Tuesday, August 20, 2013
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.