Tuesday 16 July 2013
By Almira Rapisarda
It’s just a few weeks to go until the Objective Australia team will be touching down in San Francisco – ready to start their month of hard training ahead of September’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.
It’s been four months since they qualified for this inaugural event, what have they been up to and how are the preparations going?
Unlike some of their competitors who are aligned with existing America’s Cup teams, Objective Australia does not have access to the AC45s in which the Youth America’s Cup will be raced. Instead they have been focussing on their individual sailing pursuits, all with great success.
Objective Australia photo credit © ACEA Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Skipper Jason Waterhouse has been sailing with Lisa Darmanin and James Wierzbowski with Pip Pietromonaco in the Nacra17 mixed multi-hulls, a new Olympic Class. Jason and Lisa have had a couple of podium finishes in the European Regatta season and are cementing themselves as real contenders ahead of the World Championships to be held in the Netherlands at the end of July. Pip and James have been doing well too, just a couple of points off Jason and Lisa but also making an impact.
Tom Burton, the current Laser world number one has been back in Australia for a couple of weeks after dominating the initial Eurosaf regattas – well, sort of. He has clearly been the fastest guy there but with the contentious new point scoring system, Tom has been at the mercy of the gods sometimes – after putting in a consistent regatta-long performance the last race dictates the overall result and your week’s work before meant nothing. Thankfully this is being reviewed but the fact still remains that Tom has been the dominant sailor in all his events.
Luke Parkinson has been sailing with Fang Warren in the 49er Class. Although they are just getting started they have had some solid results in Kiel and Weymouth and finished in the Gold Fleet in the Europeans in Aarhus, Denmark.
Keiran Searle and Ted Hackney have both been doing well in Keel Boats. Kieran placing fourth on Shogun at the Southern Cross Cup TP52 event in Melbourne and then winning the Platu25 Coronation Cup on Black Betty in Thailand. He’s now in Europe working with the J Class Velsheda.
Ted is Match Racing between RC44s and the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Currently his RC44 Katusha is the top ranked match racer in the RC44 Fleet and Black Swan racing are ranked 7th.
At home, Coach Traks Gordon has been putting in the hours on video analysis of the teams work in the AC45s so far as well as going over the hours of racing footage from the three years of regattas. “We are trying to give the team the best start we can when we get to San Francisco in August” said Traks. “By going over the video we can find out the best ways to attack every manoeuvre, for every role on the boat”. By creating this “Playbook” approach he knows the team can quickly learn and practice their roles – leaving more time to finesse their local knowledge and race management.
Also at home, Red Bull Australia are now working with Objective Australia to promote the team and the RBYAC including a great launch and broadcast schedule. Details shortly! Objective is also working with Yachting Australia who have endorsed the team and are providing additional support. Yachting Australia are putting on a gala fundraising lunch in September to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Australia II’s magnificent victory in the America’s Cup. The young men of Objective Australia are seen as the leaders of the next generation of America’s Cup sailors.
The team are all fit, focussed and really looking forward to getting together in a couple of weeks to start the hard training. We’ll keep you updated frequently now, as we get closer to the main event.