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America's Cup Blog

Tactician gets chance to look around


Tactician Ray Davies on the run….

Ray Davies rather likes sailing  the AC72. He’s the tactician and a large part of the role is assessing what’s going on around them.

He couldn’t do that on the AC45 where this job was oriented more to crew work And that’s head down without much time to look around.

Grinding is part of the tactician’s role on the AC72 but Ray can now keep his head up and take a look around.

“I am able to focus more on traditional tactics. The 45 is a slave ship by comparison – with only five crew it’s definitely very physical.

“In saying that, the 72 with 11 crew, is physical too, but more from a set position, a pedestal, I’m not running around so much with my head down. I can help on the winches but keep my head out of the boat at the same time.”

Ray believes it will be possible to race the AC72s on short courses. “We’ve set the boat up so it’s relatively easy to manoeuvre it well. Our AC72 was designed to be raced on a short course and we can do that.

The furling sails are much easier to handle than some of the sails we have had to deal with in the past like spinnakers. So even though we are sailing at 40 knots we can turn whenever we want.

He says the biggest adjustment he’s had to make is the speed and angle changes which can make it difficult to accurately place he boat on the course when picking lay lines etc.

“It’s much harder to make accurate calls and it has taken time to adjust to that… and running while foiling can be a bit tricky at times to keep your balance. So we have had a few areas to work on, but nothing that’s out of reach.”



  1. I am privileged to live on the north shore east coast bays in Auckland. Often while driving to or from work I catch sight of the familiar red wing sail out on the gulf trialing with the diligent chase boat’s white wake following close behind. I have to admit it gives me a real buzz of pride as a proud kiwi that we as a small nation can cut it and win in such a multi million dollar sport with substantially less financial resources. I have always felt a great affinity with the sea and boating and it particularly stirs my national pride to see our small country punching above its weight in this global competition and I have complete faith that Team New Zealand will absolutely do the business in winning the Americas cup in San Francisco in 2013. Go team NZ!

    John Burke - January 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm
  2. @John Burke. Nicely said. Go ETNZ.

    dgrogan - January 10, 2013 at 6:37 pm

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