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Grant's Blog Blog

Changes in the sailing landscape


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!


  1. Grant,
    Thanks for the blog.

    Keep up being the ‘quiet achievers’, and deal to them in the main event!



    Bryce - March 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm
  2. Well they are all in catch up mode, and TNZ simply need to go sailing, Love Dino’s gladiator gear – Ha ha be afraid, be very afraid, when kiwi are this cocky in a modest kinda way.

    Paul Gilbert - March 4, 2013 at 7:30 pm
  3. Grant, really appreciate you saying a little of what is on your mind.
    Certainly agree, that all teams should be obligated to to attend full strength.
    The fine would sound OK IF it was per non sailing team and the money is paid directly to the teams disadvantaged.
    But I guess the Americas Cup has never been about fairness as much as Russ et al say they think it should be.
    No matter what, they all gotta beat ETNZ on the water.
    So go well my Kiwi brothers, go well and enjoy the journey.

    Paul M Smith – On the Mighty Kaipara - March 4, 2013 at 8:25 pm
  4. Looking forward to seeing you guys out on SFC Bay. Well done, ETNZ.

    dgrogan - March 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm
  5. Well that’s mixing politics and sports. The two are inseparable these days. And it’s about wear and tear (and war and tear) and Oracle and Artemis aint risking their best in the early days.

    Good luck on the water

    Monique Angel - March 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm
  6. Totally agree Dalt!

    Go for it in Naples!! Go ETNZ !!
    I´ll be there…. yeeeapeee!

    XX MoD

    Monica Diaz - March 4, 2013 at 10:54 pm
  7. Well if anyone ever thought that the AC was a level playing field they would have to be delusional…the only way to sort this is to thrash them on the water…. go Kiwis, the flightless bird flies again!!

    Alan Merry - March 5, 2013 at 2:05 am
  8. ETNZ have done the most to make this AC an exciting and fascinating process to follow. With the media coverage and ongoing updates, it’s been fantastic. Major kudos for being the driving force to push all teams down the foiling path, and really pushing the boundaries of the AC72! This is the type of innovation that was badly needed in the AC to keep the excitement of the sport alive!

    Capt. K - March 5, 2013 at 6:15 am
  9. Once again you have shown on the water kiwis really do fly.
    Keep up the focus and innovation path in all that you do.
    TNZ are looking razor sharp.

    DKO - March 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm
  10. No one can do a better job at the helm of ETNZ. You are the glue that keeps everything together, from the fund raising to keeping the sponsors happy as well as the teams humming in a cohesive way. Congratulation on a job extremely well done. There is only one more thing to do ……………

    Marcel Fachler - March 7, 2013 at 5:11 am
  11. watching on from Central Queensland I am in awe of ETNZ.. you guys are so inspirational as you tackle with budgets, testing across the other side of the world but all done with awesome precision and pride… everything counts and you can only do your very best.. and yes it will take your very best to win this cup.
    The Naples regatta should and must be attended by all, as it’s their own doing for late timelines for not having enough days on the water with their AC72′s..
    you have a wicked boat an awesome crew and a support base that goes way beyond the wharf and the shed but across NZ and the world.
    Go for it!

    Darryl Branthwaite - March 7, 2013 at 11:46 am
  12. So when’s the next one?

    Dave Newbigging` - March 12, 2013 at 11:31 am
  13. We have had a fantastic time this summer watching your sailing, or is that flying, testing and building up at Auckland ‘City of Sails” in the AC72. ETNZ you look great both on and off the water. All the very best, we know you can bring the Cup home

    Mike Lanigan - March 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm
  14. Hi Grant
    Congrads on ur massive effort mate. Everything is looking & feeling good. From the moment I first heard of your appointment I felt we were going to bring this thing home again, and I’m sure u will. Knock that laser sailor off his perch mate. Well done & all the best to you and your team.
    P.S. How about a photo of u bare footing behind the boat?
    All the best.
    Nigel Forman.

    Nigel Forman - July 18, 2013 at 3:30 am

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