Well the guy who is calling the splits is a world-class "apparent wind" sailor - 7th in one Moth worlds, a heat win and a bunch of seconds (and lots of broken kit) in 2015. He's got top 3 in heats in the A Class worlds but is too heavy for the class (IIRC). And the guy steering the boat into the splits was 6th in the A Class worlds and has been extremely competitive against guys of the quality of Steve Brewin and Outteridge in other regattas.
If they are so cr*p and "old school" tactically then how did they do well in the worlds against those who specialise in Moths and A Class?
If the tactician was influenced by his "old school mono thinking" then he'd do the usual thing that Laser sailors do, and stick with the opposition. By the way, you may find that saying "not too hard" to pick shifts better than Ashby and Burling is incorrect.
Yes, sticking with the opposition while you try to analyse the speed deficit is one option. These guys are so good, and have so many people off the boat watching them and recording stuff, that it's understandable that they take a different choice. It's also much, much harder to get leverage on a very tight course if you don't split at the leeward gate.
I can't see how the number of Aussies and Kiwis in the AC is proof of the "in team" issue. How are a guy from a litle lake in inland Australia and a guy from a small-boat club in a mining suburb somewhere on the Australia coast part of the "in team"??????
I'm not saying they don't know what they're doing. I'm also not saying they don't know a lot more than me and maybe they had some magic plan (that clearly didn't work out - repeatedly). I've clarified that I don't get paid to sail. But, for the sake of discussion, I just don't see how that split helped Oracle at all. I understand leverage - but that only works if you are sailing into better wind and/or better angle for a shorter distance. They were not AND they sailed a longer path to get there. Professionals are capable of making mistakes.