Alinghi’s crew work hasn’t looked all that slick in their informal races against Luna Rossa this past couple of days. By their own admission, the Defenders have not spent as much time as the challengers on race training, preferring instead to focus on testing and development in pursuit of a small speed edge, in the belief that boatspeed will prevail in the America’s Cup.
However, if the Kiwis can keep it tight, then maybe they can negate any Alinghi speed advantage – if indeed there is one. I spoke to Alinghi trimmer Simon Daubney last week. To get the full interview, sign up to my newsletter over at SailingTalk.com.
Below is an excerpt from the interview. Asked how he thought Alinghi was going in comparison to NZL 92, the three-time Cup-winning said this: “Every time this America’s Cup question comes up, I have no idea where we are in relation to the other team. All I do know is we’ve done more testing and they’ve done more racing, not just this year but over the past few years.
“And so if we end up with a speed advantage, that would be attributed to us putting more emphasis on testing than they did. If we end up screwing up our crew work or going around the leeward mark with our spinnaker still up, then maybe we put our emphasis in the wrong place! In the last few weeks we’ve been practising a lot on our crew work and doing our racing, and it’s been tough to watch these guys go out there doing full-on racing, so we’ve been doing our racing.
“Last time Team New Zealand made the mistake of having the boat in the shed doing a lot of development during the last Cup while we were out there sailing a boat that had been in the water for a year. It sounds wishy-washy, but the fact of the matter is that seat-of-the-pants sailing, getting to know the boat, is still a huge part of this.”
Click here to get the rest of the interview…