AC36: The Match (6-15th March. Reserve days to the 21st)

Grrr...

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They have clearly changed the boat to be faster upwind (or LR have downwind). Last days the bigger difference has been upwind and that has allowed TR to bounce back when LR hit them and pass when they get a slightest chance.

It's not several knots, but probably 200 m on a beat, which turns to 1 km when TR wins the start.

Look how fast TR came back, when LR forced them to a bad leeward rounding and got a 200 m lead. And look how fast they spread the distance when they managed to pass.

Also the start was even and TR manage to get 20 m lead before the boundary. That was almost enough to roll LR at their leebow.
I still have to disagree.  We saw points yesterday where the Kiwis were ahead yesterday up wind, and they didn't just extend and disappear over the horizon.

I think these boats are really closely matched.  Even more - I think like you said, the Italians upwind tactics and speed have perhaps forced the Kiwis to give up some of the downwind speed to match them.

 

Grrr...

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You are not accounting for the match racing aspect.  LR have to fight hard to keep ETNZ behind them.  Suggest you do an analysis on how long ETNZ can sail in an unfavourable position and increase gauge compared to LR.  With the width of the course and the speed of the boats you don't get the same opportunity to use your speed to advantage.  At some stage you run out of room and have to tack into favourable or unfavourable air.
You might be right.  I wish, after the cup, these guys were required to give up their performance data and show pictures and tours of the boats.  We're all dying to know what makes who faster and who slower.  It'd give us endless things to talk about.  I really wish we had more info on the San Fran Cup.  It kills me that we'll never know what really changed.

 

Joakim

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I still have to disagree.  We saw points yesterday where the Kiwis were ahead yesterday up wind, and they didn't just extend and disappear over the horizon.
Only when LR was free to choose the side they wanted and TR tried its luck on the other side. LR choose the better side correctly except once.

 

Kate short for Bob

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You might be right.  I wish, after the cup, these guys were required to give up their performance data and show pictures and tours of the boats.  We're all dying to know what makes who faster and who slower.  It'd give us endless things to talk about.  I really wish we had more info on the San Fran Cup.  It kills me that we'll never know what really changed.
You want see that.  I suspect ETNZ still have a few tricks up their sleeve that they will save for a future match.

 

Kate short for Bob

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Only when LR was free to choose the side they wanted and TR tried its luck on the other side. LR choose the better side correctly except once.
Good point which also supports the contention that ETNZ has a faster boat.  They can still stay in touch even when sailing in more adverse conditions that LR.

 

Grrr...

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You want see that.  I suspect ETNZ still have a few tricks up their sleeve that they will save for a future match.
Of that I have no doubt.  I'm sure they are learning reams of info from going up against another fast boat.  And the Italians are damn fast.  Faster than anyone ever gave them credit for.  I think a lot of people wrote them off as semi-jokes early on.  You didn't hear much about them, and you heard a lot about the information sharing between them and NZ.  Especially when boat 2 looked like boat 1, a lot of people wrote them off because they assumed they weren't improving.

Turns out I think they proved pretty much everyone wrong.  Even if they lose, Italy has reason to stand damn proud.

 

Joakim

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They weren't forced to go there but LR opened the gate for them when they could have closed it,
They can't close both options from TR with the same move. They can force TR to tack or let them cross behind. For the latter they can tack and take a loose cover or continue to right. Loose cover tack was marginal. TR might have been fast enough to pass.

Now they chose to protect the left side. TR had no options going left unless they wanted to sit in bad air all the way to the mark and then be forced to take the same mark or do an extra tack. That would have caused TR to be maybe 15 s behind at the mark.

 

weta27

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I paid a lot of attention to the race last night.  And you know what?  That downwind Kiwi speed frankly didn't show up.
In that final leg ETNZ took off like a rocket, heading further down than LR (who followed them) and finishing 500m ahead. That was pretty impressive.

 

Kate short for Bob

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Of that I have no doubt.  I'm sure they are learning reams of info from going up against another fast boat.  And the Italians are damn fast.  Faster than anyone ever gave them credit for.  I think a lot of people wrote them off as semi-jokes early on.  You didn't hear much about them, and you heard a lot about the information sharing between them and NZ.  Especially when boat 2 looked like boat 1, a lot of people wrote them off because they assumed they weren't improving.

Turns out I think they proved pretty much everyone wrong.  Even if they lose, Italy has reason to stand damn proud.
Well I for one had them making it through to the final from the beginning.  The talk on the wharf in Auckland had ETNZ being very fast for a long long time and it didn't take a genius to work out that LR had the most similar boat.

I hear there are a couple of cheap booms for sale in Auckland.  Ineos won't be taking theirs home.

 

Kate short for Bob

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Now they chose to protect the left side. TR had no options going left unless they wanted to sit in bad air all the way to the mark and then be forced to take the same mark or do an extra tack. That would have caused TR to be maybe 15 s behind at the mark.
But the comms onboard had ETNZ seeing pressure coming on the right.  Bruni saw the opposite for some reason.  

 

jaysper

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They have clearly changed the boat to be faster upwind (or LR have downwind). Last days the bigger difference has been upwind and that has allowed TR to bounce back when LR hit them and pass when they get a slightest chance.

It's not several knots, but probably 200 m on a beat, which turns to 1 km when TR wins the start.

Look how fast TR came back, when LR forced them to a bad leeward rounding and got a 200 m lead. And look how fast they spread the distance when they managed to pass.

Also the start was even and TR manage to get 20 m lead before the boundary. That was almost enough to roll LR at their leebow.
Looks to me that it is largely due to Etnz handling their boat better through manouvres.

First races they were faster in a straight line but slower through tacks in particular.

Now they are at least as fast through the tacks and the result is what we are seeing now.

It's not a massive difference and certainly not enough to just sail around them on such a narrow course.

But it's enough for them to stick with LR whilst behind and pounce as soon as LR make a mistake.

If LR sail a race with no major mistakes, they can certainly still win.

The difference is that ETNZ can clearly get away with major mistakes and still win - we have seen more than once.

 

Joakim

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But the comms onboard had ETNZ seeing pressure coming on the right.  Bruni saw the opposite for some reason.  
Well then they were really lucky that LR allowed them to take their preferred side. It would have been easy for LR not to allow that. LR really gave them no options there but tack or loose a lot.

 

jaysper

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Of that I have no doubt.  I'm sure they are learning reams of info from going up against another fast boat.  And the Italians are damn fast.  Faster than anyone ever gave them credit for.  I think a lot of people wrote them off as semi-jokes early on.  You didn't hear much about them, and you heard a lot about the information sharing between them and NZ.  Especially when boat 2 looked like boat 1, a lot of people wrote them off because they assumed they weren't improving.

Turns out I think they proved pretty much everyone wrong.  Even if they lose, Italy has reason to stand damn proud.
I never wrote them off as jokes.

However I assumed that what was effectively a new team (they hadn't been serious competitors since Valencia) would have too high of a mountain to climb to reach where ETNZ were.

Turns out I was wrong, they have been incredible -win or lose.

 

strider470

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I paid a lot of attention to the race last night.  And you know what?  That downwind Kiwi speed frankly didn't show up.  They passed based on wind and shifts.  Upwind?  The boats are pretty well matched.

A speed difference should be evident most of the time if there is one.  But in heavier air where you'd expect the Kiwis to walk away, they didn't do it yesterday.  Both upwind and downwind, LR pretty much matched them.  I suspect the true speed advantage is much smaller than many people think it is.

Watch the VMG's.  Regardless of the boat speed, the VMG's are usually similar unless there is a marked difference in wind direction or strength.
Yes, I agree with you about yesterday, I didn't see either the gap I saw in other races. I was quite surprised. But you can read all that I wrote even assuming perfectly matching speeds of the two boats (but let's not forget that in most of the races where NZ was ahead they could easily extend without any need to cover. And when behind they often could resist even in dirty air without losing too much distance. And that is synonymous with sheer speed.)

My take is that LR match racing is indeed very good. It could well have be 5 - 4 LR with just 1 bad decision less, and a little bit of luck more in finding wind to taking off (as happened to NZ in the same race)

 

1eyedkiwi

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TVNZ was saying this morning that it looks like either Course A or E today which I am sure LR will be happy with.  More likely a win the start win the race outcome and LR  have it over ETNZ in the pre-start.  Could there be another twist in the tail?

 
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