Thursday, April 19, 2007

Complete waste of money...NOT!

Had some comments today from a couple of (very) high profile NZers about the waste of money the A Cup is. And how boring it is.

Sorry don't agree. Strongly disagree in fact.

Set aside for a moment its the oldest sporting trophy in the world.

Set aside the obsessions that a lot of people have developed over the years.

Even set aside the fact that some NZ tax payer money is being used to fund one campaign. Instead consider this....

The ACup campaigns are 99% funded by private and commercial dollars. And any of those NZ tax payer dollars are recovered as PAYE, GST, duty and other taxes.

Very selfishly I only get to watch live yachting on TV thanks to the ACup. And I certainly don't find it boring.

And finally and most importantly for me ACup is one of the handful of really significant leading-edge development zones of our sport.

Sure there's also the SMOD manufacturers and sailmakers always improving and trying things. There's fantastic stuff being done with VO70's, TP52's, boards, foils and carbon fibre. And sailors like me all over the world fiddle with their boats and experiment on a small scale.

But ACup is where the really big stuff happens - much of it live on TV, the new techniques get tried and discarded or perfected, the gear breaks, the crazy stuff gets a run - you get the picture.

It gets people talking all over the world.

The stakes are huge.

Failures are laid bare for all to see and that old cliche "there's no second place" is so true.

The boats are spectacular.
The personalities even more so.

It's the main-game in-your-face long-term iterative R&D programme for our sport of yachting, like F1 is for motor racing.

Quite simply it's fantastic!

Still waiting...start of Day 4

Must be a drag for the guys sitting waiting. Especially those who won;t make the cut.
I got up at 5am yesterday to run the HDD Recorder only to watch replays of last years Act 12 finals - but it was quite good actually.

Maybe tonight? (sigh)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Go well guys!

Racing starts tonight...we hope!

07/03/2007 (Valencia) - NZL 92 (© Pierre Orphanidis/Valencia Sailing)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Naiad RIB

Arriving soon - a 1995 centre console Naiad 5.3XL, it's going to get a birthday and a new console over the winter.

I've been looking for a suitable Naiad for 2 years - they're really hard to find.

Naiad are unique in that the tubes and covers are easily replacable - rather than having to be glued in place. Also the alloy hulls are deep vee and much better for beaching than GRP. All in all they're a more versatile and hard working boat than many of today's GRP models - the '4WD of the Sea'.

Some of the modifications planned; The rear rack is coming off, replaced by a towing post. The two seats are coming out. I picked up a custom Naiad-built console (see 2 photos below) that had been removed from a 5.8 a while back and will modify it a little before swapping it in.

This boat is going to be a family runaround, coach boat, yachting spectator boat and support boat all rolled into one.