AC 34 - What If? - Page 9 - SailNet Community
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post #81 of 191 Old 09-15-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

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Who said OTUSA was slower upwind?
I think both teams have.
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

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Still, I think ETNZ lost the race today more than Oracle won it! Whatever happened to cause the near capsize took them out of the race.
During that incident they were yelling "hydro! hydro!" Barker later said the boat tacked but the wing didn't. I think what happened was the wing didn't have enough hydraulic power to tack (change its shape) and they were yelling at the grinders to grind harder to build up the hydraulic pressure so they could tack the wing. Whatever the case, they sure rode the razor's edge long enough!

During the after-race commentary, I thought I heard one of the commentators mention the possibility of ETNZ losing the Cup if their boat had actually capsized and was damaged. Maybe that near capsize was why the race committee cancelled the 2nd race as soon as they did.
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post #83 of 191 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

Yeah for whatever reason they didn't have enough hydraulic power to pop the wing onto the new tack. Whether it was a mechanical problem or one or more of their grinders wasn't getting it done I don't know. They didn't seem to be scrambling to do repairs between races so perhaps it was a rare and near disastrous crew error.

I think the rules around maximum wind speed and when a race gets called are pretty well set in stone. There is no room for judgement calls on the part of the RC.

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post #84 of 191 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

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Really! Oracle is getting hammered on the beat all the time. They really didn't have any real sail handling problems and did pretty much the same route as ETNZ and still were trounced upwind.
By now everyone will know that Oracle are back and whilst they seem to have revolutionised their boat, they are also sailing it much better.

And whilst they have only made one dramatic mistake (foiling tack? yeah of course) their tacking has been tardy all along until now with boat speeds dropping to 8kn in the tack. Suddenly they're tacking better that ETNZ some of the time with some tacks holding 15 knots through the turn and some legs fully foiling at 34 knots upwind.

Like they say, it ain't over till it's over. We have just watched two of the best match races I've witnessed in years with two boats having closing speeds of up to 60 knots!! Breathtaking.

I reckon from now on there will be a lot of excellent sailing but unless ETNZ screw up real bad (and they've shown that they can - a degree from disaster ) they only have to win one race in three to take the cup. So whilst my optimism has been seriously knocked, I'm still quietly confident that I'll be watching the next AC from the decks of my own boat.

Just a perspective of where we are at this time - ETNZ have to win 2 more and OTUSA have to win another 8. That's a tough ask.


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post #85 of 191 Old 09-16-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

I find myself wondering if Oracle has looked better because the increased winds keep them up on tacks. In races they have lost, both pontoons were in the water during tacks and they lost a lot of speed. Emirates didn't seem to have that problem.

Spithill made one judgement error that took them out of race two yesterday. I'm no pro but when I saw him drop back rather than challenge Emirates, I thought, "Oh, No!" The commentators didn't seem to have quite the reaction though.

I'd like to see average wind speeds for each race and compare that to who won. I'm thinking somewhere around 15+ knots is what Oracle needs to stay competitive. The entire crew just seems to work better when the winds are up. And that's the only time they have won so far.
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post #86 of 191 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

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Suddenly they're tacking better
I think they have been given the ability to tack better through boat modifications and the ebb tide. As I said previously I don't think the crew difference was great enough for the results we had been seeing.

The racing was great yesterday and I would like to see a very competitive AC but have ETNZ hold on.
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post #87 of 191 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

Honestly, I think most of it comes down to one thing: all-in-all Dean is a better driver than Jimmy. He wins almost every start, he typically keeps Jimmy boxed in on the course, and (near-capsize notwithstanding) when he does make an aggressive move, it typically pays off - where Jimmy is just being too aggressive too late, making mistakes virtually every time.

OR has definitely improved...but not enough to win the string of races they need to win to stay in it. NZ will have to have serious screw-ups to lose this (like the near-capsize). But I just don't see Dean making too many of those.


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post #88 of 191 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

Driving, trimming, tactics, aggressive decisions, boat design, etc. What are we getting for the billions invested? These are the same fundamentals since the first race. They just go faster. Now that I've watch this many races, the speed isn't all that thrilling anymore, nor even all that noticeable from a distance. I keep telling myself how incredible it must be to be sailing at 40 kts, but it doesn't look like it from afar.

I also think that helmets and sunglasses make even the players whose faces I would recognize become indistinguishable.


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Re: AC 34 - What If?

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Driving, trimming, tactics, aggressive decisions, boat design, etc. What are we getting for the billions invested? These are the same fundamentals since the first race. They just go faster. Now that I've watch this many races, the speed isn't all that thrilling anymore, nor even all that noticeable from a distance. I keep telling myself how incredible it must be to be sailing at 40 kts, but it doesn't look like it from afar.

I also think that helmets and sunglasses make even the players whose faces I would recognize become indistinguishable.
I disagree, I think the speed is incredibly thrilling. The crosses, quick moves, and near misses at 40+ knots are finally making yacht racing exciting. It's really amplifying the little mistakes much more than you'd see in the old mono racing...and making it compelling for a wider audience.

I still think this is the right direction for the AC. If they abandon foiling multis, they're fools.


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Re: AC 34 - What If?

As I watch the sailing world warm up (sort of) to the AC72s, I wonder what the pressure will be for the next AC to do something jaw dropping. Can you really go back to slower boats after this and not lose fans? Is there any place in NZ that has the consistent winds SF Bay does? This might be hard to top.
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