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Macintosh SSD:Users:davidsalter:Desktop:Race 6 1983.jpg

 

So that’s that for another three years. New Zealand retains the America’s Cup 7-3. Yet apart from the excruciating – and ultimately unfair – Race 8, and the desperately lucky (for NZ) Race 9, the contest tended towards the monotonous, predictable, even anticlimactic. The faster boat won, as it always has since 1970.

(“Unfair” because the Kiwi splashdown was a clear error of commission – they gybed into the backwind of the Italians while Luna Rossa came off their foils later in that race only because the breeze had momentarily disappeared. And “lucky” in  Race 9 because textbook tactics from the Italians handed the Kiwis an undeserved winning 20% lift.)

The short, narrow courses with boundaries designed for television limited tactical options. There was no room to take a “flyer” or hang on to a favorable shift. Meanwhile, the Hauraki Gulf failed to deliver the expected stiff breezes, so the boats rarely hit anything approaching their maximum speeds.  

For the most part, watching eight of these ten races provided little more than a quick sugar hit. There were, at best, 90 seconds of genuine excitement in the pre-start, a few minutes of mild anticipation to confirm that the boat that won the start would lead at the first mark, then a five-leg procession in which there were no passes and the only real interest was to check the gap and compare VMGs and boat speeds.  

Perhaps realizing that these wham-bang-thank-you-m’am encounters lacked real drama the commentators and pundits pumped up the hype and rushed to declare the ‘return of match racing’ in Auckland, or speculate about hypothetical ‘passing lanes’. Both were in regrettably short supply. 

Back when AC boats kept their hulls in the water the pre-start dogfights could last up to ten minutes and made riveting viewing. Hitting the line on ‘zero’ was largely irrelevant. It was tough, aggressive, hand-to-hand combat. Circling, luffing, false tacks, bearing away – they used tactical flair, sheer sailing skill and every trick in the rule-book to gain an advantage.

Comparisons can be odious, but there are many other factors from the history of the America’s Cup that, considered against the series just concluded, might help explain why the AC36 racing at times seemed so alien to the fundamentals of the event.

Let’s take the 1983 challenge, Australia II v Liberty, as our base line. It was the last to be sailed at Newport and the second-last to be sailed in 12 metres. Here are a few ‘then and now’ comparisons:

*  In 1983 the 12 metres displaced around 23 tons and sailed at 8 knots. The boats were almost always in dueling contact. The foiling monomarans in Auckland weighed around 7.5 tons and could do 50 knots. Those high speeds multiply differences, so a small lead blew out to 500 metres or more very quickly. 

*  The course in Newport was 24.3 miles, including a triangle. Every point of sailing was tested, as was the stamina and concentration of the crews. The courses in Auckland were windward/leeward only, and around 10 miles in length. It was impossible, at a glance, to tell whether the AC75s were sailing uphill or downhill.

*  The average elapsed time in Newport was roughly 4 hours, with a time limit of 5 hours and 15 minutes. Mistakes could be corrected, gear failures overcome. The races in Auckland took between 25 and 40 minutes to complete – one eighth of the time. Losing the start, even by a few seconds, was usually fatal.

More significant than those stark physical contrasts are the different styles of racing. 

Until the carbon multihulls took over the Cup, all boats sailed with poled spinnakers. This added a significant tactical dimension and put a premium on crew work. One botched gybe could cost a race; a perfect delayed drop and mark rounding might win one. Each maneuver was a crucial – and visible – test of teamwork and skill.

In Auckland, eight of the eleven crew in the AC75s spent their race below gunnel level, heads down, just grinding. They were proxy engines, and rarely, if ever, touched a line or control. Sail trim was a matter of inches. To television viewers it is was if the jib and main were kept sheeted on hard for the entire race. Helming was like steering a car.

The closeness in performance of the 12 metres encouraged epic boat-on-boat battles. It was not uncommon for them to throw 30 tacks at each other on a single upwind leg. Yet in the third race in 1983 Liberty and Australia II stayed on the same tack for 22 minutes, each daring the other to break away. Multiple lead changes and come-from-behind wins were not exceptional 30 years ago. The tension for spectators was exquisite.

This year, during one sequence of 14 Prada Cup races in Auckland, the lead never changed over the 84 legs sailed – except once, when the American Magic capsize let Luna Rossa through. Then, during the Cup itself, there were just two or three genuine passes in the 59 legs sailed. It was difficult to get excited by those repetitive processions. One small mistake and it was usually game over.

None of this is to say that the event in New Zealand wasn’t worth watching. It was the America’s Cup, after all, even if – bizarrely – the worst mistake a crew could make was to actually let their ‘boat’ touch the water.

Perhaps the most revealing aspect to emerge from the series, at least for me, was that sheer speed doesn’t matter. It’s the differential that counts. Close racing is just as engrossing at 5 knots as it is at 40. All those hundreds of millions of dollars spent developing foiling monomarans might have kept a lot of sailing folk in work but it delivered no real extra value to the event. Watching boats duel at 30 knots quickly became unremarkable. 

And if it showed us anything, this competition between two low-flying seaplanes demonstrated that the pinnacle of sailing now has virtually no practical connection with what most of us know as ‘yacht racing’. Nor is it likely to have popularized the sport. The general public, if they were aware of the event at all, would have been utterly bemused.

Let’s hope that the next America’s Cup is contested in boats.

- anarchist David

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12 minutes ago, Editor said:

Let’s hope that the next America’s Cup is contested in boats.

- anarchist David

been hearing that for a while now ...

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Pre Start in 1992 had the teams sailing through the spectator fleet

I have NEVER been closer to an IACC boat in the water & have been very close to the retired USA-11 etc

The CUP boats used the fleet Including me YACHT to Shake Off the other in or before the Pre Start

coming within 3' w a Full Head of Steam only to spin around w/o touching

Fuck Me if That wasn't EXCITING

 

of note I was told by crew When Boats come up Pre Race DO NOT MOVE as They Have This

Worse thing you could do was try to get out of their way

So I did Not !!!

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You didn't like it?  Lots of things in the world change over time. 

We haved moved on from the lead sleds, a while ago in fact.

Plenty of that sort of racing around after covid has done its worst. Or whatever comes next.

Go and enjoy that.

Don't like how its being run, sailed or whatever??

COME OVER AND TAKE IT THEN

Suck it up, buttercup.

Fucking whingers do my fucking head in

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And if it showed us anything, this competition between two low-flying seaplanes demonstrated that the pinnacle of sailing now has virtually no practical connection with what most of us know as ‘yacht racing’. 

What most of us know as yacht racing is a shadow of its former self. Everyone I know has got old, or gone foiling, or in some excellent cases, both. 

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2 hours ago, Editor said:

 

Let’s hope that the next America’s Cup is contested in boats.

- anarchist David

Yer gonna wait till hell freezes over, mate.

History passed you by.

Welcome to today's world.

WARNING  If you haven't woken up to it there is a real threat that snail mail will only be delivered once or twice a week.

 

t

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Well, I saw by accident the winning race, unable to sleep at stupid O'clock in the morning..

As a technological challenge these boats? are interesting.. Sailing it is not, as the OP says tacking up and down wind very little variation in wind, on such a limited course They may as well be driving an F1 car..

 

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3 minutes ago, The Q said:

Well, I saw by accident the winning race, unable to sleep at stupid O'clock in the morning..

As a technological challenge these boats? are interesting.. Sailing it is not, as the OP says tacking up and down wind very little variation in wind, on such a limited course They may as well be driving an F1 car..

 

Sailing it is not?

Sweet jesus.

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Whine whinge complain etc.

After reading the above, I'm puzzled why so many 'sailors' from a nation which has failed to come close to winning an America's Cup for more than 150 years imagines that their input on the america's cup should count for anything at all.  Abysmal sailors combined with unsporting losers e.g. I've yet to see england lose at any sport without whining "the pitch was rigged", or  "we didn't have time to prepare our boat" - when you had the same notice as everyone else - if you choose to dither on the sidelines arguing over who pays for what, that is down to you, no one else.

The excuses are as endless as the inevitable losses - you have to commit to win and always blaming some external issue demonstrates lack of commitment in favour of avoiding blame.  England has the only cricket team in the world which always rates not losing ahead of winning - hence the lousy results.  
Every tabloid inspired and greedily lapped up excuse which englanders swallow tells the rest of us how lame is england's sporting culture.

After today's victory, the government of Aotearoa has announced that it will tip $150 million into TNZ if the next AC series is held in Aotearoa, so those fantasies some parasitic car salesman sold england about how slinging a few million quid at TNZ to be the next challenger of record will guarantee the next AC is held in england seems likely to have been flushed down the gurgler.
Not that it matters, as in reality no matter where the next races are, england will turn up with more pre-planned excuses than they will have genuine innovations.

Lose the delusions that englander tabloid journos sell you in the hope that deceiving the masses that they will win the next world cup, ashes, americas cup etc.
They say that stuff because if they can lure citizens er sorry, subjects, into believing they have a chance next time, the bosses will still pay for their next junket to sit in the sun getting outside a decent beer.
Instead consider reality.  If you'll can manage that then maybe in time you will win more than a chook raffle.

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4 hours ago, Groucho Marx said:

Editor: churlish, ignorant, beyond backward in terms of yachting development? Very much so.

The Ed trying to stir it again and the site would hardly be anarchical if it didn't allow this sort of thing from time to time.

I had started to write a counter article to pull him up on his inaccuracies but Groucho Marx put it so much better and saved me a lot of typing. 

In fact to sum it up in even less words than Groucho - luddite!

 

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4 hours ago, Editor said:

 

And if it showed us anything, this competition between two low-flying seaplanes demonstrated that the pinnacle of sailing now has virtually no practical connection with what most of us know as ‘yacht racing’.

It has a hell of a lot more to do with what happens at my sailing club than 12m or IACC ever did.

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David is out the front, resplendent in his sharp creased creams and navy blue Club blazer with cravat, hand cranking his Model T Ford in preparation for a sedate drive down to his Yacht Club, there to enjoy a refreshing G & T with his circle of like-minded and equally bored yachtsmen before embarking upon a challenging row out to his gaff-rigged 3knot racing shit-box swinging jauntily at its mooring in the afternoon sea breeze. 

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4 hours ago, Editor said:

And if it showed us anything, this competition between two low-flying seaplanes demonstrated that the pinnacle of sailing now has virtually no practical connection with what most of us know as ‘yacht racing’.

Welcome to the 21st Century. It's hardly the pinnacle of sailing if I can go out and buy a second-hand dinghy for a few thousand Pounds/Dollars/Euros, that will beat one of your AC leadmines around the course.

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12 minutes ago, Last Post said:

David is out the front, resplendent in his sharp creased creams and navy blue Club blazer with cravat, hand cranking his Model T Ford in preparation for a sedate drive down to his Yacht Club, there to enjoy a refreshing G & T with his circle of like-minded and equally bored yachtsmen before embarking upon a challenging row out to his gaff-rigged 3knot racing shit-box swinging jauntily at its mooring in the afternoon sea breeze. 

and the problem is where ?

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5 hours ago, Editor said:

 

Macintosh SSD:Users:davidsalter:Desktop:Race 6 1983.jpg

 

So that’s that for another three years. New Zealand retains the America’s Cup 7-3. Yet apart from the excruciating – and ultimately unfair – Race 8, and the desperately lucky (for NZ) Race 9, the contest tended towards the monotonous, predictable, even anticlimactic. The faster boat won, as it always has since 1970.

(“Unfair” because the Kiwi splashdown was a clear error of commission – they gybed into the backwind of the Italians while Luna Rossa came off their foils later in that race only because the breeze had momentarily disappeared. And “lucky” in  Race 9 because textbook tactics from the Italians handed the Kiwis an undeserved winning 20% lift.)

The short, narrow courses with boundaries designed for television limited tactical options. There was no room to take a “flyer” or hang on to a favorable shift. Meanwhile, the Hauraki Gulf failed to deliver the expected stiff breezes, so the boats rarely hit anything approaching their maximum speeds.  

For the most part, watching eight of these ten races provided little more than a quick sugar hit. There were, at best, 90 seconds of genuine excitement in the pre-start, a few minutes of mild anticipation to confirm that the boat that won the start would lead at the first mark, then a five-leg procession in which there were no passes and the only real interest was to check the gap and compare VMGs and boat speeds.  

Perhaps realizing that these wham-bang-thank-you-m’am encounters lacked real drama the commentators and pundits pumped up the hype and rushed to declare the ‘return of match racing’ in Auckland, or speculate about hypothetical ‘passing lanes’. Both were in regrettably short supply. 

Back when AC boats kept their hulls in the water the pre-start dogfights could last up to ten minutes and made riveting viewing. Hitting the line on ‘zero’ was largely irrelevant. It was tough, aggressive, hand-to-hand combat. Circling, luffing, false tacks, bearing away – they used tactical flair, sheer sailing skill and every trick in the rule-book to gain an advantage.

Comparisons can be odious, but there are many other factors from the history of the America’s Cup that, considered against the series just concluded, might help explain why the AC36 racing at times seemed so alien to the fundamentals of the event.

Let’s take the 1983 challenge, Australia II v Liberty, as our base line. It was the last to be sailed at Newport and the second-last to be sailed in 12 metres. Here are a few ‘then and now’ comparisons:

*  In 1983 the 12 metres displaced around 23 tons and sailed at 8 knots. The boats were almost always in dueling contact. The foiling monomarans in Auckland weighed around 7.5 tons and could do 50 knots. Those high speeds multiply differences, so a small lead blew out to 500 metres or more very quickly. 

*  The course in Newport was 24.3 miles, including a triangle. Every point of sailing was tested, as was the stamina and concentration of the crews. The courses in Auckland were windward/leeward only, and around 10 miles in length. It was impossible, at a glance, to tell whether the AC75s were sailing uphill or downhill.

*  The average elapsed time in Newport was roughly 4 hours, with a time limit of 5 hours and 15 minutes. Mistakes could be corrected, gear failures overcome. The races in Auckland took between 25 and 40 minutes to complete – one eighth of the time. Losing the start, even by a few seconds, was usually fatal.

More significant than those stark physical contrasts are the different styles of racing. 

Until the carbon multihulls took over the Cup, all boats sailed with poled spinnakers. This added a significant tactical dimension and put a premium on crew work. One botched gybe could cost a race; a perfect delayed drop and mark rounding might win one. Each maneuver was a crucial – and visible – test of teamwork and skill.

In Auckland, eight of the eleven crew in the AC75s spent their race below gunnel level, heads down, just grinding. They were proxy engines, and rarely, if ever, touched a line or control. Sail trim was a matter of inches. To television viewers it is was if the jib and main were kept sheeted on hard for the entire race. Helming was like steering a car.

The closeness in performance of the 12 metres encouraged epic boat-on-boat battles. It was not uncommon for them to throw 30 tacks at each other on a single upwind leg. Yet in the third race in 1983 Liberty and Australia II stayed on the same tack for 22 minutes, each daring the other to break away. Multiple lead changes and come-from-behind wins were not exceptional 30 years ago. The tension for spectators was exquisite.

This year, during one sequence of 14 Prada Cup races in Auckland, the lead never changed over the 84 legs sailed – except once, when the American Magic capsize let Luna Rossa through. Then, during the Cup itself, there were just two or three genuine passes in the 59 legs sailed. It was difficult to get excited by those repetitive processions. One small mistake and it was usually game over.

None of this is to say that the event in New Zealand wasn’t worth watching. It was the America’s Cup, after all, even if – bizarrely – the worst mistake a crew could make was to actually let their ‘boat’ touch the water.

Perhaps the most revealing aspect to emerge from the series, at least for me, was that sheer speed doesn’t matter. It’s the differential that counts. Close racing is just as engrossing at 5 knots as it is at 40. All those hundreds of millions of dollars spent developing foiling monomarans might have kept a lot of sailing folk in work but it delivered no real extra value to the event. Watching boats duel at 30 knots quickly became unremarkable. 

And if it showed us anything, this competition between two low-flying seaplanes demonstrated that the pinnacle of sailing now has virtually no practical connection with what most of us know as ‘yacht racing’. Nor is it likely to have popularized the sport. The general public, if they were aware of the event at all, would have been utterly bemused.

Let’s hope that the next America’s Cup is contested in boats.

- anarchist David

Its all good if you loose interest and dont watch anymore.

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If David seeks fame as a recalcitrant, albeit wordy head-in-the-sand noodnik, then go for it mate. You'll get scant support or interest here.

What I violently object to are the detestable, shallow, useless clickbait tactics of our esteemed Editor in unashamedly  highlighting and promoting David's perverted thinking.

Fuck 'im I say.

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3 hours ago, kenergy said:

Sailing it is not?

Sweet jesus.

Sailing you are using the elements whatever they are, to propel your boat the the best of your efforts.

This lot won't go and play unless there is a very very narrow range of wind speeds. They then tack up wind, down wind everywhere on a swimming pool of a course. No real interaction with the elements, no real waves,  the wind is just an almost set power source. They may as well be in a giant hall with a set of fans one end..

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12 minutes ago, The Q said:

They may as well be in a giant hall with a set of fans one end..

 

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me thinks some are complaining just a little bit too loud that there's folks who think the current AC is a shit show ...

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6 hours ago, Editor said:

 

Macintosh SSD:Users:davidsalter:Desktop:Race 6 1983.jpg

 

So that’s that for another three years. New Zealand retains the America’s Cup 7-3. Yet apart from the excruciating – and ultimately unfair – Race 8, and the desperately lucky (for NZ) Race 9, the contest tended towards the monotonous, predictable, even anticlimactic. The faster boat won, as it always has since 1970.

(“Unfair” because the Kiwi splashdown was a clear error of commission – they gybed into the backwind of the Italians while Luna Rossa came off their foils later in that race only because the breeze had momentarily disappeared. And “lucky” in  Race 9 because textbook tactics from the Italians handed the Kiwis an undeserved winning 20% lift.)

The short, narrow courses with boundaries designed for television limited tactical options. There was no room to take a “flyer” or hang on to a favorable shift. Meanwhile, the Hauraki Gulf failed to deliver the expected stiff breezes, so the boats rarely hit anything approaching their maximum speeds.  

For the most part, watching eight of these ten races provided little more than a quick sugar hit. There were, at best, 90 seconds of genuine excitement in the pre-start, a few minutes of mild anticipation to confirm that the boat that won the start would lead at the first mark, then a five-leg procession in which there were no passes and the only real interest was to check the gap and compare VMGs and boat speeds.  

Perhaps realizing that these wham-bang-thank-you-m’am encounters lacked real drama the commentators and pundits pumped up the hype and rushed to declare the ‘return of match racing’ in Auckland, or speculate about hypothetical ‘passing lanes’. Both were in regrettably short supply. 

Back when AC boats kept their hulls in the water the pre-start dogfights could last up to ten minutes and made riveting viewing. Hitting the line on ‘zero’ was largely irrelevant. It was tough, aggressive, hand-to-hand combat. Circling, luffing, false tacks, bearing away – they used tactical flair, sheer sailing skill and every trick in the rule-book to gain an advantage.

Comparisons can be odious, but there are many other factors from the history of the America’s Cup that, considered against the series just concluded, might help explain why the AC36 racing at times seemed so alien to the fundamentals of the event.

Let’s take the 1983 challenge, Australia II v Liberty, as our base line. It was the last to be sailed at Newport and the second-last to be sailed in 12 metres. Here are a few ‘then and now’ comparisons:

*  In 1983 the 12 metres displaced around 23 tons and sailed at 8 knots. The boats were almost always in dueling contact. The foiling monomarans in Auckland weighed around 7.5 tons and could do 50 knots. Those high speeds multiply differences, so a small lead blew out to 500 metres or more very quickly. 

*  The course in Newport was 24.3 miles, including a triangle. Every point of sailing was tested, as was the stamina and concentration of the crews. The courses in Auckland were windward/leeward only, and around 10 miles in length. It was impossible, at a glance, to tell whether the AC75s were sailing uphill or downhill.

*  The average elapsed time in Newport was roughly 4 hours, with a time limit of 5 hours and 15 minutes. Mistakes could be corrected, gear failures overcome. The races in Auckland took between 25 and 40 minutes to complete – one eighth of the time. Losing the start, even by a few seconds, was usually fatal.

More significant than those stark physical contrasts are the different styles of racing. 

Until the carbon multihulls took over the Cup, all boats sailed with poled spinnakers. This added a significant tactical dimension and put a premium on crew work. One botched gybe could cost a race; a perfect delayed drop and mark rounding might win one. Each maneuver was a crucial – and visible – test of teamwork and skill.

In Auckland, eight of the eleven crew in the AC75s spent their race below gunnel level, heads down, just grinding. They were proxy engines, and rarely, if ever, touched a line or control. Sail trim was a matter of inches. To television viewers it is was if the jib and main were kept sheeted on hard for the entire race. Helming was like steering a car.

The closeness in performance of the 12 metres encouraged epic boat-on-boat battles. It was not uncommon for them to throw 30 tacks at each other on a single upwind leg. Yet in the third race in 1983 Liberty and Australia II stayed on the same tack for 22 minutes, each daring the other to break away. Multiple lead changes and come-from-behind wins were not exceptional 30 years ago. The tension for spectators was exquisite.

This year, during one sequence of 14 Prada Cup races in Auckland, the lead never changed over the 84 legs sailed – except once, when the American Magic capsize let Luna Rossa through. Then, during the Cup itself, there were just two or three genuine passes in the 59 legs sailed. It was difficult to get excited by those repetitive processions. One small mistake and it was usually game over.

None of this is to say that the event in New Zealand wasn’t worth watching. It was the America’s Cup, after all, even if – bizarrely – the worst mistake a crew could make was to actually let their ‘boat’ touch the water.

Perhaps the most revealing aspect to emerge from the series, at least for me, was that sheer speed doesn’t matter. It’s the differential that counts. Close racing is just as engrossing at 5 knots as it is at 40. All those hundreds of millions of dollars spent developing foiling monomarans might have kept a lot of sailing folk in work but it delivered no real extra value to the event. Watching boats duel at 30 knots quickly became unremarkable. 

And if it showed us anything, this competition between two low-flying seaplanes demonstrated that the pinnacle of sailing now has virtually no practical connection with what most of us know as ‘yacht racing’. Nor is it likely to have popularized the sport. The general public, if they were aware of the event at all, would have been utterly bemused.

Let’s hope that the next America’s Cup is contested in boats.

- anarchist David

the denigration of the crew work and skill to get these boats around the course is spoken like a man that has never been over 15 kts in their life.

 

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39 minutes ago, Mid said:

me thinks some are complaining just a little bit too loud that there's folks who think the current AC is a shit show ...

I see. So if "a bit too loud", how precisely how loudly, in a forum dedicated to discussion, does due etiquette permit us to tap our keyboards?

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5 hours ago, Foiling Optimist said:

And if it showed us anything, this competition between two low-flying seaplanes demonstrated that the pinnacle of sailing now has virtually no practical connection with what most of us know as ‘yacht racing’. 

What most of us know as yacht racing is a shadow of its former self. Everyone I know has got old, or gone foiling, or in some excellent cases, both. 

I’m 62, and just started Foiling, and kiting. I’m lucky to have my health and physical capabilities. I’m too busy to complain about a sport that has left some people behind. 

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10 minutes ago, dogwatch said:

Enlighten me then.

to suggest someone is complaining too loudly means that they may actually be in agreement with what they are complaining about .

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2 hours ago, Last Post said:

David is out the front, resplendent in his sharp creased creams and navy blue Club blazer with cravat, hand cranking his Model T Ford in preparation for a sedate drive down to his Yacht Club, there to enjoy a refreshing G & T with his circle of like-minded and equally bored yachtsmen before embarking upon a challenging row out to his gaff-rigged 3knot racing shit-box swinging jauntily at its mooring in the afternoon sea breeze. 

You've met him then? ha ha

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I'm going to passionately disagree. 
Having watched every event since Fremantle, including actually being there in ‘95, 2000, ‘03 & San Fran, I think that was the most exciting thing since forever. 
Awesome boats, beautiful setting, passionate spectators. 
Perhaps the RNZYS defence in 2000 was more traditional match racing, but that series went 5-0. 
I enjoyed it. A bunch
 

Maybe, Ed... You can’t handle the jandal!

 

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Knowledge is hard won.  The Cup has never been anything but an event for the world's elite, so audience appeal is just not that critical a factor in format decisions.  Keeping things interesting enough to create a viable competition for those who might decide to compete is THE critical dimension.  The state of New Zealand saw value in it- and they may be correct- because the esteem of the world's elite is worth something.  There aren't many other nations so positioned.  The national (or not) character of the Cup has always also been a critical dimension. 

The idea that human power is needed to manipulate the controls may be as dated as spinnakers- crews of two are three are easily possible and can build up personality stories like NASCAR or F1 just as easily.   America's Cup has always been about boat development, but like spinnakers and human power, that too may be obsolete where one-design (again like NASCAR) just makes more sense to engage competitors.  Certainly unbounded and longer ocean courses would be more tactically interesting so that races lasted a few hours and leverage was possible.   

One design, much smaller crews, and open courses may be enough to attract more interest from more nation-based competitors.  We don't need to go back to lead mines to have a vital and compelling America's Cup, but without major changes, I can't see how another version of this attracts more than two or three competitors- if that. 

All that said, big yachts flying kites off sprits - like TP52's- would look just fine close-racing on TV and would cost a song compared to what goes now.  Or Maybe the Cup should be sailed on kite borne foil boards by single athletes from dozens of nations. 

All that really matters are enough players in an interesting enough contest.          

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15 minutes ago, The Advocate said:

I think I saw 25 000 people on YT watching the final.

Technology going forward, mainstream interest has left the building.

Oh dear - once again lies damn lies and selective statistics. I've just checked and it is showing 363,540 views of today's racing. In addition to that the Youtube feed was only available in certain countries. I tried 5 or 6 with my VPN before I got one where it didn't have "Video is unavailable". There were lots of TV pay for view and other avenues, there was Americascup.com and here in China - China mind you where sailing is a very young sport - there  were internet feeds across 9 platforms with up to 200,000 viewers on livestream with experienced bi-lingual Chinese sailors doing simultaneous commentary so just a few multiples out on your suggested viewing figures.

Mainstream interest left behind? I don't think so, there is no sector of sailing growing faster than foiling. McConaghy alone sold over 2,000 Mach 2 Moths at approaching $20,000 a pop and are now selling Wazps (if that is the right spelling) as fast as they can build them. The Moths can do 25kts+ on an 11 foot hull by the way and youngsters love speed. 

Old buggers like you and me are not mainstream these days i am sorry to say.

My daughter is a good example of a younger person sailing faster classes. She was the top female helm in the B14 Worlds over Sydney way a couple of years back, top female helm in the Australian Lightweight Sharpie 15months or so ago (over your way actually) i think it was and not many months ago the first female helm to win the Tassie Sharpie States IN HISTORY - and that's a long history. She would have no interest in racing  my slow old lead-mine.

& it is difficult to figure whether technology drives the AMerica's CUp forward or does America's CUp drive technology forward. In the past 1st metal mast on a large yacht, electronic (sorry - electric) wind instruments to name but two.

3 minutes ago, bluelaser2 said:

Knowledge is hard won.  The Cup has never been anything but an event for the world's elite, so audience appeal is just not that critical a factor in format decisions.  Keeping things interesting enough to create a viable competition for those who might decide to compete is THE critical dimension.  The state of New Zealand saw value in it- and they may be correct- because the esteem of the world's elite is worth something.  There aren't many other nations so positioned.  The national (or not) character of the Cup has always also been a critical dimension. 

The idea that human power is needed to manipulate the controls may be as dated as spinnakers- crews of two are three are easily possible and can build up personality stories like NASCAR or F1 just as easily.   America's Cup has always been about boat development, but like spinnakers and human power, that too may be obsolete where one-design (again like NASCAR) just makes more sense to engage competitors.  Certainly unbounded and longer ocean courses would be more tactically interesting so that races lasted a few hours and leverage was possible.   

One design, much smaller crews, and open courses may be enough to attract more interest from more nation-based competitors.  We don't need to go back to lead mines to have a vital and compelling America's Cup, but without major changes, I can't see how another version of this attracts more than two or three competitors- if that. 

All that said, big yachts flying kites off sprits - like TP52's- would look just fine close-racing on TV and would cost a song compared to what goes now.  Or Maybe the Cup should be sailed on kite borne foil boards by single athletes from dozens of nations. 

All that really matters are enough players in an interesting enough contest.          

The America's Cup is a unique event if for no other reason than there can only be one OLDEST international sporting trophy. Change it and it is no longer the America's Cup.

It should also be remembered that for over the first 100 years of its history it was always just ONE challenger against the ONE defender (apart from a couple of defences where the NYYC played loose with the rules and there was only a need for CoR and elimination series in perhaps 1970.

All the alternative formats are already done elsewhere - small boats, lots of nations? Well that's just the Olympics isn't it? Bigger boats - national teams? There was the Sardina Cup, Southern Cross and Admirals Cup - all been and gone yet the America's Cup survives

Change it? Just imagine the furore if anyone actually did try to change it - just look at how many people moaned and groaned when RORC changed the Fastnet finish port 

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“Love” the obvious attempt to keep the debate going - but it’s over, the future of sailing is here - just as the future of democracy is here in the US ..... if we can just avoid that civil war they are trying to start.....

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1 hour ago, hasmat said:

I’m 62, and just started Foiling, and kiting. I’m lucky to have my health and physical capabilities. I’m too busy to complain about a sport that has left some people behind. 

Stop that I see what your doing ... kite flyer....get A real sailboat a SAIL  BOAT one with foils one what ever!!! Till them fuck off youngster...

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Sailing Anarchy Y2K:  "The status quo blows!"

Sailing Anarchy 2021:  "Bring back the status quo!"

The worst part of the modern America's Cup?  Listening to a bunch of has been's bitch about progress.

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So that’s that. The Upstart Treasonist Bastards have taken from us the 100 Guineas Cup. Yet apart from the excruciating – and ultimately unfair – race, the contest tended towards the monotonous, predictable, even anticlimactic. The faster boat won.

I say unto you “unfair” because our right honorable fleet only lost the Cup when the Bastards took advantage of our well-documented lack of imagination.  First they bin our monarchy and then they show up with some abomination of a vessel unfit for family viewing.  T’int Right, T’int Fair, T’int Proper.

For the most part, watching this race provided little more than the equivalent of consuming a spot of sugar having just arrived from Tortola. This race was, at best, 90 seconds of genuine excitement at the start, a few minutes of mild anticipation to confirm that the boat that won the start would lead, then a horizon job in which there were no passes and the only real interest was to eat this most delightful culinary concoction made for me by the Earl of Sandwich.  

Comparisons can be odious, but there are many factors from the history of our beloved race that, considered against the race just concluded, might help explain why said recent race at times seemed so alien to the fundamentals of the event.

Back when the vessels had hulls that looked like the Tower of London, the lack of movement of them in the water made riveting viewing. Hitting the line at pace was largely irrelevant because we did not know what “pace” was. It was a proper duel. Circling, luffing, false tacks, bearing away – all in the same spot.

Until the American Abomination arrived, all boats sailed with a precision of inefficiency. This added a significant tactical dimension and put a premium on crew work. One botched gybe could cost three days; a perfect delayed drop and rounding might win one. We wouldn’t know because by that time we had left. Each maneuver was a crucial – and visible – test of tradition over innovation.

The closeness in performance of the ungainly vessels encouraged epic boat-on-boat battles. One time quite literally when the Duke of Essex arrived with Ship Of The Line and broadsided the remainder of the Fleet.  The tension for spectators was exquisite.

In contract, the vessel “America” could actually, you know, move.  Nobody told us this was allowed. As Sir Isaac Newton noted, high speeds multiply differences, so a small lead blew out to 500 metres yards or more very quickly.  This year, the lead never changed over all the legs sailed.  It was difficult to get excited by this repetitive procession.

And if it showed us anything, this competition between the fast and the plodding demonstrated that the pinnacle of sailing now has virtually no practical connection with what most of us know as ‘yacht racing’. Nor is it likely to have popularized the event. The general public, if we cared about them at all, would have been utterly bemused. But of course we don’t care about them.

Let’s hope that the next Cup is contested in 4KSB’s.

- Sir Hendy David Fuckstick, III

 

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1 hour ago, The Advocate said:

I think I saw 25 000 people on YT watching the final.

Technology going forward, mainstream interest has left the building.

I think you may have missed the announcement that this event was held on the opposite side of the World to where most of the fans are living. I'm certainly not going to get out of bed at 3am to watch something that will still be just as compelling 6 hours later. What I can say is that I've spent a lot more time watching the racing this time round, than any of the IACC editions.

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33 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

McConaghy alone sold over 2,000 Mach 2 Moths at approaching $20,000 a pop and are now selling Wazps (if that is the right spelling) as fast as they can build them.

And I just checked, UFO's are sold out until June.  A-Class Worlds in 2019 had 64 boats in the foiling class.

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8 minutes ago, porthos said:

So that’s that. The Upstart Treasonist Bastards have taken from us the 100 Guineas Cup.

Having read your incorrect first line i assumed the rest would be as inaccurate.

The America's Cup was originally known as the ONE HUNDRED POUND CUP not the 100 GUINEAS CUP which would have made it the 105 Pounds Cup.

As two references to this FACT

rys - America's Cup the web reference on the original owner's website

Secondly a photo of the original flyer to the event which was squeezed in to the RYA's regatta which was only open to Squadron members 

1851 Royal Yacht Squadron Regatta.jpg

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3 hours ago, The Q said:

Sailing you are using the elements whatever they are, to propel your boat the the best of your efforts.

This lot won't go and play unless there is a very very narrow range of wind speeds. They then tack up wind, down wind everywhere on a swimming pool of a course. No real interaction with the elements, no real waves,  the wind is just an almost set power source. They may as well be in a giant hall with a set of fans one end..

Complete and utter nonsense.

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17 minutes ago, porthos said:

So that’s that. The Upstart Treasonist Bastards have taken from us the 100 Guineas Cup. Yet apart from the excruciating – and ultimately unfair – race, the contest tended towards the monotonous, predictable, even anticlimactic. The faster boat won.

I say unto you “unfair” because our right honorable fleet only lost the Cup when the Bastards took advantage of our well-documented lack of imagination.  First they bin our monarchy and then they show up with some abomination of a vessel unfit for family viewing.  T’int Right, T’int Fair, T’int Proper.

For the most part, watching this race provided little more than the equivalent of consuming a spot of sugar having just arrived from Tortola. This race was, at best, 90 seconds of genuine excitement at the start, a few minutes of mild anticipation to confirm that the boat that won the start would lead, then a horizon job in which there were no passes and the only real interest was to eat this most delightful culinary concoction made for me by the Earl of Sandwich.  

Comparisons can be odious, but there are many factors from the history of our beloved race that, considered against the race just concluded, might help explain why said recent race at times seemed so alien to the fundamentals of the event.

Back when the vessels had hulls that looked like the Tower of London, the lack of movement of them in the water made riveting viewing. Hitting the line at pace was largely irrelevant because we did not know what “pace” was. It was a proper duel. Circling, luffing, false tacks, bearing away – all in the same spot.

Until the American Abomination arrived, all boats sailed with a precision of inefficiency. This added a significant tactical dimension and put a premium on crew work. One botched gybe could cost three days; a perfect delayed drop and rounding might win one. We wouldn’t know because by that time we had left. Each maneuver was a crucial – and visible – test of tradition over innovation.

The closeness in performance of the ungainly vessels encouraged epic boat-on-boat battles. One time quite literally when the Duke of Essex arrived with Ship Of The Line and broadsided the remainder of the Fleet.  The tension for spectators was exquisite.

In contract, the vessel “America” could actually, you know, move.  Nobody told us this was allowed. As Sir Isaac Newton noted, high speeds multiply differences, so a small lead blew out to 500 metres yards or more very quickly.  This year, the lead never changed over all the legs sailed.  It was difficult to get excited by this repetitive procession.

And if it showed us anything, this competition between the fast and the plodding demonstrated that the pinnacle of sailing now has virtually no practical connection with what most of us know as ‘yacht racing’. Nor is it likely to have popularized the event. The general public, if we cared about them at all, would have been utterly bemused. But of course we don’t care about them.

Let’s hope that the next Cup is contested in 4KSB’s.

- Sir Hendy David Fuckstick, III

 

Bravol

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11 minutes ago, Swimsailor said:

And I just checked, UFO's are sold out until June.  A-Class Worlds in 2019 had 64 boats in the foiling class.

Swimsailor, if we were in a court i reckon we would have provided enough material to be able say "M'Lord, we rest our case" 

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29 minutes ago, cbulger said:

“Love” the obvious attempt to keep the debate going - but it’s over, the future of sailing is here - just as the future of democracy is here in the US ..... if we can just avoid that civil war they are trying to start.....

I don’t think it’s a civil war at all. The vast majority of us think foiling boats are awesome. That has nothing to do with the fact that many of us also found the current AC incredibly boring to watch. I thought the boats were incredible and probably read every post on this forum while they were being developed. The tech is insanely cool. I just lost interest once the racing started. I’d certainly prefer going back to boats that stay in the water, but also think the next cup in the same boats has potential to be a lot more exciting than this go ‘round. 

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6 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

Having read your incorrect first line i assumed the rest would be as inaccurate.

The America's Cup was originally known as the ONE HUNDRED POUND CUP not the 100 GUINEAS CUP which would have made it the 105 Pounds Cup.

As two references to this FACT

rys - America's Cup the web reference on the original owner's website

Secondly a photo of the original flyer to the event which was squeezed in to the RYA's regatta which was only open to Squadron members 

1851 Royal Yacht Squadron Regatta.jpg

"I know, Art, and thanks for noticing."

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2 minutes ago, Monkey said:

I don’t think it’s a civil war at all. The vast majority of us think foiling boats are awesome. That has nothing to do with the fact that many of us also found the current AC incredibly boring to watch. I thought the boats were incredible and probably read every post on this forum while they were being developed. The tech is insanely cool. I just lost interest once the racing started. I’d certainly prefer going back to boats that stay in the water, but also think the next cup in the same boats has potential to be a lot more exciting than this go ‘round. 

THIS

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2 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

Swimsailor, if we were in a court i reckon we would have provided enough material to be able say "M'Lord, we rest our case" 

And if anyone thinks I am being unreasonably biased may i reference my catch line at the bottom of each and ever one of my posts "Still Crazy After All These Years.

It is the catch phrase of the Quarter Ton Class - I have two of these classic leadmines so i'm not balls to the wall on the AC75, i just think they are a tremendous spectacle and to members of the public who might just get their interest in our sport kindled by them. 

Still Crazy Logo.jpg

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4 minutes ago, Monkey said:

I don’t think it’s a civil war at all. The vast majority of us think foiling boats are awesome. That has nothing to do with the fact that many of us also found the current AC incredibly boring to watch. I thought the boats were incredible and probably read every post on this forum while they were being developed. The tech is insanely cool. I just lost interest once the racing started. I’d certainly prefer going back to boats that stay in the water, but also think the next cup in the same boats has potential to be a lot more exciting than this go ‘round. 

I've watched every AC since 1987 on TV and now the internet and finally got to see some AC racing in person in San Diego at the ACWS.  Never once did I lose interest.  And in fact, I very much hope they don't go back to multi-hour races.  I don't have time to watch that much TV, sailing or not.  I'm emotionally invested and having been a sailmaker working on AC sails in 2000 and knowing several Cup sailors personally and professionally, there's a personal attachment to the event. Additionally, I have never had more non-sailing friends interested in the AC than this regatta.  I agree, that if the AC75 lives on, the racing will only get closer as devo converges.  Long live the America's Cup!

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Everyone wants a new world of technology and development, but then disparage and fear it upon arrival.

STFU and go enjoy a sail in your 4kt shit box. Time for the next generation to build the future.  

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9 hours ago, Editor said:

And “lucky” in  Race 9 because textbook tactics from the Italians handed the Kiwis an undeserved winning 20% lift.)

Since when is forcing a split "textbook" match racing tactics? Since when has sailing not involved wind shifts? When you are in front you want to limit the amount of advantage the trailing boat can gain from a shift, not force a split and hope you get lucky.

The course boundaries may have been a bit narrow, but the match racing we saw was just as tactical and close as any America's cup. Just because the boats are faster and the boat handling challenges have shifted from sail changes to clean maneuvering, doesn't mean this isn't proper sailing. "The America's cup get's the glory, but the Dinghies make the sailor" this is more true than ever now.

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2 minutes ago, sailer99 said:

Since when is forcing a split "textbook" match racing tactics? Since when has sailing not involved wind shifts? When you are in front you want to limit the amount of advantage the trailing boat can gain from a shift, not force a split and hope you get lucky.

The course boundaries may have been a bit narrow, but the match racing we saw was just as tactical and close as any America's cup. Just because the boats are faster and the boat handling challenges have shifted from sail changes to clean maneuvering, doesn't mean this isn't proper sailing. "The America's cup get's the glory, but the Dinghies make the sailor" this is more true than ever now.

A slight misquote from Peter Montgomery's character in the movie 'Wind' but no issues and just as true in your version. What he actually said was even simpler "The big boats get the glory and the small boats make the sailor. Pete Burling 6 times (I think) 49er World Champion and 2 x America's Cup winner very admirably proves your point sailer99

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9 hours ago, Editor said:

(“Unfair” because the Kiwi splashdown was a clear error of commission – they gybed into the backwind of the Italians while Luna Rossa came off their foils later in that race only because the breeze had momentarily disappeared. And “lucky” in  Race 9 because textbook tactics from the Italians handed the Kiwis an undeserved winning 20% lift.)

This is most Trumpian statement of the entire post.  Unfair that the wind died or shifted?  Undeserved lift?  Is that not part of sailboat racing?  LR was protecting the wrong side of the course.  It's like forcing your wife into the arms of her lover then blaming the lover. Fuck.

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1 hour ago, bluelaser2 said:

big yachts flying kites off sprits

Wait, you want sprits?  I thought it wasn't real yachting unless there were separate sheets and guys with a spin pole mounted to the mast?  

Oh, I get it, you want progression and apparent wind sailing but not too much progression and just enough apparent wind to be sporty...but not too sporty!

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1 hour ago, shanghaisailor said:

... i just think they are a tremendous spectacle and to members of the public who might just get their interest in our sport kindled by them. 

 

As I own a boat, I have been asked a handful of times in the last week about this cup edition, the boats and how they got to this.

There were interesting observations and follow on questions. Most associated the Cup with the 12's, some recalled the Deed of Gift grudge match involving Oracle, not knowing the principal figures. One recalled the amazing comeback in San Francisco. (not knowing Spithill was involved there too).

All, are impressed by the speed, did not understand there were downwind legs, and all felt the contest was too abstract to have any frame of reference.

They all had been out on sailboats, what they saw was nothing to get them more interested in sailing.

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7 minutes ago, jorgensen said:

They all had been out on sailboats, what they saw was nothing to get them more interested in sailing.

I dare say that's true but I don't think the objective of the AC is to get the public interested in sailing. I have long thought that if the $Bs cared about that, they could do far more with a fraction of what they spend on the AC. 

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Wonderful unique event. Congratulations to ETNZ and commiserations to LR.

You can watch non-foiling boats any year. The TP52 circuit is televized and on You Tube videos.  Go ahead and watch it and start a thread with like minded folks who cannot understand why the AC gets so many views for the boring foiling boats.

The AC has always been about pushing the envelope with boat design. America herself was considered ahead of her time and unseaworthy by many.   This is a design competition as well as a sailing compatition and the AC has broken so many boundaries and records it is unbelievable.  That is what we come to watch.

One Design match racing is the epitome of purest match racing.  You can watch that elsewhere.   AC will never be that...but this was one of the best yet. TNZ had a fast boat but LR got the better of them overall in 3 races and was leading at times in 3 of the last 4 that they lost. It doesnt get better than that.

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11 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

Wonderful unique event. Congratulations to ETNZ and commiserations to LR.

You can watch non-foiling boats any year. The TP52 circuit is televized and on You Tube videos.  Go ahead and watch it and start a thread with like minded folks who cannot understand why the AC gets so many views for the boring foiling boats.

The AC has always been about pushing the envelope with boat design. America herself was considered ahead of her time and unseaworthy by many.   This is a design competition as well as a sailing compatition and the AC has broken so many boundaries and records it is unbelievable.  That is what we come to watch.

One Design match racing is the epitome of purest match racing.  You can watch that elsewhere.   AC will never be that...but this was one of the best yet. TNZ had a fast boat but LR got the better of them overall in 3 races and was leading at times in 3 of the last 4 that they lost. It doesnt get better than that.

100% spot on. FWIW, we were warned about the disparity between the boats during this cycle as folks tried to find the fastest corner of the design envelope. That is what made some of this Cup cringeworthy. That said, race 9 (??) was one of the best match races ever in cup history. That was awesome. 

I am an "in the water" guy...but the Cup can only get better from here as the speeds get closer and the designs, boats, become more accessible. The event will need some tweaks but this format is here to stay.

BTW, the 52SS is awesome to watch. Can't wait for that to begin again. My kids were glued to it before sailing school back in 19. 

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2 hours ago, Monkey said:

I don’t think it’s a civil war at all. The vast majority of us think foiling boats are awesome. Yes

That has nothing to do with the fact that many of us also found the current AC incredibly boring to watch. and yet you watched more AC than almost any other boat racing.

I thought the boats were incredible and probably read every post on this forum while they were being developed. The tech is insanely cool. I just lost interest once the racing started. I’d certainly prefer going back to boats that stay in the water, but also think the next cup in the same boats has potential to be a lot more exciting than this go ‘round. Possibly

 

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1 hour ago, sailer99 said:

Since when is forcing a split "textbook" match racing tactics? Since when has sailing not involved wind shifts? When you are in front you want to limit the amount of advantage the trailing boat can gain from a shift, not force a split and hope you get lucky.

The course boundaries may have been a bit narrow, but the match racing we saw was just as tactical and close as any America's cup. Just because the boats are faster and the boat handling challenges have shifted from sail changes to clean maneuvering, doesn't mean this isn't proper sailing. "The America's cup get's the glory, but the Dinghies make the sailor" this is more true than ever now.

Every time you cross and you are in the lead in a boat which might be a tad slower than the competition, you face a choice.......carry on or tack and force the other boat to tack.

LR did not really have the option of tacking and sitting on TNZ's windward hip and just covering.

 

Checco admitted he failed to see the darker breeze all the way across the course and reacted to a light spot immediately in front of him

 

Tough call but element of luck and skill in everything.

 

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11 minutes ago, Guvacine said:

This Cup was a farce from start to finish. If you subtract all of the breathless Kiwis and a few delusional boosters, no one was watching.

You watched?

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Dear munificent, wonderful, generous America’s Cup Powers that Be,

Congratulations to NZ for a brilliantly conceived design, well sailed.

Bravo LR for a well sorted, beautiful boat, brilliantly handled.  

Thanks to AM and the Brits for technically sophisticated, gorgeous machines.  
 

Since the very first AC contest was held in iffy winds, I’d like to see no lower wind limit, and a race around an island would be excellent as part of the racing.  As a nod to the illustrious and rich history of this wonderful event.

I beseech this with my beggar’s bowl for vicarious thrills held out from a lowly screen-  it’s not my party, it’s not my parade.  Please include Whompers in sail inventories, along with sail changes.  
 

Thanks to all of you for allowing your event to be broadcast.  Thanks to Auckland for your hospitality.

Your humble poster and fan,

Amati



 

 

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12 hours ago, Editor said:

 

Macintosh SSD:Users:davidsalter:Desktop:Race 6 1983.jpg

 

So that’s that for another three years. New Zealand retains the America’s Cup 7-3. Yet apart from the excruciating – and ultimately unfair – Race 8, and the desperately lucky (for NZ) Race 9, the contest tended towards the monotonous, predictable, even anticlimactic. The faster boat won, as it always has since 1970.

(“Unfair” because the Kiwi splashdown was a clear error of commission – they gybed into the backwind of the Italians while Luna Rossa came off their foils later in that race only because the breeze had momentarily disappeared. And “lucky” in  Race 9 because textbook tactics from the Italians handed the Kiwis an undeserved winning 20% lift.)

The short, narrow courses with boundaries designed for television limited tactical options. There was no room to take a “flyer” or hang on to a favorable shift. Meanwhile, the Hauraki Gulf failed to deliver the expected stiff breezes, so the boats rarely hit anything approaching their maximum speeds.  

For the most part, watching eight of these ten races provided little more than a quick sugar hit. There were, at best, 90 seconds of genuine excitement in the pre-start, a few minutes of mild anticipation to confirm that the boat that won the start would lead at the first mark, then a five-leg procession in which there were no passes and the only real interest was to check the gap and compare VMGs and boat speeds.  

Perhaps realizing that these wham-bang-thank-you-m’am encounters lacked real drama the commentators and pundits pumped up the hype and rushed to declare the ‘return of match racing’ in Auckland, or speculate about hypothetical ‘passing lanes’. Both were in regrettably short supply. 

Back when AC boats kept their hulls in the water the pre-start dogfights could last up to ten minutes and made riveting viewing. Hitting the line on ‘zero’ was largely irrelevant. It was tough, aggressive, hand-to-hand combat. Circling, luffing, false tacks, bearing away – they used tactical flair, sheer sailing skill and every trick in the rule-book to gain an advantage.

Comparisons can be odious, but there are many other factors from the history of the America’s Cup that, considered against the series just concluded, might help explain why the AC36 racing at times seemed so alien to the fundamentals of the event.

Let’s take the 1983 challenge, Australia II v Liberty, as our base line. It was the last to be sailed at Newport and the second-last to be sailed in 12 metres. Here are a few ‘then and now’ comparisons:

*  In 1983 the 12 metres displaced around 23 tons and sailed at 8 knots. The boats were almost always in dueling contact. The foiling monomarans in Auckland weighed around 7.5 tons and could do 50 knots. Those high speeds multiply differences, so a small lead blew out to 500 metres or more very quickly. 

*  The course in Newport was 24.3 miles, including a triangle. Every point of sailing was tested, as was the stamina and concentration of the crews. The courses in Auckland were windward/leeward only, and around 10 miles in length. It was impossible, at a glance, to tell whether the AC75s were sailing uphill or downhill.

*  The average elapsed time in Newport was roughly 4 hours, with a time limit of 5 hours and 15 minutes. Mistakes could be corrected, gear failures overcome. The races in Auckland took between 25 and 40 minutes to complete – one eighth of the time. Losing the start, even by a few seconds, was usually fatal.

More significant than those stark physical contrasts are the different styles of racing. 

Until the carbon multihulls took over the Cup, all boats sailed with poled spinnakers. This added a significant tactical dimension and put a premium on crew work. One botched gybe could cost a race; a perfect delayed drop and mark rounding might win one. Each maneuver was a crucial – and visible – test of teamwork and skill.

In Auckland, eight of the eleven crew in the AC75s spent their race below gunnel level, heads down, just grinding. They were proxy engines, and rarely, if ever, touched a line or control. Sail trim was a matter of inches. To television viewers it is was if the jib and main were kept sheeted on hard for the entire race. Helming was like steering a car.

The closeness in performance of the 12 metres encouraged epic boat-on-boat battles. It was not uncommon for them to throw 30 tacks at each other on a single upwind leg. Yet in the third race in 1983 Liberty and Australia II stayed on the same tack for 22 minutes, each daring the other to break away. Multiple lead changes and come-from-behind wins were not exceptional 30 years ago. The tension for spectators was exquisite.

This year, during one sequence of 14 Prada Cup races in Auckland, the lead never changed over the 84 legs sailed – except once, when the American Magic capsize let Luna Rossa through. Then, during the Cup itself, there were just two or three genuine passes in the 59 legs sailed. It was difficult to get excited by those repetitive processions. One small mistake and it was usually game over.

None of this is to say that the event in New Zealand wasn’t worth watching. It was the America’s Cup, after all, even if – bizarrely – the worst mistake a crew could make was to actually let their ‘boat’ touch the water.

Perhaps the most revealing aspect to emerge from the series, at least for me, was that sheer speed doesn’t matter. It’s the differential that counts. Close racing is just as engrossing at 5 knots as it is at 40. All those hundreds of millions of dollars spent developing foiling monomarans might have kept a lot of sailing folk in work but it delivered no real extra value to the event. Watching boats duel at 30 knots quickly became unremarkable. 

And if it showed us anything, this competition between two low-flying seaplanes demonstrated that the pinnacle of sailing now has virtually no practical connection with what most of us know as ‘yacht racing’. Nor is it likely to have popularized the sport. The general public, if they were aware of the event at all, would have been utterly bemused.

Let’s hope that the next America’s Cup is contested in boats.

- anarchist David

In other words:

THE SHIT SHOW is OVER!

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53 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

Every time you cross and you are in the lead in a boat which might be a tad slower than the competition, you face a choice.......carry on or tack and force the other boat to tack.

LR did not really have the option of tacking and sitting on TNZ's windward hip and just covering.

 

Checco admitted he failed to see the darker breeze all the way across the course and reacted to a light spot immediately in front of him

 

Tough call but element of luck and skill in everything.

 

It was definitely a tough call, but a loose cover was definitely an option. They did it earlier that race in a similar position on the course:

https://youtu.be/yDliuuAPmD0?t=3302

https://youtu.be/yDliuuAPmD0?t=3885

Course position and lead is almost identical in these two scenarios, the leg 3 one allowed them to control ETNZ to the top, the leg 5 one forced a split. These are split second decisions and not easy to make, I can't blame LR for making the decision they did. But this wasn't just ETNZ getting lucky, it was a tactical error from LR that gave ETNZ the split they were hunting for and an opportunity to pass.

 

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3 hours ago, Monkey said:

I don’t think it’s a civil war at all. The vast majority of us think foiling boats are awesome. That has nothing to do with the fact that many of us also found the current AC incredibly boring to watch. I thought the boats were incredible and probably read every post on this forum while they were being developed. The tech is insanely cool. I just lost interest once the racing started. I’d certainly prefer going back to boats that stay in the water, but also think the next cup in the same boats has potential to be a lot more exciting than this go ‘round. 

I like the new boats in some ways, but I can't help an America's Cup in something like a TP52 would be cool, and trickle down to the class as well which may suit general sailing more.

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10 hours ago, KiwiJoker said:

Yer gonna wait till hell freezes over, mate.

History passed you by.

Welcome to today's world.

WARNING  If you haven't woken up to it there is a real threat that snail mail will only be delivered once or twice a week.

 

t

Sorry Mate, history is not passing anyone by. You and your islanders are trying to do something that while cool, is something that 99% of the sailing world cannot do. And that is get on and go foiling. Foiling is like Land or Ice boating, people know about it have seen it in videos and some have access to it. I've invited many to the dry lake beds to try it but no one hardly take the invite.

Tell me, where can I get on a Foiling Sailboat? PS, I fell asleep again, the AC is so Fing boring this round. But the boats are cool.

For those who need a fix, I love the epic battles at Perth. I'd love to see some Modern HiPerf 50 to 60 ft'ers doing battle with the Doctor.

 

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11 minutes ago, trimfast said:

I like the new boats in some ways, but I can't help an America's Cup in something like a TP52 would be cool, and trickle down to the class as well which may suit general sailing more.

Are there not TP52 regattas already in existence that fulfil that requirement? 

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I was in Lorient earlier at La Base, no one talking about Cup, foil mini proto yes, foil IMOCA yes, Figaro yes, Ultim yes, AC non. Course too restrictive as made for TV. Boats very cool, but as spectacle is not so much interesting.

 

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4 minutes ago, amc said:

Are there not TP52 regattas already in existence that fulfil that requirement? 

Yes and no. The 52s are still constrained by the Box Rule, however, you could open the rule up and perhaps create something better. Then which could be adopted into the box rule after the series to have those boats available to the class.  

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So how about monos with DSS (but flapped? Morphing? Retracting inside the hull foils?).  No lower wind limit.  Open 60s/Minis/Figaros on steroids.  Not that different to what the AC boats were doing this time

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1 hour ago, Swimsailor said:

You watched?

I watched, got up 0345 each session. While impressed with boats and sailing skills I not find overly exciting racing. To me made for TV course much too restrictive.

Logical to remove grinders and run boat off battery next with helm, flyers and tactician. If wish design/tech contest is sensible solution.

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1 hour ago, EYESAILOR said:

 

Just to clarify one of your comments, I most definitely didn’t watch more of this cup than any other sailing. I gave up after two races and decided just to read the highlights the next day. After the start and first cross, I just got bored. 
 

It’s no big deal. I can’t stand F1 either because it’s just follow the leader, yet plenty of people still do. 
 

 

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Just now, Monkey said:

Just to clarify one of your comments, I most definitely didn’t watch more of this cup than any other sailing. I gave up after two races and decided just to read the highlights the next day. After the start and first cross, I just got bored. 
 

It’s no big deal. I can’t stand F1 either because it’s just follow the leader, yet plenty of people still do. 
 

 

Watch F2, it is worlds better with many drivers in the championship hunt until the end.

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Just now, trimfast said:

Watch F2, it is worlds better with many drivers in the championship hunt until the end.

Is F1 electric worth watching?

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2 minutes ago, Amati said:

Is F1 electric worth watching?

Formula E is pretty cool. Different designs and Battery management is just like Tire management in F1. 

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