The role of the tactician on the AC72 is all-encompassing, a big change from the days of the ACC class where up to five people could be involved in deciding where to put the boat on the race course. Now that decision rests with an overburdened tactician as Emirates Team New Zealand's Ray Davies explains.
"There used to be five of us on the afterguard and now there's two," Davies says. "It really has changed and evolved. But that's purely because the boats are a handful to sail and you're understaffed."
"You don't have an ability to have a navigator and a tactician and a helmsman and a strategist in those very specialised roles," agrees skipper Dean Barker. "Ray is the tactician but he spends a huge amount of time turning winch handles or grabbing ropes or helping out in a set of manoeuvres."
"You have to make more of the decisions yourself," Davies says, explaining the consequence of a reduced number in the brains trust. "You have to take it on. There's nobody up the mast telling you what's happening up the course."
See more from the ETNZ perspective in this video.