Grant Dalton’s “substandard yachts”?

Posted on 15 November 2010 by Valencia Sailing

I’m a fan of Emirates Team New Zealand and I have no problem admitting that. I often refer to them as the “World’s best monohull sailing team” and I think their track record after the end of the 32nd America’s Cup justifies it, to a great extent.

When Emirates Team New Zealand was racing in the Louis Vuitton Trophy in La Maddalena, Italy about 5 months ago, Grant Dalton’s team suffered from gear failures in various occasions during the round robin but still, after 16 long days of racing, managed to win the event. They beat Russia’s Synergy 3-2 in the final, coming back from 2-0 down.

On May 29th, Dalton wasn’t very happy because he had just lost the race due to “equipment problems”, as he claimed. He claimed that the Louis Vuiton racing format worked if the boats were “good enough”, pointing out that the boats in New Zealand were good while the ones provided there were “substandard”, referring to Mascalzone Latino’s yachts.

Mascalzone Latino crew members struggle with the spinnaker after a halyard failure caused it to fall down on day 2 of the Louis Vuitton Trophy. Dubai, 15 November 2010. Photo copyright Subzero Images/Mascalzone Latino

Back to the future now and it seems it was Mascalzone Latino’s turn today to lose their race due to the “substandard” yacht provided by the kiwis. First the gearbox of the winch broke right off the start line. This obviously put the Italians in a disadvantage as they couldn’t gybe or tack effectively, severely handicapping helmsman Gavin Brady, famous for his aggressive tactics.

Despite the handicap, Mascalzone got ahead at the second top mark and was leading in the last run when they went into a gybe and through its course the spinnaker filled and just came down. For some reason the halyard clip was open, it came undone but it hadn’t been undone for the three minutes before that. From that point it was a walk in the park for the Russians and they bagged a precious point.

As somebody put it, the yacht was falling apart today. I guess Dalton only worries about “substandard” yachts when they are not his…

9 Comments For This Post

  1. Anonymous Says:

    in la maddalena mascalzone boats wasn;t even – one was match quicker in 12+ knots

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, what an incredibly poor article Pierre. Synergy were well ahead at the top mark, wiped their penalty, then sailed away done the run. Didn't look like gear failure had much to do with it…

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Pierre, it is the event which is sub standard as a whole…

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Cry baby…..poor loser.

  5. Doug Says:

    Good piece of editorial Pierre. Don't listen to the anons who have their own axe to grind. Do not be afraid to call it like YOU see it in the future please.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    This is why teams hire there own boat builders, sailmakers and riggers. These boats need constant maintenance and should be thoroughly checked daily. A quick once over is simply not good enough. Everyone knows the Kiwis are by nature lazy bstrds and i cant imagine the kiwi shore crew going out of there way to spend that extra couple of hours checking all the halyard clips or winch systems.(especially if there is a bar less than 300mts away) If i was organizing this event i would insist that each team has its own riggers, boat builders and sailmakers responsible for checking everything on the boat they will sail the following day. That way the teams are not relying on a bunch of guys that cant wait to get to the Barasti bar.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    To 2:21 – I'd never normally write something like this but rotflmfao

  8. Anonymous Says:

    6:43 What on earth are you talking about?

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Whoa, tell it like it is Pierre! Well done. I love when you voice your opinion, its your blog, and you go right ahead.

    2.21 – LOL. I am a kiwi shore team member, but have never worked for the NZ team. The team I have worked on for four cups, we have always had to be meticulous in preparation, and I agree with your statement, the kiwis can be lazy, and the closest bar is always the ultimate goal. Good on you for telling it like it is too.

    The event as a whole is a bit of a let down as the finale for the class and the Cup as we know it. Would have been nice for it to go out with a bang.


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