Current Score (Best of 9):
- New Zealand 8 Wins
- USA 8 Wins
Cinderella Story in the making?
There is some goofiness this year, as USA was penalized 2 races before racing began for some cheating done by people who were excused and a 45 foot boat that has nothing to do with this 72-foot boat they are sailing. So when racing began, New Zealand had 0 and the USA had -2. Anyway, the USA began off very slow, after 11 races, New Zealand won 8 (needing only one more to take the Cup) and the USA won 3 which only counted as 1.
So the score is New Zealand 8 and the USA 1 with 9 wins to take the cup! The next thing that happened is USA found the sweet spot. They changed a man onboard, but also made modifications in the shed overnight to find new speed in the boat. And it worked. Suddenly in the past 7 races they had 7 straight wins.
Racing now is at 8 wins for New Zealand, 8 Wins for USA with USA looking really strong all the way around. Could it be the Cinderella Story? 1 more races, and we’ll know the answer!
Every three, or so, years the America’s Cup is competed for between nations. The country that wins it, becomes the possessor of the Cup. Last time, Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco’s team, paid for by Larry Ellison of the Oracle Software company, won it in Valencia, Spain bringing the Cup back to the U.S.
For a variety of reasons, one being the pullback of the worldwide economy, only four nations teams compete for the Cup this year: United States with Oracle Team USA, New Zealand with Emirates Team New Zealand, Sweden with Artemis Racing, and Italy with Luna Rossa Challenge 2013. Both Sweden and Italy were eliminated in the Challenger Trials.
It is the United States vs. New Zealand for the finals, which already began. The first boat to win 9 races will possess the America’s Cup trophy.
This Cup is different than the cups of the past, as the boats being sailed are radically different than what most boats look like. Regular sailors are uncomfortable with this radicalization, but to me, I think it was a good move. The sedans, minivans, and SUV’s we drive don’t look or weigh anything like NASCAR or open wheel Indy cars, their engines run at 10,000 RPM, where our cars run at 3,500 RPM normally, so why should America’s Cup boats look like our daily sailboats?
What is different about these America’s Cup boats? They are 72′ catamarans, made of carbon fiber, approximately 14,000 pounds all up, using a “wing” main sail that is 130′ tall, and they hydrofoil. The entire boat lifts up out of the water and rides on a carbon fiber blade (called a “foil”) that is about the size of a surfboard.
Can you imagine 14,000 pounds being held up in the air on a surfboard, with that surfboard going through waves at 50mph? Call “Bill the Science Guy” and have him explain that!
The average sailboat in 15 miles of wind will go 4 to 7 miles per hour, where these Cup boats are going 30-35 miles per hour. This ain’t your daddy’s Buick. The technology leap is impressive.
As the boats fly out of the water, they say that the water no longer slaps on the hull, and all you hear is the wind which when adding the wind speed, plus the boat speed is whistling by at about 50 miles an hour. That is, until the wind blows stronger at 20 miles per hour and the boat speeds are picking up close to 50 miles per hour and the wind is going by at 70 mph! There’s no windshield to hide behind.
I wrote about Stan Honey in the Rich and Famous article, he put the Yellow First Down line in football on TV. He has been designing similar graphic overlays on the sailboat race course that for the first time makes understanding sailboat racing easy. Even to the trained eye like mine, it is much easier for me to see who is in the lead and who is behind just at a glance.
Watching this is the equivalent of watching the Stanley Cup, World Cup, Super Bowl, World’s Series or any other major sport’s grand finale. But with sailing, you’ll have to wait 3 more years to see it again. Throw a party and watch it with a group of friends.
NBC Sports Network – 2 Races Per Day (see on your TV or login online at http://www.nbcsports.com/ using your cable or satellite login):
- September 25: 3:15pm CT
YouTube replays the races on a 2-hour delay to U.S. audiences at http://www.youtube.com/user/AmericasCup.
To see it live online takes a bit of work. As websites that display the races block U.S. IP addresses, you need to go through a website that fakes your IP address into a “foreign non-U.S.” IP address. Many are having success by downloading Hola.
Here’s the steps:
- Go to www.Hola.org which works with Chrome and Firefox only and download.
- Go YouTube and find the video that is blocked http://www.youtube.com/user/AmericasCup.
- Go to the upper right hand side of your screen and click on the little Hola icon, then change the country from U.S. to a foreign country (try France or Germany) or just try “unblocking youtube” and then the video appears.
Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
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