33rd america’s cup: sailors or astronauts?

for those of you that might not be following sailing quite as closely, the 33rd America’s Cup race is scheduled for this week (actually was supposed to start Monday, but was postponed due to light winds).  historically, this has been considered to be one of the premier sailing events (and the oldest active trophy sport, see the wiki here), but the 33rd America’s Cup has this year been bogged down by the political bickering between the 2 sides, or more specifically, between the 2 ba-ga-zillionaires that a fronting the money in what seems to be a battle of the egos. (I won’t get into too many of the boring political details… just trust me.  if you’re really curious, just Google it.)  this year’s race pits the Swiss (Alinghi), as the defender’s of the cup, against the USA (BMW Oracle), who are challenging for the cup.  the boat’s themselves are amazing displays of what gobs of money can provide – they are both multi-hulls (Alinghi has 2 hulls, BMW Oracle has 3 hulls), and can sail at speeds 2 to 3 times faster than the speed of the wind.  here’s a nice shot of the 2 boats waiting to race Monday morning:

here’s a couple sites to check out for plenty more information:

plus, this year, there are several options available to view the racing online (some live, some replay – since the racing is in Valencia, I’d have to get up at 4am to watch live… probably not gonna happen!) viewing options, from scuttlebutt:

Yes, the time of day is a strain in North America. Thank goodness the authors of the Deed of Gift called for a day in between each scheduled race day. Consecutive all nighters could get rough. They truly were gentlemen. Not sure if the commentator line-up will be the same all the time, but here are the links to go to:

– Jobson/Smyth: http://www.ESPN360.com
– Montgomery/Lewis/Green: http://www.americascup.com
– Tasker/Lester/Williams: http://www.livestream.com/bmworacleracing

oh yeah, back to the post title “sailors or astronauts”: BMW Oracle posted a great video of what it feels like to be sailing on their boat… here’s how he described it:

Team founder Larry Ellison has compared this campaign to a space mission, and listening to this video, you might see why. Take a look.


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