How Do They (NZ) Do It?

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I would like to read the anthropological study of Kiwis that explains why they are so dominant in the America’s Cup. They’ve won 4 of the last 8 ACs and were 3 for 3 in challenger cups during that same span. And yet, there are more than 100 countries with larger populations, and more than 50 with a larger GDP. Hard to come up with another sporting event where so much success in such a technically complex field has been achieved with so little.

It’s not convincing to say that everyone in NZ sails, so no wonder their success. Lots of people sail elsewhere in far greater numbers and in well-heeled sailing meccas. ETNZ designs are typically a cut above the field, but one would imagine that competitors from countries with universities the likes of MIT, Cambridge, and Politecnico di Milano, the design field would be relatively even. Generational talents like Coutts and Burling help but are insufficient on their own. Money is no advantage for NZ either.

Although I love the country and have been a fan of ETNZ for a long time, part of me was hoping for an LRPP win because it’s easy to cheer for the underdog and it’s good to see the Cup change hands. At the same time, ETNZ have always been the underdog. Paradoxically, they are frequently the favourite. It’s impressive and perplexing all the same.  

 

danstanford

Anarchist
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Lake Ontario
I was casting about for answers to a tangent question myself. When we look at the Kiwi boats we see innovative and effective solutions to some of the challenges encountered. The best I could come up with was the reality of being an island nation far from some of the resources the rest of the world takes for granted has better promoted innovative solutions. Most of these solutions don't seem to be the product of engineering breakthroughs, or rather breakthroughs at engineering firms, but rather common sense answers to complex issues deemed unsolvable by others. 

Inspirational for sure. 

 

marlowe

Anarchist
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all at sea
NZ has the 9th longest coastline of any country. So plenty of access for sailing.

(Canada has by far the longest coastline, nearly two thirds of the world's total, but a lot of it is ice!)

 

strider470

Super Anarchist
Switzerand has better statistics so far :D

Ah, but they were from NZ as well. Let's not forget that.

So if you add Alinghi to ETNZ, the Kiwi dominance in sailing is even more impressive!

 
96
65
That's like asking, Why are Canadians are so dominant at ice hockey.....  ;)
I think there's a pretty big difference between the two: while the game of hockey has evolved very little, ETNZ has had major success in 3 very different types of boat.

 

167149

Super Anarchist
sorry but in real world NZ that no8 wire is actually a smokescreen to keep the office boys in their cubicles, the real trick shit has always been done by 10 gauge malleable wire and 16 gauge tiewire, as for genetic success....... put it down to diet , eta crunchy peanut butter, vegemite, weetbix and that abominable milk they made us drink in school...... oh and having no such word as ... " assum bumcha"  !!!!

 

marlowe

Anarchist
543
220
all at sea
..... put it down to diet , eta crunchy peanut butter, vegemite, weetbix and that abominable milk they made us drink in school......
When I was at school in Auckland the tuck shop sold only pies and donuts. :)

pie_and_donut.jpg

 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
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I think kiwis are very much inclined to be free thinkers (in my engineering/NA world). This helps with very new designs where the design space is large and you don't know what is going to work.

As well Team NZ has been held together with a varying cast of members but with a common ethos that carries over from campaign to campaign; this really helps with a cup cycle because you're already part staffed up.

 
96
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Yes, there have been changes in both sports. Hockey sticks, like masts, once made of wood are now carbon fibre. Players used to smoke between periods; now they eat plant-based diets to maximize performance. Sailors today are elite athletes compared to their predecessors. 

However, I don’t see any evolution in hockey that is comparable to the platform changes from IACC to foiling cats to foiling monohulls, and certainly not in a 25-year span.  
 

 

AVALANINIA

New member
27
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Usa
Yes, there have been changes in both sports. Hockey sticks, like masts, once made of wood are now carbon fibre. Players used to smoke between periods; now they eat plant-based diets to maximize performance. Sailors today are elite athletes compared to their predecessors. 

However, I don’t see any evolution in hockey that is comparable to the platform changes from IACC to foiling cats to foiling monohulls, and certainly not in a 25-year span.  
 
NZ.....should make a strict nationality rule.....no one would ever beat them

 
I think it's legend and history that do it you are surrounded by it in Auckland you see the sea some part of each day. When your young "I could go out and sail away do anything take on the world" Peter Blake made a boat out of corrigated iron and started sailing as a child off Bayswater with this attitude. You go for a walk and the water features at some point you go to a bar downtown water old boats etc KZ-1 is always looming over you showing kiwis taking on the big Americans. Most have a relitive that had some sort of a hand in sailing then push it onto there boy/girl That sort of thing I think. 

 

jaysper

Super Anarchist
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Wellington
I would like to read the anthropological study of Kiwis that explains why they are so dominant in the America’s Cup. They’ve won 4 of the last 8 ACs and were 3 for 3 in challenger cups during that same span. And yet, there are more than 100 countries with larger populations, and more than 50 with a larger GDP. Hard to come up with another sporting event where so much success in such a technically complex field has been achieved with so little.

It’s not convincing to say that everyone in NZ sails, so no wonder their success. Lots of people sail elsewhere in far greater numbers and in well-heeled sailing meccas. ETNZ designs are typically a cut above the field, but one would imagine that competitors from countries with universities the likes of MIT, Cambridge, and Politecnico di Milano, the design field would be relatively even. Generational talents like Coutts and Burling help but are insufficient on their own. Money is no advantage for NZ either.

Although I love the country and have been a fan of ETNZ for a long time, part of me was hoping for an LRPP win because it’s easy to cheer for the underdog and it’s good to see the Cup change hands. At the same time, ETNZ have always been the underdog. Paradoxically, they are frequently the favourite. It’s impressive and perplexing all the same.  
It's the team culture pure and simple. Does that stem from kiwi culture? Only partially. Most of it stems from the team itself and will be a culmination of it's experiences over the years.

Look at what Kenny said during the Bermuda match "for as long as I've known them, the kiwi team don't mind doing things differently if they think it will be faster".

Being able to do that also stems from a culture where good ideas thrive and bad ideas die regardless of the "importance" of the person having them.

If you look at the NZ team prior to 1995, it was not like that at all.

Bruce fucking Farr would design a boat, it would be built and the sailors would see it for the first time when it arrived dock side.

Hardly a recipe for innovation. 

 
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