Nice to see this thread back and some fellow sailors on STW - I thought no one cared ! This is really stunning sailing which even non-sailors can appreciate. Had NZ flipped that would have been a $100m campaign out of the window.
Sir Ben has made a difference, Kosotecki made a very poor decision and took a big risk in one race which saw Oracle give up a lead, but to be fair Ben is playing it relatively safe and the Ofacle team have tweaked the boat to make it more competitive. The problem is that at this level you don't get a second chance, there is a very long list of good sailors waiting for "their chance"
This is true all or nothing racing - TNZ have made it clear if they win that the competition will be made "national teams", this is good for the UK (if we can raise the money) and bad for Oracle as their best team members are Aussies and New Zealanders. The NZ members at Oracle are regarded as traitors !
Go TNZ !
I raced the 2007 Melges 24 Worlds which Spithill won, I was blown away by his maturity and carisma when he spoke at the awards dinner, I think he was mid/late 20's at the time. We even rounded the last leeward mark in one race ahead of Russell Coutts as he'd had a total shocker in that race. By the way in sailing in some classes you don't have to qualify for the worlds you just enter (ie I am not that good a sailor). Have raced against Sir Ben too in Dartmouth, he was doing sponsor work for JPM, he was super relaxed as you imagine racing against us muppets and we all had a good laugh on and off the water.
@sharkbait - crewing for Ken Read must have been very cool.
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