Sunday, August 11, 2013

America's Cup...Bust?

I have been following the America's Cup thru the local media here in SF as well as on the water.  I have seen several races and had the 72' monsters scream by my boat within 75 feet.  I also watched the race on TV the other night.  So far, the results are mixed as there have not been any races that were really competitive.  The city has spent millions, donors have spent millions and the competitors have spent over $100M just to be in this race of 2 boats at a time.  And with a total of four boats in the entire competition, it seems all is lost and that this Cup will go down in flames.  However, I am an optimist and when you see these amazing boats come at you at 30 knots, it is an incredible site and one that can make your heart stop!  Watching them duel it out on TV was impressive as well.  The one thing that most non sailing folks don't realize is that the quantum shift in speed is incredible.  My 30 year old sloop was built as a racer/cruiser back in the early 80's.  It's average speed is under 6 knots with a high speed of 8.5 when she is really cooking along.  On the race course, the AC boats are hitting speeds in the high 30's and higher  In the old America's Cup, 14 to 15 knots was impressive.  So times have changed.  In hindsight, the 45' cats should have been the boat to bring to the dance.  Much more affordable means more teams and more excitement from other countries.  However, watching them on tv the other night i was giddy with pride.  The shots of the boat against the cityscape was impressive.  The bottom line is yes this America's is a bust so far.  Not one race has been closer than a difference of 2-5 minutes.  My hope is that we see an amazing finish with nz and oracle fighting it out in the finals.  Take a look at a local sailor and his awesome camera handywork.

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