If you believe our AC Anarchists, there’s a load of teams in Auckland for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Cup, who haven’t got the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell of winning, but did they miss something? You can’t judge a team’s chances in this regatta by how they did in the last America’s Cup, cuz the boat factor has gone, for all except TNZ. Even BMW Oracle, which will sometimes be sailing their own boats, doesn’t have a big plus because the new team stars – Spithill and Coutts – aren’t familiar with the boats. You believe that, right?

Every team, whether it’s a newcomer to racing in America’s Cup yachts, like Team Italia, or an AC32 also ran, like K-Challenge, has a star or two on board, with America’s Cup experience; but stars aren’t always the best team players and it’s the best team that’s going to win this one. Or has it all gone a bit sideways?

So what do you reckon? Our money is on TNZ to win, as it has boat knowledge in its favor and gets into the final regardless of earlier results. We aren’t predicting the other finalist except to say that Origin has to be the dark horse. Dean Barker aside, no helmsman knows the TNZ boats better than triple Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie and Ben is going to be keen to prove he should have been on the A boat last time. On top of that, the Origin boys put up a great show at the CNEV regatta, using Desafio Espanol’s discard boat. We shall see…

This Stefano Gattini pic show Damiani Team Italia training and there are plenty more here.