America’s Cup: Who’s hot, Who’s not
Published on May 17th, 2017
Whenever a new class is introduced for the America’s Cup, there will teams that get it right and teams that get it wrong. Jack Griffin, who provides America’s Cup analysis for Seahorse magazine and his Cup Experience website, and Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck offer this assessment with racing set to begin on May 26.
Artemis Racing (SWE)
Currently the acknowledged form team. Their tragic performance in the 2013 and inconsistent results in the America’s Cup World Series are becoming a distant memory.
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
Their “cyclor” grinders have drawn a lot of comment and are probably very fast but we haven’t seen it yet since they have not raced much. Safe to say they are already a step up from the Brits and France, and may prove to be even more.
Land Rover BAR (GBR)
The Brits are still struggling with straight-line speed. Despite good starts they are regularly losing races. Their crew work and manoeuvres are sharp, but they will need to wring more performance out of their boat.
Groupama Team France (FRA)
With the smallest budget and the least time on the water, it’s not surprising that Groupama Team France is the weakest team in the field. Their boat is fast enough to be competitive but being short on resources means the team has not had time to master their boat.
Oracle Team USA (USA)
Oracle has been testing a pedal powered grinding station behind helmsman Jimmy Spithill. They have had mixed results in practice racing but proved in 2013 they can find form when the pressure heats up.
SoftBank Team Japan (JPN)
Helmsman Dean Barker and wing trimmer Chris Draper have a strong sailing team and have gotten some big practice race wins. They bought their boat design from Oracle and designer Nick Holroyd has probably made sure they have fast foils.
Racing begins with all six teams competing in the America’s Cup Qualifiers, a double round robin match racing series between May 26 and June 3. In this series, the winner of the America’s Cup World Series starts with a 2 point advantage, held by Land Rover BAR. As one of the challengers will get eliminated in this series, this bonus held by the Brits may prove crucial if they are battling the French for the fourth and final slot.
Jack is hosting “The Cup Experience Show” which will provide a series of briefings on the racing. All the webcasts will be recorded and archived. Details here.