Harken Derm

AMERICA’S CUP: A Once in a Lifetime Experience

Published on April 2nd, 2013

Some people adore the America’s Cup; others not so much. Cynthia Ross of Visual.Ink.Communications is in the former group. While the race broadcast may be the only means to truly watch the racing, Cynthia is clearly intoxicated with the event, and is encouraging others to be among its pervasive aura….

If you are planning on being in the northern California area, the America’s Cup will be a spectacular exhibition of sailing technology, team work, and, of course, an obscene amount of money spent in pursuit of “bragging rights”, in a sport that is virtually ignored by the world wide public. Remember, there is no monetary prize.

I say “bragging rights”, as, in fact, the Golden Gate Yacht Club, as the Defender of Record, is not even allowed to maintain the America’s Cup trophy onsite, due to lack of adequate security. It is trotted out for VIP events, fund raising, and, although not confirmed, will probably be there during the final matches.

If you would like to see it, be prepared to a similar experience as trying to view the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, in June.

I was lucky enough to see it for the first time in 1995, one quiet Saturday before racing, at the San Diego Yacht Club. At other times I have been witness to its arrival, in a heavily guarded motorcade, and, through the joys of social media, reclining in its custom Louis Vuitton case, in first class on United Airlines.

Having said that, your reasons for coming to the Bay Area should be more about the sailing, not about the trophy. The bay is a natural amphitheater, and you should be able to witness the sailing matches; perched on a rock, in the VIP tent, on the Jumbotron at the village, from the spectator fleet… just about anywhere. Some of it won’t even cost you a dime.

A combination of views is probably the most satisfying. Be aware, the spectator fleet will be kept well off the course… but hey, any time on the water is delightful. Bundle up and walk out on the Golden Gate with your binoculars. Take a ferry to Alcatraz… and spend the afternoon watching, after the history lesson of the “Birdman”. All of the shore side will be a great view, even if only for a few minutes. These racing machines will not linger, no matter where you are watching from.

Although not quite as fast as NASCAR, and certainly not as loud, they will be moving at a fast clip. Enjoy those moments when they come in close. You hear the whoosh, perhaps the groan of a sheet being trimmed. For sailors, a heart pounding moment, however fleeting. And, of course, there are apps available, so you can follow along at work, or lunch, or on a cable car.

Plan to be there. Plan it now. It’s a once in a lifetime experience. Click here for the schedule.

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