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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, May 21, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesNOTES FROM NEW ZEALAND AND AMERICA'S CUP XXX

NOTES FROM NEW ZEALAND AND AMERICA'S CUP XXX

Round Robin One is finally over. We have raced each of the other ten teams once, with each race worth one point. We will do another Round Robin starting November 6 (with each win worth four points) and then Round Robin 3 starting December 2 (each win worth nine points). The intent of this increasing point value is to allow teams to improve their boat and crew so as to help select the best Challenger to race against Team New Zealand, current holders of the America's Cup.
The best funded teams each built the maximum number of new boats allowed by the rules (2) and as expected came out strongest in the early rounds. Each of the one-boat teams used the low point Round One to learn their boat, test against the more advanced teams, and are now making big upgrades. That's the theory at least!
Italy (Team Prada, skipper Francesco DeAngelis) leads with 10 wins and no defeats. San Francisco (AmericaOne, Paul Cayard) is second with 8 wins and 2 two defeats. New York (Young America, Ed Baird) is third at 8 and 2. Fourth is the second San Francisco team (AmericaTrue, John Cutler) at 6-4, fifth is Japan (Nippon, Peter Gilmour) at 6-4, sixth is Spain (Desafio Espanol, Pedro Campos) at 5-5, seventh is Stars & Stripes (Dennis Conner) at 5-5, eighth is Hawaii (Abracadabra, John Kolius) at 4-6, ninth is France (Le Defi, Bertrand Pace) at 2-8, tenth is Australia (James Spithill) at 1-9, and eleventh is Switzerland (FAST 2000, Jochan Schuman) at 0-10. The only footnote to this is that Japan and Stars & Stripes each had a ½ point deducted for crashing into another boat!
We on Stars and Stripes had a tough series. We are all very good sailors and it is not easy to keep your composure when getting beat by teams with faster boats. But we have done a good job keeping the crew's moral up, assuring them that we have more to learn and improve than the others, so better times are ahead.
The highlight of this series was the rough conditions and strong winds that caused a lot of gear failures and teams unable to finish their races. We are quite happy that our boat has proven strong and well built, as we were able to complete all of our races in the 20-30 knot winds and big seas.
So how is it onboard for this St. Thomian from the easy-going Caribbean? Kenny Read is our helmsman and I am the tactician, with the job of creating the tactical plan against the opponent and for the changing wind direction. I am the lucky one who holds the position which is traditionally blamed for losing races, but never credited for winning, as that honor gets taken by the helmsman. This is of course why I have always tried to be the helmsman in my racing career! But it is a good challenge that is teaching me to grow thick skin and I am learning a tremendous amount from all those around me.
As for the skinny on what's really happening, I am very happy to see that no one is blazing fast and out of reach, and that the Italians and New York with all of their testing and training are only a little faster than our team. The French are making major changes to their hull (with a chain saw) and keel (new one). I think we have a good boat with the ability to win if given the right upgrades. We have some nice improvements planned for our mast and sail program, which should give us some good leaps forward. We also have a long way to go before we are sailing the boat to it's full potential. We now have one week to catch our breath, make some of these changes, and get prepared for the start of the next Round.

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Round Robin One is finally over. We have raced each of the other ten teams once, with each race worth one point. We will do another Round Robin starting November 6 (with each win worth four points) and then Round Robin 3 starting December 2 (each win worth nine points). The intent of this increasing point value is to allow teams to improve their boat and crew so as to help select the best Challenger to race against Team New Zealand, current holders of the America's Cup.
The best funded teams each built the maximum number of new boats allowed by the rules (2) and as expected came out strongest in the early rounds. Each of the one-boat teams used the low point Round One to learn their boat, test against the more advanced teams, and are now making big upgrades. That's the theory at least!
Italy (Team Prada, skipper Francesco DeAngelis) leads with 10 wins and no defeats. San Francisco (AmericaOne, Paul Cayard) is second with 8 wins and 2 two defeats. New York (Young America, Ed Baird) is third at 8 and 2. Fourth is the second San Francisco team (AmericaTrue, John Cutler) at 6-4, fifth is Japan (Nippon, Peter Gilmour) at 6-4, sixth is Spain (Desafio Espanol, Pedro Campos) at 5-5, seventh is Stars & Stripes (Dennis Conner) at 5-5, eighth is Hawaii (Abracadabra, John Kolius) at 4-6, ninth is France (Le Defi, Bertrand Pace) at 2-8, tenth is Australia (James Spithill) at 1-9, and eleventh is Switzerland (FAST 2000, Jochan Schuman) at 0-10. The only footnote to this is that Japan and Stars & Stripes each had a ½ point deducted for crashing into another boat!
We on Stars and Stripes had a tough series. We are all very good sailors and it is not easy to keep your composure when getting beat by teams with faster boats. But we have done a good job keeping the crew's moral up, assuring them that we have more to learn and improve than the others, so better times are ahead.
The highlight of this series was the rough conditions and strong winds that caused a lot of gear failures and teams unable to finish their races. We are quite happy that our boat has proven strong and well built, as we were able to complete all of our races in the 20-30 knot winds and big seas.
So how is it onboard for this St. Thomian from the easy-going Caribbean? Kenny Read is our helmsman and I am the tactician, with the job of creating the tactical plan against the opponent and for the changing wind direction. I am the lucky one who holds the position which is traditionally blamed for losing races, but never credited for winning, as that honor gets taken by the helmsman. This is of course why I have always tried to be the helmsman in my racing career! But it is a good challenge that is teaching me to grow thick skin and I am learning a tremendous amount from all those around me.
As for the skinny on what's really happening, I am very happy to see that no one is blazing fast and out of reach, and that the Italians and New York with all of their testing and training are only a little faster than our team. The French are making major changes to their hull (with a chain saw) and keel (new one). I think we have a good boat with the ability to win if given the right upgrades. We have some nice improvements planned for our mast and sail program, which should give us some good leaps forward. We also have a long way to go before we are sailing the boat to it's full potential. We now have one week to catch our breath, make some of these changes, and get prepared for the start of the next Round.