The 34th annual America’s Cup begins this weekend, with the first race taking place on Saturday in San Francisco Bay. Coverage will be live on NBC starting at 4 p.m. Eastern time both Saturday and Sunday, and Yachting’s own David Schmidt will be blogging live from the event.
This year’s racing will be the first America’s Cup to feature fast catamarans able to attain speeds of 50 knots. The speeds are a light year ahead of what racers experienced during the first America’s Cup defense in New York Harbor in 1870, and they should be more exciting than ever.
Few fans of America’s Cup racing will be surprised to read that Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) beat Luna Rossa Challenge to win the Louis Vuitton Cup and earned the right to meet Oracle Team USA on the starting line of the 34th America’s Cup. What could potentially raise an eyebrow, however, was the fact that ETNZ didn’t sweep the LVC Finals 7-0 in the best-of-thirteen series, but almost all new boats suffer the errant equipment meltdown, even the iceberg-cool Kiwis.
The Louis Vuitton Cup (LVC) Finals began as a frustrating affair, both for the sailors and for international fans, but—fortunately—things are on the upswing. Racing commenced last Saturday (August 20), and from the first mark rounding it became clear that the fears about the fragility of the AC72 class were not unfounded. The first three races unfolded in three day’s time, with all three being decided by attrition, not tactics.
Things were looking downright bleak for skipper Max Sirena and his Luna Rossa Challenge teammates just a few weeks ago. Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) wasn’t exactly kind to their Italian-flagged rivals in the Louis Vuitton Cup (LVC) Round Robin series, sweeping Sirena and company in five straight races.
Please enjoy our sister publication's review of the gear worn by America's Cup sailors while our AC blog contributor David Schmidt is on vacation. He'll be back next week with the latest on the Louis Vuitton Cup.