HIf you’re frustrated, look for unconventional solutions: This is the common style of the America’s Cup, the high-tech sailing scene at the other end of the world. So also on Sunday. The Christmas Cup, the only regatta between the three defenders and strikers on board their super yachts, has been canceled due to lack of winds. Additional regattas can now be added to the program in order to create training opportunities under competitive conditions. There is also a debate about raising the minimum speed limit. Sailing enthusiasts were also disappointed on Sunday because the traditional Sydney-Hobart to Tasmania regatta will be canceled for the first time in 75 years on Boxing Day.
Business reporter for South Asia / Pacific based in Singapore.
While the Australian sailing scene was bluesy on Saturday, the mood in Auckland, New Zealand ahead of the America’s Cup was still just fine. A medium breeze made the four teams compete against each other in match races. After the twelve races of the World Series, the New Zealanders who want to defend their Cup in March look adorable. Of the three contenders, the Americans and Italians were nearly equal, while the favorite among the trio, the British, fell even more. Before Oakland, British Cooper became a division.
These are tough days for the New Zealanders, however: the rules so far state that they will no longer sail boat races against competitors until the Finals in early March. The last opportunity passed on Sunday when the time limit was crossed in the first race between the New Zealand team and the UK team of the summer lull. The New Zealanders were just meters away from the finish line. This gives the three Challengers a huge advantage: from mid-January they will compete against each other for a good month to sail the final opponent of the New Zealand team. Regardless of whether the Americans, the British or the Italians are up front in the end, this team has a much more competitive experience than defenders. Because now they miss the last races on Sunday.
In the last boat race on Saturday, New Zealand captain Peter Burling also revealed weaknesses: Unlike Luna Rossa captains, the successful canoe lacks experience in boat versus boat races. Australian Jimmy Spethyl showed him ruthlessness at first in serving the Italians. But Berling soon captured his land thanks to his superior boat speed and good tactics. But this run also demonstrated the weaknesses of the new AC75 class of boats like never before: it needs nearly ten knots of winds to take off on its wings – otherwise the hulls are swaying in the water, their crews have little to do; And the viewers are turning away.
When it calmed down, the structures of Luna Rossa and Te Rehutai from New Zealand were flooded. When it rebounded again, the New Zealanders set off their winds race and immediately accelerated to over 25 knots, while the Italians, with their hull in the water, only managed 12 knots. “We have to stay on the chips, and that makes a difference,” said Blair Talk, Blair Talk’s long-range shooter who is handling the hydraulic wings. Burling and his men turned the 800-meter gap into a 400-meter advance within two minutes.
Although the racing broadcasts from onboard cameras, drones and helicopters are more reminiscent of a computer game than classic sailing, this latest race featured two contenders wrestling with a track that had been cut short by a dying wind. In the end, the New Zealanders narrowly defeated Luna Rossi, 16 seconds, in six races, ahead of the Americans and their New Zealand captain Dean Parker by four victories. The World Championships ended in disaster for perhaps the best sailor in the world, Sir Ben Ainsley. The favorite was not able to win one round. Weeks of hard work await now for engineers, designers and sailors.
The Sydney-Hobart-Race 2020 teams invested this in vain. After more than 30 coronavirus cases in Sydney, the Tasmanian state government imposed a two-week quarantine period for travelers from the greater region on Saturday – which would have prevented the 76 registered teams from going ashore. Then Australian Cruising Yacht Club had no choice but to cancel the boat race for the first time. After New South Wales’ Prime Minister Gladys Prejiklian told her fellow citizens to stay home, alternate racing was no longer an option. Until recently, organizers worked to save the traditional regatta at another destination port.