I understand consoling oneself with the thought that ETNZ was outspent and that it was LE's resources that made the critical difference. However until the real reasons for their defeat are understood and corrected, the team can't hope to shift to the winning track.
ETNZ had the resources for two AC72s, a full design team, shore team and sailing team. If they had had more money, would they have designed and built different boats? What features would these boats have had that they could not afford in the ones they did build? Was their shore team not up to the task of maintaining the boats and implementing modifications? Were there changes they would have made but just couldn't pay for? Would having more money have let them hire a different skipper and a better tactician? Who would they have had in those positions if only they could have afforded them?
If it had been ETNZ that were 1-8 down with a slow boat that had lots of untapped potential, would they have had the leadership and ability to bring it back in the way ORTUSA did however much money they had? Does anyone really think LE showed up one night with suitcases containing $50 million in cash shouting "Make it all better. Here's the money."?
ORTUSA's turn around was the result of hard thinking coupled with the leadership qualities of judgment, decisiveness and responsibility for the outcome. There were many diverse opinions of what needed to be done. Someone had to figure it out, prioritize changes and get them implemented and be prepared to be wrong. That's what a CEO does. He doesn't spend his time grinding on the boat, however much he thinks it's motivating to the team.
I understand this might not be a popular view, but I think it would be a good move for Grant Dalton to step aside or, failing that, be nudged out.
Let's look at the raw facts. Since he became MD 10 years ago, ETNZ has not succeeded in 3 tries at winning the AC. The team has come close with multiple LV Cup wins but has never closed the deal. Despite a valiant effort, ETNZ's run at the Volvo came up similarly short. This is not owing to lack of the human resources necessary to win nor, despite his incessant complaining, lack of funding. The team has spent well in excess of $500 million over this period. That's not chump change!
So why is this the case? Grant is a tough, solid, decent guy. He is not smart enough to be what is in effect the CEO of a major enterprise. Leadership is certainly about personal qualities but, as Churchill said: "It is a fine thing to be consistent and loyal. It is also very important to be right."
The team needs to bring onboard someone who has the intellectual horsepower to capitalize on the assets NZ can bring to the table. As was brought up in another thread, Coutts wouldn't be a bad choice.
Incredible series of races OR has put together the last few days. Hell of a job.
Disgrace that the result might be affected by an arbitrary and unprecedented decision inflicted on the team by an IJ with no notion of sensible jurisprudence. Fire up the lawyers Larry. Unless you lose the next race.