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BS: America' Cup 2003

catspaw49 14 Feb 03 - 07:45 PM
catspaw49 14 Feb 03 - 07:48 PM
Musicman 14 Feb 03 - 08:32 PM
Musicman 14 Feb 03 - 08:38 PM
catspaw49 14 Feb 03 - 09:06 PM
Bobert 14 Feb 03 - 10:38 PM
DonMeixner 15 Feb 03 - 12:04 AM
catspaw49 15 Feb 03 - 12:34 AM
Musicman 15 Feb 03 - 02:36 AM
Gurney 15 Feb 03 - 04:43 AM
catspaw49 15 Feb 03 - 05:26 AM
DonMeixner 15 Feb 03 - 09:01 AM
Charley Noble 15 Feb 03 - 09:02 AM
Bobert 15 Feb 03 - 10:31 AM
Charley Noble 15 Feb 03 - 11:15 AM
catspaw49 15 Feb 03 - 05:52 PM
DonMeixner 15 Feb 03 - 09:57 PM
catspaw49 15 Feb 03 - 10:18 PM
catspaw49 15 Feb 03 - 10:51 PM
catspaw49 16 Feb 03 - 12:30 AM
Charley Noble 16 Feb 03 - 10:27 AM
catspaw49 16 Feb 03 - 11:48 AM
Charley Noble 16 Feb 03 - 07:05 PM
EBarnacle1 17 Feb 03 - 01:50 AM
Schantieman 17 Feb 03 - 12:46 PM
pastorpest 17 Feb 03 - 10:41 PM
catspaw49 17 Feb 03 - 11:52 PM
Charley Noble 18 Feb 03 - 11:58 AM
catspaw49 18 Feb 03 - 02:07 PM
EBarnacle1 19 Feb 03 - 02:21 AM
catspaw49 19 Feb 03 - 12:51 PM
Gurney 20 Feb 03 - 01:25 AM
Mark Cohen 20 Feb 03 - 02:59 AM
catspaw49 20 Feb 03 - 01:49 PM
Gurney 21 Feb 03 - 11:06 PM
Gurney 23 Feb 03 - 02:25 AM
catspaw49 23 Feb 03 - 06:45 AM
EBarnacle1 23 Feb 03 - 04:15 PM
catspaw49 23 Feb 03 - 05:08 PM
catspaw49 23 Feb 03 - 06:50 PM
Gurney 24 Feb 03 - 12:31 AM
Musicman 24 Feb 03 - 04:47 AM
Musicman 27 Feb 03 - 08:17 PM
Charley Noble 27 Feb 03 - 08:52 PM
catspaw49 27 Feb 03 - 09:17 PM
Musicman 28 Feb 03 - 01:24 AM
Little Robyn 28 Feb 03 - 04:03 AM
catspaw49 28 Feb 03 - 11:01 AM
Charley Noble 28 Feb 03 - 11:18 AM
catspaw49 28 Feb 03 - 01:03 PM
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Subject: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 07:45 PM

........is off to a bad start for the Kiwis!!! Bad enough to lose the first jib but then a second? And the Main is torn as well? I'm anxious to hear the explanations on this one.

Alinghi goes one up (unless they sink completing the course).

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 07:48 PM

Experimental boom is shattered. Technology run amuck. Too delicate by far!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Musicman
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 08:32 PM

hey spaw.. just started looking at VS.. get the current look and no TNZ!!! on the course.. just now trying to get the update.. look at the start etc.. and try to find what happened/??/

musicman


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Musicman
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 08:38 PM

oh man.. that's gotta suck..

gear failure is a pain in the a _ _ .

tomorrow's should be an exciting race then, with TNZ having to make up for todays screwups.....


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 09:06 PM

Yeah, Musicman....I'd say so......I think NZ will go back to the heavier but sturdier boom which started the thing off. The main tear was a direct result. But I think the jib change, though a gear failure, wasn't handles well by NZ and they know it. They look pretty down at the moment......I'm sure they'll be up for romorrow though. Truly a major setback as I think they planned to sweep!!!

Also NZ was taking a lot of water over the rail which struck me as odd since they know the conditions well and a different sail combo might have eliminated the problem. It created a lot of extra pressure which obviously NZ didn't need.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 10:38 PM

Awww, jib shieeets! The dang boat is going to halliards in a hand basket.

Like, ahhhh, Spawzer. Whatz sailing to you folks in Ohio anyway? Lots of wind but no, ahhhh.... wadder the last I looked.

Heck, Iz jus funnin' wid ya. I heard that sailing is the state sport in Ohio...

But, serously. Like why call it the America's Cup when tem million Dennis Conners can't bring it back...

Oh...

Slow boats...

Should have figured...

First Mate Bobert.

p.s. I know a drifter from a jib.... Soend a little time on the Chesapeake crewing (fancy word for deck slave)...


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: DonMeixner
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 12:04 AM

I didn't even know the race was on. Hmmm.


Bobert, we just go back to calling it The HUndred Guineas Cup. Or was that a Hundred cups of Guiness.

Oh well, My money is on Sir Thomas and the Shamrock 4.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 12:34 AM

Gotta' disagree Don.....I think I'll play a "hunch" and go with Resolute.........

For those of you who are for some reason reading this thread and don't know this, The Hundred Guineas Cup was offered by the Royal Yacht Squadron and Queen Victoria as the trophy for winning a race around the Isle of Wight in 1851 as a part of some kind of grand exhibition of the greatness of British technology. It's value? Yeah, you got it. Anyway, an American schooner named America of great speed challenged by about 20(?) or so British yachts raced around the island. At the finish, the America crossed the finish line so far ahead that no other boat was within sight. Probably apochryphal, but legend has it the the Queen aboard the Royal Yacht turned and asked who finished second. No other yacht was in sight and someone replied to her, "Ah Your Majesty, there is no second."

The Hundred Guineas Cup was given to John(?) Stevens the owner, and the yacht America. It was then renamed The America's Cup....for the boat, not the country......and was later turned over to the New York Yacht Club as the prize for a friendly international competition....which it rarely was or is, but that's another story.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Musicman
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 02:36 AM

just finished watching the replays etc on espn...

quite amazing when that first jib blew out.. wow... .never seen one quite go like that before..
you could see them removeing the boom as soon as they got back to the harbour... ready to go tomorrow..
hopefully i can catch part of it on VS before i have to head out.. but i don't think so..

ahh.. the joys of sailing..

we once had a guy at a regatta.. downwind with the spinnaker up.. coming to the leward mark.. hails... "room to dismast!" seems he broke the forestay.. only thing holding up the mast was the spinny.... (hobie 18, catamaran)
gave him a trophy for most unique call on the course...

on to the next race!!

musicman


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Gurney
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 04:43 AM

People on the boat say that there was about 6 TONNES of water aboard. Maybe they left the cork out.
The boom was made of carbon fibre (Curse you, Rolls-Royce).
This race lasted 8 minutes.
Tomorrow we may get it up to 10....


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 05:26 AM

"Room to dismast?".......LOL........I'm sitting here trying to think what my reaction would have been when I heard that and the best I can think would have been along the lines of, "Say WHAT?"

I think NZ has taken the tech a bit too far, ya' know? I know the strength of carbon fiber but that shot of 3 guys carrying the boom with ease kinda' makes me think that technology has run amok!

Also, they were taking a LOT of water which makes me think that these boats are way too sensitive. Let's face it, they are specialty and specially built boats that operate only within certain parameters with specific sail combinations.......My question being, has NZ got the parameters down so tight that the least deviation throws the boat that far out a decent trimming ability?

In a way, that's what happened to the old J Boats. By '37 they had reached the stage of ridiculous (for their day). And the 12M's suffered similarly, but they were also reasonably stable, albeit slow. The AC formula allows some radical development but has that kind of peaked perhaps? The formula is basically fast but pretty unstable from the gitgo and maybe it's time to tighten things up a bit. It's hard to win a race if your friggin' boat sinks. One did last time around........Overall, I wish they'd get back to something a little more identifiable with us poor folks. Like several forms of auto racing, it's hard to get the feeling that YOU could do it, which is generally the essence of a fan's feelings.

With the 12's for instance, I think that 11 good, serious sailors could climb aboard and, with a little practice, sail one respectably. Indeed, there are several of the old girls available for charter. But these latest AC "contraptions" are getting a bit on the terrifying end of the spectrum.

Ah hell, maybe I'm just gettin' old...............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: DonMeixner
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 09:01 AM

Hey Spaw,

How about you and me and few dozen others who know the pointy end from a taff rail put together and "J" class and see if we can't win this turkey back. Or at least steal it.
A boat that size and a crew of sturdy folksinger types we will surely win the day. We have Kendall to skipper the ship. My guess is while those Hi Tech Kiwis are busy laughing at us Gargoyle and Clinton Hammond can lay siege to the Yacht club and take it under force of arms. Garg can insult them into behaving rashly while Clinton outs with a Dalcasian Axe cleaves the trophy case in twain. Once in our mits we can hold it for ransom.
The budget for a 12 Meter would keep the Cat up and running for a few years.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 09:02 AM

Fasinating! Keep up the commentary for those of us who only read the all-too-brief summaries in our newspapers.

Oh, and Remember the Maine!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 10:31 AM

Hey, Dom, if yer talkin' conspiracy here to recapture the Cup, then count me in, Captain. I can crank a wench with the best of 'em...

And I promise not to push anyone over board...

1st Mate Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 11:15 AM

So has anyone figured what happens if the Swiss win? Like what waters will they use to defend the Cup?

Apparently them carbon composite booms are not indestructible.

"To lose them jibs," our captain cried,
"It grieves me heart full sore,
But the losing of that carbon composite boom,
It grieves me ten times more, brave boys,
It grieves me ten times more."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 05:52 PM

I think you're on to something Don. Personally, I think a bunch of us could win it back with a J as long as we can make a few rules. First thing, we go back to the Olympic Course with reaching legs and we do the whole course twice. The reaching legs need to be about 8 times longer than the windward/leeward legs. This will not only give us a monstrous advantage with a J, but also give us time for a leisurely brunch on board.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: DonMeixner
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 09:57 PM

Ah, Port and cigars on the portside.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 10:18 PM

This one (Race 2) finally started after about 2&1/2 hour delays. The first was for weather. It was beautiful and bright and sunny with no wind proving the old saw that sailing is the only sport you cancel because of good weather. This was followed by some "suspicious" delays from the race committee hoping to gain some home court advantage....nothing new there in Cup racing. Good start and some great calls by Coutts and Butterworth. Coutts is really good....a great eye for time on distance.

Alinghi by 12 seconds at the first mark. Both boats had excellent bear away sets but ya' gotta' love the speed with which Coutts tacks a boat.....Fantastic. Alinghi seems to be a bit faster upwind.......we'll see what happens downwind........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 10:51 PM

Interesting downwind leg......NZ picked up a better breeze and rolled right over alinghi. Alinghi made some strange moves including a sail change at less that a mile from the mark and had to make an extra jibe to make the mark........Part of this though was obviously the effect of the "Hula Hull" on NZ where you could really see the effect os the artificially longer waterline. Coutts and Butterworth will have to make some absolutely great moves with brilliant crew work from herre on out as NZ has better downwind speed. Halfway up the second windward leg, NZ has stretched the lead over Alinghi to about 7 lengths.

This is the learning day for both boats. Gonna' be interesting to see if Coutts and company can come up with the moves over the next legs and races to nullify the downwind speed of the Kiwis.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 12:30 AM

GREAT GOOGLY-MOOGLY!!!! What a boat race!!!!! That may have been the best Cup race I have ever seen!!!!

NZ has better downwind speed and Alinghi slightly better to wind, but a couple of bad calls and some real brilliance from the Alinghi afterguard and they go up 2-0!!! Alinghi managed to blanket NZ on the final leg downwind to the finish line and pulled the overlap. Just a spectacular job of sailing. Great tacking duel on the previous upwind leg brought them closer and Coutts got aggressive. Alinghi had two small tears in their chute, but they babied it enough to get them through. A big round of applause to Brad Butterworth when Coutts wanted to go high on the final jibe and Butterworth stopped him. More pressure would have blown the spinnaker and Coutts was in the heat of battle, but Butterworth's voice was pleading and yelling to him and Coutts bore off and sailed easily on across the line.

damn!!! IT WAS GREAT FOLKS!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 10:27 AM

Keep it up! No relevant news at all in my Sunday paper.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 11:48 AM

Charley....Here's the press write up of the race. I think I caught a lot of the same in mine. But I tell ya', they don't mention Butterworth's call at the end which saved it.   He did a great job of getting through to Coutts and making sure they held the lead. Those two have sailed together for a long time. The mood on Alinghi is very calm and relaxed, very assured. Even when they were well behind there was no yelling or panic. They just sail the boat in a professional manner and with great confidence. Let's face it, they should have a lot of confidence since 7 of them are Kiwis from the winning boat last time!!! BTW, the folks in New Zealand treat them as traitors with a lot of animosity towards them. Anyway, it was the best race I can recall from the many AC races I've watched either live, on film, or on TV.

Jobson (who can be a real ass) made one excellent point during the commentary.....When Alinghi established the overlap and was rolling over NZ, he noted that EVERYONE on the Kiwi boat was watching Alinghi....and when everyone is watching the other boat, you gotta' know you're in trouble.

Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts got the better of his young protégé, Kiwi skipper Dean Barker on Sunday in a thrilling race to go up 2 – 0 in the America's Cup Match. Coutts made an incredible pass on the final run, breaking hearts across New Zealand as Alinghi slipped by just a few hundred metres from the finish.

Racing was delayed for over two and half hours to allow the sea breeze to stabilise on Sunday, and the warning signal eventually sounded with 8 – 10 knot Northeasterlies on the race course.

Coutts and Alinghi looked strong in the pre-start as the Swiss team won the favoured left side of the start line. Halfway up the first beat Alinghi crossed ahead of Team New Zealand, and hometown sailing fans had their hearts in their mouths.

But after trailing around the first mark, Team New Zealand showed an impressive display of speed on the first run, and 40-minutes into the race, the Kiwi black boat crossed ahead of its opponent for the first time in the XXXI'st America's Cup match.

Team New Zealand completed the first lap of the course with a 34-second lead and looked as if they would hold on the rest of the way. But on the final run to the finish, Alinghi rolled past NZL-82 after some ferocious luffing duels, and Coutts enjoyed his 11th consecutive America's Cup win.

Monday is an 'off' day. Race Three is scheduled to start at 13:15 on Tuesday afternoon.


Race Two of the America's Cup got underway in light conditions with the breeze struggling to top 10 knots. With positions reversed for the entry into the starting box, Alinghi entered from the left and Team New Zealand from the right. But as the breeze started to shift around to the left further up the course it became clear that the left hand side of the start line would be favoured.

After a close quarters pre-start tussle, Alinghi held on to the favoured end of the line, forcing Team New Zealand to tack away and start on port.

As the first leg unfurled Alinghi did indeed appear to have the advantage as the breeze slipped to the left. Yet even though Team New Zealand was further to the right, they didn't seem to be losing out.

At the weather mark the Kiwis were 12 seconds behind Alinghi.

As both boats sailed downwind from the weather mark on port, Team New Zealand kept the pressure on by appearing to sail at the same speed but lower than the Swiss. Eventually they gybed away and shortly afterwards started to pull ahead rapidly.

On rounding the first leeward mark they had overtaken the Swiss to lead for the first time and were 130m ahead with a delta of 34 seconds.

The second beat saw Barker and his crew hold onto most of their lead despite the tricky conditions. At the weather mark, Alinghi were 26 seconds behind but by the leeward mark Alinghi had hauled back some of this advantage to close to the gap to just 14 seconds.

On the last beat the breeze had dropped to 7-8 knots and Coutts' team seemed keen on engaging Team New Zealand in a down-speed tacking duel. But as the pair bounced off each other it was Team New Zealand that appeared to gain the advantage, stretching their lead metre by metre with every tack.

At the last weather mark rounding, both boats had thrown in 33 tacks and Team New Zealand was ahead by 26 seconds. Choosing to perform a bear away set may have cost them the race as Alinghi opted for a gybe set. Team New Zealand were quick to respond and gybed over onto starboard but as the pair sailed downwind Alinghi, to weather, managed get the puffs first, sailing deeper at the same speed and soaking down to Team New Zealand.

What followed next was one of the closest finishes of the series, as Coutts' team fought to break through. Initially, Barker managed to hold Alinghi off, carrying the Swiss team out to and beyond the port gybe lay line. But after the gybe, Alinghi managed to drive over the top of NZL-82 yet again to win by seven seconds.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 07:05 PM

Wow!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 01:50 AM

I really appreciate the coverage. What you are telling us highlights the fact that match racing is about several things.

First, it is about boat vs. boat. If the boats are unevenly matched as seems to be the history of the America's Cup, the races tend to be lopsided. The current pairing seems to be between two boats with uneven characteristics and relatively even crews.

I believe it would be even more interesting if the boats were built to a set of plans and the emphasis were on crews outsailing each other. The class would be less a development rule [which favors breakthroughs] and more a measure of team vs. team.

In the spirit of international sport, such as the Olympics, it would be healthier for the sport for it to be returned to original rules and require that crews be based upon nationality rather than being roving sailors for hire.

This would encourage each nation to spend more effort on developing the abilities of its local people rather than simply importing the hot captain with money. This is a rich man's sport at this level but there is no reason to allow the richest kid to buy the cup.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Schantieman
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 12:46 PM

Count me in for the J-class!


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: pastorpest
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 10:41 PM

Now that the Swiss boat is up 3 to zip we need to help plan for the next set of races. By keeping to the same time of year as these down under races we could move the races to Switzerland. Use ice boats on a big rink seeing there is a distinct lack of ocean. Ice boats should make for speed records


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 11:52 PM

This race needed only minimal commentary. In the pre-start, Alinghi worked into a control position and waited until the last minute to decide to take the right side of the course. Beautifully done! Then of course, they were correct and the right hand shift came in big. By the time the shift started back they had rounded and Alinghi was about half a minute ahead. From that point on it was Coutts and Butterworth calling the shifts and using superb covering tactics which gave NZ no chance to attack.

Somebody needs to give the Kiwis a shot in the arm or a kick in the ass. They have fantastic boat speed but I'll kiss your ass and give you 20 minutes to draw a crowd if the real problem isn't that they are intimidated by Coutts. When Coutts/Butterworth rolled them in race 2, you could see it in their faces. Like many other sports, sailing, and especially match racing, is largely won or lost in your head.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 11:58 AM

Sigh!

This race actually sounds exciting.

Maybe next time around they can try out the dinghy class. Or will it be ice boats?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 02:07 PM

At 3-0, it's still not over and Dean Barker is capable of winning 5 of 9 and retaining the Cup for New Zealand. That said, if he does, it will be the greatest comeback of all time no matter what era or type of boat, including the great job done by Australia II and John Bertrand. Here's why.

I think first that Coutts, as I've said before, is the greatest match racer alive and with Butterworth at his side they represent about the best sailing has seen. But if I'm sailing NZ, I gotta' believe that he can be beaten and that I am the guy to do it! Dean Barker is saying the right words but when you listen to the words and see his reactions on the boat, you know he is pretty well beaten. NZ has very little in advantage on boat speed, much less than I originally believed. More to the point, NZ has sailed extremely well making very few mistakes (witness the tacking duel in race 2)........but Coutts and Butterworth have jumped on every mistake and, even while making a few of their own, turned them to Alinghi's advantage. The best example came in the prestart of Race 3. There I think you saw how good C&B are, how quickly they capitalize, and how intimidated Barker and company really is.

Barker says he was confused by his weather people as to which side of the course was favored. Listening to the onboard mikes on both boats, it was pretty apparent that the the Kiwi's thought the right side was favored. Barker didn't hear it that way.......Why? Because for the first 5-6 minutes of the 10 minute prestart, it looked for all the world like Coutts was wanting the left. If I'm Barker and I know Coutts, how great he is and all, and what a good starter he is, then I am likely to be confused. The weather team says the right looks better but Coutts is obviously going left. At about 4 minutes or so, Coutts sprung the trap. A quick tack and an even faster circling move brought Alinghi into a controlling position over NZ and gave them the right side of the course. It was beautiful and Barker was hung out to dry being forced to take the left. And sure enough, the wind shifts and Alinghi has a 30 second lead. Call the tow boat.

The Kiwis can do it, but my money says they won't. Barker needs some reassurance from his afterguard; Schnakenberg needs to calm him down and get his mind right. I just don't think it's gonna' happen. They need a skipper that believes in himself and that he can take Coutts no matter what. I think all of those guys jumped ship elsewhere.....like Chris Dickson. Don't get me wrong, Coutts beats Dickson regularly, but Chris Dickson believes in Chris Dickson and screw you if you don't!!!   

The other thing here is that one reason Coutts left was to sail more, or so it is said. I tend to believe that. Back in the old days, the defender in the United States would have 3, 4, 6, 9, other boats that they would have to beat to become the defender. In NZ, it's an in-house thing and the racing they do is amongst themselves, same team. There is a huge difference in racing your own team versus other boats and this year the difference is showing because they are without Coutts and Butterworth. To be truthful, those two look better than they ever have as well. The NZ mood is matching the color of the hull and I don't think they can pull the rabbit out of the hat. Race 4 is going to show a lot.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 02:21 AM

I had the pleasure of having a phone conversation t'other night while a friend was watching on ESPN 2. It was agonizing listening to reports of sloppy sail handling and not using NZ to its full advantage. They really ought to go to true match racing and concentrate less on gadgetry.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 12:51 PM

As to not using the boat to it's full advantage, after watching the races I don't think anyone believes there is a significant difference that can be exploited. The differences lie in very specific wind conditions and there just isn't a lot in it. NZ looked very fast downwind on the first run they sailed together but Alinghi made a poor sail choice and once rectified, they looked very close in actual speed.

As far as boat handling goes......Are you sure your friend was watching the race? The Kiwis have made a few tactical mistakes that Alinghi exploited, but Coutts has made a few too. The difference here is the experience and seasoning under competition of Coutts and Butterworth......and they have worked together for years.

But your friend reports "sloppy sail handling?" No way......In the first race, the NZ crew really started having problems when the boom shattered, the main ripped along the foot, they couldn't bail fast enough for the amount of water coming aboard creating additional problems, the titanium jib shackle shattered causing the jib to blow out.........at this point they made the mistake of improperly feeding the second jib into the headfoil while wrestling the tatteresd first aboard, and the second let go and blew as well. They decided to withdraw. Frankly, if it had been me, I'd have blown a hole in the bottom and sunk the fucker!

No, I can't buy sloppy sail handling. Coutts threw them some false jibes and they were back on course faster than he was. AND, on that third leg of race 2, Coutts started a tacking duel that turned out to be the longest in Cup history....33 tacks for each boat. I never saw the first mistake and Barker knows how to helm that boat well doing beautiful tacks that carried much speed through the wind. It was amazing to watch and Coutts made no gains, nor did he get NZ out of phase.

The Kiwis may not win this thing owing to a variety of reasons, but so far, their boat handling has been superb.......their tactics something less. I think you're seeing an excellent match racing series here. Both boats, designed to a formula, are extremely fast and damn near equal. The crew work aboard both has been smooth and polished which leaves the difference in the afterguard and it's tactics.......and here, Coutts and Butterworth are winning. I can't say enough about Butterworth. He keeps things very calm aboard Alinghi and never seems worried about their position. He has again, as in the past, proven himself to be a great calming influence on Russell Coutts. We'll see what happens today!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Gurney
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 01:25 AM

Nothing happened today. The wind was too light and variable, and the Kiwis declined to race. Next meet Saturday (Friday to most of you.)
Russell Coutts is an Olympic Gold Medallist and a World Match-Racing Champion. Dean Barker is his protege and sometimes beat him when they were on the same team. Rumour once had it that if the Swiss won they would leave the challenge in NZ, but with the current displays of poor sportsmanship (from the press and business, not the sailors) the current speculation here favours the Med.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 02:59 AM

I don't know, 'Spaw, first it was soccer and World Cup fever, then talking about sailing like you know which end of the sail to blow into...what the hell kind of a red-blooded workin'-class Amurrican are you, anyway? Next thing you'll be all hot about cricket, or polo, or whist, fer Chrissake. I tell you, I'm beginning to think this whole Buckeye thing of yours is a put-on. You sure you're from Ohio and not Orkney or Oslo or Ovaltine or some damn place like that?

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 01:49 PM

Okay....I admit it....I'm from Ovaltine!!! Got my Captain Midnight Decoder Ring to prove it! Actually Mark, I started sailing when I was 7. Other kids liked fishing....I hated it. But sailing just got me. I've done a fair share of sail racing including some good offshore racing as well. I still love racing small boats on landlocked lakes where the winds are so shifty you have to adjust constantly. Remember that one of our greatest sailors in the US, Buddy Melges, still preferred racing scows on the Wisconsin lakes!

AND GURNEY........Actually, something did happen yesterday. The Kiwis made a move to try to get things going by putting Bertrand Pace on board as tactician. He's an outstanding French match racer who has the belief in himself and his ability to beat Coutts that may be just what NZ needs. Also, the fact the Kiwis elected not to race still shows some lack of confidence. Granted, if you're down, you don't want to lose another, but shifting and gusty winds favor only those with a better knowledge of local conditions (tie there) or those who can best anticipate the shifts and the pressure changes......Are they less than sure of themselves on that point? Alinghi sure thinks so and like I keep saying, a lot of this game is in your head. Giving the NZ team more time to think about the next race and "live in their heads" to me was a bad call. Go out and give them hell and prove you're better no matter what the wind does......Do they lack that confidence? I guarantee it's in the back of everyone's mind aboard Team New Zealand.

Jobson made a point during the wait that if this had been an Etchell's race, it would have been off on time. Most of us who sail small boats (and most of the AC crews aboard both boats do) have sailed races in ridiculous conditions......I sailed a Flying Scot regatta on Atwood Lake in a snowstorm with winds from nothing to about 20 and shifting through over 120 degrees......and postponing this race was like giving a field goal kicker that extra time-out to think about it.....and New Zealand did it to themselves!!!! After Alinghi agreed to the cancellation there was some snickering kind of glee on board from Butterworth and Coutts. They didn't want to race either really, but in this case, the other guy blinked first and it told them they had the psychological advantage.......It's a head game.

Perhaps they were worried that Pace would bring along that French curse. They say he came to the Kiwis because he couldn't stand to be associated with any more disastrous French campaigns. Pace is great and I'm just joking here, HE has no curse........But the French have been absolutely dismal in Cup racing!!! Baron Bich(sp?), the BIC pen magnate, mounted a great campaign back in the 12 Meter days. It had lots of flash and flair and pomp and equipment and uniforms and they did everything..........everything but win. The Baron went through a lot of crew and skippers as well and finally took the helm himself, properly attired in his yachting garb, replete with white gloves! I wish I could remember the year........Anyway, the Baron leaves the dock in Newport and just after one of the worst starts in anyone's memory, a fog drifted in on the light air and...............He got lost in the fog! No shit......Someone had to take a tow boat out and find him and haul them back to Newport.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 11:06 PM

Yes Spaw, I knew about bringing in a new tactician, but as he didn't tacticate it was a little irrelevant. Got to be worth a try, though.

No racing again, too little wind. Next try tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Gurney
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 02:25 AM

And once again, no racing today. They go out, they wait about, they come in. The weather is perfect for fishing, but rag powered boats insist on wind. They waited today until 4 pm, which was the latest that they could start and hope to finish. Ho Hum.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:45 AM

Couldn't help but enjoy Alinghi's "tune up".............

Yeah, the winds were light and shifty, but not so light and shifty as to not be good for a race. The Cup has been raced for in lighter and shiftier.........The America's Cup has a long history of home field advantage and perhaps Mr. Bennett is just respecting that tradition. The fact that the NZ boat and it's hula hull doesn't work well under 10 knots of breeze probably doesn't enter into it...........OR so they say, but oddly enough the boat looked really good in the lighter winds of Race 2..........I mean, I don't get it....The boat CAN sail well in less that ideal wind conditions so what's the problem? Can Bennett and company of the RNZYS be so tentative asto wait for perfect weather? Just sail the damn races! Seems to me that the longer NZ waits, the worse their chances become. I hope I'm wrong because I'd love to see this series go all nine!!!!

Had they started this race today on time, the winds would have stayed between 7 and 9 for the next 2 hours with the shift moving back and forth within a 40 degree arc. They'd have gotten the race in and it would have made for a great race putting a premium on tactics and perfect boat handling. I figure the last leg would have been in a dying breeze and it makes me recall a couple of the races back in San Diego where everyone was biting their nails and the last 200 yards took minutes with the boats crossing the line so closely.....................Well, it didn't happen yesterday anyway......Maybe today.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 04:15 PM

You are right. I did not see it directly. The person who relayed the race [race 3] to me as it happened is a racing sailor who knows what a good set looks like. She described NZ's sluggishness at the final turning mark and how her movement changed when they got things squared away. I hope this new tactician can make things better.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 05:08 PM

Both teams have had some fine sail handling and the occasional problem. I just would not describe either team as having sloppy sail handling across the board, far from it. Out of all the tacks and jibes and mark roundings and the pre-starts, they have both shown themselves to be extremely good. Several columns have made the same point that I did elsewhere and that is that a lot of the NZ problem comes from a lack of competitive racing and they are as not "battle hardened" as the Swiss boat.

I just hope they race today. Harold Bennett needs to come to the States and try to start some Lightning and Thistle races here. If the past couple of days are any indication, the guy would have a heart attack and the Class associations would die from lack of racing!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:50 PM

Well I should have checked the NoticeBoard first........Try again tomorrow!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Gurney
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 12:31 AM

Tomorrow, here. Still no racing, and the alinghi boss reported as ropeable. Called it a "Zoo out there." Not a happy chappy.
The forecast? Strong to gale winds for the rest of the week, but they've been known to be wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Musicman
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 04:47 AM

ha spaw.. you should see the start of the hobie racing!! ..wicked fun.. gives PRO's a heart attack if they're not used to it... never mind the boats being lightnin fast around the course in a good breeze (we like the 25 knot breezes.. most fun then)

let's get this racing underway!!!!


hey spaw.. check this out to see some pics from a regatta last year in 20kt breezes.....

musicman


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Musicman
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 08:17 PM

OH no!!!!
Race 4 finally gets underway.. and in the 2nd upwind.. TNZ looses it's rig!!!

forestay goes then the rig..

not a good year for the Kiwi's!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 08:52 PM

Well, at least they finally set some sail. So now you're suggesting that TNZ has circumsized its rig? As I recall from my early years of catboating, a forestay is a useful part of the so-called standing rigging.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 09:17 PM

Ya' know Paul, I've enjoyed your pictures a helluva' lot more than the Cup racing. Those are some fantastic and classic shots....lots of good sailing, but spectacular camera work!!! Thanks for sharing...

As for Race 4......at the moment, suitable comment is lacking. I've got a few thoughts that are more like a rant with tangents so at the moment, I'll just let it alone. Pathetic.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Musicman
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 01:24 AM

just watching the video replay.. amazing watching that mast come down...
feel bad for TNZ.. just not having any luck this year....

yeah.. spaw.. the pictures from the Harrison regatta a great for sure.. my boat's in a few.. (16769).. and it was sure a lot of fun on the water...
although we're not dealing with carbon fiber stuff.. and the boats are built for the tough conditions.....

looks like the cups leaving the south pacific though.....

just heard... mast is worth about $700,000.... egad... lol

sad sight watching them take the sail off.. towed in....

musicman


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Little Robyn
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 04:03 AM

Don't give up just yet - there's still another day!


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 11:01 AM

Yeah....This time I predict the hula hull falls of and the fucker sinks.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 11:18 AM

Oh, so sad! Half dismasted! 20 knot winds! What a mess, and not a mention in my so called newspaper. I actually had to access the New Zealand reports on the internet.

Oh, I note that there's an attempt to expell the expatriot crew of the Alinghi from the local yacht club. Really sporting!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 01:03 PM

Yeah, that's the latest......The RNZYS has a petition to remove both Coutts and Butterworth from their club. It was filed by a guy in the "Blackheart" bunch, a group that has made even more threatening gestures. Did you know they have had death threats? Bomb threats? That's what all of the "Loyal" signs and stuff is about......Yeah, these guys are traitors. Right.

Actually Coutts made the call when he left the NZ bunch 2 weeks after the last Cup. He said at the time he wanted to race more and if you want to see the results of racing more, bear witness to the sorry ass situation with NZL82. I read a comment by either Coutts or Butterworth that said how little the Kiwi boat was out last year and that they "did their tuning in the shed." This Cup is the result of tuning in the shed. In an earlier post I mentioned that Alinghi was battle hardened and NZL82 was not. Any future defender needs to learn well from this series. In the heyday of the 12 Metres, the Americans would have a group of boats all vying for the NYYC's pick to defend the Cup. That continued even into Australia and back to San Diego, but with the Kiwis, it stopped. They put all their eggs in one basket and with the financial leadership of Peter Blake and the on water leadership of Coutts, it worked for awhile. But Coutts could see that the level of competition was getting better and NZ was sailing and training less.......so he left and took some others with him. This year, the basket is falling apart and the eggs are broken.

Yesterday the winds were stiff, the seas rough. NZ takes on water far more than Alinghi. The sailing was conservative as these boats are tough to handle in a blow. The shots of water rushing down the forehatch of NZL82 were terrifying! Then there are a couple of other things. There is a great helicopter angle looking down that shows the sail set and the rig extremely well. It was obvious that NZL82 was powered up far more than Alinghi with a mast bend that I would think far more suitable to 12 knots of wind and not 20. So not surprisingly, the high powered rig starts to come apart as a batten gives way, a leech line comes apart, and finally the mast snaps. Sure it was a 2 wave pattern that nailed them, but when you have a boat with a proclivity for taking on water and a rig too powered up for the conditions, and a crew that hasn't encountered all of this before, not battle hardened, then it's analagous to standing in a barrel of gas with a match.

Pace did his part and helped some, but the tactics of NZL82 were still questionable, especially on the downwind leg, but maybe they were already fighting the boat (and they were) to such a degree that made tactics irrelevant. All in all, the Kiwi crew sails well, but they lack the keenness and their boat lacks the performance that more competition would have provided and perhaps made this a match instead of an embarassment. The spectator fleet was down to almost nothing.

BTW, Coutts has now tied with Dennis Connor for most America's Cup race wins.

Spaw


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