The CEO of ORACLE TEAM USA sounds confident as his team prepares to re-launch its first AC72 early next month. Russell Coutts says the team has responded well since the October capsize and can't wait to get back out on the water.
"These campaigns are all about how you address the various challenges that you face along the way and I'm much more comfortable now than I was immediately after we broke the boat and broke the wing," Coutts said.
"We've responded well. We now have the first boat back and in better condition, I believe, than it was (when we capsized). We made some adjustments to it.
"In responding (to the capsize) we looked at other areas of our program and were able to accelerate boat two without compromising the design program. Normally if you shorten the construction program you give yourself less time to make key design decisions yet were able to do it in such a way as to not compromise the design.
"I'm optimistic. I wouldn't trade positions with any of the other teams at this point."
Speaking of the other teams, Coutts says he thinks the three challengers have pitched the designs of their first boats at different wind and wave ranges and expects each could excel depending on the conditions on the day.
"I think there is still a lot of uncertainty as to what wind conditions we'll race in and that's reflected in how each of the boats are moded. Artemis Racing, in its initial configuration, is pitched towards the lower end of the wind spectrum in San Francisco and more toward manoeuvrability.
"Emirates Team New Zealand has been optimising for the higher end of the wind range and Luna Rossa is essentially the same. Each has different approach to the way they have treated aerodynamics and hydrodynamics of the boards and rudders and each have their advantages in certain conditions.
"Where the discovery is going to be is how that applies on the actual race course. How much of an advantage is it to tack or gybe better than the other boat compared to sailing slightly faster for the next minute and a half, for example.
"Remember this is such a tight race course. I think the longest time a boat will be on any one tack is maybe two minutes. A lot of times it's going to be under that. So the manoeuvres are going to be very important. Mistakes will be very costly and you'll see some passing because of crew errors or system errors on board.
"I think the jury is still out as to who has the best solution."