Sailors for the Sea has awarded its highest-level Clean Regattas certification to the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) that oversaw the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco this year.
Among other things, AC34 was the largest sporting event in the world to eliminate single-use plastic bottles, with free water stations pouring enough water to keep 76,744 bottles out of the waste stream.
The foam has barely settled from the chop that Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA churned up on San Francisco Bay during the 34th America’s Cup, and already there is a challenger to Oracle Team USA for the 35th running of sailing’s most storied race.
Australia’s Hamilton Island Yacht Club is the Challenger of Record for the AC35, whose details are expected to be announced in early 2014. As the winner of AC34, Oracle Team USA gets to choose the venue for the next race as well as consult with the Australians about the boats, rules and format.
You’ve got to hand it to Jimmy Spithill—he knew he wasn’t crazy.
Exactly a week ago, Spithill faced an international media corps after losing his eighth race to Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and claimed to like his situation, boldly advising us not write-off Oracle Team USA. We tried to be polite, but what are the odds of pulling-off an eight-run winning streak to defend the 34th America’s Cup? Moreover, what are the odds that he actually believed these media-friendly words?
Spring might be blossoming in Auckland, but I can assure you that these are dark ‘n’ stormy days at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Just a week ago, Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) was on match point to win the Auld Mug from the speed-challenged Defender, Oracle Team USA. Skipper Dean Barker and his ETNZ mates are still on match point, but—from the Kiwi perspective—the unthinkable has occurred. Skipper Jimmy Spithill and his American-flagged friends have retooled their boat and evened the score after delivering a seven-bullet, tour-de-force performance.
Last week the entire sailing world quietly snickered when Jimmy Spithill, skipper of Oracle Team USA, the Defenders of the 34th America’s Cup, confidently professed to like his unenviable situation: His team was in a deep points deficit, his boat was noticeably slower than his opponent’s and the psychological edge solidly belonged to Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ). Now, however, the snickering has ceased.