Wednesday, July 4, 2012

America's Cup World Championship, Newport, RI

Starting line of the fleet race. Final day of America's Cup World Trials
    Joe and I along with thousands of Rhode Islanders who are avid racing sailors have dreamed of the time when the America's Cup Racing would someday return to its rightful venue in the waters off Newport, RI. It took only thirty years for this to actually happen. Somehow it doesn't seem that long since the cup was lost to the Aussies in 1983. Since then it has been raced in Australia, San Diego, New Zealand, and finally Valencia, Spain where the young skipper Jimmy Spithill racing aboard Oracle Team USA won it for the Americans  returning the America's Cup to the States.
Americas Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill with me after racing in Newport, RI
Oracle 5 attempting to cover Italians Luna Rossa on final leg to the finish line.
   Jubilant fans across Rhode Island finally had hopes of seeing America's Cup racing return to Newport. This year in late spring to the disappointment of Rhode Islanders, the owners of Oracle Team USA announced that the Cup racing venue would take place in San Francisco in September, 2013. Shortly thereafter an announcement was made that gave Rhode Islanders hope. The final stop of the World Series Trials for the Americas Cup would take place in Newport, RI. Upon hearing this news Joe and I planned to be there to witness this historic event. To our delight the racing was aboard 45 foot catamarans with 70 foot fixed wing mainsails that are capable of reaching speeds of over 25 knots in a 15 knot breeze.
     Thirty years ago when we were racing competitively aboard 16 foot Hobie Catamarans we thought the cup races would certainly be more exciting if slower monohulls were exchanged for the faster speeds of the multihulls. Again it took only 30 years to catch on!