Another unopposed point on the board
The Louis Vuitton Cup shadow boxing continued today with Emirates Team New Zealand scoring getting its fourth point on the board in as many races. The Kiwis were supposed to be racing Artemis Racing, that, as expected, was a no-show as the Swedish challenger continues to assemble its second AC72. The Swedish team hopes to have its boat on the water by next weekend ready for testing.
In 16 knots of breeze with a gust of 19.7 knots, the Kiwis sailed a shorter 9.89 nautical mile course today which they covered in 25 minutes, 56 seconds at an average speed of 26.52 knots, with a peak speed of 40.62 knots on the final reaching leg to the finish.
“It’s always a good day to bring the boat in and not have anything major happen to it," Rob Waddell, grinder on board. "It’s a fast and exciting boat, but there’s risk there. You have to make sure everything runs smoothly, and we’re looking forward to getting more racing under our belt.”
On his position grinding on Pedestal 2: “We named our crewmembers based on the pedestal, but we quite like names like ‘freestyler’ and things like that. So we might have to get more inventive than ‘Pedestal 2.’ Where I stand on Pedestal 2 is more in the aft end of the boat so I tend to be more tied up with wing trim. But you end up going throughout boat. I think a skill of the crew is knowing what to prioritize and what’s important and when to do it.”
Waddell won a gold medal in the single sculls in the 2000 Olympics, and he commented on the physical exertion compared to grinding on an AC72: “They’re both physical. The new AC72’s a really physical boat. It’s equally demanding as anything I’ve done in a single scull. I guess the difference is that in the scull you’re doing a 7-minute sustained push. You don’t really stop in the 30 or 40 minutes of racing the AC72, but it’s very loaded, very heavy and lots of it. You come off wishing you were fitter, stronger, faster, but you do what you can.”
Emirates Team New Zealand's Chief Operating Officer Kevin Shoebridge says the team gains a lot from 'racing' solo: “We treat it like a real race. Full on. Every day improving as we must if we are to do well when it really matters.”
He has one eye permanently on the clock. “Time is going very quickly. By the end of July we will be running out of time to make improvements. So right now every day counts. We keep the development programme running by using these days as race practice and developing systems, manoeuvres and crew work generally.”
This day-to-day improvement motivates the crew, says Jeremy Lomas. “Today we worked on things that we didn’t do so well yesterday when we raced Luna Rossa. It’s important that we make these incremental advances every time we take the AC72 out – racing or not.”
The schedule ahead:
Tuesday, July 16, Artemis Racing vs. Luna Rossa Challenge
Thursday, July 18, Artemis Racing vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
Saturday, July 20, Luna Rossa Challenge vs. Artemis Racing
Sunday, July 21, Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Luna Rossa Challenge