The America's Cup "yacht" racing is well underway in San Francisco Bay. I used quotation marks around "yacht" since these things are yachts or boats in only the broadest sense. Reaching speeds over 50 mph while planing on three hydrofoils, powered by a wing, not a fabric sail, that is the size of a jumbo jet wing, and made almost entirely of carbon fiber, these things are truly awesome.
The New Zealand team has a sizeable lead over the Americans right now (best of 17), but every race is unpredictable and the Kiwis very nearly capsized yesterday.
If you get a chance to watch, the races are on NBCSportsNetwork (NBCSN) at 3:30 or 4PM EST
Saw them in person last weekend. incredible.
I lived on a sailboat for over 12 years and did plenty of racing.
The America's cup was something I wouldn't miss every 4 years.
I have no interest in it anymore. When they quit using monohulls and it turned into a game for billionaires, I lost interest.
I did watch when it was a game for millionaires.
Rudyjo, I did some racing on my brother's 210 out of Marblehead (MA) 'way back when it was for thousandaires. :) Of course back then you could buy a beer for a buck at Fenway Park.
But just because the boats are priced in the stratosphere doesn't mean the racing isn't exciting. Otherwise we wouldn't be watching F1 and MotoGP. But your point is well taken. There is nothing more beautiful and functional as an old 12-Meter America's Cup yacht under sail.
100 mph closure rate in the starting box not too much like the Laser class I raced. I do miss the 12 meters but this is exciting to watch.
[QUOTE=na1g;898080] The New Zealand team has a sizeable lead over the Americans right now (best of 17), but every race is unpredictable .
I thought it was the best of 9. Actually, the race has become very predictable. I recent years the final winner won almost all of the races each time.
[QUOTE=EMSimon;898496]I thought it was the best of 9. Actually, the race has become very predictable. I recent years the final winner won almost all of the races each time.[/QUOTE]
Must win 9 to take the cup. Since Oracle started 2 races down, they would need to win 11.
No racing today due to wind, so we will wait until Wed...
You know, now that I think about it... I know that they said NZ must win 9, USA 11, but don't know if they modified from a best of 17... hmm, math too hard today, head hurts.
The US received a 2 point penalty before the races began because of pre America's Cup actions.
Just In My Humble Opinion:
This is the first AC race I've watched in a long time; probably since the first multi-hull was used to race against a monohull. What a dismal event that was to watch, in my opinion. Ted Turner was fun to watch with his railroad engineer cap back in the good ole monohull days! He was always good for some hoots!
I didn't think I'd enjoy the 'new AC boats', but the more I look at them, the more I like the speeds, races and technology! Jury is still out on the starts, but at least there are chances, however slim, for a boat to retake the lead, if they lose the start. It was a near given in the old races, I think, that the start winner usually won the race. Sort of like that now, but?
But, I also dislike the fact that they are too fragile/dangerous (Artemis loss of life, which could happen with any hardcore type race, no matter what it is) to race in a breeze, unlike the old AC boats. The best AC races were down under when "The Wind Doctor" came howling in from south of AUstralia. And, I don't like it that you can have all Nationalities on a boat now, although it didn't take long for the zillionaires to get around that citizenship issue/rule in the monohulls of the old days.
All that being said, I've watched all of the races this year, and will unhappily watch NZ take the Cup back to NZ when they win on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. Oracle just is not up to snuff, for some reason. I suppose these boats are the future. It has evolved ever since Dennis C brought out the first, fast cat boat to compete against Sir Michael Fay's giant monohull boat way back when.
I am still grateful that there are some sponsors who help pay for the AC broadcasts. I also am grateful that there are Americans, and other zillionaires worldwide, who don't mind footing the 100's of millions on these 'boats'.
Thanks, Larry Ellison and who ever else provides the 'zillions'. And, I really liked the commentators/tv coverage for this year's AC. And, how could you not love the venue for the cup with the Golden Gate, winds, Alcatraz, and ........WINDS!! Great winds!!
I'm enjoying the racing although I think the 5 leg races are kinda short. But, that's a result of having the races on the bay rather than out to sea. I marvel at the upwind speeds. 30+ knots into a 19-21 knot wind is wild. Go Kiwis.
Photography on tv coverage is fabulous.
[QUOTE=bubbagazoo;899188]I'm enjoying the racing although I think the 5 leg races are kinda short. But, that's a result of having the races on the bay rather than out to sea.[/QUOTE]
The overall race lengths are more a result of TV packaging for ADD American audiences, than the fact that they are in the bay. The Louis Vitton series had one seven leg race per day vs. two five leg races per day that the America's Cup has. They figure that watching several sprint races is more exciting than watching a few longer races. Sort of like watching ten 100 yard dashes vs one 10k at a track meet. It also allows for the possibility of an amazing comeback that is almost starting to look almost possible kinda, hopefully, maybe..
Unfortunately, the second race of the day has bumped up against the wind limit almost every race day, so only one 24 minute race was run most days, instead of two. I had to go three days to see two races, but what a beautiful venue! Probably one of the best of ANY sport!
The boats are not too fragile for the good winds that blow in the bay. The problem was that NOBODY had experience sailing anything so potentially fast as these boats. After the fatality, they imposed artificially low limits on the wind for the races. Since that time, in May, the crews have improved their abilities in these boats immencely. Oracles abilities are NOTICIBLEY better than just eight days ago.
These boats are FAST!!!!! They are really starting to get the hang of them. They really are starting to turn sailing into a spectator and TV sport. It would be a shame to go back to the snooze fests out in the middle of the ocean. Those were only appreciated by us sailors (I raced for 11 years).
Been watching this on YouTube. It's awesome. Thanks for posting.
Yacht AMERICA (replica) on far left.