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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Summer Storm and the Americas Cup.

Well, the Barometer on my weather station has dropped like a stone, the wind is howling and the rain is bucketing down.

It's been a while since we had a storm this time of year. Two years or so, since that was the summer I'd booked a week off work to go sailing after watching the Americas Cup World Series. The last day was cancelled and I think that was the worst week for summer weather in a long time. Just my luck.

I hope Sprite is okay as I had to get off her a bit hurriedly the other day and there's always the nagging thought I forgot to tighten up a line or something.

Talking of the Americas Cup, I see Sir Ben isn't doing too well. Luckily he won the ACWS and got points to carry on to the main event, or otherwise Team Land Rover BAR would be in serious trouble. To be honest I haven't watched it, not having subscription TV and the BBC not really advertising if or when they are showing it.

In all honesty I think it will end up in a match between the Yanks and the Kiwis again. I just don't think Sir Ben's boat is fast enough, sadly. It seems outclassed by most of the other teams and in terms of strategy, the other teams laid into him early on to get penalties and penalise him in the races, but that tactic seems to have died away as the other teams can see they can beat him on outright pace.

The race the other day where Team New Zealand stayed on the foils for 100% of the race showed what the other teams are up against (I saw it online). They have to be able to do the same to even get close, otherwise they'll be left for dead. Fair Play to the Kiwis, they showed a bit of class with that race and their innovative thinking, like replacing arm-powered grinders with leg powered cycle style units may also be showing the way forward for that class of boats. It seems obvious that leg power can generate more power for longer than arm power.

Ho Hum, another plucky but ultimately doomed Americas Cup for the Brits I guess.....


Yup, I was right. Despite NZ pitch-polling yesterday, they recovered so well that today they sealed the deal: Team Land Rover BAR is out of the Americas Cup.

Something very wrong with their AC50, it seems all the other teams including Softbank Japan have faster boats. There will be some soul searching over the next few weeks as to where they went wrong.


  1. Was stuck in Lymington for 24 hours with that storm... Hoping to get back today weather permitting... Joys of summer... Problems with BAR are mechanical more than anything it seems to me.. :-(

  2. Hope you get back Steve, but the Wind is still pretty fresh, Chimet reporting F8 to F9 at the moment. Westerly too, so the Solent isn't going to afford much respite. Driving down Southsea seafront this morning it looked quite grim. I even felt sorry for the ships at anchor!

    I've not seen much of BAR's woes, only that they kept getting mugged at the starts in the early races and then later were outclassed on outright speed. It's not looking good unless they can pull something spectacular out of the hat. With last year's boat they were up there, but this year they seem to be way off in terms of performance with their AC50.

  3. Left at 12 to get the eastbound tide, and arrived back to Pompey about 4.. rocking and rolling all the way - we were going to put a small jib up but it was too much even for that really so we motored.. 7 gusting 8, but Chimet shows a burst of about 50 knots in the afternoon which if it is to be believed is F10..!

    PS. Go BAR .. start of the fightback?? :o)

  4. I was down the seafront around 6pm and saw a yacht struggling to get into Pompey harbour. Quite a few of then on the bow for some reason. It looked heavy going into the wind.

  5. I don't think the UK result is a result of a lack of sailing skill by Sir Ben and his crew - it's all about the technology and I think that's the bit that the Britz haven't got right this time round - but I am sure they will be back.
    As a Kiwi I am very happy that we will be the challenger but not so glad about everything being hidden behind a TV pay wall (as is the Lions tour / All Blacks test series) - bring back the old days I say.

  6. I mostly agree Alden, I think all the teams were pretty well matched with the AC45s for the World Series running up to the actual event, but the AC50s they made to actually compete in the America's Cup were a different matter. USA, NZ and Sweden have very good boats. Even Japan seemed to have a superior boat to the UK. Ben's AC50 seemed to be way behind. As for sailing skill, I think because of his reputation, in the beginning everyone sought to shut Ben down at the starts hence the collision early on. He was mugged at the start a few times. But once the teams saw they could beat him on outright pace the muggings and penalties faded away.
    The UK's AC50 wasn't quite a dog, but it wasn't in the same league. The better boats seem to foil a lot easier. I hope the NZ team do well, they seem to be on fire at the moment.