Tuesday, August 20, 2013

5 Reasons Why the 34th America's Cup is the Best Thing since Sliced Bread

Some people seem to be very cynical and negative about the Louis Vuitton and America's Cup racing in San Francisco this summer. I really don't understand why people have to be like that.

OK. OK. I admit it. I may have had an occasional dig at AC34 myself. Like this post here. And the ones here and here.  Oh yeah, there was also this one here - and the other one here. And how could I have forgotten this other one here. Wait, wait, there's also this one here.

Hmmm. Sorry about that.

Well, sure it is true that the price to play in this America's Cup has been too high for many syndicates that were initially interested, we have already had one fatal accident, the boats keep breaking, and we haven't had any close races... yet. But I am beginning to think that in a few years time we will look back on AC34 as a huge step forward for yacht racing in general and the America's Cup in particular.

Here are 5 reasons why I am thinking that way...

1. The wing sails. Who can fail to be impressed by this wonder of modern technology?  Wing sails are the future of high performance yacht racing for sure.


2. Foils.  It never ceases to amaze me when one of those huge 7.5 ton AC72 catamarans lifts up on to its foils. And when they gybe the boat without dropping off the foils? Wow!

We will see foils on many other kind of boats in the next few years. You can even buy foils for your Laser!

3. Speed. I'm sorry but I'm a sucker for speed. It's a lot more exciting to watch a huge cat, with a wing sail and foils, streaking along at over 40 knots than to watch those old leadmines lumbering along like they did in the old days of the AC.

4. Spectator friendly. The courses for this America's Cup are close to shore, enabling spectators on shore to see the action. I got a taste for this at the AC45 racing in Newport last summer. Other events (like the Olympic medal races last year) are going this way too.

5. Sexy uniforms. Last but not least, I definitely want one of those Prada chrome suits to wear at my next Laser regatta.

We have seen the future of yacht racing, people. Mark my words.


Keep Reaching said...

I agree - it is exciting and seeing the pace of evolution in sailing is spectacular. The high-tech boundaries, graphics, etc also really add a lot. If the traditionalists want to sniff at all of it, that is their right, but I give it thumbs up (except the Prada weird suits).

Tillerman said...

Oh come on KR.

We are never going to have wing sails on our Lasers, and I doubt many of us average Laser sailors will buy a foil kit at $5,800 each. We won't be sailing our Lasers at 45 knots and we will never have thousands of spectators watching our Tuesday night racing.

But we could go Laser sailing in chrome suits. Oh the chromeness!

Anonymous said...

Chicks dig chrome.

JP said...

There are some good ideas (high tech and super fast) but the boats are too big & expensive so the fleet is too small.

Fun watching them fly though!

George A said...

The devil wears Prada.

Michael O'Brien said...

I remember as a kid listening on the radio in OZ at 3:00 AM to Americas Cup racing on a distant shore in Newport RI. Waiting hours, then fog, lack of wind, cancelled .... Ugh, back to sleep.

Give me this cup any day. Being up close and seeing and hearing what goes on with each boat is fantastic.

I give credit to Oracle for trying something new. Sure, they got some things wrong. I don't know anyone who would get big changes 100% right the first time. They've said that there will be changes next time ... smaller boats, lower cost, etc. But for me, keep the speed, the foils, the wing sails, but get closer to the AC45s.

I'm a fan.

Tillerman said...

That's my point JP and Michael. Oracle has had the courage to try a lot of new things for this Cup. Maybe the combination won't be perfect this time around. But this is surely the right direction for the top end of our sport, and the innovations in AC34 will be the base for future editions of the America's Cup. Especially the chromeness.

Tillerman said...

Exactly George. Chicks dig devils.

Baydog said...

Hey, wasn't the original photo of sliced WHITE bread, or have I had too much rum?

Tillerman said...

No. Yes.

Franck Tiffon said...

"Sail fast. Have fun. Don't die." Nice mantra

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