Louis Vuitton Pacific Series:
Auckland, NZ, January-February 2009
Comparing the Best Boats
Ed Baird and Peter Holmberg are the only helmsmen in the world
who have raced the current yachts from three of the top America’s
Cup teams. Holmberg and Baird have now had their hands on
all three pairs of boats. What did they learn? What
can they reveal? Read
Kevin Hall: From the Cup to Dinghies and Back
I almost quit at my
very first event in Holland -- it was really windy and it turned
out I picked my stiffest mast, had my centerboard all the way
forward and I had a light sail -- I didn’t have a clue that that
was about as hard as it gets.
Isler Navigates for the British
Team Origin carries a familiar
name as their navigator at the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, but
not under his usual flag. Peter Isler shares some
observations from his America's Cup career, and on how Origin is
doing so far.
“There’s a difference in being a good match race starter and
being able to do it in an AC boat because they’re so big."
Preparing 4 boats for use (and possible abuse) by 10 unfamiliar crews has kept the shore crews busy:
"We also didn’t put on all the sensors. We just kept the important ones, like one on the runner gauge. We put a buzzer on it, so if someone gets to a certain amount of rod tension then the buzzer goes off to tell them they’ve gone too far." ETNZ's Andy Nottage
race-ready Cup yachts on short notice on the far side of the
world wasn’t smooth sailing, so to speak. "It was a bit of
Grant Davidson of BMW Oracle
"Our goal is to be much better at the end of the regatta than we are right now."
Q: You had some days of practice but now suddenly you’re out there. How different did today feel? Obviously ramped up?
Ian Williams: Yeah, for sure it’s ramped up. It’s a little bit windier than any of the practice sessions. We had an injury on our boat yesterday, so we also had a slightly new team today, and you’re in there racing, so everything is ramped up.
Add to that we had a problem with the branding on the boats and so there was a delay to us receiving the main. We only got the main 20 minutes before the start so we didn’t really have a lot of time to settle either. So everything’s putting the pressure on, but I think the guys did a great job of handling that.
We sailed well in
the start, obviously won the start, and that was fantastic.
Made some mistakes around the course which I think unfortunately
we’re probably going to see a few more this week from us
(laughs), but we’re going to try and minimize them as much as
possible, learn every race, try not to make the same mistake
If you close your eyes a bit, the Viaduct Basin doesn't look much different -- sailors in team garb hurrying to team bases, sails being loaded onto America’s Cup boats, loads of curious public milling about.
But it is
different. The Louis Vuitton Pacific Series is being called
the "friendly series," due to its open access for spectators,
base-sharing and even boat sharing among all the teams.
Pacific Series Final
Race 3: Penalty on Alinghi at the start, 30 seconds ETNZ at the top mark. ETNZ leading but Alinghi gaining. Not close enough, ETNZ wins by 34 seconds.
Race 4: ETNZ leads at the gate mark by 15 sec, 75m, but Alinghi closed up on leg 2. ETNZ wins Race 4, and wins the LVPS 3-1.
Links of Interest:
Visit the Official Web Site (offline)
Preparations underway in Auckland Viaduct Harbor:
Jan 19: TNZ and
BMWO tuning up the boats for the LVPS:
Inquiries please contact: