Sailing Daily 113
(C)update: B boats meet up
Recently at the end of day of two boat testing the 'B' boats of the teams that will sail the 30th America's Cup met up. NZL 57 is Team New Zealand's 2nd string boat while Prada's 2nd boat is ITA 48. Russell Coutts and a crew of '95 Cup veterans have been sailing NZL 60 making it the likely choice as the boat for the defense of the Cup.
The boats sailed together for around 5 minutes. Nothing significant was determined. According to the sailors it was just boats crossing wakes on the way in, not a valid test.
In other Cup news Team New Zealand flashed its depth. For the match they claim to have 2 possible sailors for each station. Crew composition may change on a daily basis. Factors such as fatigue and expected weather conditions will be used to select crew for each race. This strategy apparently includes the possibility that Russell Coutts could give over the helm to Dean Barker. According to Coutts: "If I'm not up to scratch, or get ill or injured ... he will be more than capable of stepping into the role."
Match Race Rankings
With the America's Cup match on the horizon we will see the worlds most famous match racing regatta. However, the Cup doesn't occur every year while numerous match racing regattas do. The ISAF has released the February 2000 rankings for match racing. With the America's Cup going the top level match racing regattas have been on hiatus. The highest grade event in this ranking period took place in Fremantle Australia. By winning this event Australian Gordon Lucas moved up from 106th to 79th. Still, the rankings serve as a form sheet for the coming year in match racing and show a bit about the America's Cup.
Here are the worlds top 10 match racers. Note there has been little change in positioning. The biggest move up was 2 spots by Croatia's Tomislav Basic. Danish sailors hold 5 of the top 10 spots. Of the nations with sailors in the Top 10 only one, France, is an America's Cup nation. Top ranked match racer from New Zealand is Team New Zealand member Dean Barker at # 11. Top ranked match racer from Italy is Nicilo Celon at 12th. The USA's top ranked sailor is Ed Baird at # 53. Perhaps this low ranking for the USA helps explain why for the first time there is not an American Boat in the America's Cup match.
The skippers who will sail in the America's Cup match also appear on the ranking list. Prada's Francesco De Angelis is 32nd, Team New Zealand's Russell Coutts 105th. These rankings show that De Angelis has sailed more recently. This experience along with the racing in the Challengers trials should make him a formidable match racer. Russell Coutt's has not done a lot of match racing, but is a 3 time Match Racing world champion.
The ranking of the top 10 women match
racers are absolutely unchanged. Of note, Denmark, Sweden, France,
and Great Britain have top 10 ranked women. This means these 4
countries are the only ones with top rankings on both lists. The USA
has the most sailors on the list with three. Certainly this may mean
the best way back to the America's Cup match is with a women match racer
at the helm.
TMI's Small Boat Line at the Grand Rapids Boat Show
At this weeks Grand Rapids Boat Show
Torresen Marine will