Thursday, 19 September 2013


Team NZL won race 11 and is now 1 point away from claiming the Cup.
It was again nerve wrecking and nail biting stuff for the Kiwi fans.
Incredible how close these boats are in performance.
Dean won the start, he had a plan and executed it very very well. Gone is the cautious Dean, he is the man to beat now.

After a small lead after Mark 1 and Mark 2 the two boats engage in a fantastic tacking duel in which ETNZ kept the upper hand. By keeping Oracle left, ETNZ prevented Oracle from gaining any momentum on them.
The last downwind must have been nerve wrecking onboard ETNZ as Oracle was gaining fast, as they were sailing much deeper than ETNZ due to a windshift and slightly more favorable current.  ETNZ managed to just cross in front of Oracle and did an excellent defense from there on.

Boat speeds were quite similar. ETNZ found some extra speed upwind and despite the difference in design concept the boats are quite even. Differences in speed sre probably caused by small changes in board and winglet rake and nothing else.
Oracle looks a bit more stable on the foils, but ETNZ looked also more stable than in race 9 where they had quite a bumpy ride downwind.

I am deeply impressed by both teams. They both perform so well under pressure and do keep their cool.
Neither team is flawless, but that is also against the nature of the beast they need to tame all the time.

yes the windlimit sucks as I wrote before. A windlimit under 24 kts ridicules the sport. The AC is criticized alot (Sailing Anarchy). I share a lot of criticism but no one can deny that the main course (AC itself) is the best sailing we ever saw. Amazing boats, superb sailing, 3D sailing as breakthrough, close racing etc.
Past events were not better and racing has been closer than ever before (In the AC not the LVC).

I cannot imagine that ETNZ will go back to monos the next event. Grant Dalton sailed on the beast himself and I cannot imagine that he ever wants to go back to slow boating again.

The best thing would be n ACWS with foiling 45 foot  cats and an AC with 60 foot cats.
New team must be able to buy ETNZ design package for  a reasonable (read small) amount so they do not have to play catch up.
The AC60 rule should be less restrictive and more box rule. Active  foils allowed plus a certain amount of stored energy. If the rule is that open we will see boats which are smaller, cheaper and faster than the AC72.

Smaller boats will be easier to handle to cheaper to build and have less cost for logistics. I do not expect it to become cheaper though. The top teams will still spend over 100 million dollars, just because they can.

It is quite special to see ETNZ having a 100 million budget with 4,4 million inhabitants. If Oracle/team USA would spend 25 dollars per capita they could spend 5-6  billion dollars on the project!

This AC is a  success due to the fantastic boats and the two topteams.
This AC is a failure because it could not make itself commercially viable for the smaller teams, which was the intent by the organizers. The ACWS just did not attract enough audience and media attention. I do not see how you can that make happen anyway. The AC will keep to be dependent on billionaires, just like in the old days.

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