There was a time when getting your hands on the wheel of a U.S. America’s Cup boat was almost the same as saying, yes, I’ve won a Star Class world championship. Think Bill “Ficker Is Quicker” Ficker, Dennis Conner, Tom Blackaller, Buddy Melges.
You’re not going to win America’s Cup 34 without sexy foils to keep the leeward bow floating, or flying, high. This is an area of development just as important as wings for the next generation of Cup-hopeful catamarans.
Loïck Peyron is sitting on the windward hull, tiller in one hand, a cigarette of undetermined brand in the other. Though I can’t see what he’s looking at through his dark and closely raked sunglasses, it’s obvious he’s studying something very closely.
We’ve now wrapped up the 2011-12 America’s Cup World Series, and the AC45 fleet is headed into the 2012-13 series with the first regattas set to take place on San Francisco Bay. So what have we learned so far?
Don’t write off Olympic windsurfing just yet. A firestorm of opposition to the International Sailing Federation’s decision to dump the event in favor of kiteboarding at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro makes it highly likely that there will be another vote.