AC 34 - What If? - Page 17 - SailNet Community

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  #161  
Old 09-25-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

ETNZ did improve during the finals. Apparently their tacking speed minimum was dropping down to 9 knots, but at the end was up to 14 knots.
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  #162  
Old 09-25-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Knight View Post
It is obvious that ETNZ went into the regatta with a boat "fully loaded" with no more technical improvements to be made and had to rely on crew work--While OTUSA had the computer controlled foiling system still to perfect early on and perfect it they did as evidenced by the vastly improved upwind speed in the most recent races while ETNZ could only battle on with their manually operated foiling system.--Let us not forget that the unkind wind gods in two earlier races quite possibly robbed ETNZ of two wins which would have got them to nine a week ago.--Congratulations to OTUSA on their win and thanks to both teams for giving us some spectacular yacht racing which has been such fun to watch.
White - that really is the most heart-breaking part of this outcome. The fact that the Kiwis had that light-wind race sewn up, but were just 5 minutes or so too slow. I just really feel for Deano. You guys give him and the boys a helluva homecoming. They deserve it.
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  #163  
Old 09-25-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

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Originally Posted by White Knight View Post
Let us not forget that the unkind wind gods in two earlier races quite possibly robbed ETNZ of two wins which would have got them to nine a week ago.
Racing has rules. It's the same for everyone. No one was robbed.

That being said, I was pulling for you guys. Hopefully the team will receive a warm welcome back home. Dean and crew put on one hell of a challenge. Nothing to be ashamed of. These cats are crazy. Just imagine what it's like to drive one!

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  #164  
Old 09-26-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Knight View Post
It is obvious that ETNZ went into the regatta with a boat "fully loaded" with no more technical improvements to be made and had to rely on crew work--While OTUSA had the computer controlled foiling system still to perfect early on and perfect it they did as evidenced by the vastly improved upwind speed in the most recent races while ETNZ could only battle on with their manually operated foiling system.--Let us not forget that the unkind wind gods in two earlier races quite possibly robbed ETNZ of two wins which would have got them to nine a week ago.--Congratulations to OTUSA on their win and thanks to both teams for giving us some spectacular yacht racing which has been such fun to watch.
Very good points.

I must admit that when I began to watch the finals, I was pretty disgusted with both Catamarans and Larry Ellison. To make things worse, Oracle had lost the first two races, and it looked like ETNZ was going to run away with it.

As I watched, however, I became fascinated by the speed of those boats, and the beautiful backdrop in which this was taking place. On the humorous side, I was also grateful that I don't need to wear a crash helmet when I go out.

As Oracle began to win race after race, in spite of the hole they had dug for themselves, I admired them for not quitting. I began to hope they would make it a regatta.

By Sunday, I had realized that both boats and crews were evenly matched. The contest would come down to small steps.

By today, I realized that this was enjoyable to watch.

So Knight, congrats to you for being a graceful sportsman.

Also, congrats to ETNZ. They have nothing to be ashamed of.

And congrats to Oracle, for demonstrating that one should never give up!

Finally, congrats to both crews, for putting on a show they can all be proud of.
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  #165  
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

As one of the few Kiwis here I offer OR my congratulations. For whatever reason they improved in the last week or so.
As for ETNZ well as an armchair sailor I say that you creamed it at first, and when it reversed for whatever reason, you hung in there.
Dean, no-one appreciates more than you the what ifs and the if onlys. However, you gave it your best shot at the time on the day, and rattled their dags The whole series would have been much the lesser without ETNZ. But it is a game and as such we take it on the chin and congratulate the winners. Whether or not it is worth persisting with this professional, "national", rich man's, and racing addicts vanity is another issue
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  #166  
Old 09-26-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

As another Kiwi here, the performance of OTUSA was nothing short of remarkable. Their boat just got better and better and the positivity of Spithill is legendary. He never lost the belief that they could win and he just kept going. Amazing.

And Barker and the boys? Well, they started with the best boat and it just got relatively slower. How did that happen? Who knows, it just did.

But as Kiwis we have a lot to be proud of. We staffed all the teams to a greater or lesser degree. We designed and built the boat that Luna Rossa used. We built much of the boat that Oracle raced. We conceptualised the foiling AC72. And on a limited budget we brought a world class challenge to the table. Nothing embarrassing about that.

My only enduring hope is that this is not the end of ETNZ. Our Prime Minister was heard to comment in New York today that he was not ruling out another contribution to the next adventure. And when one thinks of the coverage/exposure the sponsors got from ETNZ, there's no reason to believe they'll be running for cover either.

Congratulations OTUSA, you served up a racing delight that will be remembered for a long time.
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  #167  
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

Amazing series. Regardless of all the controversy this past year, I don't know anyone that didn't find it to be more engaging than expected. Unquestionably, it was one of, if not the, greatest comeback in sports.

Unfortunately, outside a tight circle of sailors, the general public in the US wasn't even aware of it. Still aren't.

I remain very conflicted in so many ways. I've made it clear that I think Ellison is a bad actor. His team cheated, he drove the cost so high that entire countries couldn't compete and by pushing beyond the edge of technology, someone died. The true definition of the bleeding edge. It is all at his feet and I believe he can't see behind the trophy.

Nevertheless, I am extraordinarily impressed by OTUSA's performance. They did it all from improve the boat to sail well, amidst the most overwhelming odds. I thought Spithill almost lost most of his credibility among the team scandals and the opening failures. However, that comeback will put him among the greatest AC skippers of all time.

Barker remains a class act. In many ways, I'm even more impressed. I fear he won't dwell on the races that timed out as much as the numerous penalties that were all avoidable. He seems like a fella that doesn't deserve that fate.

I'm very happy that the Cup race will stay in the US, though disappointed that Ellison will keep it. I'm still curious if more of the cheating scandal is primed to bite him after the fact. If he were banned, I wonder if the club still gets to offer a defender through a different member?

I hope they tone down the risk to the crew, but keep the boats relatively fast. I could not tell the difference between 30 knots and 45 knots on TV. I would actually prefer to see them sail various courses and conditions, rather than what amounted to 19 versions nearly identical. I only recall one race that made any real use of the gennaker. Offshore, inshore, heavy air, light air, start upwind, start downwind. That's a test. Newport is, in fact, well suited. In hindsight, who can't sail the same course every day in plenty of wind that came from the same general direction?

I'm already looking forward to the next one.
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  #168  
Old 09-26-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

Well said, Minne.

I think the trend to the ultra expensive - you can't afford to compete - will ultimately hurt the event. Dial it back, keep the 'cool' foiling cats but smaller, and ultimately I'd like to see a more nationalistic base to the make up of the crews and designers.

It will never be a true one-design, and that's not the intent anyway.

Not sure we'll ever see the big foiling cats trying to play in open water, though!
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  #169  
Old 09-26-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_gee View Post
The whole series would have been much the lesser without ETNZ.
Oracle would have never been pushed to where they were without ETNZ. Your guys forced Oracle to get better or get creamed, and they did for a while. I'll never forget the beating Oracle took in the first half of the series. That was quite a lesson.

It's interesting, after reading the article from the newspaper I still have from the '83 Cup, I kept thinking about a comment where Australia was saying it was Connor who taught them how to be better sailors. The best make everyone else get better.

Looking back, it was the upwind leg where most races were won. Maybe every race, I didn't see them all. That made me wonder if sailing these cats upwind had a much higher learning curve than downwind.
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  #170  
Old 09-26-2013
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Pivotal Point - Going Forward

I think with the unbelievable come from behind win, interest in sailing has increased not only amongst sailors, but also the general public, at least my perception in the US. Several folks in my office ask me about the race everyday and what's going one.

This is pivot point with AC , Elisson, and team. They can either make it a more costly race and therefore less participants, which will mean less interest or scale back and make it more "affordable", allowing more teams to compete.

I think everyone realizes that the "old 12 M" design is done. Not fast enough anymore. Everyone wants speed. However, the Volvo OC70 boat or type of boat, could be just as exciting to watch in the right conditions, and probably less costly to build. The basic design is already there.

I thought SF was great venue to have the race in. Newport/Buzzards Bay could also be a spot, but where ever, one would need consistent wind and good viewing points.

As Minnewaska says, instead of the standard same course each day, mix it up. It would be cool to see a true downwind start, a triangle course, etc. I do like the shorter, multiple race/day format.
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