Grant Dalton blogs on the happenings of the past few weeks ….
I hadn’t written anything for a while but the PR Department says the changing landscape of everything, “it’s about time you wrote a blog”. So here I am writing a blog on a Saturday afternoon as the shore crew works away changing, maintaining, optimising as they always do.
A lot has happened over the last few weeks in this run up to America’s Cup although to many observers it may tend to look like business as usual.
Well it is to a degree, I guess, but firstly Oracle has re-emerged and Artemis has gone back to the shed. The landscape changed for us on those couple of days that Oracle and Artemis trained together.
We got an answer to the questions: Is foiling correct? Is the trade off worth it? We always thought we were right but could never be sure. Even if the answer is still not totally clear, all teams are headed in the foiling direction so that helps us put that one to bed.
Our present view of Oracle’s sailing probably matches those of other observers: They look really nice up-wind and are starting to sail well down-wind.
They look like they are getting their act together really well now (shouldn’t be surprised by that) and, with the new boat coming on stream soon, they will take a big step up.
Should we make the America’s Cup final we will have our work seriously cut out to beat them.
Within Emirates Team New Zealand, it’s all about the boat at present. Base set up in San Francisco is underway, the sponsors are great; it’s still very much summer in Auckland and the wind has been perfect for testing.
Next on the horizon is the AC45 regatta in Naples. We will be there with a full-strength crew. Is it just us or does anyone else think it is hypocrisy that neither Artemis nor Oracle is sending their A team to Naples?
These are the teams that said Emirates Team New Zealand wouldn’t support the “future”.
To be clear we simply didn’t support linking the AC brand (shackling a future Trustee if in fact that could even be done) to a class that may or may not exist in the future (read cost).
Whether the AC45 exists in its own right is not up to us, we fully supported, and still do, the establishment of a ‘ future’ series if that’s what Coutts and Cayard want. It’s not ours to prevent. So why not send their A teams if the AC45 is the future?
I imagine they intend lobbying for permission to sail their AC72s when the Naples regatta is being raced (which under the Protocol is not allowed without prior approval.
To compete seriously at the ACWS regattas teams need to be there to train a week or so before the first race if they’re to have any chance of a good showing. That means another week of AC72 sailing lost.
We’ve even heard that Artemis was thinking of paying the US$150K fine if they don’t get approval. Now that would be a beauty!