Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup
They’re still taking down the remnants of America’s Cup Village along San Francisco Bay, and the members of Oracle Team USA are still aglow from the thrill of their historic, come-from-behind victory in AC34— but none of that matters to those who would like to take the Cup back from America next time around. They simply could not wait to issue an official challenge for AC35.
Australia’s Hamilton Island Yacht Club has become the official Challenger of Record, throwing down the gauntlet in a way that reeks of early smack talk. That’s just one of the things that has us psyched already for the next America’s Cup. Here are five reasons that you should be pumped, too:
• The Aussies issued their challenge to Oracle’s host club, the Golden Gate Yacht Club, on the 30th anniversary of Australia II’s win in the America’s Cup against U.S. skipper Dennis Connor. That was a historic loss for the United States, ending the New York Yacht Club’s 132-year reign as the Cup’s defender. Clearly, the Aussies are hoping that history will repeat itself in AC35.
• The year the Aussies won that race, it was held off Newport, Rhode Island. That sense of historic significance could mean that AC35 will be held in the Northeast (right near our editorial offices!) unless the Oracle and Hamilton Island teams decide to leave tradition completely in their wakes when setting the parameters for the next event.
• Hamilton Island Yacht Club is led by winemaker Bob Oatley, whose boats, always called Wild Oats, have won six of the past eight Sydney-Hobart races. That means Oracle Team USA should have some serious sailing competition again in AC35, and that the commemorative T-shirt puns should be nothing short of fabulous.
• Oatley has been quoted as saying that he loves the way the new foiling catamarans have modernized the event. That means we should be seeing even more dramatic racing and pushing of the design envelope with the boats that will be legal for AC35.
• Details about AC35 are supposed to be released in early 2014. That’s just a few months from now. We know what we’ll be wishing for this holiday season: Even more competitors in what promises to be yet another spectacular yachting event.