As cruising sailors most of us have a passing interest in racing and many of us have participated in sailboat/yacht racing events on a regular basis.
All of you that have ever sailed in a rally know that once the start gun is fired, the event immediately becomes a race. It is in our blood to want to be the first to the finish line or at the very least sail our very best course and fastest time, so that we can finish with dignity and have certain bragging rights over our sailing friends whom we have beaten to the finish line!
The America's Cup campaign for 2013 is well underway with round one of the Louis Vuitton Cup being just completed yesterday. It has reached an interesting stage now, and being a New Zealander myself I can report with a certain amount of pride that the Kiwi entry, Emirates Team New Zealand AC72 'Aotearoa' has won all of their races and currently sits at the top of the leader board in an unassailable position. This means that they automatically proceed to the Louis Vuitton Cup final in the process to challenge the current Cup holders, Team Oracle of the USA.
Their competitor for the final round has yet to be decided and should be revealed shortly. The method for this selection is somewhat complicated, steered by ETNZ and will evolve over the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile the Kiwis are basking in their current glory of winning all of their races so far, but working very hard to maintain their much needed momentum for the up coming races commencing August 6.
Here are some videos worth watching to get the feel of the series at America's Cup Park in San Francisco and catch some of the excitement associated with this massive sporting event. The performance of these boats is nothing short of amazing, with them reaching speeds once up on their foils, at times of over 40knots. This is achieved in winds of 17 - 18 knots!
You will see in the video of the race where ETNZ boat broke the jib halyard and subsequently jettisoned their jib, lost very little time and easily won the race with very little drop in boat speed. In fact the loss of the jib made so little difference a discussion has already begun as to whether we might see the jib being raised and lowered as desired in future races.
Meantime, enjoy the visual spectacle of these magnificent racing craft:
America's Cup series for 2013 is most certainly a spectacle never before seen in this level of racing and for the first time it is being raced in full view of the crowds at America's Cup Park on the ground. This adds an exciting element to this, the oldest sporting trophy in the world and one of the most expensive and sought after sporting achievements anywhere.
We wish the best of luck to all competing teams.
Videos courtesy America's Cup and YouTube
You can read much more about sailing and sailboat cruising in my ebook 'Sailing Adventures in Paradise' downloadable from my website for sailors http://www.sailboat2adventure.com/