33rd America’s Cup

Well if you are a sailing fan then you probably already know that the 33rd America’s Cup regatta begins this Monday, Feb 8th, 2010.  For those of you that aren’t sailing fans let me see if I can convince you that this deserves some attention.

A Brief History

It is called the America’s Cup after the boat America, which in 1851 obliterated the 14 fastest British boats in a race around the Isle of Wight, winning the trophy that would become the America’s Cup.  Since then the America’s Cup has featured some of the most famous races in sailing history. It is the oldest trophy in international sport, too much history for me to cover here.  If you want more America’s Cup History.

Race Format

The America’s Cup is raced in a format called match racing.  There are only two boats on the course, racing only against each other and not the clock.  The tactics employed are very different from traditional fleet racing.  The format produces some amazing close races that make great TV viewing.  The format even has its own set of match racing rules, which if you are knew to this racing  format are good to know.

The Boats

The America’s Cup races have been sailed in an eclectic style of boats.  In my mind the most famous match up being the first America’s Cup held in San Diego, of a 18 metre catamaran Stars and Stripes against the massive 27 metre monohull New Zealand.   This bizarre match up marked the end of the 12-metre era of racing and would see the era of the America’s Cup class arrive.  For the 33rd America’s Cup the boats again are going to be a wild match up, the size of boat set to be 30 X 30 metres, with both teams choosing multi-hull designs.  Expect some very fast racing.

How to Watch

It sadly looks like there will be no live TV coverage of the race in North America, but live streaming via the official site will be available for free.  Racing is in Europe so you will have to be up early to see them.  So here are a list of other places to get some information, video and photos of the racing.

I hope you will take the time to check out what shaping up to be the fastest America’s Cup ever.

James Wisener

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