class="single single-post postid-49032 single-format-standard"

Team Blog

You can’t play tennis by yourself


Coach Rod Davis blogs on the benefits of the race training programme with Luna Rossa.

It’s the difference between hitting a tennis ball against the wall vs playing a real tennis match.

That is what it means for Emirates Team New Zealand to train against Luna Rossa.

When we’re race training against another boat, a bad gybe or tack cannot be dismissed as something that doesn’t matter. Everyone can see what it cost in terms of time and distance.

It’s not rocket science: teams training together.  Olympians from different countries have joint training programmes before the games but it’s a new concept in the modern America’s Cup where paranoia runs deeper than the ocean.

Training with Luna Rossa will force us to sail better as team. Luna Rossa has immense sailing talent and their boat is the same design as ours (at least for the time being).

Some people think we are training a competitor. They don’t see what we see – opportunity. As sportsmen we have to prepare ourselves to win, then back ourselves to get the job done on race day.

Racing together lifts us both above the other teams putting us in a stronger position to win the America’s Cup. It was satisfying to see that on the first day training with Luna Rossa everything that we, the coaches, had been banging on about became a reality. Little things make little differences, but add them up and they matter.

On board the level of intensity was up five times, so the rate of learning went up five times. This learning is our race within the race. He who learns the fastest will have an advance on judgment day.

It’s a new America’s Cup. Sweeping changes require new thinking, new ways of doing things across the board. From design, to funding, to sailing; past experience must not restrain teams from looking forward and adjusting to the changed environment,

In the coaching and sailing world: When it comes to the taming the big Cat “keep the blinkers off”.

Echoing in my head is President Kennedy’s quote: “Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say………..”why not?”


  1. “Since New Zealand hit the AC waters in 87 the Kiwis have been outside the box in terms of thinking at every turn! The America’s Cup would not be anywhere near the event it is without you! You are the team I fear (as a Yankee) and the team I’m always glad to see on the line. I mean look at all the sailors on the top of the game that have gotten started in New Zealand and hail from “the Southern Islands”. … And Luna Rossa has never been anything but a very formidable and worthy team, always pushing the leader board and the opposition. SO, with the two of you cooperating in your training has me VERY concerned that you guys may be training on the waters that will host the 2nd AC regatta of “the new era!” .. As it seems right now, The US has fallen from neck and neck with ETNZ to a distant horizon! I know they’ll bounce back with a vengeance but as DC used to say “you can’t get back a lost day of prep!” By the way Rod, when did you move to New Zealand? I remember you as a San Diego local don’t I?

    Greg Suttie - December 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm
  2. Two observations: ETNZ seems to foil with ease and NZ looks very, very stable. Luna Rossa seems NOT to foil quite as readily. Time on the water, or board/foil design?

    dgrogan - December 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm
  3. Great points.

    I think you guys are doing some really smart things. Roll on race day.

    Btw glad you fixed the blog for mobile.

    Alistair - December 4, 2012 at 6:04 pm
  4. Great points.

    I think you guys are doing some really smart things. Roll on race day.
    Btw glad you fixed the blog for mobile.

    Alistair - December 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm
  5. I think you guys are doing some really smart things. Roll on race day.
    Btw glad you fixed the blog for mobile.

    Alistair - December 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm
  6. Thanks Rod
    keep up the info flow, it DOES keep up the interest :-)

    Dave - December 4, 2012 at 7:49 pm
  7. Looking good! I can’t wait to see the final boat!! Would be good to do some private 2 boat testing with old and new boat………..

    Donald L - December 5, 2012 at 3:38 am
  8. Cool pics looks like fun!!!!!!!!!!!
    Still looks hairy when it is foiling.
    cool boat i wonder what is next?

    Jack - December 5, 2012 at 8:27 am
  9. More video – definitely. An ETNZ Advent video – The 30 days of sailing before Christmas video compilation would be a wonderful Christmas present…..
    I look at the web output from the other teams and it is basically zip. Don’t they get it – this is supposed to be the information age. Whilst you guys put out great stuff – we can always eat more though.
    I can tell if it’s an ETNZ sailing day by checking on the Viaduct Webcam – may be you need a link to that from your site..
    So keep the info flowing and your sponsors will love you even more…..
    all the best for the last 4 days on Nzilla.

    Paul M Smith – On the Mighty Kaipara - December 5, 2012 at 9:34 am

Leave a Comment