Sep 15, 2013

AC34: Dean Barker is a Class Act

Image Abner Kingman / ACEA. I've been carefully listening & reading the most qualified opinions and positions in this Cup edition for a while now, among them of course you have the voice of the Sailors. They are the ones finally putting themselves on the line racing these beasts.
And I have never heard a bad complain or excuse, not even after AR accident. Contrary to some journalists that used that tragedy to push their agenda.

Yesterday at the press conference one journalist thought he was easy pitching the ball for Barker to hit it out of the park going "These dangerous , fragile boats in those freak conditions" .... Dean instead of saying "yes we are winning this right now, but we think the AC72 are too dangerous" or putting any other excuse for them not taking the Cup after a capsize for ie (great excuse to put) he went easy denying the journalist assessment:

- A: Press Conf Question: "Dean giving your close flip situations today and knowing what happened to Oracle boat and Artemis .. How do you see the potentially dangerousness of these boats , the wisdom or lack of wisdom in organizing a regatta with the ac72s that are too fragile boats on SF bay??"

- R: Dean Barker
"These boats demands a huge amount of respect, for the equipment & preparations, you really need  to learn how to sail them in these conditions.
We don´t think these boats are dangerous, we think you have to manage everything to be completely on top of your game and you can design a boat which is safe.
Ian Murray and the safety review process make for conditions to be a lot safer, with the wind limits put on place and like any other sport there are lot sorts of examples where there is danger involved and when you are pushing each  along the borders it is going to be dangerous at times,
but all know when you need to back off  and both teams are very capable of making that decision so it all comes to the teams to continue to race"   Press conf here

He already put some common sense after AR accident in his blog once. This coming from a sailor and a team pointed out on wanting to return to monohulls.
And they can do it, but it is clearly that NZ will NOT put lame excuses

as some bitter monohull journos are doing.
They will say, "Well, we just want to race monos again cause we think it is the best choice, cheaper, we want more participation" and that´s it, as the only complain I can agree with  Dalton and others is that the AC72 are larger than life and expensive, that fact though didn´t prevent these beasts , managed by and admirable group of sailors from all teams to put on a show as never seen before.

Those people that think that they own the "Sailing" concept complains about how fragile, dangerous these boats are and also complain they have put wind limits in after the accident ??
So what is the deal really? Are they kidding?   They complain about this "new" Americas Cup where you stop one race from 8 in the Finals for upper wind safety limit and they don´t 'complain' we have a perfect scheduled with 0 delay due to lack of wind....?

Right there lies the contradictions of the old guard. Hey, even the great Sailing Anarchy are calling this format a failure. I wonder if this is not Sailing Anarchy what is then? 100 challengers on J24s???
I said that one day SA would become the conservative establishment itself, but I think it is already happening..

On the capability of Multis to Match Race all already been said,and if there is any difference between NZ and OR (major complain now from SA) Cats are not to blame but only each team ability to perform on the crew training & design package. Do you know why NZ almost capsized? Easy they were being pushed by OR in the upwind leg and coming from behind.......and they forced NZ error on a cross.

We've seen some close racing with boats with uneven performance! What else do you need? Thus a second iteration of a similar Cat Rule (scaled down) will provide even more close racing, excitement and exposure, if that is possible.

If the Americas Cup is the Pinnacle of sailing, where having to take care of every detail, having to avoid mistakes, being on the edge of technology and needing to push the limits to win a race are the ultimate goals, then Multis are the right choice.

If you think the Americas Cup should be a 100 challenger series with even boats performance limited and leveled down by the rules, thus leveling down each team capability to outperform the others by doing a better job designing and sailing,  you are seeing another channel. You are looking at "Communism" vs Meritocracy. And the Americas Cup it is all about merits in every field.

The format the old guard wants is called Monohull racing, and you have great new (Soto 40..) and established (TP54..) classes already providing what they are eager to see in the Americas Cup.

Hey! all these Cup edition team sailors comes from the mono camp, so it is maybe the greatest school, but times have changed and focus has moved towards faster and more challenging boats.

High respect for Barker & Spithill and their crews, they are showing the conservative establishment that beyond them not being catsailors bred & born fans or freaks, they just put all they have to sail and race to the max of their abilities without putting any excuse even on adversity, it is their job yes, but excuses are always all over the place at the "office" too.

Hat offs to them.

All the rest , included my opinions, are pure radio Noise.