10 July 2007

Several America's Cup Summaries: Ricky from CA

Dear ZEN’ers,
we have for you, somewhat after the fact, a series of posts from a friend (if I may), a man I’ve corresponded with through our passion for Truth, and the Floyd Landis case of unproven Tour de France doping, which you can trace through these posts (one, two, three, more).

Ricky hails from the USA, and loves sailing as much as we both love cycling.
Ricky has permitted me to archive some posts, which he began providing to answer questions from some of us land-lubbers!

They are impressively well-written, I’ve slightly reformatted and edited them for precision. I believe this first post covers the third regatta.

Take it away, Ricky from California!:

Another painful afternoon for Alinghi. The Kiwis did a fine job of fighting for the boat end of the line and the Swiss were happy with the fact that they got across the line on starboard tack at full speed. Then the first brain fade.

Brad failed to tack and cover. The whole world knew the right side of the track was favored, yet Brad and the boys wandered off to the left so that when they finally did get around to tacking they were nearly 200 meters back. Ordinarily the winner would be a foregone conclusion.

But the Kiwi boinked the douse and wound the kite into the genoa lead block and couldn't get the jib in, then muffed the cut tack, squandering virtually their entire lead. At the next cross Alinghi is handed the lead when ETNZ performs a weird and slow tack. This was Terry's brain fade. When the guy on port is bearing off to duck, he's handing you chunks of time. The right move would have been to force the duck then tack, effectively pinning Alinghi out at the Stbd layline.

Okay, back to the comedy of errors: Alinghi has about a 3 boat lead coming away from the weather mark...close, but defensible. The Kiwis jibe a couple of times and the Swiss cover. On the next jibe Brad forgets about rules 1, 2 and 3 in match racing. I'll present them here for the non-sailors among us:

1. Stay between the opponent and the mark.
2. Stay between the opponent and the mark.
3. Stay between the opponent and the mark.

While Brad is busy forgetting about those simple but vital rules, the Kiwis scamper down the course, picking up the lead again. Fortunately they're almost to the finish line and there isn't much time left for another mistake so the Kiwis manage to sail across the line first. The Swiss, however, feel that there is time for one more mistake so they jibe just before the finish line, costing themselves another boatlength, but giving the crew a bit more jibing practice.

I'll wager the Kiwis could hardly believe the way the race went. The Swiss proved beyond a doubt that while they have a fast boat, they've grown soft and vulnerable. Brad is not the razor sharp tactician he once was.

This race had better be a serious wake-up call for team Alinghi, or we'll be watching another AC regatta on the sunny waters of the Hauraki Gulf again.

Russell's got to be LHAO, while Ernesto (Bertarelli, the Swiss billionaire owner of Alinghi) ponders what might have been.

(This is PART ONE, of FOUR America's Cup posts, featuring commentary by Ricky of California: click here for Part TWO, Part THREE, Part FOUR)

Thanks Ricky - Premier Guest Commentator at ZENcentral!

ç*”*”*”*ç*””* ZENmud *””*ç*”*”*””*ç

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