Panbo at AC34, photo tweeting

Panbo_at_AC34.jpgBest ticket ever?  I’m so excited about getting slightly behind the America’s Cup 34 scene — and out on San Francisco Bay for races 6 and 7! — that I’m dreaming up things might go wrong. Could there be too much wind to race?  In race 4 both boats averaged 31 knots — with bursts to 45 — in winds that averaged 19 with peak gusts at 23. Obviously, things can really go wrong when a catamaran is going that fast, while delicately balanced on relatively tiny lifting foils. Or might Oracle Team USA find some way to delay further as crew and/or boat changes are hotly rumored…

Jack Griffin’s excellent Cup Experience site has a good visual explanation of the several ways Oracle blew its lead on Sunday, and naturally, some folks on the AC Anarachy forum are calling for heads to roll. What’s more amazing on that forum is how many AC34 skeptics admitted their error after the early races revealed totally awesome match racing that you can almost feel via television, phone and/or tablet. Tactics, crew work, and design nuances are all at play, and it is still possible that Oracle will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

So, while I’m actually hoping that the hospitality boat will have a TV aboard, I also have the AC and CupExperience apps loaded on both Android phone and iPad. My main goal, though, will be to take in the scene and maybe even spot some interesting electronics when we get a “pit lane tour” before the race. I’ll try to share the day via Twitter. Geez, I’m so excited I can barely write a sentence!

PS 9/23: I had to remove the Twitter feed widget because it messed up the Panbo feed to Sailfeed — so many feeds — but you can still find it on Panbo’s main page or by searching Panbo_BE Twitter. Meanwhile AC34 has been blowing many minds including mine. If ETNZ wins at this point, no one will really know who the better team and boat are, so if that happens I’m hoping some sort of follow-up ‘truth’ match will be arranged. Whatever happens, Larry Ellison, Russell Couts and company deserve giant credits for visioning and financing the race management and broadcasting systems we’ve been enjoying.


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

10 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Not going to happen but wouldn’t it be interesting if they gave an ETNZ jacket w ELLISON on the back. As is, I may have to explain the difference between Larry’s family roots and mine more than once…

  2. Kees says:

    I guess all Panbots are seriously jealous. I am!

  3. Jim Dodez says:

    Enjoy the races Ben! I’ve been following the action on YouTube. It’s REALLY incredible how far forward this event has propelled the sport of sailboat racing. The boats are incredible sailing at speed up to 50 knots! The format of the race is even more exciting. Finally the coverage with the new broadcast technology overlaying graphics on the video makes the strategy and competition easy to understand and exciting.
    I know you covered the technology in an early blog post, but I wanted to let everybody know a new article has been written by Stan Honey and Ken Milnes explaining how they do the overlays. Stan is a KVH board member and is using a lot of our fiber optic gyro technology to track boat and camera positions. Here’s the link:!

  4. Taniwha says:

    Hi Jim,
    I have a question for you about the coverage that you may be able to answer. Is the speed data that is shown SOG or STW?
    I’m assuming it’s SOG from GPS but it’d be useful to know. There are different conclusions to be drawn on relative boat speed, pointing/running angle ability, and crew capabilities depending on which it is.
    Although it now looks like it’s all going in one direction only.

  5. Brian says:

    Wow, What a timely win for US! The Kiwis came
    about as close to destruction as any sailor ever wants to get. Brian

  6. Eric says:

    Taniwha, speed is SOG. Tricky matter (but not impossible) to get water speed when foiling!

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Another win for Oracle!
    Honestly, I thought it was all over when ETNZ dominated both races on Thursday and so did a lot of the Kiwi fans I was with. But the actual team seemed much more reserved. “It’s not over until it’s over,” a team sailmaker told us.
    I’m now in Louisville, KY, for IBEX and can’t find the NBC Sports channel anywhere. on my laptop is pretty good but just found out that Hola can unblock the live YouTube feed. Cool!

  8. Dave says:

    And another win for ETNZ!!

  9. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Holy cow…Most Exciting AC yet, and God bless technology. Managed to hear today’s race 1 while driving home, via iPad app and WiFi to 4g phone. Saw a little. Now on couch hoping race 2 (or race 13 retry) happens!

  10. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Feared I might miss the end of AC while flying to San Diego but darned if Jet Blue didn’t have NBCsports live on the plane. Plus it’s not over yet! Sheraton Marina bar at 1pm PT for the grand finale, unless there’s too much wind.

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