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Americas Cup (yachting)

The Americas Cup, the pinnacle of yachting, was first contested in 1851 making it the oldest trophy in sport, pre-dating the modern Olympic Games by 45years.  The USA stranglehold on the Cup lasted 132 years before Australia wrested the Cup from them in 1983.  The Cup is contested every 4 years and the present competition is being held in Auckland, NZ being the current holders.

There are three teams challenging for the Cup this time - teams from Italy, USA and England.  A round Robin among the three started today. The process involves several races against each other.  The winner races off in a series of races against the winner of another series of races between teams two and three.

The overall winner of the Prada Cup challenge series gets to race against the holder NZ and the whole process lasts well into March.

In a world cup regatta prior to Christmas the British entry, skippered by Sir Ben Ainslie, was very much the also-ran out of the four nations competing.  Since then they have made several significant changes to their yacht.

This is the first day of racing for the Prada Cup.  Britain has had a Great day, hammering the USA by over a minute and then beating out the Italian boat by a few seconds.

Will keep you updated. It all sounds like a bit of a yawn but it’s actually exciting, especially seeing the British entry come out with all guns blazing.
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Comments

  • I remember the one where the Yanks had a catamaran and, I think, New Zealand and a massive monohull.  The American's pissed it, as you'd expect, but how they came up with their boat while sticking to the rules, I don't know.  I suspect it was something along the lines of the hull length being in the rules but not how many hulls it could be split over.
  • the legal challenges as to the validity of the opposition boats can drag on for months sometimes. 
  • I remember the one where the Yanks had a catamaran and, I think, New Zealand and a massive monohull.  The American's pissed it, as you'd expect, but how they came up with their boat while sticking to the rules, I don't know.  I suspect it was something along the lines of the hull length being in the rules but not how many hulls it could be split over.
    The defender gets to set most of the rules for the next challenge and this is how the USA got away with blue murder.  The yachts this time are crazy fast and reach speeds of 50 knots.  If you get a chance to watch a race you’ll be amazed.
  • "The Americas Cup, the pinnacle of yachting, was first contested in 1851 making it the oldest trophy in sport,"

    I think you will find it's the oldest trophy in international sport.

    Yours pedantically...  ;)  
  • Didn’t we win it one year?


  • Some of these boats, wow.
  • Didn’t we win it one year?
    No, but UK has been the challenger on many occasions, especially in the early days.  The last time Britain was the challenger was 1967 with Dame Pattie the boat.
  • Had a wonderful time watching this in Bermuda a few years back for the last one. Shame the Americans didn't retain it and keep it here.

    I had a whole new appreciation of the sport and the sailors plus the community of workers behind the scenes. Got to know a few competitors and their families. Massively dedicated and so incredibly fit.

  • Didn’t we win it one year?
    No, but UK has been the challenger on many occasions, especially in the early days.  The last time Britain was the challenger was 1967 with Dame Pattie the boat.
    I could have sworn we did?
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  • Didn’t we win it one year?
    No, but UK has been the challenger on many occasions, especially in the early days.  The last time Britain was the challenger was 1967 with Dame Pattie the boat.
    I could have sworn we did?
    Nope we haven’t, but you might be thinking of Ben Ainslie as he has won it but while working on an American team, in 2013.
  • Didn’t we win it one year?
    No, but UK has been the challenger on many occasions, especially in the early days.  The last time Britain was the challenger was 1967 with Dame Pattie the boat.
    I could have sworn we did?
    Nope we haven’t, but you might be thinking of Ben Ainslie as he has won it but while working on an American team, in 2013.
    Ah that must be it, what a Cad for going to the dark side.
  • edited January 16
    Just been watching some of it on sky sports mix and I have think that whilst the boats are impressive it must be the worst sport to watch live. Can only tell what’s going on through the graphics on screen 
  • Nz goes bonkers over this, despite a statistically low number of people actually being yachties themselves. I can’t stand it. Very little about ‘sport’ and an awful lot about who has the most money to spend on their boat. Kiwis only like it for nationalist reasons ‘look at us where competitive with the big boys (and/or girls)’. The boats are beautiful and technical but come on it ain’t really good spectator sport. Oh and bah humbug. 
  • Mad days racing today. Glad I set my alarm for it.
    First race abandoned because of wind shift just as UK took the lead. Last race, Yanks well ahead but then capsize on last turn and nearly sank. Big hole in their boat and a lot of work to do before Fridays racing.
    Would have actually wanted America to win that race so UK team were 3 ahead of both of them as apposed to 2 ahead of one of them.




  • I'm in Auckland working on the Cup, absolutely crazy day yesterday! There's a press conference at 3pm local time today where we should learn more about the state of the American boat
  • edited January 18
    raggyh said:
    I'm in Auckland working on the Cup, absolutely crazy day yesterday! There's a press conference at 3pm local time today where we should learn more about the state of the American boat
    @raggyh
    Do you live in Auckland?
    There’s a few of us here, who get together for the occasional game and also beers.
  • About as close as I could get (Milford Beach, near Takapuna).
    Way better to watch on TV.


  • @Danepak Normally based back in UK but have worked on last 2 Cups so they wanted to get me out here. Based in Auckland CBD until end of March so beers and Charlton sound good!
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  • Love watching the sailing.

    Was disappointed with the race before Christmas; pretty much everything that could go wrong, did.

    Delighted to hear that the UK team has turned it around.  Really looking forward to watching the highlights on the telly; it's nice to know that amongst the present difficulties there are places where life goes on (would be amazing to be in NZ watching the races, btw).

    Must be an amazing buzz crewing one of those boats; they don't half shift!
  • Ah Sailing, like Polo and F1, the sports working men can participate in!
  • Ah Sailing, like Polo and F1, the sports working men can participate in!
    There are 3 sailing clubs with a couple of miles of the Valley.
  • Team UK through to the Prada final. Had technical problems but raced well. Hit 50 knots at one point!
  • First race I’ve watched from the start. Very exciting. Lead changed 9 times. Lunar Rosa and America Magic race off next weekend - best of 7 races - to see who will face Team UK in the final of the Prada Cup. Then the America’s Cup could be on its way to blighty (having beaten NZ).
  • First race I’ve watched from the start. Very exciting. Lead changed 9 times. Lunar Rosa and America Magic race off next weekend - best of 7 races - to see who will face Team UK in the final of the Prada Cup. Then the America’s Cup could be on its way to blighty (having beaten NZ).
    Same here. Haven’t actually watched a race from start to finish before. I agree, was very exciting.
    But a frustrating lead up, as they kept postponing the start.
  • I don’t ageee with this run off, as it gives Italy and America another potential 7 races to tweak their race settings, learn more about the wind shifts on course etc 

    could lead to them getting an advantage against UK in the final run off 
  • Danepak said:
    First race I’ve watched from the start. Very exciting. Lead changed 9 times. Lunar Rosa and America Magic race off next weekend - best of 7 races - to see who will face Team UK in the final of the Prada Cup. Then the America’s Cup could be on its way to blighty (having beaten NZ).
    Same here. Haven’t actually watched a race from start to finish before. I agree, was very exciting.
    But a frustrating lead up, as they kept postponing the start.
    Was very frustrating for us trying to fill content for TV when they kept pushing the race back 10 mins at a time. But when it went off it was one of the best races I've worked on. Boats were evenly matched and a proper duel was the result. 50/50 whether that should have been a penalty on last leg...I've seen them given!
  • Sir Ben doesn’t agree with you MrOneLung.  UK don’t have to race again until Feb 13th, giving them time to make further improvements to Britannia and test them.

    Questions have been asked about how the Brits could be so embarrassing poor in the regatta before Christmas and come back to win 5-0 thus far in the Prada Cup.  Apparently investment came in from Europe making all the difference (so I heard on the radio this morning). Also, Team UK are the best team at picking wind shifts and they have an Olympic champion sailor on board whose only job is just that.
  • raggyh said:
    Danepak said:
    First race I’ve watched from the start. Very exciting. Lead changed 9 times. Lunar Rosa and America Magic race off next weekend - best of 7 races - to see who will face Team UK in the final of the Prada Cup. Then the America’s Cup could be on its way to blighty (having beaten NZ).
    Same here. Haven’t actually watched a race from start to finish before. I agree, was very exciting.
    But a frustrating lead up, as they kept postponing the start.
    Was very frustrating for us trying to fill content for TV when they kept pushing the race back 10 mins at a time. But when it went off it was one of the best races I've worked on. Boats were evenly matched and a proper duel was the result. 50/50 whether that should have been a penalty on last leg...I've seen them given!
    Didn't actually look as close from other angles to me, and heard people say, from the helicopter view it doesn't look as close ( I haven't seen that view). And you can see that the Italians changed their course coming up to the crossing to make it closer before doing "the Hollywood" as the commentators describe it to pull away. They knew a penalty was their only hope at that point.  Maybe also on the official's minds that they did the same thing earlier in the race and at least twice last weekend to my memory. Just smacks of a bit of desperation by them each time.
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