of community sailing staffers show up, and they were overwhelmingly young and often female; these are the folks in the trenches bringing thousands of new faces into sailing every year.

If there is one criticism of the event’s format, it’s that there were perhaps too many seminars and breakouts in too short a time, and while the vast majority consisted of valuable, engaging content and speakers, a handful were nothing more than disguised corporate promotions for various service providers – something tough to tell from the titles of each session, but easy to tell when you sat down and found a business card on your chair.  But aside from that – and perhaps from the Hilton’s price-gouging that left the younger folks and community sailing staffers unable to have a single drink at any of the parties or even the hotel bar – Event Director  Katie Ouelette seems to have found a formula for an annual meeting of stakeholders that’s fun, exciting, and advances the sport forward in a way that’s been both sorely lacking and desperately needed.

Even the Yacht Club crowd was a younger and more vibrant group than we’ve ever seen at any non-youth US Sailing gathering, and like everyone else, they were treated to an information smorgasbord from a distinguished group of young and old speakers including our very own Mr. Clean.  That fact alone should tell you that US Sailing is clearly on a new path; it’s taken more than a decade, but we welcome them to the 21st century.

If you’d like to know what US Sailing is up to, and why we think you should drop the 60 bucks and join them for 2014, watch the 16-minute interview between Clean and US Sailing Executive Director Jack Gierhart above.  Give them a shot at doing good things with your money, and we’ll circle back around in early 2015 and tell you if they are living up to their promises – and you can get into the spirited discussion about it all here.  Title shout to Lloyd Cole, and look for the full directory of both the interviews we did and the useful videos posted by US Sailing next week – including Clean’s face off with other leading sailing media peeps.

find out why

Until November (and beyond, really), the Volvo Ocean Race is only as good as the stories it tells.  That’s why we’re overjoyed that they’ve pilfered one of SA’s videographer gems – young Sam Greenfield sucks you into the US/Turkish Team Alvimedica in this excellent piece posted yesterday.  Check it out above, and go and like Sam’s page here.  Whether or not the Volvo can handle his unconventional and no-compromise style, he’ll always be welcome here.

may the force 10 be with you

Who says you can’t sail in a hurricane?  Not the Red Bull Storm Chasers, and after a ridiculous 3rd stop in winds of ludicrous speed, France’s Thomas Traversa is the new king of the hurricanes.   There’s an excellent full report of the final stage of the three-event world-girdling event here.

 

mind over matter

Big money and big restrictions flowing from the Cup has stagnated most sailing videography over the past couple of years, and that only makes the sexy stuff coming out of UK production house RedHanded TV look even better; check out this trailer from the upcoming windsurfing movie Brutal Addiction.

 

neither fish nor fowl

 

The boys from ETNZ continue to crush the A-Class Cat Worlds fleet, in an odd Takapuna Worlds where some of the fleet is foiling some of the time, and none of the fleet is foiling in anything you’d call ‘control’.  This is largely because the daggerboard designs are limited to the non-acute angles of board that can be ‘fit in from the top’, as required by A-Class rules, and without a stable Groupama C or ETNZ-style ‘J’ board, or a sophisticated system of controlling the more open “L” boards (like OTUSA or Hydros), the boats fly in fits and starts.  It’s still faster to fly than drag in the breeze they’ve had, and aside from one DNF due to a rudder hardware failure, Ashby is on the verge of adding another one of these to his trophy closet.  This vid from Argentina Marine Media is the best we’ve seen yet, and you can find some great Cathy Vercoe pics here, and some video from Beau Outerridge here.  Of course there is plenty more first-hand reporting and debate about the recently defeated vote for a proper foiling rule in the thread, which will continue to rage on until someone makes a bold move either towards, or away from, the light. 

Former US A-Class Prez Bob Hodges put together a succinct note summarizing his views:

For those on this thread who are currently not active A-Class sailors and/or who have never sailed the boat.

The decision of the class as a whole to not change the current rules is because we are a cautious and conservative lot that do have a vested interest in how the boat and class evolves. I don’t think you can appreciate that perspective until you own an A-Class and you actively sail and race it.

It’s important to note that the top five at the WC currently are paid pro sailors. Theyare great guys, very approachable, and very supportive to their fellow sailors. But they do enjoy the advantage of someone else paying the bills when it comes to the equipment they are racing in this event. They understand the implications of what can happen if the class rules are changed to where the average A-Class sailor’s financial means cannot keep up with the development. How many of you can afford to race a C-class?

I consider myself in great physical condition for my age (55 years old). We have a huge range of sailors in this class from their 20′s to their 70′s that have been able to race the boat across the wind range of our class rules (5-22 knots). The boats have become much easier, safer, and more enjoyable to sail with the addition of curved daggerboards and rudder winglets. But there is no doubt that foil packages that actually fly the boat will raise the physical requirements to sail the boat. I’m excited but at the same time concerned that I may not have the physical stamina and agility to competitively race the boat at the performance levels I am seeing at this WC. If the physical requirements to sail the boat increase by say 25%, we could see a vacuum created that would need to be filled by younger sailors who probably do not have the financial means to own the boat (a Moth is 1/2 the price if you want to foil).

As the boats start to fly and the speeds increase to the low to mid 20′s, mistakes will be harsh on not only the sailor’s bodies but on the structure of the boat itself. The current boats are amazingly strong and durable. If we start to routinely fly, it remains to be seen whether the boat’s can handle the different load and torque dynamics on a routine basis. Crashing at over 20 knots of boatspeed will be hard on a boat that only weighs 75 kg and has a 29′ tall lever arm pushing the bows down, totally different dynamics than a Moth going over the cliff. If breakages and failures get out of control as the boats begin to fly, there is the potential for another vacuum to get created both in terms of losing sailors but also builders who get driven out of business because they cannot keep up with the warranty claims. There is also the insurance question. If the A-clas becomes a boat that has the potential for substantial damage in a routine “crash”, no insurance company will want to offer coverage. Some will not insure our boats due to mast breakage claims.

From my own standpoint, I don’t need to foil for the pure sensation of speed. I own a quiver of sailboards that in 15-18 knots are capable of sailing faster that an A-Cat will ever go even on foils and I can do that at a lot cheaper cost and at much less risk to my body and my financial investment in equipment. That is a perspective that I believe many in our class share.

I’ll speculate that it’s possible Landy’s strategy for racing a “conventional” boat is to not only sail what he is the most comfortable with but also to be a benchmark in this championship that will be important for the direction he leads the class as its class president. Scott Anderson’s performance so far is a great reference point as he typically does not trapeze downwind nor is he sailing a foiling package I believe. Scott is also in his late 50′s so represents what is possible competing against the younger guns in the top five that have the financial support of TNZ. If the breeze truly lightens to the 5-8 knot range for racing later this week, it will be very interesting to see how Landy and Scott perform. This is an exciting but kind of scary moment for the class. I hope we make the right choices to keep the class as vibrant as it currently is.

Bob Hodges – A-Class USA 230

 

February 13th, 2014 by admin

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Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 10.59.12 AM

Assisted by some tenacious questioning from TV3 (NZ) host Paul Henry, Dean Barker quite clearly lays much of the blame for ETNZ’s America’s Cup loss right at the feet of Grant Dalton, and not just as the guy with the reins.  Barker blames Dalton for allowing Oracle to take the famous ‘lay day’ and says Winnie MacFarlane was a far better grinder, and goes even deeper – though they did not get into the single biggest reason they lost the Cup – ETNZ’s acceptance of the ‘post-Bart’ safety recommendations that allowed a ten-knot wind speed to be simply too low to allow the boats to finish a race under the time limit.  This one is worth watching, and tomorrow we’ll have part two of this excellent interview.  Click the pic or go here for the full ten-minute chat. The America’s Cup Anarchy thread is already blowing up…add your comment here.

Hawaii 3-5

In other AC news, we hear that Hawaii is actually getting real consideration for the next America’s Cup, and for the first time, we’re not discounting it as yet another negotiation ploy by Ehman and Co. to get a better deal out of San Francisco – especially with SF recently announcing that the loss to the City from providing services to the Cup is more than double that initially thought.   Pros?  You’re virtually guaranteed a massive crowd thanks to easy flights from Australia and New Zealand, it’s never cold and wet and foggy and nasty, you have a local government that desperately needs the tourism dollars, and Larry already owns an island there.  Cons:  American and European fans will be in the firm minority…but thanks to Youtube and Stan Honey and the fact that Louis Vuitton never wants to be seen in the same zip code as Red Bull anyway, no one really cares…do they?

 

February 12th, 2014 by admin

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ImpressionWhile IMOCA figures out what to do with its future, some of its most legendary skippers are moving in another direction.  As first reported here on SA almost half a year ago, Franck Cammas is moving forward with his usual laser-beam focus on a French America’s Cup bid, and an announcement at the Paris “Nautic” boat show may be the first indicator that he could succeed where Les Freres Peyron couldn’t.

Picking up his second-annual French Sailor of the Year award last night, today Cammas pulled together a true ‘who’s who’ in French racing history for this morning’s announcement.  Michel Desjoyeaux will lead the technical team and Franck the sailing team, while Olivier de Kersauson and Stephane Kandler will handle the less exciting parts of the effort.

The team’s “founding members” — in other words, the guys that have funded the initial sponsorship hunt and tried to open some boardroom doors — include big biz bosses Bruno Bich (Bic), Bertrand Méheut (Canal +), Thierry Martel (Groupama), Bruno Luisetti (formerly Kraft Jacobs Suchard) and Erik Maris (Messier Maris & Associés), but crucially no major sponsors were announced.  In other words, there’s enough money to go looking for more, but not enough to start spending.  We also hear from les anarchistes in Paris that some of the veteran grinders are being asked to keep their schedules open for late 2014 and 2015’s AC45 World Series, but no contacts have been signed…

The newly opened Team France thread is bound to be a big one; check it out over here.

Kiwi Kontinuity

While France throws its hat into the ring, Grant Dalton yesterday told 3News NZ that he was back in as well despite earlier question marks from the public and Dalts himself, and the bitter taste of a crushing defeat.  It’s great news for AC35, as Team NZ continues to prove, year in and year out, that it’s the most credible of challengers.  We’re guessing he won’t be on the boat this time, though Glenn Ashby has already re-upped and Dean Barker is a lifer.  Meanwhile, Dalts continues his publicly lukewarm face on the VOR, claiming the $30M he estimates necessary to win might be impossible to find in the current economic climate.  Then again, Dalts might just be pulling the old ‘negotiation by media’ option with VOR CEO Knut Frostad…

Pauly (on the) Shore 

Doing it’s beat to leave the Paul Cayard-led disaster that was Artemis’ AC 34 effort, the team  just announced that Nathan Outteridge and Iain “Goobs” Jensen are continuing with the team, which is currently preparing its bid for the 35th America’s Cup. More. no word which teams are beating down the door to pay way too much for Cayard’s incredible leadership skills.

World Series of Poke Her

The Bay Area Economic Council reported their final America’s Cup economic benefit analysis on Monday, with around $364 million in total economic impact landing in the area over the roughly 3 month period of the event.  This is less than 30% of the original (and insane) $1.4B projection, and less than 40% of the revised $902M projection from March 2013 (and hopefully the City will tell ACEA to get fucked when they tote the same incompetent financial consultants to the table when negotiating the 2017 deal).  With this crap news and the embarrassing ratings for the entire “Summer Of Sailing” and even the incredible AC final (outside of NZ), Coutts is already hedging against big expectations for AC35 in recent softball interviews.

“We’re considering having each of the teams host a World Series event”, Coutts told AC33 and 34 PR staffer Peter Rusch, who’s apparently playing reporter with Yachting World until his AC35 contract comes in.  Coutts says this “would be great in terms of generating excitement in their home countries,” but let’s be serious:  After dropping half the US military budget on incredible ACWS events, Russell is very clearly telling potential teams that they will be responsible for their own regattas in the future.  It’s a shame, because the ACWS is the one part of the AC34 plan that provided awesome racing from beginning to end, and if OTUSA has the kind of massive advantage over AC35 challengers that we would have seen had they not had the big capsize, it might be the only exciting racing of the next Cup – especially if, as we have been hoping, the AC45s race as one-design platforms with unrestricted foils.

Thankfully Coutts cited a coming nationality rule, a welcome change to anyone (like us) who thinks patriotism and sport make great bedfellows.  But he’s already preparing us for a small fleet, presumably because Ellison is shooting to keep the AC72 Class for AC35.  “I think we are better to aim at quality rather than quantity,” he said, despite claiming that new cost reduction measures should cut overall team budgets by around a third.  Call us cynical, but there’s no way in hell another AC72 program will magically cost 25-35 million less than the last time around, even if some one-design elements come into play and there is a joint logistics package.  If there’s one thing that Russell Coutts has proved over and over again, it’s that he always wins, and it always costs a lot more than he says it will.

Legal Beagle

In our final bit of Cupdate news, longtime Kiwi Cup lawyer (and architect of Alinghi’s doomed CNEV challenge) Hamish Ross hit the news today after claiming in a piece in the NZ Law Journal last month that the New York Courts should have no place in deciding how the America’s Cup is run.  Claiming that foreign litigants can’t get a fair shake in the US courts (mostly because he personally can’t seem to win one) Ross says that the Cup should be administered by ISAF instead.  Because of course ISAF is so very impartial, and of course unmotivated by greed or the millions if fees they seek from the AC.  Ross argues that the Deed of Gift and AC Trust are not even valid, and that they could perhaps be overturned by the Court if a strong plaintiff sued the current Trustee; it’s been Ross’s pet argument for a decade, and it’s quite persuasive, until you realize Ross’s theory rests on two centuries of hearsay, dicta, footnotes, quotes from irrelevant politicians, and courts of another country.  It’s no wonder Ross can’t win a case in the US – even after all this time, he still doesn’t understand how precedent works here.

There’s a thread to discuss the legal stuff, and you can download the full NZLJ piece here.

 

December 11th, 2013 by admin

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It’s not too fragile a limb that we’re on when we tell you that this is the last day of AC34.  Let’s watch it all happen (including the expected protocol signing aboard Imagine) right here (unless you’re in America or New Zealand, of course).   If you like to jaw about your sports, go here.

EDIT:  With the Kiwis looking absolutely stunning in the light air, it looks like ACEA already knows their tenure is over.  At least that’s what it looks like when they auction off hundreds of thousands worth of furniture, boats, and America’s Cup gear!

 

 

 

 

 

September 20th, 2013 by admin

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When AC Anarchists coined the term ‘tractor’ to describe the Kiwi AC72, no one knew it would end up being a badge of honor.  Compared to the slender, lithe OTUSA design, Aotearoa is indeed boxier and more substantial looking, but the metaphor goes a lot further.  She’s solid in all conditions, powerful but forgiving, and above all, quite simple to operate.  And c’mon folks – Grant Dalton looks far more like a farmer than a Grand Prix racer; could the ‘foiling tractor’ be any more perfect?

There are actually AC spectators wearing ‘foiling tractor’ shirts.  Wanna print your own?  Head to the thread and download some of ‘Webfish’ or some of the other anarchists’ doodles.

September 12th, 2013 by admin

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We have to admit it:  As silly as this spectacle is, we watched every minute of ETNZ hammering around the course at speeds over 40 knots in the second no-compete Louis Vuitton race.  They nailed foiling gybe after foiling gybe in picture-perfect conditions, and it all looked quite pretty.  It even got interesting for a few minutes, here and there, thanks to some good commentary from Andy Green and guest Murray Jones – interesting almost in spite of everything ACEA has done to hamstring the TV production.  You might remember professional announcers, multiple audio channels, onboard video and audio earlier in the cycle – all those things that keep yacht racing – even at 40 knots – interesting enough to watch for an hour.

The organizers may have given up on all that; rather than doing a spectacular job and trying to repair the harm Ruddergate has done to the event, they continue down the road they began when the production team and coverage plan were slashed to pieces more than a year ago.  The best coverage of AC racing hasn’t even come from the AC, but from World Series events like Plymouth.  Coverage now – in the opening round of the Louis Vuitton Cup – is a shadow of what ACTV teams produced in Plymouth over a year ago.  Have they given up entirely?

Or is this just the “B” team – are commentators and camera crews are the economy version, and we’re seeing just a fraction of the audio and onboard we’ll see in a few weeks?  It’s hard to say just yet (thanks to the usual non-transparent ACTV plans), but we hope they’re just saving money for the moment; otherwise how would anyone explain the presence of silly Annapolis videographer Tugger Thompson announcing in a TV booth?  At least he seems to have reined in the fake baritone voice he’s used in his videos for a decade.

But never mind the announcing package: What we really don’t understand though is this:  WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO ONBOARD VIDEO AND AUDIO?  You know – that shit that keeps sailboat racing at least partially interesting when it turns into a horizon job, or, ya know – when there is just one competitor to watch?  We seem to remember an entire audio/video package worth a small fortune that each team’s required to carry during racing.  We certainly remember panning onboards and dramatic team audio from the entire ACWS – it was what made an innovative, quality production into something we couldn’t take our eyes from.  And we’d like it back, please.

With just a hair over 50,000 views of the first non-race and sparse TV pickups around the world, even the B-team coverage still has to be some of the most expensive per-viewer sports coverage in history.  We know it is going to get better (right??), but it seems unnecessary to start at the very bottom.

Share your thoughts about it.

 

 

July 10th, 2013 by admin

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Protests, boycotts, accusations of cheating and corruption, threats to withdraw…welcome to yet another typical America’s Cup opener!

Unsurprising but still confusing for the average fan, understanding the current mess requires some editing to remove the vast amount of white noise and diversion.   Fortunately, that’s a skill that we here at Sailing Anarchy have in abundance.

If you’re good at deciphering solid debate from insane spewing, the IJ thread is probably the best discussion about the Luna Rossa and ETNZ protests.  Clean’s interview with Radio Sports NZ embedded above covers the subject decently in a few minutes for the casual fan; for the audio impaired or those looking for a little more clarity, here are a few things you can do for an easy understanding of the issues:

1) Quit accusing Iain Murray of cheating!

The man is not on the take, nor has his brain been taken over by nano-bots developed by an Oracle subsidiary.  We can’t find a single person who has ever known Murray who will accuse him of anything less than fairness and impartiality.  His rules move may have been misguided, but it wasn’t because he was in anyone’s pocket.  As Goethe said, “Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent.”  Oh, and after you take off your tinfoil hats, ask Paul Cayard to take his off too.  They may be out to get you, but bitching about it makes you look even worse than you already do.

2) Don’t think this is about competition, or major competitive advantage.

These protests are entirely about procedure and precedent.  Despite early informal assent to the main points, LR and ETNZ did not agree to two of Murray’s safety recommendations, and when they were incorporated via the back door of the Marine Event Permit (MEP) application process, ETNZ believes they  caused a change to the AC72 Class Rule without the required procedure.  Whether the changes are about safety or not is completely irrelevant.  Whether the Coast Guard likes them or not is irrelevant.  You know what else is irrelevant?  Whether a decision in ETNZ’s favor will cause a cancellation of the Cup and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.  The jury is not even allowed to consider it.  In our opinion, only one question really matters to Dalton and Sirena:  Can the Regatta Director make decisions that will change the nature of AC34′s essential governing agreements and documents without following the rules contained therein for such changes?

3) If you need to blame someone, blame the group that came up with the safety panel process and implemented it so poorly.

Red Flag 1:  These were called ‘recommendations of Iain Murray.”  Not “Recommendations of Expert Safety Panel”, not “Mandatory Safety Requirements from Safety Experts.”  They came from one man in permissive language, and Iain still wonders why they were not more fully embraced.  Never mind the insurance issues:  You started off on the wrong foot.  Red Flag 2:  Before discussing the details of the safety recommendations with key people inside the teams, Murray released them to the public, along with a statement saying they would be sent over as conditions for the Coast Guard’s Marine Event Permit (MEP) – an essential license for the event.  We don’t know who advised Murray that his changes would pass easily, but after the dictatorial, heavy-handed move of stapling them to the MEP application, an agreement was never going to happen.  You can’t tell people that their opinion doesn’t matter and then, a month later, tell them you would like them you need their agreement.

4) Through all of this, we can’t, for the life of us, understand where the hell the jury has been.

The protests were filed ages ago.  Everyone knew they were coming more than two weeks ago – even before ETNZ announced it on June 27th.  So with the first schedule race on the 7th and a protest involving the Regatta Director, the Measurement Committee, and both teams scheduled to race, what does the Jury do?  They don’t show up until July 8th.  Seriously, folks;  What the fuck?  Hasn’t anyone in San Francisco worked an America’s Cup before?  Did the folks responsible for protests and the Jury not understand that every single AC in recent memory has some kind of rules or legal drama at the outset?  Were their jobs officiating in Marstrand or Kiel or wherever that much more important than the first match of the Louis Vuitton Cup, or was the ridiculous delay in this part of the process due to yet another lack of proper funding from the organizers for yet another essential part of AC34?

5) Don’t get sucked into the discussion about safety.

If existing AC72 rudders were unsafe, Murray himself wouldn’t have gone back on his own recommendations and allowed them after at first recommending they be illegal.  If the AC72 Class Rule is inherently unsafe, ETNZ wouldn’t be nailing foiling gybes and hitting 42.7 with no drama.  These two rules may help all teams have a less dramatic heavy-air bearaway, but you know what else would do that?  Moth-style automatic ride-height controlled flapped foils.  The boats would be a hell of a lot quicker too.  What about chopping off 5 meters of wing?  That would make the bearaway easier too – way easier.  Would either of those changes pass a Class vote even though they would make everyone that much more safe?  Hell no.  Should they be attached to the MEP, anyway?  Hell no.

In our opinion, the decision is a simple one:  We can we find no justification in the Deed, Protocol, Class Rule, or Notice of Race that allows Murray or anyone else to modify a Class Rule without the consent of the teams.

Jury Duty

The jury basically has two choices; either Murray’s MEP is a valid exercise of his power as Regatta Director, or it ain’t.

1) If they find Murray’s recommendations valid, chances are ETNZ will sail the LV mostly alone.  Artemis will try to get to the line and be lucky if they do so by August.  Bertelli will take his ball and bat and go home unless Dalts can convince him otherwise.  Hell hath no fury like an Italian scorned.

2) If they find for ETNZ and Luna Rossa, Murray can either (1) figure out a way to amend the MEP to accept the previous rules – a tough one considering the hardline stance he took the other day and the Coast Guard’s reluctant and out-of-place role in all this (2) work with the teams and the CG on a solution to be implemented as soon as practicable – also unlikely given the bad blood, (3) resign and let the next guy deal with it, or (4) stand his ground with whoever is his boss (ummm…anyone?) and get fired so that someone else can get this regatta back on its feet.

We’d hate to see Murray go; We still believe Murray to be a straight shooter, someone who would quit before cheating.  And we’ll always prefer a sailor to a politician in any job.  Politicians are like lawyers, though; sometimes – particularly when you are dealing with lots of egos and lots of money, you need a really good one.  Jury shot from Gilles Martin-Raget.

 

 

July 10th, 2013 by admin

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With both of their AC72s on a San Francisco-bound ship, ETNZ’s “A-Team” is out for blood in Napoli, and yesterday they drew some, winning a non-points, 21-mile Coastal Race in preparation for the ACWS event later this week.  This pic ain’t from that light-air reach-around; but it’s sick and it’s from Napoli, so enjoy it.  We think it’s a Chris Cameron/ETNZ credit, but correct us if you know better.  Video from yesterday’s win here.  Find video of their win here.

April 16th, 2013 by admin

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Emirates Team New Zealand finally put a foot wrong earlier today, but despite looking quite scary, the team got off lightly; no injuries and just a day or two in repair time. Today was meant to be Wing No. 2′s debut, but accounts say it was wing 1 that got bit during launch on a very gusty Tuesday.  Maybe the team were practicing high-wind launch techniques…

Of course there’s only one place in the world you can go to have a real online discussion on any of the AC boats, and that’s our AC Anarchy forum.  The ETNZ Launch thread now has nearly 8,000 posts and a half million views…join them.

March 19th, 2013 by admin

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