Those of you who have followed by articles from the beginning know that I’m definitely more of a power boater than a sailor. However, since I hostessed the Governor’s Cup last summer (more on that in the next few weeks), I have been obsessed with the America’s Cup. This last Saturday, Balboa Yacht Club hosted an informational dinner presentation describing all of the recent updates for the regatta. As a faithful member and A-Cup enthusiast, I obviously had to attend.
Since its start in 1851 at the World’s Fair in England, the America’s Cup Regatta has become sailing’s pinnacle event. New York Yacht Club had held the trophy for 132 years, until 1983 when it was won by Australia. Since then, the Cup has been won by a multitude of yacht clubs in different countries around the world, and the regatta has taken place in a countless number of locations. This year, the regatta will be held in San Francisco, smack in the middle of the bay (practically unheard of in the world of large scale regattas).
The amazing part of all of this is the fact that it will be so easy to watch. Sure, St. Francis and Golden Gate Yacht Clubs will be amazing places to watch the regatta from, but the City of San Francisco is also currently in the midst of building an entire “America’s Cup Village” and “America’s Cup Park,” which are projected to bring in nearly $1 billion in revenue over the 4 month span of July-October. The village will include a 9200-person stadium, which will be fantastic for the musical events that are expected to take place. Imagine Dragons, Train, Jason Mraz… the talent is endless!
Not only will viewing in person be made possible, but this will also be the first time the Cup will ever be aired on a major news network! NBC will be showing full coverage of the races, with amazing technology to make it easier to track the races. If you’ve ever watched a football game on TV, you’ve seen the digital “1st Down Line.” Well, sailing enthusiasts have discovered a way to use the same technology to track the routes of the competing boats, making it easier for everyone to understand the races.
Another piece of exciting news–this year, the boats will change from AC45’s to AC72’s, which basically means they’ll be a whole lot bigger. These catamarans (boats with 2 hulls) are able to foil (rise out of the water with fin-like stabilizers keeping control, as seen here) with ease and speed (Team Oracle USA reached 42-knots in February, approximately 48-mph, as seen here). The boats have a massive 40-meter (130-foot) mast, controlled by an 11-person crew. I have to say, Team Luna Rossa of Italy will be sailing the most aesthetically pleasing boat… I mean, they are sponsored by Prada.
If my words haven’t converted you to an A-Cup lover, let these videos do the work. I could literally watch America’s Cup videos for hours everyday, and still never get enough. The following is a promo from last year to get everyone excited about the regatta. Needless to say, it succeeds.