Racing Worth Waiting For - Sail Magazine

Racing Worth Waiting For

Although the 34th America’s Cup may have still fallen short in some ways, there’s no denying that Larry Ellison, Russell Coutts and company have finally gotten what they wanted—some of the most exciting racing the historic sailing series has ever seen.
Author:
Publish date:

Although the 34th America’s Cup may have still fallen short in some ways, there’s no denying that Larry Ellison, Russell Coutts and company have finally gotten what they wanted—some of the most exciting racing the historic sailing series has ever seen.

AC34-Opener-600x

And on Wednesday, Cup fans the world over may very well have a chance to see the denouement, after races 11 and 12 were postponed Tuesday, when conditions on San Francisco Bay exceeded the wind limits imposed following the Artemis capsize last May.

“I’m concerned about the boats getting home safely,” regatta director Iain Murray said, shortly before deciding to send the defender, Oracle USA, and Emirates Team New Zealand back to their respective bases. “We have a huge amount of wind along the city front. It’s windy and the [opposing] current’s getting stronger by the minute. We must consider that although today is windy, we have more racing to go. When the front passes tonight. we’ll get back to good racing tomorrow and the rest of the week.”

With ETNZ currently leading the best 17 series 7-1, the challenger could finish off Oracle once and for all if it wins both of today’s race, the first of which is scheduled to begin at 1:35 p.m. Pacific Time. However, while early on in the series it looked like the Kiwis were going to roll over the U.S. team the same way they did Artemis and Luna Rossa, the competition is getting tighter and tighter with each race.

The drama is also fast building to a fever pitch, with scrappy starts, heart-stopping crossing situations and even a near capsize for ETNZ midway through the race last Saturday, which Oracle went on to win by 52 seconds. In fact, the two races Sunday—in which Oracle and ETNZ each took a turn coming out on top—were some of the most intense in America’s Cup history, with the outcome hanging in the balance with every maneuver. (To see the two Sunday races, click here ) Race 10 was an especially close one, with the lead changing hands four times in all, three of those times as the two boats match raced their way up the 3-mile windward leg. Such evenly matched competition is almost unheard of in the America’s Cup, which over the years has all too often been a yawner, with the faster boat dominating from start to finish.

“If you didn’t enjoy today’s racing you should probably watch another sport,” said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker, after Sunday’s back-and-forth battles.

“I can honestly say this is the most fun and exciting sailing I’ve been involved with,” said ORACLE tactician Ben Ainslie.

For once, it’s safe to say this isn’t just a couple of guys toeing the corporate line in an event that many feel is losing its soul as it becomes increasingly commercial. These guys really mean it.

Bring on the racing!

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more