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Anyone watching the America's Cup?
Old 09-08-2013, 08:48 AM   #1
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Anyone watching the America's Cup?

IIRC there are a number of avid sailors here.

I tivoed it and watched the first race. Those boats are amazingly cool!

I have a 14' cat and my sister has an air chair that I have used and I have seem video of hydrofoil boats but combining a cat and a hyrdofoil is amazing. It looks like a blast and that you have to be pretty quick on your feet.

IIRC about a year or two ago when they first came out with the cat design the boats didn't have the foils.

Also, the computer graphics for the far away shots showing the boundaries, relationship of the boats and the marks is cool.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:28 AM   #2
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Those boats are amazingly cool!
+1. I stumbled on the first race while surfing channels for a college football game yesterday.

Other than being wind-propelled water craft, these boats bear no resemblance to the little Sunfish boats I sailed as a kid at summer camp, or even to the boats Dennis Conner (?) piloted in the 80's while all lathered up in zinc oxide.

The hydrofoils and the windsails are fascinating technology. I miss seeing the crews handling the big, billowing spinnakers, though.

I'll probably tune in again, but from the looks of the first race the American boat doesn't have much of a chance against the Kiwis.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:54 AM   #3
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Love the subject! Living in Rhode Island, the trip to Newport was a half hour, so in high school, we haunted the slips in the marinas, and drank beer at the old Sailor's home bar. Watched some of the race beginnings between Sceptre and Columbia in 1958, in between college and the military. Newport was a second home.
In the early 50's used to hang around the different R.I Yacht Clubs to be invited out to crew on small boats... Lightnings, 110's etc. Was far too poor to ever even think of owning even a rowboat. In college, in Maine, was on the sailing team... We used Tech Dinghys. (MIT deign, used for intercollegiate meets). You ain't been "sailing" 'til you've been "Frostbite Sailing" in Maine, in March. Our Commodore and my fraternity brother was Charlie Leighton, who later developed and owned Nordic Track, BostonWhaler, and Hood sails. His boat was used in the movie Carousel 1956 which we watched in production, Boothbay Harbor, ME.

Re: hydrofoil sailboats... I can remember, but can't find an early 1950's book about the first 50+ mph sailboat. (pre aerofoil). closest that I can find is here. .. but not the same one.
Mr Smith's Amazing Sailboats - Designs

After marriage we spent summers at stepfather's little cottage in Barrington and then went to Newport on his runabout to watch the later Cup races from the water. In the early days, 1960 to 1975, always had a sunfish as we lived and sailed with our kids when we lived on Martha's Vineyard, and Falmouth Mass. Lots of dirty looks as we took our 2 and 3 year old sons from Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs.

So yeah.. off topic, but thanks for bringing the subject up. Will be watching and following the races as it's available. Just a little sad it's not in Newport.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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....I'll probably tune in again, but from the looks of the first race the American boat doesn't have much of a chance against the Kiwis.
From what I saw of the first race, it looked to me like the Americans were simply outmanuvered, that one extra tack on the second or third leg killed them - it could also have been a favorable wind shift for the competitor too.

I recall in my racing days being inches from each other at times, but not at 20-40 knots! That must be exhilarating and scary at the same time!
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
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I'm not an avid sailor, but since the America's Cup is happening in my backyard I have been following it more closely than I normally would have.

This is the Italian boat flying by during the Louis Vuitton Cup last month:


Close up on the boat:


These boats are huge and fast but also incredibly light enough to be picked up out of the water with fairly light duty equipment!

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Old 09-08-2013, 01:27 PM   #6
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Oh yeah. I've watched every race all the way back to the fleet racing on the AC45's, and all the AC72 LVC and AC races. They have all been on youtube live or delayed (lately), on NBC yesterday and today and NBCSports I think this coming week. Even for those who don't sail, it's worth a look. Just imagine
  • a 72 foot catamaran,
  • with a 130 foot rigid wing for a (main)sail,
  • weighing 6.5 tons,
  • going over 50 mph in 20 mph winds (propelled only by wind),
  • with the entire boat out of the water foiling on a surface about the size of a surfboard.
  • while maneuvering within inches of each other at times.
Sound unbelievable? Give it a look.

Doesn't look good for the USA if the first two races are any indication, the Cup may be going back to New Zealand...
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:07 PM   #7
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So now, the US has won a race... 11 to go.
The coverage of the races is awesome... For anyone in to sailing, more exciting than any sport I can think of... Close ups put you in the boat.
The most amazing thing for me, was seeing the retractable centerboard/foil, and the sudden "drop-down" of the "ship" when it was drawn up. A little bit frightening when ya consider the weight and speed.
Imagine trying to abide yachting rules @ ten feet apart, and 35+ mph.
Looking forward to the next race.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:09 AM   #8
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Great coverage! Fun to watch but wonder if the non sailors will appreciate it.

Like imoldernu, back in the day you could go down to the Newport docks and actually walk around the 10 meter racers. I actually stood on the deck of the Intrepid...10AM no one around...just walked on down!! (finally did get thrown out, though) Met Baron von Bich while I was at it, who was just walking through the boat yard.

I do think today's races are more interesting, quick (50 mins?) and more geared to 'action'...love to see them rise up on their foils!!!
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:34 AM   #9
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Great coverage! Fun to watch but wonder if the non sailors will appreciate it. ...
I'm a non-sailor, and what I saw on youtube was amazing!

However, I have no reference point for what is actually going on, so it's kind of hard to fully appreciate it. Is there some kind of simple overview of the basic race rules, a kind of "America's Cup for Dummies"? Even some kind of overview of the course would help.


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Old 09-09-2013, 09:01 AM   #10
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I don't know of a good reference but a couple key rules are:
  • where boats are on crossing tacks, the boat on starboard tack (where the wind is crossing the starboard (right) side of the boat and hitting the foil on the port (left) side) has right of way over the boat on the opposite tack (called a port tack)
  • where boats are on the same tack the leeward boat has the right of way over the windward boat

there are obviously a whole bunch of other rules but those are the two key rules that come into play most often during a race.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:22 AM   #11
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I have been watching and would like to watch them all.. the ones coming up are not on a channel I can record...


The one thing that I would like is a LONGER race.... I can remember the old ones in what we consider normal sailboats.... and they took a good amount of time.... now, at up to 50 mph, they are over with quickly....


Glad America won the last race... they seemed to change strategy and not compete against the NZ strength (which is why they lost the first three)...
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:53 PM   #12
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Spoiler alert!!! I hadn't watched Sunday's races yet!

I think they post them to youtube.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:34 AM   #13
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Yawn!

And I say that living in the SF Bay Area.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:16 AM   #14
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Great coverage! Fun to watch but wonder if the non sailors will appreciate it.

Like imoldernu, back in the day you could go down to the Newport docks and actually walk around the 10 meter racers. I actually stood on the deck of the Intrepid...10AM no one around...just walked on down!! (finally did get thrown out, though) Met Baron von Bich while I was at it, who was just walking through the boat yard.

"Ficker is Quicker".....Bill Ficker was the skipper of the Intrepid when he won in 1970. I was on the University of Hawaii Sailing Team doing the same kind of match boat racing. The guy was my hero.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:01 AM   #15
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Watched race 5 last night. What an unmitigated disaster. I can't believe the stupid move Oracle tried at the downwind gate - what were they thinking? Not sure why they didn't just go on a starboard tack around the gate and shadow Emirates - they had the position and the boat speed and the left side of the course had less current to fight.

And then to make it worse they play their card to go practice? Why not just give the Aussies the cup and go to the pub?
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:35 AM   #16
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Watched race 5 last night. What an unmitigated disaster. I can't believe the stupid move Oracle tried at the downwind gate - what were they thinking? Not sure why they didn't just go on a starboard tack around the gate and shadow Emirates - they had the position and the boat speed and the left side of the course had less current to fight.

And then to make it worse they play their card to go practice? Why not just give the Aussies the cup and go to the pub?

How are you watching I cannot find it online and I do not have the channel on my cable.


From what I have seen in the first 4 races, the pub is coming up fast... so, yea, why not just give it to them and save some time and effort.... I will try and look at the 5th race to see what you say.... but the Aussies seem to be a better run team... not sure if they have a better boat... IOW, when there is a speed leg, they both seem to be able to do the same time....
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:10 AM   #17
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search for America's Cup on youtube

Here is race 5:

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Old 09-11-2013, 01:25 PM   #18
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:34 PM   #19
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Did anyone see the New Zealand cat almost capsize during Race 8? Incredible footage.

Race 10 was a great race even though Team USA lost. I can see it would take a bunch of nerve to do a close cross with multi-million dollar boats at 35-40 knots but I'm sure Team USA wishes they had cut it closer on that 4th leg.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:53 PM   #20
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Er yes, have been watching.

May I ever so politely point out that we aren't Aussies, we're Kiwis! We get very sensitive about that down these parts. They live across the ditch from us.
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