En no Mr. Coutts, so no! Social media fights between Oracle and Team New Zealand


Give or treat yourself to a subscription to the print + digital Journal of Sailing and for only 69 euros a year you get the magazine at home plus read it on your PC, smartphone and tablet. With a sea of advantages.

Eh no Mr. Coutts, that just won’t do! Kiwis are right, rules cannot be changed, over and over again, in the process. From Emirates Team New Zealand’s facebook page to the national newspaper NZ Herald, there is a unanimous chorus of dissent from the NZL world toward yet another “mischief” by the defender and its allied challengers (grant us the oxymoron).

Two-boat speed tests, let’s call them simulated regattas, were indeed planned but with specific rules: the dates allowed for these tests had to be published at least a year before the first official regatta began. What happens, however, is that the race management, a year ago, did not make any announcement on the matter, effectively letting the simulated regattas between the teams fall into oblivion since the dates on which these could take place had not been disclosed. That is, until a week ago, when suddenly the issue came back into fashion and effective seven days simulated regattas were staged thanks to a communiqué issued out of the blue by the regatta management.

Of course, the first to hit the water were the defender and trusted ally Land Rover BAR Racing. It may seem like an irrelevant detail, but for the purposes of AC50 preparation, simulated regattas are crucial, to say the least, as they allow one to experiment with various foil and rudder setups by comparing them with those of another team. Giving very short notice of the dates granted for testing effectively puts Team New Zealand, for the umpteenth time, offside and cut off from inter-team cooperation. The iron pact between Oracle and challengers BAR Racing, Team France, Team Japan and Artemis, is thus firmer than ever.

Friction has been going on since the famous “London Announcement,” where the stone guest was the brave Kiwis. Sparks ensued, including via social media, as shown in the two screenshots below.

TNZL’s controversial post: “Great day in Auckland today, meanwhile in Bermuda ORACLE’s design chief observes Team Japan and tries to figure out if there is anything different about their new boats

Oracle’s response, and Kiwi counter-response, was not long in coming

Oracle responds with a photo depicting the Kiwis aboard Luna Rossa at the time of the San Francisco challenge. Receiving an obvious rebuttal from Team New Zealand, which points out that in that case they were two challengers

Were it not for the fact that the defender is involved, these skirmishes would be typical of the weeks leading up to the start of the America’s Cup. Indeed, there have always been agreements, more or less tacit, between challengers in the preparation stage. In this case what is out of line is the role of the defender, who chose his “favorite” challengers, openly deciding, and long ago, to penalize one of them, Team New Zealand precisely.

In short, the climate is getting more and more heated and perhaps also helping to raise the profile of a Cup otherwise graying by Oraclian bullying. Team New Zealand’s pedals, at this point, are a breath of fresh air, and we suspect that many in the audience would like to push the New Zealanders’ “bike.”

Mauro Giuffrè



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Check out the latest issue

Are you already a subscriber?

Ultimi annunci
Our social

Sign up for our Newsletter

We give you a gift

Sailing, its stories, all boats, accessories. Sign up now for our free newsletter and receive the best news selected by the Sailing Newspaper editorial staff each week. Plus we give you one month of GdV digitally on PC, Tablet, Smartphone. Enter your email below, agree to the Privacy Policy and click the “sign me up” button. You will receive a code to activate your month of GdV for free!

Once you click on the button below check your mailbox



You may also be interested in.


Sign in