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Old 23-09-2013, 15:31   #646
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Re: Twenty Knots

I just thought I would post this again for folks that may not have seen it before. These starts may look simple to us folks watching, but they are not.

There is always a slight difference in the wind, the current, the start line angle, the favored end of the start line, and your competitor's position/strategy.

Spithill did not own a car until age 27. He sailed just about everywhere he went as a child and even took a ferry to school.

Here is Spithill on the slower boat (Luna Rosa) winning the start against Chris Dixon and BMW Oracle in the 2007 LV Cup. This type of starting with monohulls is not seen often.

And btw, he won their series 5 to 1.

The fact that it isn't in english shouldn't matter to those of you that have been watching this years America's Cup. You know what the prestart is about. 5 minute prestart here though. Paul Cayard who sailed Stars and Stripes with Dennis Conner in the 1995 AC Series is one of the folks calling the race. Not sure who the lady is but she is pretty .........fine.

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Old 23-09-2013, 15:46   #647
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Re: Twenty Knots

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Here is Spithill on the slower boat (Luna Rosa) winning the start against Chris Dixon and BMW Oracle in the 2007 LV Cup. This type of starting with monohulls is not seen often.

And btw, he won their series 5 to 1.


Who won the protest?
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Old 23-09-2013, 16:08   #648
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Re: Twenty Knots

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Who won the protest?
My take is Chris Dixon and BMW Oracle got two (2) penalties. The first for the port/starboard infraction near the pin end mark and the second for making contact. (since Spithll was already on proper course)

Then it looked like Spithill made it hard for them to do their penalty turns. Normally when you foul a guy, you have to do a 360 degree penalty turn.

In this years event, I think the penalty is a 2 boat length slow down since the boats are so crazy fast..

Btw, Chris Dixon is an awesome sailor. He was actually in the stormy Sydney/Hobart race in 1998. He got ahead of the storm I believe and finished first in his class.
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Old 23-09-2013, 17:01   #649
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Re: Twenty Knots

It is 2 boat lengths, but the actual penalty is measured in time. Pretty fancy stuff - the refs counting the time have the polars for the boats and time the penalty using them!

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Old 23-09-2013, 18:01   #650
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Re: Twenty Knots

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Then it looked like Spithill made it hard for them to do their penalty turns. Normally when you foul a guy, you have to do a 360 degree penalty turn.
Doesn't a foul normally incur a 720 turn while contact with a mark is "only" 360.

Also, was it a "Port/Starboard" foul or "failure to give room to clear after changing course", given Oracle was clear ahead and leeward before the turn at the pin?
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Old 24-09-2013, 04:11   #651
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Re: Twenty Knots

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Doesn't a foul normally incur a 720 turn while contact with a mark is "only" 360.

Also, was it a "Port/Starboard" foul or "failure to give room to clear after changing course", given Oracle was clear ahead and leeward before the turn at the pin?
In my experience, a foul is normally one 360 degree turn, but that was with catamarans. You'd have to check the race instruction though for each race for any change of the USSailing Rule. Example: Number 13.1

Standard Sailing Instructions

Spithill was on Starboard, and Oracle being on Port would need to keep clear is how I saw that business at the pin since they were still in prestart mode.

My point of posting that video of that 2007 race though was to show what a good starter Spithill is and his boat handling skills.

Dean Barker on ETNZ had some pretty good starts also in 2007, but not as aggressive as Spithill's here. Check Spithill at the beginning of the video. It looked like Dixon had to quickly swing over to Starboard Tack to not get a penalty since Spithill was coming at him hard. (on starboard tack) Spithill said afterward that he was forced into this strategy since his boat was so slow.
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Old 24-09-2013, 17:11   #652
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Re: Twenty Knots

You gotta give Dean Barker credit for that start on the last race. He came out and went after Team Oracle USA and Spithill.

Not only did he almost draw a penalty on the prestart, he damn near took out Team Oracle near the mark. (legally at about 35 knots)

Looks like it takes a lot to get him mad, but when it happens, look out.

This series still isn't over even though Oracle showed incredible speed. ETNZ has to sail a perfect race to win.

I'm thinking maybe Dean Barker and crew had so much adrenaline flowing through their veins from the start, it was hard to get back in mode and concentrate.

They will go over all that tonight.

I'm wondering who Oracle brought in to get them racing ike catamaran sailors. Or did they just learn from watching ETNZ replays from prior races. Plus they have definitely made changes to the boat. Is their jib self tacking now?
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Old 24-09-2013, 17:35   #653
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Re: Twenty Knots

I think the whole think has gotten into Barker's and Davies's heads - it is mental at this point. As much credit as Spithill and gang deserve, TNZ blew it big time both races.

They put themselves in that starting position in the first race, and had several opportunities to get away from their problems when they found themselves in trouble. It almost looked like they could never make up their minds.

Not covering in the first downwind leg of the second race, as well as calling for a tack on the upwind when they did was simply not professional racing. Again, a bit schizophrenic by tactically deciding to calmly sail their boat regardless on the downwind leg and then frantically try covering tactics on the upwind. They pretty much blew both of them.

I think they have some demons to work out.

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Old 24-09-2013, 18:53   #654
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Re: Twenty Knots

In fact, today US team won their 9th (and 10th) race so they virtually took the Cup.

We can say that Kiwis were unfairly deprived of the Cup in that light wind race. We can say that they were ahead twice again when races got abandoned because of too much wind. But it only takes us to the race tomorrow that will justly (touch wood!) sort things out in this Cup full of iffy rules, skewed racecourses and hundreds of millions blown.

So it is tomorrow. And may the better team win!

Cheers,
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Old 24-09-2013, 19:36   #655
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Re: Twenty Knots

OTUSA is just the faster boat at this point. No question about it, and nothing Barker et al can do about it.
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Old 24-09-2013, 19:36   #656
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Re: Twenty Knots

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Is their jib self tacking now?
Did you miss that part of the hook where Spithill put TNZ in irons? Oracle backwinded their jib to turn off, while Barker was yelling for someone to grab and pull over their jib!

The self-tacking jib came back to bite TNZ there!

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Old 24-09-2013, 19:42   #657
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Re: Twenty Knots

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OTUSA is just the faster boat at this point. No question about it, and nothing Barker et al can do about it.
But the average speeds are not really showing that to be the case. And TNZ has made up incredible distances in past races. I think it is mental at this point.

The one single thing I think that Oracle has figured out better than TNZ is how to switch modes upwind from best strategic VMG to foiling for tactical speed. They seem able to turn that on and off at will, and TNZ seems to struggle with it.

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Old 24-09-2013, 20:32   #658
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Re: Twenty Knots

It might be mental, but although its not scientific, the graphics they show on TV and the data shown on the iphone app seem to consistently show Oracle with higher speeds. There isn't a lot of data on the website, but in all of the recent races (I went back about 6 or 7 of them), Oracle's avg speed is higher. This is not VMG and crew work would play a big part, so maybe doesn't mean anything but it sure looks like Oracle is a smidge faster right now. What a turnaround from earlier races. Don't know what they did but something is different.
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Old 24-09-2013, 20:55   #659
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Re: Twenty Knots

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but it sure looks like Oracle is a smidge faster right now. What a turnaround from earlier races. Don't know what they did but something is different.
And everytime they ask Spithill what they found or changed that made the difference he dodges the answer with something like "the shore crew is up all night making changes..." Guess we'll have to wait for the answer until after the race is over tomorrow.

Probably doesn't hurt to have some of Oracle's computer programmers in a room somewhere running and analyzing virtual simulations. Just an assumption on my part but hey...
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Old 24-09-2013, 21:07   #660
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Re: Twenty Knots

It is highly doubtful Oracle's (the company) computer programmers know anything about sailboat simulations or programming for such.

On the other hand, no doubt Ellison has an entirely different bank of programmers, etc dedicated just to that. As does TNZ.

I think Oracle mostly figured out how to switch and mix gears to better advantage. Coupled with TNZ making large mistakes for the first time.

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