Archive for » September 2nd, 2013«

NZL sailing team with ETNZ share the lead at RBYAC

The NZL Sailing Team with ETNZ remain at the top of the leader board after another gripping day of close encounter racing at the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup on now in San Francisco.

On 28 points they share the top spot with the Michael Menninger led American Youth Force Sailing Team. Behind them teams placed back as far as 7th in the standings are just three points off the leaders.

New Zealand’s FMJ Racing has a share of 4th place on 26 points after placing 4th and 6th in today’s races. With no one team dominating over the first half of the four day regatta it remains extremely tight for the remaining two days.

The NZL Sailing Team with ETNZ, sponsored by Rodd Gunn, didn’t open the day according to the text book stalling on the start line in the first race. Crew member Guy Endean explains;

“It was tough today, the first race didn’t start that well, but it was just a matter of sticking in there really and try to pull back the places we could get. We worked hard for it, so it was just good to finish with a few boats behind us.”

Recording a 7th and earning four points for that first race, the NZL Sailing Team with ETNZ came away in race two with a much better start and went on to place 3rd worth eight points.

Endean talks about what he feels the team did well today; “The second race was good, a few things went our way and a couple didn’t but it was pretty good. There were a few, let’s call them freestyle manoeuvres, where they’re not entirely planned but just fell into shape with a bit of pressure. There were a couple of situations where it all came together nicely.”

The four day regatta is now at the midway point with two days and four races left on the schedule.

“We’ve just to get out there fresh again and do our thing really,” says Endean. “Everything seems to be going well as far as the crew mechanics, there may be a couple of small things to iron out but apart from that it’s just a matter of getting out there fresh again and getting a good start and getting amongst it.”

Racing resumes tomorrow for day three and another two fleet races for all ten teams competing in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup standings after day two

1st NZL Sailing with ETNZ – 28 points

2nd American Youth Sailing Force – 28 points

3rd Team Tilt – 27 points

4th Swedish Youth Challenge – 26 points

5th Full Metal Jacket Racing – 26 points

6th ROFF/Cascais Sailing Team -26 points

7th Next World Energy – 25 points

8th All In Racing – 17 points

9th Objective Australia – 10 points

10 USA45 Racing – 9 points

The regatta, being sailed in the AC45 wing sailed catamarans, runs across four consecutive days starting Sunday September 1st. There will be two fleet races sailed each day starting at 1100 hours local time in San Francisco, each intended to be around 25 minutes long with a 30 minute break in between.

Using a high point scoring system, the first seven races have equal points weighting with 10 points for 1st, 9 points for 2nd and so on. The final eighth race is worth double points.

The NZL Sailing Team with ETNZ includes Peter Burling, Blair Tuke, Jono Spurdle, Guy Endean, Andy Maloney, Sam Meech and Jason Saunders.

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That was one of the few parallels with the coming final competition for the 162-year old trophy between Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand that starts September 7.

The crews in the Youth America’s Cup are the best up and coming yachtsmen in each country. That made it easy to root for a boat and offered an alternative high-thrill spectacle to the racing that led up to the main two-boat event, which has been plagued by mishaps and controversy.

American Youth Sailing Force, one of two U.S. teams, established an early lead to win the first of two races on Sunday on San Francisco’s gusty bay in the first ever youth-version of the America’s Cup.

Full Metal Jacket Racing, one of two teams from New Zealand, won an action-packed second race, with Swedish Youth Challenge taking second place after a close fight against the second New Zealand crew – NZL Sailing Team – and France’s Next World Energy.

Participants in the Youth America’s Cup are rising stars in competitive sailing, many of them Olympic athletes. All are between 19 and 24 years old. Unlike in the America’s Cup regatta that started in July and culminates in September, sailors in the youth regatta must hold passports for the countries where their teams are based.

Teams in the Youth America’s Cup are sailing high-tech, 45-foot catamarans called AC45s, smaller versions of the 72 footers called AC72s that are sailed in the America’s Cup regatta.

The AC45 are one designs built by one boatyard in New Zealand. They share the same design, weight and sail plan. The team graphics and crews set them apart. The AC72 is a box rule, leaving room for the teams to build what they hope will be the fastest boat, while conforming to strict length, beam and sail height rules.

While races in the America’s Cup are a match between two boats going head to head, the Youth Cup, which continues through Wednesday, is fleet racing, with all teams competing at once.

Full Metal Jacket skipper Will Tiller said that having 10 boats competing at once made for crowded sailing and difficult maneuvering on Sunday.

“You’ve got to scrap for every position. The boys have to really fight hard on the boat to execute the maneuvers. There’s a lot of physical work out there,” he said.

Organizers hope that establishing a youth version of the America’s Cup will give young participants a direct line to eventually join America’s Cup teams.

When software billionaire Larry Ellison’s Oracle team won the Cup in 2010, it gained the right to set certain rules. Ellison chose to defend the trophy in his home waters, the windy San Francisco Bay.

Ellison’s team came up with the idea for the 72-foot cats, which can hydrofoil across the waves at 50 miles per hour but are extremely fragile and hard to handle. That the twin-hulled boats were dangerous became tragically clear in May, when a sailor was killed in the capsize of an Artemis Racing AC72.

In the wake of that accident, teams and organizers briefly considered switching to the smaller AC45s but discarded the idea in favor of other measures to make racing with the AC72s safer.

The radical design of the AC72s helped push the cost of fielding a strong challenge in the America’s Cup above the $100 million mark, and the number of teams dwindled from the 12 to 15 originally anticipated to just four.

After the accident Sweden’s Artemis needed time to prepare a second AC72 and missed all but four of its scheduled races in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection series. That led to several one-boat races that were a disappointment to spectators as Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge and Emirates Team New Zealand sailed the course alone to win points necessary to advance.

New Zealand, which easily dominated Luna Rossa and Artemis to win the Louis Vuitton Cup on August 25, will now attempt to wrest the coveted trophy from Oracle in a series of 17 races starting on Saturday.

If New Zealand wins the Cup, team managing director Grant Dalton has said he will use the defender’s right to set rules to force teams in the next America’s Cup to use sailors from their home countries.

Such a nationality rule existed from 1980 to 2003 and for decades before that there was a tradition of boats, crews and designers being from the same country.

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