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Thread: Through The Lens Of GMR

  1. #1
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    Through The Lens Of GMR

    Gilles Martin-Raget took to the skies to capture some of the on the water action occurring in Waitemata Harbor
    And the action between ETNZ and Luna Rossa is nothing short of spectacular!

    Meanwhile, the Brits and INEOS Team UK are seeking a fix to their apparent slow boat
    as lamented by Magnus Wheately on his blog

    Weíve all experienced the utterly deflating feeling of hauling a boat that is at least two clicks slower around a racecourse. You come off the line and use your talent to get the first two shifts right but in the drag race to the layline you just canít keep up. For most of us thatís our honest story week in week out. Itís depressing. You donít have the sails, your hull is covered in a week of weed (at best) and that kicker block that youíve been meaning to replace for months just gave up the ghost. Your crew are great and loyal but they are a mix of estate agents, accountants and your family and letís be honest, they are only here for the swift ale in the bar afterwards or to chat up that blonde who does foredeck on the boat way out in front. Itís nice to be on the water, you kid yourself. At least youíre not gardening or putting up those shelves in the spare room. But letís face it, you will never win apart from that one race at the end of the season where you lucked-out and put a half decent performance together that ensures youíll be back.

    Well, imagine how youíd feel if youíd just blown £120 million of someone elseís money and have an absolutely balls-out racing machine laden with some of the best sailors on the planet, a supercomputer or two to measure a billion points of data a day and youíre still way off the pace. The first time you take it to a racecourse, it breaks. You then scuttle back to base, close the doors and silently weep. The management are all at each otherís throats and the billionaire owner is breathing, heavily, down your neck. You donít even have a blonde in the bar to chase. Itís depressing. Well thatís whatís happening in New Zealand right now with Rattyís Rita looking like the lamest of lame ducks and the rest of the fleet and commentators dumbfounded as to where it has all gone wrong.

    Itís dark times as they scratch their heads over the speed conundrum they face and iím hearing the first rumblings of discord in the team with morale at rock bottom. To be honest those rumours have been around since the start and the take-over of BAR way back when. There are some dark characters at work in this team unafraid to throw colleagues under the bus and shift the blame relentlessly but something has gone terribly wrong and the clock is ticking. They didnít compete in the first tune-ups and were resolutely in the shed today trying to fix issues with the mast but itís their on-the-water performances whilst tuning up that have set the alarm bells ringing. Team Ineos sail the boat differently to the others Ė and some would say they are stuck in a set of procedures that other teams moved on from some time ago. And they are slow. Possibly not even at the pace of American Magic and a million miles from Team New Zealand and Prada.

    Itís a familiar story being played out Ė the only difference is that this time, they really should have no excuses. I fear that the team is being swamped by internal politics, as is so often the case with British challengers, and that the big voices in the team have railroaded rather than collaborated. The pressure being exerted from the sponsors will, I imagine, be pretty unbearable. Far from the cuddly image he likes to portray, Ratty and his machine are hard-ball players. You donít get to be one of the worldís richest men by being a nice guy and he is surrounded by hard-as-nails goons who will be asking serious questions. This is not a nice place to be for Ben and the sailors. Not nice at all.

    December 18th could be a horrible day for Team Ineos. Two races against Team New Zealand Ė the All Blacks of yachting Ė who will take no prisoners. They are a ruthless killing machine as evidenced yesterday in their cruise to victory over Team Prada. To get anywhere close to their level will be nigh on impossible not just for Team Ineos but for the rest of the Challengers. They look like they have speed to burn all around the course and remember they will be sandbagging, easing off the throttle at every opportunity. The only unknown for TNZ is Ineos but I donít see any cause for concern from the Kiwis. They are up for the challenge and remember, when you have a fast boat, you become a tactical genius.

    Hard times for the Brits. Hard times.
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  2. #2
    That is the stuff!

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