Go Alinghi!


Thread starter #1
Jerry's account of the America's Cup

Jerry is my son's father-in-law and he follows the race religiously. He has even witnessed a couple of them. Here's what he had to say the day before the race:

Tomorrow is the day. The syndicates had to state today which boats they will use in the race. New Zealand has been using NZL 92 this year and will stick with it. Alinghi raced SUI 91 earlier this year, but they had a newer boat delivered earlier this year, SUI 100. They announced that's the one they'll use for the America's Cup. The defender had more time to design their last boat, but they haven't had as much experience racing it as the challenger has had. Alinghi seemed to be a slight favorite in their older boat. Presumably they think the newer boat is a bit faster than SUI 91, but maybe it's just a ploy to unnerve the Kiwis. New Zealand won the coin toss to see who gets to enter the starting box from the favored side, so there's a tiny advantage to them.


Thread starter #2
Race 1

The wind was pretty steady for race 1, about 11 knots without big swings in direction, so luck in picking wind shifts would not be a factor. New Zealand got the better start, with a slight lead and the right side of the course it wanted. There was a lot of chop in the water and Alinghi seemed to bounce more, with the bow rising up and down a lot more than New Zealand, and slowly New Zealand built up a slight lead. Then Alinghi moved up to pull even, then New Zealand pulled ahead a bit, then Alinghi moved ahead. Alinghi was ahead when the boats first crossed, an important moment, and slowly it got farther ahead, to round 13 second ahead at the first mark. The amount of Alinghi's lead changed on the downwind leg, getting larger, then smaller, but it kept the lead, gaining 7 seconds on the leg. On the third leg, Alinghi got a bigger lead, then New Zealand got some better wind and pulled nearly even. But Alinghi managed to pull away again, although New Zealand gained 6 seconds on the third leg. It started close on the last leg, but part way down Alinghi just seemed to pick up speed and pull away. The winning margin was 35 seconds. It's just one race, but the people on Alinghi have to be pretty happy with their new boat.

Next race tomorrow.
Re: Race 1

One addition from my side.

During the first leg, Team NZL did lead the race up to the fist tack with about 10 - 15 meters (1/2 boat length). Then it came to the decision for both teams to tack. Team NZL did tack first and Holmberg and Butterworth of Team Sui decided to wait for about 1 or 2 minutes and then tack to starbord.

Team Alinghi made the better decision, because the winds, they got extra by holding the course for this 1 - 2 minutes, did allowed them to equalize the distance they have been behind Team NZL and: Team Sui got an extra reward of another 10 meters!

Aft Team SUI also did tack the first time to the left side of the racing area - and "suddenly" Team Sui did lead, exact with that extra reward of about 10 meters.
Holmberg and Butterworth have been wise enough to defense this lead up to the windward mark and this has been the win of the race, because they controlled Team NZL till the end of the race.

My interprertation: During such a race, a match race, if I would lead, I would more like to defense my lead, then to beginn to make an experiment and tack to get more distance between my boat and the boat that already is behind me. Am I right, hm? What to you think?

For the Europeans: Today, Sunday, the German Free-Digital-TV-Channel "ARD-Eins-Festival" (Astra 1B Satellite - Satellite-DVB-S, [19,2°East,Freq 12110, Horizontal, 27500]) does transmit the full 2nd race beginning at 14:45 pm to ~17:00 pm Berlin Summer Time (Greenwich Time plus 2 hours). No Commertials but German-commentary. Have fun :)

Re: Race 1

... Holmberg and Butterworth of Team Sui ...
Sorry, I made a mistake, Ed Baird (fromer World Champion at the Laser ...:) ) is the helmsman at SUI 100.

And: Well done KIWI's :) Today, at the 2nd upwind leg during this race No 2, SUI 100 made the same mistake like Team Luna Rossa during one of the final races at the Luis Vuitton Cup, and went to far to the right side. Now all is open again, we the spectators, of course, want to see 9 races at all, don't we want? :D


For the Europeans: NEXT TUESDAY, the German Free-Digital-TV-Channel "ZDF-INFO" (Astra 1B Satellite - Satellite-DVB-S, [19,2°East,Freq 11954, Horizontal, 27500]) does transmit the full 3rd race beginning at 14:45 pm to ~17:00 pm Berlin Summer Time (Greenwich Time plus 2 hours). No Commertials but German-commentary. Have fun :)


Thread starter #5
Race 2

Winds were lighter, about 10 knots, which seemed likely to favor New Zealand a bit, but Alinghi got to enter the starting box from a right, an advantage for Alinghi. New Zealand, which got the better of the start yesterday, quickly got the upper hand on Alinghi at today's start by sailing upwind past Alinghi to get to the right-hand side of the starting box. New Zealand crossed the line 3 seconds before Alinghi to the right of Alinghi, just like they wanted, and going faster. Like yesterday, New Zealand was to windward as they headed upwind on starboard tack. But just like yesterday, Alinghi pointed a bit higher and moved a bit faster, and after a few minutes forced New Zealand to tack away. There's no substitute for boat speed, and Alinghi looks slightly faster. By the first mark, Alinghi led by 19 seconds, larger than their lead yesterday, and the great majority of the time the boat ahead at the first mark goes on to win. Whereas popular opinion had been evenly split before the races began as to who would win the Cup, the experts were betting heavily on Alinghi. Once they're ahead, it's hard to get past them. New Zealand did manage to gain a bit on the down-wind leg, being 13 seconds behind at the second mark, but Alinghi was still in control. Alinghi kept a very loose cover on New Zealand, heading to the right while New Zealand went left. After awhile they crossed, with Alinghi comfortably ahead, with Alinghi then headed well to the left of New Zealand. Alinghi seems comfortable feeling that, with better boat speed, they didn't need a tight cover. Just like yesterday, on the third leg, New Zealand got a bit of a favorable wind shift and closed the gap, nearly pulling even with Alinghi. However, unlike yesterday, after awhile, New Zealand actually pulled a bit ahead, then increased their lead. When they next crossed, Alinghi was forced to tack, with New Zealand now to windward. Alinghi was forced a bit over the right-hand layline, and then both boats dashed for the mark. It was close to see if Alinghi could get an overlap with New Zealand as they rounded, but it didn't quite make it. New Zealand rounded the third mark 15 seconds ahead, a gain of 28 seconds on the third leg. New Zealand headed toward the right-hand side of the course, letting Alinghi go left, and for awhile Alinghi closed the gap a bit, but then a wind shift helped New Zealand and it won going away. Final margin was 28 seconds. So New Zealand was faster on 3 out of the 4 legs.

Races for the America's Cup in 1987, 1988, 1995, 2000, and 2003 were sweeps, where the losing boat failed to win a race; only in 1992 did the losing boat manage to win a single race. This is much more exciting; we guarantee this series won't be a sweep. The experts still seem to think Alinghi will go on to keep the Cup, but their team had its string of 16 consecutive wins broken. The New Zealand skipper broke his string of 6 consecutive losses. Stronger winds may help Alinghi, even though New Zealand changed their ballast bulb to one more suited for higher winds. Tomorrow is an off day, but there's a lot more excitement about Tuesday's race now. The New Zealand team now knows they can beat the new Alinghi boat.
Re: Jerry's account of the America's Cup

Good to see some visually interesting match racing during the second start.

Second start we see them well down in the box and ETNZ really going at Alinghi. An exciting start.

SUI still favoured the left and NZL the right. So that’s 8-12knots that Alinghi and ETNZ come out matched.

SUI by 19secs at top mark and Potty-mouth Butterworth makes a verbal appearance too! Good on ya mate! (We all talk like that :D )

At bottom mark Alinghi’s drop was not as smooth as it could be. The man on the bow was getting a bit impatient. These sorts of things will win or lose the race between these teams - everything is so close. I didn’t see any footage of the NZL boat’s drop so who knows if they also slowed it up. (before you accuse me of jumping on Alinghi. :rolleyes: )

ETNZ really put on the pressure up the second upwind leg and clawed back a 13sec loss to a 15 sec lead at the top mark.

First race I thought Alinghi had the faster boat and that was that. But it seems that the boats are so even as not to notice, and sailing skill and strategic decisions will win or lose. There’s still more in Alinghi and Baird. He was certainly awake this time, compared to the hesitancy of the first start. ETNZ were well asleep yesterday. It was like both teams didn’t click that this was the first race.

This racing is close! Fantastic racing!
Re: Jerry's account of the America's Cup

Just a minor correction - Alinghi did not own the 16 win streak - That belonged to skipper/tacticitian Brad Butterworth (and possibly some additional Kiwis on Alinghi), who had 10 wins with Team NZ in 95 and 2000, and 6 with Alinghi
Re: Jerry's account of the America's Cup

There were 4 more Kiwi's holding the 16 win streak
Simon Daubney, Murray Jones, Dean Phipps and Warwick Fleury
Re: Jerry's account of the America's Cup

yep, that'll change non-sailing people's perception of yacht racing being boring!

One thing I've started to notice is the differences between helm styles. When Baird bears away for speed, he really purposely bears away. When Barker bears away, he is timid about it. Dunno if this is related to boat design or not. It seems to make little difference on VMG.


Thread starter #11
Race 3

Jerry says:

My timing was rotten. The race was scheduled to start at 9 a.m. here (3 p.m. in Spain) and I had to go out for an appointment a few minutes before 9. Just before leaving, I checked the web site and it said the winds were light and quite variable and the postponement flag was up. New Zealand is thought to have a bit of an advantage in light winds, so this would be a good opportunity for them. Overall, New Zealand seems to handle the sails better than Alinghi, but Alinghi is a faster boat.

I got back about 10:45 to find the race was still being postponed. A little before 11 a.m., the commentator said either the current postponement would be the last and they'd start the race, or else they'd call it off for the day. At 11, they announced the race would start at 11:10. Pre-start began at 11:05. New Zealand entered from the favored starboard side. Shortly before the starting gun, it was clear that New Zealand wanted the right side of the course, and that Alinghi had the way blocked. The only way to get the side it wanted was for New Zealand to put in an extra tack, which meant it would start late and would not be up to speed. That's what happened. Alinghi hit the line on time at full speed 8 seconds ahead of New Zealand. By the time New Zealand was up to speed in the light air (averaging about 8 knots), Alinghi had an instant 60 meter lead. It's the first time Alinghi won a start in their 3 races. In contrast to the first 2 races where the boats started out close together until New Zealand was forced to tack away, this time New Zealand headed far to the right and Alinghi was far to the left. Soon they were about a km apart, which meant any small wind shift would provide a huge advantage for somebody. Alinghi's lead started shrinking; then New Zealand pulled even. Then New Zealand moved ahead by 30 meters, then 80 m, then a 100 m. Of course, it's hard to be sure of a lead when the boats are so far apart, but when both boats tacked and came together, New Zealand had a commanding lead of 100 meters. This was remarkable. The lead opened up even more the rest of the leg, and New Zealand rounded the first mark with an astounding lead of 1 min. 23 seconds. They had gained over a minute and a half on the first leg. Curiously, Alinghi sailed faster on this leg (and on every leg except one where they had the same average speed), but thanks to wind shifts New Zealand didn't have to sail as far.

It seemed impossible that Alinghi could be so far behind; in the Louis Vuitton Cup races it was very rare for any lead to be that big at the first mark. Going downwind one is headed more directly toward the next mark, so a given time difference maps into a large difference in distance, and New Zealand's lead was 400 meters! New Zealand has a habit of keeping a fairly tight cover once it's ahead, but here remarkably the two boats separated. Wind shifts helped Alinghi, and they cut the lead to 250 meters. Then another wind shift put it back to 360 m. As the boats got closer ready to round the second mark, it was clear that Alinghi had gained significantly, and the margin at the second mark was 1:02; Alinghi had gained 21 seconds. I kept wondering why New Zealand didn't cover more closely, and the commentators raised the same question.

Then disaster struck. As New Zealand got close to the mark, headed for a normal rounding, a sudden wind shift put them out of position; they needed to jibe twice but there wasn't room for that. They steered to miss the mark but lost control of the spinnaker. A bowman nearly fell overboard trying to reach the spinnaker. As they came about to head upwind, the spinnaker was draped over the winches needed to pull in the jib and it got jammed in the mechanism that pulls the jib in. So New Zealand couldn't sail the course it wanted without the jib set, and it was moving slowly with the spinnaker draped over things. Meanwhile Alinghi picked up speed and was rapidly closing the gap. Finally New Zealand got things under control, but its lead was now about 60 meters. Their huge margin was just about gone. The two boats again separated (why not cover closely, I was thinking), with New Zealand off to the right and Alinghi to the left. Again slight wind shifts would make a huge difference in the lead. The wind shifted left, and Alinghi pulled ahead. They got a significant lead, but then another shift put New Zealand back in front. As they got near the top of the leg, they crossed and Alinghi was in front. But the lead still bounced around with each wind shift, and as both boats approached the mark it wasn't clear who could round first. Less than minute before they rounded, the wind shifted again and suddenly Alinghi was clear ahead, rounding the mark 15 seconds ahead. As they headed downwind, Alinghi opened up the lead and soon was over 100 m ahead. It would be very hard to New Zealand to get past Alinghi from this far back, but with wind shifts there was always hope. Alinghi went to one side of the course, and New Zealand had to go to the other; if they stayed on the same part of the course any wind shift would affect both boats similarly and New Zealand wouldn't be able to get past. (Why didn't Alinghi keep a close cover, I kept wondering.) Half way down the leg, New Zealand made up some of the time on one wind shift and then lost it on another, and they really weren't showing any promise of pulling it out. This would be awfully hard for New Zealand to take, being way ahead and then to lose like this. Then another wind shift favored New Zealand, and this one continued; New Zealand steadily was cutting down the lead. Again it's hard to know exactly what the lead is when the boats are so far apart, but finally the web page showed New Zealand back in the lead! The wind was getting weaker (close to 5 knots), so at slower speeds a given lead in meters corresponds to a larger lead in time.

The web page has two parts; commentators give their assessment of the race, and a visual display shows who is ahead and by how much. The two were not always synchronized; I don't know who was more current. The display showed Alinghi with a 50 meter lead and the announcer said New Zealand just pulled into a good lead. Then as the display showed New Zealand suddenly 60 meters ahead, the commentator said the New Zealand had put its bow up (meaning aimed less directly toward the mark due to a wind shift) and Alinghi put its bow down and pulled into a sizable lead. The display suddenly changed, putting Alinghi 50 meters ahead as the commentators said New Zealand just got a great wind shift and was now well ahead. This whole thing was bizarre. The boats came together as they neared the downwind mark, and if they crossed we'd know for sure who was ahead at that point. It was New Zealand, with a slight lead, with Alinghi right behind them. Alinghi would gain, then New Zealand would pull away a bit. The mark was getting close. The announcer described New Zealand as holding on to their lead, but Alinghi was rapidly gaining on them. With a minute to go, it was anybody's guess who would win. Then, it was over. Another wind shift favored New Zealand, it put its bow down and crossed the line. Final margin was 25 seconds; New Zealand had gained 40 seconds on the last leg.

The commentators were asking each other if they'd ever seen a race like this. One said he'd been watching racing for decades and there was nothing he'd seen that was comparable. A couple days ago the New York Times had reported that in most America's Cup finals, one boat is clearly better and it leads the way around the course while the other one follows. This procession is repeated 5 times and it's all over -- actually sounds sort of dull when you think about it. And then this race happens.

One can argue the result was flukey, with all the wind shifts, and I bet the experts are still predicting Alinghi will retain the Cup, but the fact is New Zealand is up 2-1 and they staged a magnificent comeback (but then Alinghi did too on the third leg). New Zealand needs to win 3 of the last 6; Alinghi needs to win 4.

I was exhausted when this was all over. Wow!
Re: Jerry's account of the America's Cup

What does Ed Baird keep in his backpack? He always wears it.

Today he must have had an open can of boat speed in it.


Back to best of five races.
Re: Jerry's account of the America's Cup

What does Ed Baird keep in his backpack? He always wears it.

Today he must have had an open can of boat speed in it.


Back to best of five races.
I haven't seen a closeup of it, but it looks like a Camelbak, holds your liquid of choice, has a tube running out of it that you can lead to the front of your shirt and just suck on whenever you are thirsty

Bike riders use them on training rides... Use to be able to use them in Laser races


Thread starter #17
Race 4

Wind was on the light side again, but not nearly as variable as yesterday. Alinghi entered the starting box from the right side, an advantage for them. New Zealand really wanted the left side of the course. Shortly before the start, it looked as if New Zealand might get the better of Alinghi, but it became apparent that if New Zealand pressed ahead, it would be over the line early, so they had to back off and allow Alinghi to get a good start. Both boats crossed the line at speed on starboard tack, with Alinghi one second ahead and to windward. It was the mirror image of the starts in races 1 and 2, where New Zealand was the windward yacht with a slight lead. In both of those races, Alinghi managed to move slightly faster than New Zealand and move ahead, forcing New Zealand to tack away. Since New Zealand is thought to be more competitive in lighter air, this was a great chance to compare boat speed and see if New Zealand could do to Alinghi what Alinghi had done to New Zealand. It turns out they couldn't. Slowly Alinghi edged ahead. I think the evidence is strong that Alinghi is just a little bit faster than New Zealand.

They boats stayed on starboard tack till near the layline, and then Alinghi stayed mostly upwind of New Zealand to the first mark, rounding 20 seconds ahead. On the downwind leg, Alinghi kept a close cover on New Zealand, making sure the latter didn't have a chance to find different wind. Apparently Alinghi received a lot of criticism yesterday for not keeping closer cover when ahead, and they seemed to have learned the lesson. There seem to be two reasons why Alinghi didn't keep a close cover: 1) they felt they were the faster boat so they were likely to win and didn't need to cover closely, and 2) if you're ahead and you keep a close cover, then the skipper of the other boat dictates where you go on the race course and you forfeit your chance to make your own judgments. I think there's a bit of arrogance in that; the goal should be to win. Anyway, by keeping a tight cover, New Zealand had no chance to gain on the leg, and Alinghi rounded the second mark 34 seconds ahead. They have a choice of which of two downwind marks to round. The left mark was closer to the upwind mark, so rounding that one means having to travel a shorter distance, so Alinghi opted for that. However, they lost boat speed and stalled as they rounded. New Zealand headed around the right mark, traveling faster but have to go farther. The commentators speculated that, had New Zealand followed Alinghi around the left mark, their bow could have touched Alinghi's stern. They would have had to bear away and be downwind of Alinghi but they would have been very close.

As they headed upwind, Alinghi let New Zealand loose and abandoned a tight cover, and the boats got far apart. Slight wind shifts made a big difference in the lead, and at one point New Zealand was only half a boat length behind Alinghi (behind here meaning farther from the upwind mark). Another slight shift put Alinghi back several tens of meters ahead, and when the boats came back to the center of the course, Alinghi resumed a tight cover for the rest of the leg, and lead by 25 seconds at the last mark. Alinghi seemed to have learned the lesson once more and kept a tight cover on the last leg, providing New Zealand no chance to pick up a favorable wind, and Alinghi went on to win by 30 seconds. When the lead boat keeps a tight cover, they are much more likely to win, but the races aren't as exciting.

So it's 2-2, with a lay day tomorrow. If Alinghi just sails like it should and doesn't make any major mistakes, they should retain the Cup, but at least New Zealand has made this the most competitive race since Australia II defeated Liberty in 1983 to take the Cup from the United States for the first time.


Thread starter #18
ET New Zealand files a protest after Race 4

New Zealand protested Alinghi's victory yesterday, as described below. And I used to think a sail boat race was to see who could sail their boat faster.

By a majority decision the Jury dismissed the protest that Emirates Team New Zealand filed against Alinghi following race four. The Jury was not satisfied that Alinghi broke America's Cup Class Rule 31.6, which reads: "Mainsails shall be able to be lowered to the deck without the necessity of a crew member going aloft."

In its decision, the Jury noted it is at the discretion of the Measurement Committee to take any further steps it feels necessary to ensure yachts are in compliance with the America's Cup Class Rule.

Emirates Team New Zealand filed the protest after watching television footage that showed one of the normal post-race measurement checks. The measurers asked both teams to lower their mainsails, without the assistance of a man aloft, to demonstrate compliance with ACC Rule 31.6. Emirates Team New Zealand lowered its mainsail without a man aloft, to the satisfaction of the measurers.

The Alinghi team asked the measurer who had boarded SUI 100 if they could raise a man up the mast to fix a halyard (which wouldn't be put under tension) to the mainsail, for safety reasons, to prevent the sail from being damaged if it came down uncontrollably, and the measurer on board agreed to this request.

Alinghi bowman Pete Van Niewenhuyzen was raised to the top of the mast, fixed the halyard and held his arms out, to show that he wasn't assisting or interfering with the process. The halyard lock was tripped, and the mainsail was lowered to the deck. At the time, the measurer was satisfied with the demonstration.

But the television footage showed Van Niewenhuyzen's foot making contact with the mainsail as he swung around the mast with the boat rolling in the unsettled sea state. For Emirates Team New Zealand, that was enough to question whether he had interfered in the process. The team filed the protest later that afternoon, within the protest time limit.

Following a five hour hearing this morning, the five-member Jury dismissed Emirates Team New Zealand's protest.
Re: ET New Zealand files a protest after Race 4

And I used to think a sail boat race was to see who could sail their boat faster.
lol. Come on Jerry! This is America's Cup Racing! Do you need to be reminded of the actions of 1983 and 1988?

Ernesto thinks the protest was "a waste of time" and he feels for the guys who didn't "get their days off". lol. What an all round good guy. :rolleyes:

He also thinks the last race he lost shouldn't have been raced, but the next race in the same conditions -that he won- was ok.


Given the chronology of events, you'd have to be mad not to protest such an obvious incident.

Stay tuned for the big protest if Alinghi lose the cup! lol.

just one more thing...

There seem to be two reasons why Alinghi didn't keep a close cover: 1) they felt they were the faster boat so they were likely to win and didn't need to cover closely, and 2) if you're ahead and you keep a close cover, then the skipper of the other boat dictates where you go on the race course and you forfeit your chance to make your own judgments. I think there's a bit of arrogance in that; the goal should be to win.
It's not arrogance in match racing, it's called tactics. The goal is, as you say, to win... Using tactics! lol.
Re: Jerry's account of the America's Cup


This is a NZ media interview with Chris Dickson and a Sports Psychologist, shortly after the second win by ETNZ.

It’s a bit of a hoot watching Chris Dickson. He’s always right, even when he’s wrong! And everything the psychologist says he contradicts indirectly. lol.

I think he hits the nail on the head with regards to Alinghi’s superior boat speed and ETNZ winning by taking advantage of Alinghi’s mistakes.