View Full Version : Americas cup problems.

John B
02-16-2003, 03:11 PM
We aren't winning it.
Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Yesterday we had the small TV outside in the sun for the afternoon waiting for the start and bolted in to watch it at the 10 min gun. 7 adults and mmmmm 8 kids floating around.
We have a whole nation in mourning now and one of our own is doing it to us . Man..... Talk about just plain outsailing , outsmarting.

Here's some of the comments made by various experts close to the media here including some rather important sailmakers apparently.
NZ MPS was wrong for that breeze. Even Our little bunch kept commenting on that set.Remember the peel set Alinghi did? smaller more efficient kite.
Where was the TNZ staysail?we wanted to know that as well.
Here's what I want to know. If matchracing 101 is cover your man, but you have a straight line to the mark, when do you stop covering. I watched them chuck 100metres away on an unecessary tack ( according to the TV laylines so I'll stand corrected if thats wrong.)
A little titbit on the news this morning was that in the prestart on Saturday ( 1st race )NZ did a sharp turn in the chop and got swamped with a few tons of water in through the counter when the boat was semi stalled. explains a lot I spose. I was sceptical at first but it appears that as much as 6 tons of water came aboard sinking the boat perhaps 100 mm lower than it should be. The extra loadings must have been phenomenal.
My bet is we'll see the next generation boats complete the evolution back to full counter sterns with closed off transoms and some aft decking. And some side decking for that matter.

[ 02-16-2003, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: John B ]

02-16-2003, 03:25 PM
I can't believe New Zealanders are badmouthing the Alinghi crew, who won the second race through superior yachting. They're ALL local boys! Whose bright idea was it to be sour about that? This should be a source of national pride!

[ 02-16-2003, 03:44 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]

02-16-2003, 03:57 PM
John B, my daughter and I watched the race with great interest, though she was most interested in all the strange groaning noises that the boats make. Made a good chance to do a quick physics of loads riff. She ducked in and out to check on the race. At least the second race was on, rather than blown apart due to equipment failure. It looked for about half the race as though the Alinghi spinaker would fail, but they again caught good luck as well as good strategy. Quite a saga with the brains of the "Swiss" boat being New Zealanders. I can imagine that is a bit sensitive for you guys but we don't hear the background of this controversy. We're rooting for you in Philly, no matter how much the Europeans want to host the next one. Go New Zealand!

John B
02-16-2003, 06:53 PM
There's a difference between badmouthing and supporting your home team Rocky. I said they outsailed and outsmarted didn't I.
they are superb sailors sailing for another national team. They don't have much support here but I suppose there is still some reflected glory. Nevertheless they seek to remove the cup and it's economic/ tourism/ kudos advantages from this country. It's a shame. while this competition is on ,they are the other team. I don't see a problem with that. Most people like to support national or regional teams. It's sport.

02-16-2003, 07:28 PM
John B and other friends from New Zealand, I just had a call from my husband who made it all the way from Philadelphia (east coast of US) to Christchurch about an hour ago. He is ecstatic to fulfill his dream of getting to New Zealand and has already had his first meeting with the scientists in the lab where he will be working for the next 6 weeks. I gave him more updates about the AC series so he is primed to watch NZ coverage and participate in lab discussions. He said the AC had already come up so it's really on peoples' minds. Even if he is on the wrong island to see the races in person, he is looking forward to all the boat talk. He was off happily to walk around Christchurch to get the lay of the land.

Wild Wassa
02-16-2003, 08:07 PM
Can someone in New Zealand tell Barker about wind shadows and disturbed air, before tomorrow. The mistakes were just like a school kids. To give yesterday's race away, was so basic. I feel sorry for the crew, is it too late for the TNZ syndicate to purchase Coutts for tomorrow ?, ... buy him back ! That's the difference.

The idea of covering is to cover not to put the boat into a no win situation (at the first gybe after the weather mark), and then to allow the lateral seperation to close, what was he expecting, he failed to gybe then, or even to just maintain the seperation. Silver Fern was leading by 120m/delta of 25 secs when the gybe took place. To not jump high when they were rolled after the second gybe, because to pass Alinghi, Barker had no option but to go through, a shadow and disturbed air. It was as if he had admitted defeat, he saw what Coutts did to him, he was exactly in the same position, and just didn't try.

What was Barker expecting to happen, gear failure on Alinghi ?

Staying low once he was rolled admitted defeat. When Barker finally decided to go high he went far too high, too much lateral seperation this time, Coutts stole another boat length and broke the shadow. Barker helped break the shadow, that was the situation to cover, but it was too late then.

Keeping clear doesn't have to be as much as 40m. Coutts sailed out of Barker's shadow, but Barker sat in Coutts shadow and disturbed air for what seemed an eternity during the last leg.

I've got the feeling that Barker is sailing to the data not sailing as a sailor. There are times to sprint and times to match race. I also notice that Barker overstands the mark a lot. That's not the sign of a sailor who's confident. Up to the 5th mark, they had sailed well, apart for giving away a bit of time.


ps, If this had happened during a horse race, the stewards would have held an enquiry.

[ 02-16-2003, 10:12 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

John B
02-16-2003, 10:47 PM
This overlaying the mark is what I'm on about too I spose. Every metre past is a metre lost. why do they do it ?. I know they want an easy wide parabola to turn but ........

TNZ won the tacking duels!... that's good. that's a good thing. Go boys go. ( breaks into Monty Python " always look on the bright side of life")

Johannah, glad your husband has got there. Christchurch is a beautiful place. I lived there for 3 years or so. Tell him to get to Akaroa Hbr sometime too. About a hour trip south I think. It was a French settlement.I kid you not. Interesting history in the place.

Wild Wassa
02-17-2003, 12:45 AM
John, it's creating insurance I think, incase an adverse shift comes. I'm only guessing here, they must have target angles, but each of the Skipper's target angles vary. I've watched many a layline swing in your Gulf, on VS, the GPS coverage. So their target angles are overstood often. The swing is most often to the downwind. Nearly every tack or gybe is overstood. Have you noticed how often they create a sweeping arc to drop back on to the layline and how they add extra distance. What's wrong with the old 'the shortest distance between two points is a straight line' and one of the points is called the mark. Also what is really evident is the number of times they will hold a lost tack, effectively bearing away, when to tack back, will give a real advantage in saved distance, without loosing a tactical advantage. I would have thought that the instrumentation would give the Skipper and tactician so much accuracy and confidence.

Very rarely have I seen real tactical advantages pushed, that's the reason why I say that I think the Skippers are sprinting not match racing. That's coming from the instrumentation, and from the forwarning of the support boats on the course.

Alinghi generally tacks or gybes short of the layline, always saving distance. I don't notice Alinghi tacking back because she has come up short. If she does come up short she arcs into the mark, saving more distance.

Each of the Skippers, so far has had such a different style as sailors. Alinghi's Skipper is the 'distance miser' and sticks to the centre of the course more than the other Skippers to date.

I've watched all the races from the first round robin in the LVC at least twice, some races in sections, some on double time, some races (more) often. That must be close to 200+ races by now. I'm keen.

The race that stands out as the prefect race, to me so far was when Da Dephi Areva beat Mascalzone Latino. Not one angle was wasteful. I will not forget yesterday's race though.

That first gybe after the weather mark, on the run to the line meant that Silver Fern could not accelerate without putting the boat into a serious wind shadow, and when Coutts closed the lateral seperation, one metre at a time, the disturbed air was going to crucify Barker, and then did it again. The second time was the 'coup de grace'.

Coutts out hustled Barker. Barker only had to sprint. Covering was not the response. I wonder how many times the crew have read yesterday's data. It must seem like a nightmare.

[ 02-17-2003, 02:01 AM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

02-17-2003, 07:20 AM
Warren, I just wish we could watch the races with you doing commentary in real time. The guys on the TV are not useless but they made few of the points you have. Why not call up and volunteer? :D

Wild Wassa
02-17-2003, 01:12 PM
Jo, Cheers Mate. My favourite show on TV is called 'Nine Lives' it has a big segment on the 18ft skiff swearing, these guys cut through the big boat mystique. Plus the America's Cup only has a 'G' rating, not one with adult themes and low level violence like skiff racing, which I would be more suited to.


[ 02-17-2003, 02:12 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

John B
02-17-2003, 02:59 PM
I've only ever sen the skiff racing on TV once. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Jinking around the front of keel yachts out for a cruise or racing another race!!! talk about exhilarating!

[ 02-17-2003, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: John B ]

02-17-2003, 03:12 PM
If this has heppened during a horse race the stewards would have held an inquiry.Why is that?

[ 02-17-2003, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]

Wild Wassa
02-17-2003, 03:38 PM
Rocky, If a jockey showed that level of incompetence during a horse race he would be expected to account for his actions to the race stewards. In Australia any example of incompetence on a race course must be justified and well explained as a reasonable action, when betting is involved.

In Australia the stewards would then go over all the bookmakers books looking for any irregularities in the betting.

To sit in a wind shadow and then disturbed air for so long I still can't fathom. It is one of the first thing one learns as a sailor to avoid.

Today is a new day, and I wish Silver Fern the very best for today's race.


[ 02-17-2003, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

02-17-2003, 04:31 PM
Warren, how's the guy who subbed for you in the skiff and banged his bean?

02-17-2003, 05:16 PM
That bad, eh? Learning something here. Are you saying Barker was too timid to blast through Coutt's shadow?

[ 02-17-2003, 05:19 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]

Wild Wassa
02-17-2003, 06:36 PM
Joe, it wasn't in a racing skiff, it was in a Corsair. Our usual mount a Seafly, is a bit of a handfull for a light weight crew. They would struggle to bring her backup if they went over, so they changed boats. It happened just before the start of race 1. They went back to the beach, the Skipper missed both races on Saturday. It must of been a real hard wack. He didn't loose consciousness thank goodness. I hear that he is OK.

Rocky, in a wind shadow you don't have the wind to accelerate, and burst through the shadow. You need to sail into clean air. Coutts did, broke from the shadow when it happened to him, ... within a second. Barker sat there for minutes and lost over 100 metres advantage.

[ 02-17-2003, 06:39 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

John B
02-17-2003, 07:08 PM
about 12 knots.. should be racing in 15 minutes

5 min gun now

[ 02-17-2003, 07:19 PM: Message edited by: John B ]

02-17-2003, 07:21 PM
Oh, right, of course. Wish I'd taped the race so I could watch it again after your comments. In fact I'm gonna tape this one, read your comments, and THEN watch it.

[ 02-17-2003, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]