Kimo on the Cup - Sail Magazine

Kimo on the Cup

In the wake of the 34th America’s Cup announcements, SAIL talks to Kimo Worthington, 6-time AC veteran and now the General Manager for PUMA’s Volvo Ocean Race team.Q: Kimo, the America’s Cup announcement detailed specific changes to the format of the race aimed at putting the Cup “back at the pinnacle of our sport.” What, in your opinion, are some of the steps that got the Cup
Author:
Publish date:
kimo.int

In the wake of the 34th America’s Cup announcements, SAIL talks to Kimo Worthington, 6-time AC veteran and now the General Manager for PUMA’s Volvo Ocean Race team.

Q: Kimo, the America’s Cup announcement detailed specific changes to the format of the race aimed at putting the Cup “back at the pinnacle of our sport.” What, in your opinion, are some of the steps that got the Cup out of the spotlight? Where did things go wrong?

Going to court definitely didn’t help. Taking a sporting event off of its normal schedule will jeopardize it’s steady fan base. In the case of the Cup trials, there were too many questions without enough answers. It gave an impression of instability to the general public. Especially in a sport like Sailing, whose fan base is smaller than other sports, we cant afford to lose momentum.

To get the event back to the “pinnacle of Sailing”, we’ll have to restore the Cup’s stability and sense of tradition.

Q: Given the timeframe, what aspects of race management do you envision being the biggest challenges for Cup organizers?

Designing and building a system to accommodate the new boats will be a challenge. The winged sails will have an upper limit of 33knts, which could mean getting the boats in and out of the port in 30-40knts.

Q: The AC announcement stressed a forfeiture of many of the rights historically held by the Defender in order to level the playing field. Your experience as the PUMA General Manager has put you in a position to organize the Volvo Ocean Race as a member of the VOR Committee. In what ways do you feel the Committee has leveled the competition of the VOR?

VOR Organizers have worked hard to collaborate with the teams when making decisions regarding the Rules and general outline of the Race. Numerous changes to the NOR have effectively decreased a competitive team’s budget by 50%. Some of the more important ones include the elimination of two-boat testing, and limiting sailing days and sails. These recent changes create a competitive environment that places less precedent on monetary advantage and more on the quality of a team’s work and performance. We feel this new environment gives the VOR a more even playing field, and each team a better chance to victory. It also presents a more attractive competitive spirit to the world outside of sailing.

What are some specific measures/challenges that you encounter on a daily/weekly basis?

We try to balance our time between satisfying immediate needs and preparing for upcoming projects. Granted we all have specialized areas, but in a program of this size our job descriptions can change in a moments notice. It all comes down to surrounding yourself with a good team (shore, sail, office) and having faith that everyone will get their job done well.

Recently we have been placing importance on getting our team into a rhythm, and of course building the new boat.

What challenges/advantages have the budgetary restrictions brought home for you?

In a way, having a smaller budget is an advantage because it keeps the program smaller and more efficient. It challenges us to spend time and money wisely, and to pick the right equipment to start with.

Q: The America’s Cup has designed a new class of boats, the AC 45, to bring wing sail competition to the general public. Do you see a similar future for the Volvo Open 70s? (Canting keels?)

Canting keels for sure. Volvo teams invest a lot of time and money in R&D for structure, mast design, and sail technology. We pay for it and everyone else reaps the benefits.

Q: The announcement stressed a greater effort toward onboard cameras to increase viewership. What, if anything, do you want to see from the 34th Cup?

The more coverage the better, cameras will make sailing more accessible, which is always a positive thing. Interesting footage will help get the sport into the living room, which is a good thing regardless of the sailing event.

For the full Kimo interview, shot by Leighton O'Connor,
watch below.

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more