America's Cup- AC45's - Redefining the 'Dolly Ride'..
by Kimball Livingston on 17 Jun 2011
San Francisco based sailing journalist, Kimball Livingstone is a passionate follower of things America's Cup. Seeing the AC45's sailing on San Francisco Bay is a small slice of heaven, and sailing on one is probably as good as it gets..
34th America’s Cup - First Racing trials in San Francisco bay ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/
Here's Kimball's take on his Big Day Out.
I have to tell it to you backwards.
It went like this . . .
5) I’m hanging onto a strap on AC45 #4, the Oracle Racing cat skippered by
Jimmy ('Everyone’s wearing helmets for a reason') Spithill, and we’re making tracks toward a destination on San Francisco Bay that will soon be downwind of where we started, but if you’re paying attention to this sentence you will notice that I didn’t say we are sailing 'downwind.' Most of the time the speedo reads 28-something, and twice we hit 29-something. The afternoon seabreeze is still building.
4) I have my hand on the hiking stick of AC45 #4, and Jimmy Spithill at my elbow is telling me to press a little harder, and a little harder, and we’re just shy of the Golden Gate Bridge and 'pressing' means to turn the boat farther away from the wind, more toward 'downwind' and back into the bay and I’ve finally extricated my foot from the loop in the line that grabbed me when I was crossing the net in the tack and I’m pretty sure that Spithill has no intention of allowing me to send this machine down San Francisco Bay with five souls aboard even if they are pros and better paid than I am but he keeps telling me to press a bit more and I can feel the boat accelerating, getting loose like a thoroughbred at a bugle call and Spithill is saying, 'Don’t worry, mate, you’re fine, just press a little more' and I can see from the action forward that a bigger headsail is in the works and about to be deployed and I dutifully press a bit more and the boat just wants to go and at last the man says, 'Okay, I’ll take it from here.' Hallelujah.
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