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Leverage vs lifts/knocks

May 17, 2004
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Interesting how this played out today/yesterday in the AC. In leg 5 Luna Rossa tacked left to cover forcing the Kiwi's to split into a knocked beat but the wind continued to shift right and the Kiwi's gained a huge amount of race course due to the leverage. It was a risk vs reward situation but the Kiwi's who benefitted didn't really take a conscious risk they just had to respond to the actions of the other team who were limiting their own risk by covering.
Good point. I rewatched the stern cam footage from Luna Rossa where you can hear the crew talk without the commentator overlay. There was lots of discussion coming into that decision about which way would be favored. Sounded like Spithill expected to cross and continue right, but Bruni said to protect the left, and they made that decision at the last moment. After the tack they both sounded a little frustrated by both the the light spot that they had to sail through and the header. By the time they made the last tack to the mark things were pretty quiet.
Last edited:
Aug 2, 2010
J-Boat J/88 Cobourg
Having watched the post-race press conference, Bruni took full responsibility and Spithill did not throw him under the bus. Certainly the risk was taken by Luna Rossa and the reward was given to the Kiwi's. On a narrow course like that, and given time to think through the facts/guesses present at the time, I would probably had a hard time sailing into the knock if I had the choice to decide. Sailing the headed tack gave them the win.


Aug 9, 2011
Beneteau 310 Cheney KS (Wichita)
I think it was telling when the statement was made when LR crossed the Kiwi's when LR was going back to the left about a third of the way up the beat someone said that they did not think that they had enough distance on the KW boat to tack back and cover them. I think that was an admission that the LR boat is slower in straight line speed and that if they tacked on them that they would get outrun coming out of the tack (sucked through the slot) and I think their judgement to keep going left was based on that. Just my 2 cents. It's really hard to keep a faster boat behind you. Just ask Dennis Conner.