Mine's bigger


The war may not have started, but Alinghi wins the battle of the bases hands down reports John Greenland in Auckland
It's overcast, there's very little wind, and it's a rainy Friday afternoon, put off sailing? Not the professionals based in the Viaduct Basin, Auckland. There's a constant flow of some of the world's most sophisticated raceboats into and out of the Viaduct Basin, which lies to the northeast of downtown Auckland. This month in particular the activity has been far greater than on a normal weekday due to the arrival of eight Volvo Ocean 60s. However, walking around the basin you would never have guessed so many 'rock stars' are in the area as they are rarely seen walking around. America's Cup teams work rigorous schedules often into the evening, leaving very little time to escape and mill around the local shops and restaurants. Then it's home to dinner and bed before rising for the early morning session in the gym. In addition to this the main difference between the Volvo Ocean Race sailor and an America's Cup sailor is the rules governing who can talk with whom. For those sailing in the America's Cup you cannot utter a word to do with the America's Cup to the opposition which, for most, this leaves very little to talk about considering the 12-hour days they work. For the Volvo sailors, though it is understandably forbidden to discuss confidential information, there is no animosity between the teams, and frequently you see teams chatting with each other over a beer or in the street. The attitude of the America's Cup sailors simply reflects the cloud of secrecy that engulfs their every day lives. The utmost care is taken to protect design secrets from the enemy - IAC yachts rest on their cradles with covers hiding their keels, round the clock security guards every corner of the compounds, and everything is done behind closed doors

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