My PVR recorded a bit of the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) on late night TV and I can see why it was pushed the the early hours: it was just awful. To be fair it was a half hour summary but even so pretty unwatchable and likely to be the subject of a future post.
But I found myself enjoying the full unedited final race available on YouTube (above). It was what they called "Super Sunday" the last race from that regatta with points that go forward to the real thing next year. Anyway what was important was that it was a match race of the new high tech wing catamarans - and one that mattered to the competitors.
One thing was clear - the organisers really like the idea of this being like Formula 1. They had champagne on the winning boat before anyone else had crossed the line for that all important spraying the crew shot, then before the skipper could really enjoy a glug a RIB was on hand to rush him ashore for a post race reaction. They even had a big checkered flag like this:
There were other innovations, like a sailing area they had to stick to. Indeed at the first cross I was wondering if that too would be different but apparently port must still give way to starboard.
Unlike the summary that re-cycled the same clips this was more informative and give a rather good augmented reality view of the course so you could follow what was happening:
Heading towards the windward mark:
But who entered the circle first?
Heading for the line:
Overall I rather enjoyed it and don't think the sailing area restriction harms it at all. It was sailing as we know it - sort of - but very fast, with all crew in the sort of protective gear they are currently giving out to TV crews in Tripoli.
There is alas no British boat so I supported one of the ex-colonies though I won't say which one.
The question I'm left with is this one: the next ACWS "Super Sunday" is in the UK - but far off in Plymouth.
Should I spend a day travelling for a race that takes around 40 minutes? Or should I watch in the comfort of home with access via laptop to helicopter camera live streams and digital overlays plus excellent tea making facilities?
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