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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

America's Cup Craziness

September 19, 2013

One of the highlights of the trip was the opportunity to watch the America's Cup races in San Francisco.  We were able to watch over several days.  We watched races 6 and 7 from Apsaras with John and Lorrie.  The Kiwi's took both races.  Watching from the water was interesting as it was rather crazed.  Helicopters and race official boats zipping about everywhere along with a ton of boats, some of which were huge mega-yachts.  Being on the water gave us a great way to take pictures and get a feel for what the boats are like on the water.  But they go so fast, and the course is so long, that we only had a good view for a few seconds as the boats flew by.  And when they were off in the distance, it was impossible to tell who was in the lead because you could never tell who was tacking which way.  So we had to listen to the radio to know who was ahead.

Then we watched race 9 & 10 (USA and New Zealand each taking a race) from a great waterfront restaurant in Giradeli Square called McCormick & Kuleto's.  We could actually see a longer part of the race course from the restaurant.  And the restaurant had put up big screen TVs so that we could both watch the TV footage and view the race live.  This was the best of all possible worlds.  Much better than paying $200 a ticket to sit in the bleachers which had no better view, and no great food and wine.  So we couldn't for the life of us figure out why the place wasn't packed.

We went back to the restaurant with Mike and Christina in an attempt to watch race 11 and 12 - in all likelihood the end of the line as the Kiwi's only need one race to take the cup.  Alas the winds were so high that they delayed both races till the next day.  But we still had a great lunch!

On the day of race 12 two days later, we were headed out of San Francisco and had to pass right by the race course.  Lucky for us, both teams boats wandered out our way and we got some close up shots, including one of the Kiwi's right in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Melissa is rooting for New Zealand.  She figures that probably makes her a traitor.  But ever since she heard interviews with the captains of both teams, she liked the Kiwi spirit much better.  The Kiwi team is headed up by Grant Dalton who is 56 years old, and the USA team is run by Russell Coutts is who is 51.  Russell said in an interview that he was too old to be on the boat and that he didn't need to be on it to know how to direct the team.  By contrast Grant said that he didn't know how you could know what was going on unless you were on the boat.  The fact that the team dynamics and tactics of the Kiwis have clearly proven superior to the USA one could speculate this is part of the reason.  In addition, the Kiwis said that when they designed the boat they didn't have millions of dollars, so instead they had to use their brains.  They had to be smarter.

As the Kiwi's currently sit with just one more win needed to take the cup, it looks like the "be smarter" and "be closer to the action" strategies are paying off.

Pictures of the races 9 & 10 from the boat:

Pictures of the insanity on the water:

Close-up's as the boats came flying by us as we left San Francisco:

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