Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Auckland New Zealand
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Re: AC 34 - What If?
There are a few of these threads running so forgive me if I repeat.
As far as I understand it, OTUSA decided to campaign their slower boat because it was more stable. Now they may have done that because their "rookie" mainsail trimmer was not skilled enough to guarantee that he wouldn't serve up a nosedive.
So where is the mainsail trimmer that sailed on the Ben Ainslee boat? If their current mainsail trimmer is not him then where is he? If it is him, why is he struggling to get things right? He didn't appear to have a problem keeping up during their testing/training.
Have they got their slower boat? It would seem so. But where is the logic? If you are being beaten on speed what is the point of being stable? If you're up there with speed and competing, then the stability is an issue but if it can be controlled then it has to be the first choice. Seems to me that was OTUSA's first error and as it happens it is critical.
So IMHO if they chose their slower boat then one should not wonder that they're being beaten. And ETNZ should not have to be embarrassed about beating them. As Julie says, everyone was surprised that ETNZ was quicker - seems even OTUSA never considered that a possibility - if they did they would never had opted for the slower boat.
There were also clear signs that OTUSA were not sailing well. Example: when rounding the top mark ETNZ were already foiling at 40 kn+ as they rounded. If you can watch that part of the race again, see how OTUSA had their leeward hull firmly buried on the water until they were effectively around the mark. Only then did they get up on the foil. That alone would cost them 100yds.
And their starting was not up to Barker's standard. Especially on the second start, Spithill had every opportunity to get to weather of Barker and give him dirty air to start in - he deliberately chose not to. WTH?? Then he compromised his boat speed to try and get a penalty on ETNZ and payed the price.
I could go on but then this post will get long enough not to be read. Suffice it to say that ETNZ may well go to 9-zip. It's not their fault.
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