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BS: America' Cup 2003

EBarnacle1 04 Mar 03 - 12:42 AM
Charley Noble 03 Mar 03 - 08:24 AM
EBarnacle1 03 Mar 03 - 12:12 AM
Charley Noble 02 Mar 03 - 03:23 PM
EBarnacle1 02 Mar 03 - 02:58 PM
EBarnacle1 02 Mar 03 - 02:54 PM
Charley Noble 02 Mar 03 - 09:01 AM
catspaw49 02 Mar 03 - 06:35 AM
Gurney 02 Mar 03 - 02:20 AM
Little Robyn 02 Mar 03 - 02:18 AM
catspaw49 01 Mar 03 - 06:12 PM
Charley Noble 01 Mar 03 - 10:53 AM
catspaw49 01 Mar 03 - 10:09 AM
Charley Noble 01 Mar 03 - 08:58 AM
Gurney 01 Mar 03 - 05:14 AM
EBarnacle1 01 Mar 03 - 02:07 AM
Charley Noble 28 Feb 03 - 02:08 PM
catspaw49 28 Feb 03 - 01:03 PM
Charley Noble 28 Feb 03 - 11:18 AM
catspaw49 28 Feb 03 - 11:01 AM
Little Robyn 28 Feb 03 - 04:03 AM
Musicman 28 Feb 03 - 01:24 AM
catspaw49 27 Feb 03 - 09:17 PM
Charley Noble 27 Feb 03 - 08:52 PM
Musicman 27 Feb 03 - 08:17 PM
Musicman 24 Feb 03 - 04:47 AM
Gurney 24 Feb 03 - 12:31 AM
catspaw49 23 Feb 03 - 06:50 PM
catspaw49 23 Feb 03 - 05:08 PM
EBarnacle1 23 Feb 03 - 04:15 PM
catspaw49 23 Feb 03 - 06:45 AM
Gurney 23 Feb 03 - 02:25 AM
Gurney 21 Feb 03 - 11:06 PM
catspaw49 20 Feb 03 - 01:49 PM
Mark Cohen 20 Feb 03 - 02:59 AM
Gurney 20 Feb 03 - 01:25 AM
catspaw49 19 Feb 03 - 12:51 PM
EBarnacle1 19 Feb 03 - 02:21 AM
catspaw49 18 Feb 03 - 02:07 PM
Charley Noble 18 Feb 03 - 11:58 AM
catspaw49 17 Feb 03 - 11:52 PM
pastorpest 17 Feb 03 - 10:41 PM
Schantieman 17 Feb 03 - 12:46 PM
EBarnacle1 17 Feb 03 - 01:50 AM
Charley Noble 16 Feb 03 - 07:05 PM
catspaw49 16 Feb 03 - 11:48 AM
Charley Noble 16 Feb 03 - 10:27 AM
catspaw49 16 Feb 03 - 12:30 AM
catspaw49 15 Feb 03 - 10:51 PM
catspaw49 15 Feb 03 - 10:18 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 12:42 AM

Interesting pair of articles in today's Times sports section. One focussed on New Zealand's reaction and issues of sportsmanship. the other focussed on Switzerland's efforts to raise local consciousness of the event. Even after a major public relations effort, the Auld Mug just did not make it into public consciousness. The article explicitly states that less than 1 % of Swiss were interested, thinking of yachting as something for the rich guys. It seems the divide between the rich and everyone else there is even greater than in the rest of the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 08:24 AM

So, winding up this competition so to speak, the Swiss have surely earned the title of The Big Cheese of the Sailing World. How sweet the victory must be to them! It was truly amazing to see Alinghi knife her way through the waves. And Coutts and Butterworth get to re-settle into lovely chalets on the slopes of some remote valley, their sleep only disturbed by an occasional cow bell or yodel.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 12:12 AM

The article in the Sunday New York Times sports section mentioned that "As Alinghi crossed the finish line, the commodore of its sponsoring yacht club, the Societe Nautique de Geneve [Geneva Yacht Club], received a formal challenge for the next America's Club of san francisco, which sponsored Larry Ellison's Oracle-BMW team in the 2003 Cup. ellison's club now becomes the challenger of record, and will coordinate the attempt to take the Cup away from the Swiss."


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 03:23 PM

Why not an ice yacht race on Lake Geneva? Now that could provide some thrills and spills!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 02:58 PM

I've seen absolute nothing in the Daily News or the New York Post. I read those when others buy. Some things are just not worth the money.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 02:54 PM

News, News? We don't get no freaking news here in New York, Home of the New York Yacht Club. The NYTimes mentions it occasionally. I'll have to buy the Monday paper to see whether the completion of the series merits mention. I wonder whether tonight's TV news shows will have any coverage.

Maybe they'll sail the next series on Lake Geneva. Nowhere in the deed of gift does it state explicitly that the boats have to be ocean going. It will be nice to have racing time only separated from EST by 6 or 8 hours. If they are going to build boats that marginal and fragile perhaps they should stick to day sailers.

The auld mug can't be an ewer as it has no bottom and won't hold either water or champagne.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 09:01 AM

Oh, well. I'm sure glad folks tell me when this race is over because I sure wouldn't knew it from my sunday paper.

Back to making breakfast.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 06:35 AM

The word uninspired comes to mind.

I don't think any commentary I read or anything I saw would be able tocharacterize this last race otherwise. Coutts and company were loose and ready to win.....almost too loose at one point resulting in one of the few sail handling errors this boat had. Coutts once again won the start and then did exactly no more than what had to be done to win. Beautiful, but pretty conservative, the right move.

Barker was tentative as always and Pace showed nothing. If he added anything to the boat, I couldn't see it. On both a beat and a run, the Kiwis made up ground but in both cases they stopped their tactics before they paid off. After tacking on beat 2 had made up 2 boat lengths, they stopped tacking. It didn't make sense to me nor did it to Gary Jobson doing the ESPN commentary.

I watched the race after I had followed it on sail track figuring that I must have missed something, but no, the Kiwis were tentative and the Swiss boat was saiking a control type of race. Both teams should have called this one in as I think the race was over before they left the dock.

Anxious to see where they decide to hold the next Cup. The Oracle Syndicate is the "challenger of record" for the next one.......After such a brilliant win, will the Alinghi campaign make a spirited defense? Will the Kiwis mount another challenge? I think Bertarelli wants some rule changes......lots of upcoming stuff that will be far more interesting than the last race.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Gurney
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 02:20 AM

The Cup is off to Switzerland. In ideal conditions alinghi clearly outsailed NZL82, leading from the start, and increasing the lead steadily, although the Kiwi boat clawed some ground back on some beats.
There was little drama, NZL82 broke a spinnaker pole, but everyone sailed well and made no mistakes. The best boat and team won.
All the sailors interviewed responded like gentlemen, and cast no aspersions, giving credit to teamwork and thanking their teams. Ernesto Berterelli(sp?) said Kiwis were the worlds best sailors, (possibly so that he would get out alive) and Russell Coutts said he is now and always a Kiwi.
My hope is that we can in future remember that this is a CLUB contest, and that no national pride is called for. After all, Americans compete just as hard with each other for the 'Old Mug'
And why not call it a jug or ewer? That's what it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Little Robyn
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 02:18 AM

OK the cup is going to Switzerland.
Another piece broke off the NZ boat but they were about 30 seconds behind at the time anyway.
Russell has helped win the cup 3 times now.
The post-mortem is on telly right now. Boring.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 06:12 PM

Might get one off on time here!!! It's blowing between 12 and 15 now, both boats are out there and ready, and the start is to be at 7:15 EST (1:15 Sunday in NZ)........Now we can only wait and see if Mr. Bennett can come up with an excuse!!! LOL.......No, I think he's about had it himself and is willing to send them off if it's even close....not too much shifting going on now so if it holds..........If it holds we'll likely see a great race but also probably the last one in New Zealand.......ya' never know though......The Kiwis have a lot of pride at stake here.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 10:53 AM

And with regard to the American News Media's interest, I'm sure it took a dive after the last U.S. yacht was eliminated.

The mate drew forth his compass rose
And tapped it on the rail,
"Why, she heads to the E. S. W. by N.
In the teeth of a raging gale."

"Then, fly aloft to the royal top yard
And reef that spanker boom,
Bend a studding sail to the martingale
To give her weather room."


Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 10:09 AM

ESPN2 is covering it and I think they wish they weren't considering how damn little has gone off on time. A tiny little network covered the Vuitton Cup and they did a good job and I think it was an asset to their programming. But to say this event is driven by the American News Media is about as accurate as saying that NZ will keep the Cup. Possible but VERY unlikely.

Let's face it, sailing isn't all that popular and even for some casual sailors, match racing is boring as hell. In 1958 at the first event held since 1937, President Eisenhower was on hand with a seat on a close-in spectator boat. After several hours of watching he asked to be taken ashore from where he returned to the White House proclaiming it as the most boring thing he'd ever seen. I love sailing, raced for years, and have crewed on several offshore Ocean Racers, so for me it's damned exciting. For most network execs it's more as Ike saw it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 08:58 AM

The seasonal timeing is "for the American sports media"? About all I've seen in my local papers are ocassional 6-line summaries, and last night a 2 second clip on ABC News of the most recent dismasting. True, I leave in one of the more remote parts of this great country. What's the reportage in NYC, EBARNICLE.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Gurney
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 05:14 AM

No racing again today, very calm weather. This time of year can be even more changeable than usual in Auckland, so why is this season chosen?

Unconfirmed reports say that it is "for the American sports media," although no-one seems to offer an opinion whether it is at the instigation of that media, or in hopes of selling to them. Is it a slow news time in the land of the free?

Might go fishing tomorrow if this high is holding. The Snapper are still in the harbour.


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 02:07 AM

Clearly a plunger for a sporting chance!


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Subject: RE: BS: America' Cup 2003
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 02:08 PM

Thanks, Spaw, for your insights. What an embarrassment for the Kiwi home crew, and what a nasty bunch of spoilsports coming out of the woodwork. We may have a song yet, but it's sure not the one that I thought I'd be composing initially.

I'll cover any Kiwi bets 4:1!

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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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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 07:05 PM

Wow!

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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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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