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02 Oct 2013
Heigh-ho, the America's Cup is over, and I have stopped getting up at 0400 to watch what was undoubtedly some of the most nail-biting and amped-up racing that I have ever seen. Sailors everywhere seem to agree that what was a massively disappointing Louis Vuitton Cup – the sort of thing that could ‘bring the sport into disrepute' – when battle royal commenced between two teams that were really up for it, the fight was nothing less than spectacular.
Now, no matter whether you are cheering with the (Australian) skipper of Oracle, Jimmy Spithill, or commiserating with Dean Barker and Grant Dalton from Team New Zealand, the question is ‘what next?' No doubt there are innumerable sailors out there willing to give free advice, but Bob Oatley and the Hamilton Island Yacht Club have put their cards on the table as Challenger of Record, and we all wait with bated breath to see what sort of protocol gets cooked up for AC35 in (probably) 2017.
Meanwhile, the rumour mill has been grinding away merrily. There were suggestions that Oracle had an aeronautical control system (‘Little Herbie') borrowed from a Boeing 747 to assist in trimming their foils. This was neither confirmed nor denied by Oracle, but Grant Dalton categorically stated that ETNZ weren't ‘going there' in the guise of a protest on any other sort of off-the-water action. Now Yachting World's Tech Editor, Matt Sheehan, has done some talking and digging (story below - America's Cup: What was Changed on Oracle?). Just bear in mind that the information he gleaned came from the same people that copped a big fine from the IJs just before the AC started...
Sail-World's visitor figures have gone through the roof. But is sobering to remember that, however exciting the AC proved to be for us sailors, my next door neighbour (who is the owner/driver of a P1 powerboat racing team) still has no idea who Jimmy Spithill is, that Hong Kong's principal English-language daily (South China Morning Post) lists sailing under ‘other sports', and the rest of the world has moved swiftly on.
It's Open Season in Hong Kong harbour now, with the RHKYC holding their opening regatta last weekend, and everyone in Asia is eyeing the calendar and wondering how to rearrange their holiday entitlement to take in as many regattas as they possibly can over the next few months – China Coast, Vietnam Race, Raja Muda, King's Cup, Royal Langkawi and more.
The sun is out and the temperature has dropped - along with the humidity. I can see breeze on the water from my office window. Let's go sailing!
2013 Phuket King's Cup Regatta 30/11/13 The Phuket King's Cup Regatta is Asia's biggest and most popular regatta. Inaugurated in 1987 to celebrate the 60th birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand, the event has been held every year since during the first week of December.... For more details and news for this event, go to: http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?SEid=849
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