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America's Cup world series
Team McLube

 



Mal
*****


Aug 6, 2011, 9:16 AM

Post #1 of 14 (27949 views)
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An absolutely amazing day of sailing for 2 to 6 kts of wind. Still a lot of getting used to the multi's but really good coverage of good sailing. Both will no doubt get a lot better. Spithill either missed a communication or screwed the pooch in the second race and was DSQ. Otherwise he owned the crs winning the last 2. ETNZ in the hunt all the way and leading the series as a result.

At one point there was a match racing type duel between JS and GD such that I suspect it could well have been a tacking duel if it hadn't been a fleet race. The crews sounded rather winded at times so I can imagine how athletic it will be when the wind blows which it is supposed to do tomorrow.

Starts started out rather monohull in nature but got better so that the last was solidly multi in nature. TOD was always good but not much taking advantage of the boat's acceleration until the last and not optimum then.

Excellent racing. 2 to 6 kts had it looking a lot like a typical IACC race except much faster boat speeds.

Tomorrow should be a hoot.....
Check Six .......Mal


Mal
*****


Aug 8, 2011, 2:44 PM

Post #2 of 14 (27908 views)
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Another great day of sailing fleet race and speed trials. The coverage, as I see it has a long way to go but I'm sure it will be better in the match racing on Wed. Went sailing rather than watch live so all I had was the replays. No start coverage at all in my attempt at the replay, some sound probs as well. The summary had some good start coverage and the late comer Energy did a great job.

After the first mark ETZ took off on their own rather than jibe toward the next mark. It paid off and they enjoyed a fair lead for most of the race. 30 sec or so lead over Oracle Coutts at the next mark. 150+ meters! Several boat handling errors obvious in the on boat feeds. Tangled lines, rolled genneakers in the water as they were lowered etc. They will get better and have room to.

Tacks take 4 to 5 sec, not much more than the monomarans but the distance lost is huge without 25+ tons of inertia. 50+ meters depending on the wind. Acceleration is quick, however, and the speed blinding compared with the IACC boats.

ETNZ does a jibe around a mark and the boat digs into the turn; the grinder on his way to the winch lurches forward and tries to stop himself with the winch handle which breaks..... MOB. Dean quickly says, "leave im". Obviously the right move. The commentators said ETNZ had a penalty somewhere and said he didn't have a penalty for the MOB. I think it was Korea at the start that had the penalty. Either way the strong man was gone and the practical penalties were real. Rail meat shortage and slow trimming due to the motor being gone. It showed most in the tacks on the final leg and maybe a slight loss of speed due to righting force. When the virtual eye starts working, we'll see if it happens again.

ETNZ tacks in a bad hole, Oracle Coutts makes gains every tack, crosses TNZ finally and shoots the line to win. ETNZ close second and Oracle Spithill 3rd. First four boats across in 34 sec or so. Very close in time with more distance than the time would tell.

Final results in the fleet racing, ETNZ first, Oracle Coutts second, Artimus third and Oracle Spithill fourth.

I think the jury is still out as to the spectacle Ellison and Coutts wants it to be. The match racing will likely tell the tail. Suffice it to say that everything is multiplied many times above what the IACC boats were. Speeds, crew work levels, how fast decisions must be made, you name it. I suspect close cover on an upwind leg will reward aerobic fitness tremendously. The boats are shorthanded at 5. TNZ lost a big lead and the race being one down.

Coverage included on boat views and sound on two other recordings that tell almost nothing about the race but give you quite a glimpse as to what it's like on the boat. Panting after a maneuver was common, it was plain to see how athletic the sailing was.

The course limits tend to keep the boats maneuvering and give the spectator boats a good view. The close in racing combined with the boats mooring overnight give the racing quite a bit of instant gratification for both the spectators and the competitors.

The time trial ranking might have meant little as it was the luck of the draw what the wind was but reading the wind and boat trim talents showed well. Mitch Booth likely saved their bacon by suggesting winds 90 to the crs rather than the slightly faster 120 deg as there were spectator boats to both sides. The announcers know little about multi hulls but seemed to figure it out. The downwind turns by the boats at the end of the track proved Mitch's point. ETNZ was fastest due to both wind and technique. From there it was very much multi hull experience that won out.

Very entertaining day of sailing from my point of view, no doubt the editor will do a much better job of summarizing it. I look forward to that and Wednesday's match racing.
Check Six .......Mal


ms
*****

Aug 9, 2011, 9:25 AM

Post #3 of 14 (27885 views)
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* Bill Canfield, St. Thomas Yacht Club

Where is the sport of sailing that I once loved, headed? After two hours surfing the web Iím not sure if itís not straight to hell! Coverage of the Americas Cup no longer reports who won but rather ďhow many crew remained on the boat at the finishĒ or how many cartwheels were performed while sailing on a mystery course.

Supposedly rules exist but they really donít have much to do with the RRS and they can change event to event. No one, even the sailors seem to understand the courses and pre starts. Iím sorry but none of this stokes my interest. My once love and fascination with the AC is already gone.

Trying to keep up with Olympic classes is worse I checked out the 49er and 29er NA website and found that at our US Nationalís and North Americanís they expect only about 6-8 boats in each class and the dates of events can change after they are set or be listed as ďto be sailed in early September more info to followĒ Are these the sailing classes that Olympics sailing rests it future on? Worse yet it may be the nonexistent coed Catamaran class that really doesnít exist at this point in time or kite boards which have more in common with flying than sailing.

Yes I am a traditional person who likes keelboats and mono-hulls but Iím also reasonable and open to new ideas. Unfortunately nothing I read about either of these once wonderful events is able to make me believe that they will get folks like myself to involve themselves. My loss but I believe also the loss to the sport of sailing.


Mal
*****


Aug 9, 2011, 2:21 PM

Post #4 of 14 (27881 views)
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Me thinks you haven't given it a chance Bill. [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Only one fell off in racing so far, no cartwheels and the course isn't even close to rocket science. In fact it's quite simple. The rules are basically the same as they have been for many years and the winners are presented well. The highlights you likely picked are designed with the non sailor in mind. Watch a whole race and see what you think. Give it a chance; the jump in performance doesn't make the boats anything other than sailboats. Watch what is happening on the boat and you'll recognize it all, it's just a lot more physical; decisions have to be quicker; consequences of errors are a bit more costly.

I'm a fan of keel boats and mono hulls as well but I see all the elements of sailing in the multi hulls, just multiplied times 2. Sail a beach cat and imagine what a 45 foot one would be like.

It's a shame that traditionalists feel that multi hull competition is pushing their boats aside. They are sailboats, no more, no less. The AC is the same old AC; lots of money and the fastest boats sailed by the best sailors. Some might even see it returning to its roots, fleet racing, advanced technology and the best sailing boat money can buy. Good stuff.
Check Six .......Mal


wetabix
**

Aug 12, 2011, 1:31 PM

Post #5 of 14 (27722 views)
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Today's commentary howlers.

From 'Geordie', the on the water commentator: 'Look at all those people on the beach - don't the Portugese go to work?'

...........those are Germans, Geordie, and they are on holiday. The Portugese are all at work cooking and cleaning for them.

From Jenny the match racing expert: 'The lead's out to 105 meters now.........mind you, that's only just over two lengths'.

.........meters, Baby; they're a bit like yards only bigger.

Other useful tips from Jenny:

Genneker = 'the big sail' (not to be confused with 'the mainsail' which is now called 'the wing'). Also referred to as the 'front sail', although caution is required here as going upwind the front sail is the jib which is different (the old front sail is rolled up on the deck at this point).

The 'dagger board' is the thing with 'Toyota' written on it.

During one of the fleet races Peter Montgomerie misidentified the two Oracle boats and spent the rest of the afternoon wondering how Spithill had come sixth having led throughout the race. Geordie opined that he must have sailed into a soft spot. They also confused Korea with China at one point (they both have white hulls). I have some sympathy with this - perhaps they ought to have flags at the top of the mast (wing?) like they do on the graphic overlay.

Here in the UK the leaden quality of the commentry has led to widespread rioting.


Mal
*****


Aug 13, 2011, 5:41 PM

Post #6 of 14 (27693 views)
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Unfortunately, the commentary is suffering a few glitches ..... maybe not quite enough to riot about, however, peace London.... Genney is a great match racer but has a lot to learn about multis, noting what a terrible mistake it was not to lee bow tack at a crossing. On the other hand, the big cats are new and they are learning at a good rate. It will only get better and there is always the trade off between trying to talk down to the non sailor while keeping the sailor's interest.

Over all, I think it's pretty good for now. Was that Peter Montgomery calling the match race on day 3? "Pulsating!" With my DSL and a heavy sailing week end, I'm only up to mid day 4.

I'm a rabid fan of the format and the boats but I think the jury still out on the spectacle Larry and Russel want.
Check Six .......Mal


wetabix
**

Aug 14, 2011, 12:50 PM

Post #7 of 14 (27660 views)
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I watched the replay of day five today. In match racing the start is one of the more interesting bits (some would say the only interesting bit) and in this format it only lasts two minutes. So what did the producer do during the ETNZ/Korea prestart? He cut to an inconsequential interview with Chris Draper in which the usual banalities were exchanged. Is there ANYone in this production team who understands the format?


Mal
*****


Aug 15, 2011, 11:06 AM

Post #8 of 14 (27634 views)
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In Reply To
I watched the replay of day five today. In match racing the start is one of the more interesting bits (some would say the only interesting bit) and in this format it only lasts two minutes. So what did the producer do during the ETNZ/Korea prestart? He cut to an inconsequential interview with Chris Draper in which the usual banalities were exchanged. Is there ANYone in this production team who understands the format?

Just got around to watching it. Pretty gross production error. The commentator was quite specific that he wanted to stay on the action with the picture but to do anything other than cover the start was a mistake. Though that one error was not indicative of the overall coverage, it does leave a lot to be desired. Virtual Eye has taken a step back but the superimposed course and history tracks are great. Those that would say the start was the only interesting bit either didn't watch the rest or would be comatose watching an IACC match.

What's with Kilometers per hour? Even European sailors use knots (don't they?). I suspect they are trying to appeal to the non sailor. KPH is more than knots so they likely feel that will be perceived as faster. Unknowing Americans will just think MPH so they too will think it's faster. Gratuitous groveling to the masses if you ask me.

Again the jury is still out as to the ability to draw in the non sailor but any thinking sailor that doesn't get it or is not impressed with the boats and format is indeed one of the three light bulb changers bragging about how good the old one was or a "Flintstone".
Check Six .......Mal


Mal
*****


Aug 15, 2011, 10:16 PM

Post #9 of 14 (27614 views)
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After catching up on the whole of the America's Cup World series, I can't imagine anyone thinking that the multihull decision was a bad one.
Check Six .......Mal


The Publisher
*****


Aug 16, 2011, 11:45 AM

Post #10 of 14 (27602 views)
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From Mal Emerson:
Congrats to Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand, they performed brilliantly throughout the week as did Spithill and Oracle 4. For as little experience as most of the other teams have on the AC 45, they performed admirably as well.

The boats aren't just fast, they are quite maneuverable for multi hulls and very physical to sail. The on board cameras and mics reveal the physical exertion required to sail them well. Good crew work is rewarded and mistakes punished heavily. Starts were rather multihull in nature for the fleet races yet looked quite similar to the monohulls in the match races. This was forced quite well by using a short reaching leg right after the start taking advantage of the fast acceleration these boats are capable of while minimizing the effect of wind shifts before the start.

Contrary to popular belief among many mono hull sailors, match racing in the multi's is, well .... match racing. In some ways it is different but every bit as complex and interesting to watch. Minor rule changes and the course boundaries give it the same flavor as the monohulls. All the elements and more are there; verything just happens faster.

Though the commentary and some of the graphics have a way to go; the visuals, camera work, audio and most of the production was superb. Particularly informative were the course boundaries and the boat tracks superimposed over the live picture of the race. The boats and format were shown very well indeed. I was entertained to say the least.

While there is no Ted Turner or even a Dennis Connor in the group; the athletes presented themselves well. I was really proud of the way they represented the sport. I know some will miss the blue blazers and white duck pants but the wet suits and helmets will just have to do.

Though the jury may still be out as to whether or not the event can draw the non sailor to view and become interested, there is absolutely no doubt that the America's Cup has returned to it's roots. Fleet racing, match racing and the fastest boats with the best sailors. For all the monohull sailors that don't get it, it is indeed your loss. It's all there, just at a much higher level.

I am a fan and already have a place to stay in Newport next June.


The Publisher
*****


Aug 16, 2011, 12:34 PM

Post #11 of 14 (27599 views)
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As noted (Scuttlebutt 3403) I was able to find the AC live channel on YouTube to watch the 'World Series'. By mid-series the AC web had a "Live" link (embedded youtube live stream) rather easily found, though on race days a big, impossible to miss 'live' button ought have been on the home page. Again beginning mid-series the full race day videos were uploaded to YouTube, but sadly you won't find them by clicking the 'Videos' tab on the AC web site.

While it was the three minute cycling (that seemed to diminish towards the end of the series) of "These lads are working hard with heart rates over....." that most irritated me, I reckon the announcers were 'encouraged' to push that, though to most it undoubtedly sounded like the announcers (AC) trying to convince themselves (itself) that this was a 'real sport' . Really, can you imagine such frequent declarations of that nature in baseball radio broadcasts (the sport mostly listened to by this butthead, often while sailing)? Also, while I understand the notion of explaining 'technical' terms, the notion is to explain them, not to replace them with less precise (and thus more confusing) terms. Education yea, the opposite (dumbing down) nae.

As to the non-sequitor attack found in Scuttlebutt 3405 by Matthew Fortune Reid, surely one could say the same about the Americas Cup Syndicate with very little editing: "The energy they are putting forth to keep the AC happening could be much better used to help needy people around the world, the state of California and their own neighborhoods. Too much money and free time leads to this kind of chest-thumping, over-righteous attitude." Methinks you protest too much....

To this butthead it seems reasonable to have concerns about an apparently imminent (if temporary) domain taking of the recently (and lovingly) renovated "Aquatic Park". Surely for such significant development on a shoreline, there ought be an expectation of minimizing environmental impact and sailors might be expected to be among those concerned. While undoubtedly somewhere there exists anti-AC sentiment couched in environmentalist' argument, the following statements simply do not indicate a radical attempt to derail the AC to me but rather a reasonable set of concerns by citizens who will live, work, and play on the bay long after the Americas Cup comes to town:
"To that end, the environmental groups may suggest the games be heavily staffed with monitors who will corral the crowds away from habitat areas, the construction of barriers, and good signage."

"She said the city could offer a low cost loan program to help boatyards make the investment in water quality infrastructure."

"The sewage system is also a problem along the Embarcadero, which is owned by the Port of San Francisco. If not upgraded to handle the extra load from the games, raw sewage could be flushed into the Bay, said Self."

Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/129ro)

Respectfully,
Ken Katz




The Publisher
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Aug 17, 2011, 7:15 AM

Post #12 of 14 (27499 views)
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From Mike Esposito:
The AC folks used the everywhere-but-the-U.S.-friendly km/h for their speed run gimmick, the Kiwis on top at 42.5 km/h. So letís translate that for us metric-repulsed Americans, that works out to a little less than 26.5 mph or almost 23 knots. Of course, we want sailing to sound MORE EXCITING, so letís call that 42,500 meters/hour, or even better, a bit over 139,000 feet/hour (why, thatís almost 1.7 million inches/hour!!!).

Over the August 6-7 weekend I visited Michigan City, Ind., where some go-fasts were zooming around. Talked to a guy with a twin-hulled (oooh Ö catamaran!) go-fast powered by marine-adapted big-block V-8s. He had been doing some test runs at 70+ knots (nearly 130 km/h) without putting it to the firewall. Iím just sayiníÖ.




onehullcat
**

Sep 12, 2011, 9:23 AM

Post #13 of 14 (26425 views)
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While 'knots' is making its way into the announcing from Plymouth, among the first words we heard when watching the first round (on replay - we had been out sailing) were 'their hearts must be beating over..." once again; it is now parody. I believe I have heard such physiological assessment maybe once or twice while watching the tour de france over the years, and then only during a beyound category climb or time trial. They sound like idiots trying so heard to push that. Perhaps the most ridiculous was on day 2 when the announcers kept pushing the notion that three fixed-wing catamaran capsizes (only one a catapault that we saw) means 'racing at the edge of AC45 ability': when they put that notion to Spithill afterwards, not once but twice, he - rightly- said 'No, nowhere near there'.





Mal
*****


Sep 22, 2011, 8:10 PM

Post #14 of 14 (26246 views)
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If you haven't seen the replay of ACWS day 7 in Plymouth, you owe it to yourself to do so; amazing sailing. This race really separated the experienced from the not so experienced. This and some of the light days in the series hi-lighted the versatility of the boats and the difficulty in sailing them well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-XAbVQUAo4
Check Six .......Mal


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