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New era for 34th America's Cup
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The Publisher

Oct 13, 2010, 5:34 PM

Post #41 of 50 (43425 views)
Re: [The Publisher] New era for 34th America's Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

From Glen Petrie:
Having witnessed the Sagas in the courts for the AC, I have always been of the opinion that it should be the epitome of performance racing in large yachts, that the real performers now are multihulls is due to the improvements in materials used to construct the yachts. Put simply a wooden or 1970 fiberglass hull could not have handled the stress.

I do appreciate a recent article expressing a love of 12m Boats, I agree, they were lovely to watch and gave us some magnificent contests, but so did the J-Boats, I have never been fortunate enough to see a 'J' under full sail, but the photo's are pretty impressive.

Picture a J-Boat sized vessel made of modern materials, stressed for maximum performance in a tacking duel!

The new AC class is a cat, a very big cat! Maybe the next iteration will see the Next Generation of J's, but in the meantime I'm happy enough to see the Cup being contested on the water (Where it belongs!)

The Publisher

Oct 13, 2010, 5:35 PM

Post #42 of 50 (43424 views)
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From Pat Kabris:
The America's Cup is exciting to watch only when the racing is close. Tactical moves and close combat is what made the 2007 so thrilling to watch. Boat speed (as in multihull) does not show well on TV, unless the boats are matched closely enough in speed so tactics makes the difference. The exciting spectating aspects of the America's Cup are, (1) the start of the first race, (2) and thru the event when boat speeds are close enough so that tactical moves and crew work make the difference -- with subtle boat speed differences due to varying conditions of wind, sea state and point of sail. Technology advancement has always a very important aspect or the America's Cup, but within rules that limit parameters enough to prevent break away speed. When the rules have been broad, as in the Deed of Gift matches, the racing has been boring -- just an event that all want to end so we can back to the 'real deal'. Of course -- it should not be a one design event,rather it should be controlled within design rules that maximize innovative technology but result in yachts that can still be fairly close in speed. And that means monohulls. Some may point higher, be faster in certain wind conditions or certain points of sail, but in a series of races and a range of conditions, we can expect to see exciting moves that are even more fun to watch on replay.

Remember -- even when the New York Yacht Club lost the Cup for the first time, it was ultimately about a bad tactical decision on the final downwind leg of the final race. The technologically advanced 'wing keel' may have provided a benefit (rig/draft balance in the rule), but it really wasn't the final decision maker -- or if it was, it was a marginal advancement and Dennis was skillful enough to nearly overcome.

The America's Cup is not solely a game for billionaires. Team New Zealand won it in 1995, again in 2000 and closely challenged in 2007 with very limited budget resources -- but rather they had the determination to represent their Country with pride and superiority of team management, training, practice, commitment and devotion. This is why I have been an avid and devoted fan of this event, but I'm really not interested in watching if it’s going to continue to be all about extremely rich ego maniacs controlling the rules, and masking their self favoritism by claiming to make the event better for us Spectators.

If speed and technology are really the primary factors, just open the rules, eliminate the crews and let computers drive the boats -- and the only spectators will be the owners. And the America's Cup books will have written a final chapter. I sincerely hope this is never allowed to happen.

The Publisher

Oct 13, 2010, 5:35 PM

Post #43 of 50 (43423 views)
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From Captain Michael J Dailey:
Following the commentary regarding the change of platform for the next America’s Cup, there seems to be a common thread where “Days of Yore” are harkened back to, even back to the J’s in some cases, like that was the ultimate display of the sport?

Yes, they were and still are majestic boats to watch race and even to just watch sail by. But the America’s Cup has never been about the boats, it has always been about the Cup.

The boats were just a means to the “Cup”. The “Coma off of Point Loma” was a prime example. Whatever it takes to win “The Cup”.

Does it really matter whether they are 12’s, J class, IAC or whatever, the boats are still just a means to an end, “The Cup”.

There always are those who resist change, always will be I suspect. Fear of the unknown is usually the reason and most often unfounded, (read flat world, sail off the edge here).

Nascar, Indy, and Formula One all have their “days of yore” but that was first in Chariots and then in Conestoga Wagons. Why should we hold what is generally held to be the highest level of sailing, back in the days the covered wagons?

Take a step back and look at the levels of technology being brought to the sport at other venues, even monohull venues. You want mano a mano, have you ever seen Foiling Moths race and make mistakes?

Have any of you that want to turn the clock back ever sailed a Cat? Do you have any idea of how hard it is? How catastrophic mistakes can, and will be?

And why shouldn’t Cup racing be given a chance to appeal to a wider audience, yes, even the under 29’s? I guarantee there will be under 29’s aboard these boats as they will not be exactly the place for old men or women to be!

I can’t wait to see big boats going fast, really fast, with chase boats trying to keep up, real time onboard audio and video, and the graphics to match.

Scenes of San Francisco Bay front spectators whizzing by in the background nearly a blur, awesome! Bring it on!

The Publisher

Nov 8, 2010, 11:45 AM

Post #44 of 50 (42903 views)
Re: [The Publisher] New era for 34th America's Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

With the sadder and wiser words of Chris Caswell in Scuttlebutt now added to Grant Dalton's analysis and the views of Carlos Pich in Seahorse, it’s a relief to discover that not everyone in Cloud Cuckoo Land is happy to be duped. Bertarelli threw a few curved balls, but at least he was in the right ball park. Coutts has stolen the ball and run right out of the stadium. The man is nothing if not tenacious. It’s now clear that the America’s Cup brand has been brazenly hijacked to resurrect the stillborn Coutts and Cayard World Series. Look at the current AC entry list of ‘fellow travelers’: Coutts, Cayard, the dishearteningly compliant hip-pocket Challenger of Record and the Russians. With the priority assigned to early entries, this looks unpromising to say the least.

Coutts judgment was already subject to question with his only other ‘big idea’, the RC44 - perhaps the ugliest and least ergonomic sailboat of the decade - in which Russell and his acolytes compete in make-believe “World Championships”. The new cat is questionable too – look at the comparative statistics – its way more powerful than the old boat or indeed the broadly comparable MOD tri. And so to make it viable in San Francisco they have conjured up a chop-top wing - in which guise it will resemble a London double-decker bus after an encounter with a low bridge.

Overall, the whole 'process' has been an insult to intelligence of, not just the Cup aspirants, but the broader yachting community. The new program has been presented in the frame of ‘if you are not with us you are against us’; and not just ‘us’ but against progress, technology, excitement and youth. Having owned three cats among a slew of dinghies, yachts and sailboards, I know which I prefer to race, sail for pure pleasure and which I prefer to watch – and, from the ongoing Sail World survey, I’m not alone.

Events: Old ‘World Series’ - New ‘World Series’
LOA: 21.34 meters (70ft) - 22.0 meters (72 ft)
Displacement: 5,700kg - 5,700 kg
Beam: 12.0 meters - 14.0 meters
Rig height: 30 meters - 40 meters
Mainsail area: 168 square meters - 260 square meters
Centre pod: yes - allowed
Curved foils: yes - yes
One design: yes - no

For further comparison the MOD is: LOA - 21.2meters (70ft); Displacement - 6,300kg; Beam - 16.8 meters; Rig height - 29 meters; Mainsail area - 160 square meters approx.

Euan Ross

The Publisher

Nov 9, 2010, 9:09 AM

Post #45 of 50 (42871 views)
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For the 34th America’s Cup, two of the most pressing unknowns surround the new platform - the 72-foot wing powered catamarans. First, who is going to sail them, as multihulls of this size are not sailed inshore, let alone match raced. Also, what kind of racing will the boat present.

If the event is to seek out an enthusiastic audience, it will be important that the viewer believes the boats are skillfully sailed and that each race presents a good fight. Here two of the team leaders respond to these questions:

Who will sail the boats?

PAUL CAYARD, Artemis Racing CEO, Challenger: “A little bit of our guide comes from BMW Oracle (during the 33rd America’s Cup). They involved good multihull sailors, most notably Franck Cammas in the beginning of their campaign, and they had James Spithill and John Kostecki and a lot of great sailors also on the boat. What appears was borne out from their experience was that fairly quickly on the America’s Cup world superseded the multihull world. The multihull world largely is an offshore world, and that is from design to construction to the sailing. So I think the answer is that it is easier to take America’s Cup sailors and teach them the idiosyncrasies of multihull sailing than to go the other way around.”

Will the boat provide for close racing?

RUSSELL COUTTS, BMW Oracle Racing CEO, Defender: “As to what will produce great racing in these multihulls, first of all the multihull rule is going to produce boats that are relatively even in performance but give the designers enough flexibility to still produce advantages here and there.

“Maneuvering these boats is going to be an incredible challenge for the crew. I think they will be more physical than any of the previous America’s Cup boats in terms of what is required of the crew. Perhaps the helmsman and two of the sail trimmers will be the only positions onboard the boats that won’t be extremely physical.

“I think the courses under consideration that Iain Murray (34th America’s Cup Regatta Director) and his guys are contemplating are going to produce very interesting racing. In the past many match races have been dominated by the boat that wins the start. Perhaps 80% of the races are won or lost at the start. We have watched many races that appeared very close in heavy displacement monohulls but I think when you look back there wasn’t a lot of passing. And I think in these multihulls, the difference between a good tack and a bad tack, or a good jibe and a bad jibe on courses where you are going to be forced to do a certain number of each, is going to put a premium on that.

“I also believe that in more high performance boats, you are going to see more passing particularly on the downwind legs of the course where a slight change in wind speed will produce a big increase in performance, and the boat behind can really attack those positions. Plus, maneuvering into the marks is so critical in these boats to get the angle exactly right - the layline - and if you don’t get it right the loss in performance is enormous. So that again provides an opportunity for the boat behind, especially downwind or even upwind, to attack the boat in front who really needs to make that judgment perfectly. And if you put it in a venue that has some current in it as well, it could become even more complex. I think we are going to see some great racing.”

Excerpt from Artemis Racing Press Conference on November 8, 2010:

The Publisher

Nov 9, 2010, 10:31 AM

Post #46 of 50 (42868 views)
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From Mal Emerson:

I was really disappointed to read what Chris had to say about the advances made in the America's Cup (in Scuttlebutt 3215). I have always enjoyed his musings in Sailing magazine. I suppose I am in the "Flintstone Generation" and likely a few years senior to Chris so I was encouraged when he didn't take offense to that particular statement. When comment after comment is written regarding Coutts' one statement about bringing the AC into the 21st century; indeed the bottom of the barrel is being scraped.

Then he unfortunately jumped on the unfounded condemnation of current plans for AC 34. To address just a few of his comments: 72 ft cats might indeed be more expensive than even an IACC boat. I don't know but more importantly; Chris doesn't know either. In reading the boat's specs they might well be cheaper. Chris may indeed be correct that the cats won't handle 33 knots but, again, how does he know. I've seen 30 kts on the Bay but "19 foot seas"; talk about crapola (his word). A bit more fetch and time would be required to get waves to 19 feet as Chris well knows. His comment about match racing being thrown out with the cats is pure conjecture. Boats don't need to be slow to match race. I really got a laugh out of his Kentucky Derby/motorcycle comparison. Sailboats vs sailboats and he used horses vs motorcycles. A more proper analogy would be the Kentucky Derby Donkeys being upgraded to thoroughbreds. Donkey races are a lot of fun but.... Sorry now I'm overstating it too ..... Donkey races aren't near the fun of even the 12 meters.

While I totally agree with what Chris says about the national identities of the teams; the international nature of most everything today combined with disproportionate national resources in money, talent and other resources makes it blow up in your face. His views on nationalism of teams is an ideal I share but a fantasy if good competition is to be had.

As to Chris' comments on Larry's "midlife crises"; pure unmitigated jealousy and rightly so. I would love for my 13 yr old Miata to be a new Porsche and I often tease my wife that I'm gonna trade her 63 in on three 21's but what does that or who Larry dates and what he drives have to do with AC 34?

Mr Caswell's final comment was so inappropriate and below his normal journalistic integrity as to not deserve comment.

As to Mr Ross weighing in in Dock Talk and parroting Mr Caswell point for point; it continues to amaze me that unsupported opinion continues to be used to denigrate something so in its infancy.

When words like "Cloud Cuckoo Land, duped, stolen the ball, brazenly hijacked, dishearteningly hip-pocket" and so forth are used; all civilized discussion has been abandoned. How dare any of us act as judge and jury to so unfoundedly castigate something so new and different such that none of us really knows. All that is presented is opinion labeled otherwise, and you know what they say about opinions. No supporting evidence no specific experience with the subject; just pure sour grapes.

I was truly entertained by Mr Ross' questioning of Russell Coutts' judgment stating his only "other" big idea was the RC-44. Seems to me I recall a few other of Mr Coutts accomplishments in sailing in general and the Cup in particular such that that insult might be a bit overstated to say the least.

I have admitted on occasion that the whole thing could blow up in our face. Little did I know that every attempt would be made to sabotage it journalistically before the bottoms of any of the boats had even gotten wet. I seem to remember quite a bit of complaining about rhetoric being used in lieu of sailing in the recent past. Many of the same complainers are now guilty of much the same.

The Publisher

Nov 9, 2010, 1:10 PM

Post #47 of 50 (42859 views)
Re: [The Publisher] New era for 34th America's Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

The assault on the America’s Cup continues regarding the choice of giant multi-hulls, and most of the negative calls are from normal interested sailors and racers who read Scuttlebutt and other publications. They don’t get free subscriptions.

The designers, sponsors, AC crews, journalists, competitors, and the Ellison contingent, all have a common goal of competing in the most up-to-date boats; and that is a good thing. But the Ellison factor wants to win, obviously, and is not prepared to give up the advantages they have in giant multi-hull development, also obviously.

All that being said, are they really serious about developing and continuing “spectator interest” amongst interested sailors and potential ‘new blood’ to the sport, as per their stated goal? Obviously not! If they just said “we don’t care what the sailing public thinks”, at least that would be honest. Better to say, “we are going to do our own thing because we can pay for it, and we don’t care what you think”, would at least be an honest comment.

If the stated goal is really to have more interesting racing and attract more viewers, who are they asking? I say its not the “viewers” I know! It is almost impossible to be a ‘live’ spectator on the race course so most of us are relegated to being “viewers”. The proponents of that goal are spending vast funds to find such a TV solution, yet they are ignoring the obvious, by trying the re-invent the wheel. They are like the ‘players’ in the US Senate and US Government, simply ignoring the ‘masses’.

If they are serious about promoting AC races then they would have continued the event in the same version of boats that saw the Swiss beat the Kiwi’s by a few seconds in a best of 7 series in Valencia just a few ‘long’ years ago. What racing could be better than that? The decision to simply ignore the most interesting AC races since 1983 was curious, and almost naïve, and must have had some other agenda imbedded within it.

Most every-one wanted to see a “second-round” happen 4 years later, but big ego’s got in the way, and like a dictator led government, the public concerns and appeals were ignored. Dozens of sponsors were lost to the AC events, as were hundreds of crew, as well as an audience of millions. Designers and builders were not able to participate and the event and the last event was a non-event. It will at least be more than 10years between that Valencia event and something similar, if ever, i.e. ‘Round 2’.

At least Larry and his boys sorted out the Swiss and prevented a further debacle with the last event, but shame on you Larry for continuing the debacle. You had a chance to ‘right the wrong’ and you missed it! The multi-hull event will happen. It will be a viewer’s nightmare and I predict we will all be bored to death like last time. We will wait out the next AC and hope to be interested, but for multi-thousands (if not millions) of sailors, we will wait for this event to be over and done with, only then we can hope that another group will have a chance to make the AC races interesting again, allowing it to become what it was and what it can be again.

Be it multi-hull or mono-hulls, I don’t care, but it is size just for the sake of size, you guys running the show will have screwed it up again for the public, as you did last time.

For the legions of us who are F1 fans, the differences between F1 and the AC are nautical miles apart and completely separate. To attempt to assume the success of F1 can flow into the A.C. indicates how far off target and out of touch the A.C. management is. The AC is more akin to FIA Rally car racing, not F1.


Mike Sharpe.

The Publisher

Feb 5, 2012, 8:09 AM

Post #48 of 50 (39975 views)
Re: [The Publisher] New era for 34th America's Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

From Barry Demak:
With regard to comments in s'butt 3519:

I find it hard to believe that a Scuttlebutt reader would take issue with the Event Authority's plans to make public viewing centers available to the general public for free?! I can see why some might not want one anchored in their 54 degree swimming hole, but I not only don't see anything wrong with the picture - I'd love to see the picture as jumbo as possible.

At a time when it seems that so many of our social networking innovations may be leading to less in-person socialization, the America's Cup Live Site viewing centers will provide access to the event for a large population that might not otherwise be able to get to the San Francisco shoreline or on the water. More importantly, it will enable them to share the experience with other humans! Some will know more than they do and help explain what's going on. Others will know nothing at all, and even more fervently explain what's going on!

Some movies are better watched in the theater with others. Some books are more powerful when read with a club. Sport - if you enjoy it all - is most enjoyable watching with others: the high fives, the running dialogue. I've enjoyed many an awesome concert experience at the top of the hill projected on big screens just as I've enjoyed a few from the front rows, too.

The "oohs" and "ahhs" of the America's Cup will sound better to me in a crowd of hundreds than sitting in front of my computer.

These viewing sites may get more people to go watch the event live and in-person. Some will gather at a screen when they can't devote a whole day to get over to the venue. Heck, this might even cause a few people to get interested in sailing and maybe even try it one day. It may seem ironic to be watching something on screen that is taking place just a handful of miles away. There is, however, something special about being a part of the same environment - knowing that it's going on "just over there."

Other readers may wish to stay home and watch the action on their TV (hopefully it will be on TV), computer, or tablet. That's fine, of course. I'll look forward to seeing the action with as many people as possible: Some of it from the San Francisco shoreline, some from on the water and hopefully much of it with others from my community and neighboring communities on the biggest screen possible at Oakland's Jack London Square. I think the organizers ARE thinking about the big picture on this one. I'm hopeful that my community and business leaders will help make it possible.

The Publisher

Feb 5, 2012, 8:10 AM

Post #49 of 50 (39974 views)
Re: [The Publisher] New era for 34th America's Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I read Art Weekley's letter in SBUTT 3519 as noting the irony in how the event has been changed in many ways to enhance the live spectating, but now the focus was on watching the broadcast. Given the speed of the boats, I have a hunch that live spectating could be tough unless you are elevated. Watching from the proposed jumbotran provides a compromise, wherein you are outside, near the racing, you get to see the racing, and you get to experience it amid the type of crowd energy that comes from watching an event live.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


Feb 5, 2012, 2:11 PM

Post #50 of 50 (39926 views)
Mike's comments.... [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Mike has a rather "short" view of what's "big" as far as America's Cup boats is concerned. The Cup has long been considered the pinnacle of sailing competitions. The DoG allows boats of 120 feet to compete, the AC 72 is just a bit over half that. Many would contend that the little post war boats were the aberration, not the 90 foot multi's used in the AC 33 DoG matches. Regarding total mass, even USA 17 "DoGZilla" is a featherweight in the history of the Cup.

Mike speaks of Ellison's advantage in big multi hulls. I would contend that the French lead in big multihull development and the C class boats used in the Little America's Cup are far ahead of USA 17 in wing development. The boat that won 33 is not really that advanced in either wing or hulls, that technology is old, well known by all and will not add all that much to a winning 72 foot Cat raced in the very different conditions of SF Bay. Learning much of anything from AC 33 is likely a disadvantage in 34. If Ellison is intent only on winning in 2013, he is certainly going about it in the wrong way by sharing wing sail experience with any one committed enough to play.

Mike, have you actually viewed an America's Cup race? Have you viewed an ACWS race? In person. Most of the negatives are indeed from "normal" interested sailors. Normal in this case meaning traditional lead hauling mono hull sailors. Those that haven't experienced the spectacle of very large very fast boats because they weren't alive when last they raced or weren't in San Diego in '88 or Valencia for 33. My bet is that more people have viewed, live, the ACWS regattas than all the AC regattas in history. The San Diego races were imminently viewable from shore and quite entertaining. If I had access to the commentary and a big screen, it would have been ideal. Short of the booze and buffet, the viewing would have been far better than what I paid big bucks for in New Zealand in 2000.

Your comparison of The Cup and F-1 racing totally missed the point. You're right, they are far separated. No one thinks the F1 fans will be drawn to the Cup. The comparison is only that F1 is what can be done on a road course with very few limitations and the 34th America's Cup is what can be done match racing in SF Bay with few limitations. Anyone interested in what can be done on the roads they drive or the water they sail will be interested in what it takes to win there. What vehicle and what driver can do it.....

Mike, I would strongly suggest you review the history of the Cup, not just the little plastic 12's and 24's of the recent past. It is about reinventing the wheel. Read the DoG. Watch an ACWS race in person and talk to the crowds there. Race a beach cat, one as large as possible. I would contend that, with an open mind, you would not only be willing to give the new format a chance but you might actually enjoy it. Don't get me wrong, I also, would love to see a rematch of the 2007 contest but that is not really the intent of the DoG or in line with the overall history of the Cup. For all practical purposes, that's the typical one design match race not the America's Cup.

I would suggest that most of the negatives being expressed in this and other mainstream sailing sources are no more than sour grapes being spouted by those not understanding either multi hulls, the stated goal of the Deed of Gift or both. It's not new. Remember what Dennis Connor said about fiberglass boats? What was said about the wing keel? The Kiwi bustle? I suppose it's unfortunate that the multi hull is such a giant leap in technology. Change is hard to take and a big change almost insurmountable. It seems to me a brave thing that Larry and company have done taking such a giant leap forward. Too bad a good bit of the established sailing community won't give it a chance.

PS, please ..... leave the politics for another forum....
Check Six .......Mal

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