They are still favourites amongst the challenger series although they will face a strong challenge in Landrover BAR with Artemis and the others the dark horses
This is what I cannot understand. Why would ETNZ and BAR start as favorites? There seems to be some blind faith going on. While it is impossible to know until the boats line up to know, we can at least make some intelligent guesses. Take BAR. They arrived in Bermuda full of confidence with no hint of any issues but when they lined up against the other boats there, they were well off the pace and had hydraulic issues. Those are facts. With all the top teams having the same amount of time and resources, why would anybody bet on BAR leapfrogging the teams that have so soundly beaten them? The "sandbagging" talk is just that. BAR were so bad they were unable to complete many of the races, because not only were they well behind, but they ran out of hydraulics. Because of that they learnt nothing other than they couldn't compete with the set up they had. That rather defeats the purpose of racing the others. If you were sandbagging, you would race around closely so as to be able to gauge the others but without showing your hand. Unfortunately, there is no logical reason to favour BAR over either Artemis or SBTF.
Until ETNZ arrive in Bermuda, nobody has any idea how quick they are, so all you can do is judge their chances on how their campaign is going and it is not going as well as others. They were very late in getting a surrogate on the water, they then had to strip the surrogate to build the 50, losing a lot of sailing time compared with others (except TF). Their 50 was probably late in launching and after a few sails, needed 9 days in the shed. Even now, they aren't sailing as regularly as some think they should. ETNZ also has no boat to train against, while others do. In total, they will have done something like half the amount of sailing this year as the other teams. Based on these facts alone, it is hard to have faith, but obviously, there is a chance that they have designed a world beater. The question is why, other than because of blind faith, you would conclude that they have a world beater. BAR thought that.
If I was forced to place a bet on a challenger, i would be looking to the one who has spent the most time on the water, who has a gun tune up boat, who was the best in the ACWS during 2016 and who was the best in the informal racing last month. To me, that is a pretty formidable combination of facts to base a bet on as I am not sure what other factors i should look at. I will leave others to work out which team that was.
TNZ have done this a few times now, so I guess they just might might know the advs and disadvs.
The last time a GBR did this was...........................White Crusader(?).
What happened, are you losing confidence in your one man team?