Smoking

Back in 2003 I was asked for a prediction for the Cup final between Alinghi and Team New Zealand. I said 5-0 to the Swiss Kiwis and everyone laughed. The result? 5-0 to the Russell & Brad show. So, on the evidence of today’s on-the-water tune-up races, what’s my prediction? 5-0 to the Kiwis. Slam dunk. Blackwash. Game over. The challengers are so far behind that this will be the easiest Cup since Russ smoked the Hula. To be honest, the challengers might as well pack up and go home. Te Rehutai (which means ‘Flipping Fast’ in Maori) sails higher and faster upwind and lower and faster downwind. It gets up on its foils more rapidly than anyone else and turns corners on a sixpence. It’s just plain fast. No getting away from it. Bloody awesome to watch.

New York Yacht Club American Magic in Auckland. Practice Racing.

In the line-up against American Magic, TNZ started slowly but just went through the gears and within a couple of minutes was level before easing ahead, going through the motions and not even putting the pedal to the floor. The Italians looked tasty upwind but absolutely dog slow downwind and again TNZ just smoked past and once ahead, eased back and cruised. A devastating performance and the clearest indication of just how far off the pace the challengers are.

The only unknown is the pace of Ratty’s Rita who suffered a mechanical today and sat on the sidelines watching intently with hunched body language, plenty of conspiratory huddles and a dawning reality that this is a one horse race. They all look beaten before the first gun has started.

Credit to the Kiwis, they are blooming good at this game.

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4 thoughts on “Smoking

  1. The speed difference on the Stuff video is too much for design differences. Patriot clearly wasn’t powered up. While you are probably right about a whitewash, and I have been saying for some time that TNZ didn’t need to build a second boat, I’m also sure it will be less embarrassing than this looks.

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    1. On this evidence it will be like taking candy from a baby. The challengers have it all on to try and get anywhere close to TNZ. All signs pointing to the kiwis being nearly a generation ahead. Frightening early pace. No-one is even close.

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  2. Have been watching ETNZ and challengers, since they all arrived here. Yes, ETNZ certainly looks the beast to beat, but I wouldn’t right off all the challengers just yet. However, feel sorry for Ineos outfit; they simply don’t appear to be on the pace. Also, they appear to be somewhat “brittle”, judging from the breakdowns. Will only take one accident or major gear breakage and the whole game could change very quickly.
    Really looking forward to ACWS/Christmas Cup next week. This will be the real test as to who is in the best shape.

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  3. Thurs Dec 10. Real blustery and overcast in Auckland today. Only ETNZ and LRPP out practicing, with both Patriot and Rita in the shed. Rumour mill grinding away, saying both have “issues” they are attending to…..mmmmmm, wonder what they are?

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