Panbo at AC34, photo tweeting

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Sep 12, 2013

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.



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...

Posted by: Ben at September 12, 2013 12:26 PM | Reply

I guess all Panbots are seriously jealous. I am!

Posted by: Kees at September 12, 2013 12:51 PM | Reply

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:!

Posted by: Jim Dodez at September 13, 2013 10:40 AM | Reply

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.


Posted by: Taniwha at September 13, 2013 8:57 PM | Reply

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

Posted by: Brian at September 15, 2013 11:28 AM | Reply

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

Posted by: Eric at September 15, 2013 1:13 PM | Reply

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!

Posted by: Ben at September 15, 2013 5:37 PM | Reply

And another win for ETNZ!!

Posted by: Dave at September 15, 2013 7:08 PM | Reply

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!

Posted by: Ben at September 20, 2013 5:29 PM | Reply

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.

Posted by: Ben at September 25, 2013 2:51 PM | Reply

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