Coach Rod Davis interrupts his holiday to blog on “intelligence” games …. and indulges in a little fantasy
We think it should have started with secret operations when we launched our 33ft development cats. You know, the camera in the building across the way taking pictures while the boats are being launched or towed just to see what changes had been made from the day before. Or maybe a conversation with a member of a rival team that is more like fishing than chatting.
Now the two wings in our 33s are of big interest and unfortunately, being bright red and 20 metres tall, it’s hard to hide the profile shape, number of flaps, etc.
The America’s Cup Protocol sets out what you can, and can’t, do in the spy game. Anything illegal like phone hacking, using listening devices or breaking and entering is banned. Not to suggest that doesn’t go on, more to point out that it is against the rules of engagement.
Back in 1992 the spy rules were much looser, to the point of “do anything you want just don’t get caught”. Word dockside was that former US Navy Seals had been hired to do spy work on teams. At New Zealand Challenge, the forerunner of Team New Zealand, Peter Blake hired divers to covertly check our security. The answer: security was lacking. When you’re dealing with professionals (and these were professionals) a fence and a few wandering guards do not present an obstacle.
We got from the divers, amongst other things, still shots of our boats, with measurements, taken under the covers, in our own compound at night. Personally I am happy that our security guards did not stumble upon the divers…these guys don’t get caught.
Recently on the Hauraki Gulf, the spies came out of the closet. In fact we had been wondering what had taken them so long.
Crossing over from covert to “overt” include two locals, both ex-Team New Zealand. They have obeyed the spy rules and showed up for only one day. But on a mission to find out what we were learning.
Meanwhile, a devious counter intelligence plan has been hatched by a radical faction within our team. The plan is to shoot anyone suspected of spying with paint ball guns. That idea was shot down for obvious reasons. But the two rapid-fire paint ball guns that hold 100 rounds and the 500 extra rounds of ammo should not go to waste.
We now plan to mount the guns at the front of each of our chase boats. The original idea was to have the two chase boats screaming towards each other, each with a gunner in the bow. When you can see the whites of their eyes…..start shooting!!
Tactics are being worked out to get on the other guys tail, to have your gunner clean out every one in the boat, including the driver. World War I dog fighting, a la Red Baron. We are a match race team so there is no shortage of ideas on when to circle, break away, or stop and let your adversary overshoot.
Now we just need a calm day that we can’t test our cats, big speakers to boom out Snoopy Christmas and then we have at it.
Now we’re having FUN!!
Let’s all have a great 2012.