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Reflections on Act 10  May 18, 07:41

“I am really surprised at how much New Zealand and BMW Oracle have improved from their last boats,” he said. “I just wonder if we're only catching up to the level that they've already left…I think we might be left behind, that's what I'm afraid of.”
--United Internet Team Germany Skipper Jesper Bank (DEN).

“One of the things we did see this week is that all three of the top teams on the challengers’ side have very similar boat speeds. Now it is going to be a fight to see who can squeeze that last little bit out of the equipment and then of course who goes out there and races well. A couple of teams like Shosholoza and Spain are knocking on the door, so there is going to be a big battle on the challengers’ side. On one hand, we like to see this, because it means they’ll be beaten up pretty badly by the time they get to the Cup. But on the other hand they’ll have good racing experience, so we have to make sure we have that ourselves."
--Alinghi Act 10 Helmsman Ed Baird (USA).

“We are learning each time we go on the water. It’s quite hard to understand what’s going on with the wind here. We try to learn with the weather team....This boat is tacking quite well, and I think this boat is quicker in the light and quicker in the heavy. It’s not much, maybe two boatlengths faster in a beat, but it’s quite enough to stay there when you have a bad shift, and make a good gain when you get a good shift.”
--BMW ORACLE Tactician Bertrand Pace (FRA).


The Start  Feb 26, 20:01

Have finished reading Matthew Symonds "intimate protrait" of Larry Ellison called Softwar (Simon & Schuster, To say that the book is frank and revealing would be an understatement.

A unique feature of the book is Larry's "right of reply" throughout the book. While he did not have the right to alter the author's words, it was agreed that he could add footnoted commentary to express a counterpoint to the author's conclusions or to amplify points Larry felt important.

In one such footnote (page 462), I found the following nugget which, to my mind, is as clear and concise a description of a match race start as I have read anywhere:

The start is critical in match racing. Winning the start does not necessarily mean that [one yacht] has started in front of [the other]; it means [winning] the side of the race course you want. Five minutes before the race begins, both boats decide which side of the race course has the better wind conditions: more wind and/or a favorable shift up the course. If both boats pick the same side of the course, they fight for it by executing a complex set of manuevers with each boat trying to gain a right-of-way advantage against the other. This five-minute maneuvering period before the start is called the pre-start. It's the most exciting part of match racing."

Overall a very interesting read, especially Larry's perspective on the 2003 campaign. Highly recommend it to anyone connected with our team.


Quotable  Jan 17, 11:17

"Passion is the wind that moves your sails;
Reason is the rudder that guides your course."
--Arthur Doak/Dan Meyer

"Raise your sail one foot and you get ten feet of wind."
--Chinese proverb

With thanks to YP.

QUOTE - UNQUOTE  Jun 20, 11:11

"It's amazing when you realize how fast the noisy, bumpy chase boat with her two big engines has to go to catch up and stay with the yacht. Then, after transferring to 76, the first thing you notice is how smooth and quiet that ride is by comparison."

-- Oracle Corp VP Judson Althoff, 18th crew in yesterday's race against Desafio Espanol.

Judson Althoff