Bob Fisher, one of the worlds top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in Cascais, Portugal for the first round of the America's Cup World Series.
Bob is a multihuller from way back, having competed for Britain in the Little America's Cup and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967. After two rides on an AC45 on two consecutive days, he's developed a habit.
He writes: Dear Diary – Day 4 and and definitely counting - America's Cup World Series - Cascais, Portugal
Way back when . . . there used to be something special associated with lay days at a regatta. If you were lucky . . . but times have changed and the whole scene has changed with them.
Today the action is in the hangars where the boats are stored and primped to perfection, but that doesn’t help this junkie in need of a fix. I want to go sailing again in an AC-45.
Today, however, the choice was strictly limited and I’m not sure that there were any options available – only Green Comm and on one of the Oracle boats went out and that was to improve the earlier lamentable performance of the Spanish boat with its crew of Finn sailors. I understand that considerable progress was made and the Green Comm boat is back in its hangar with a worklist as long as your arm to be completed before racing recommences on Wednesday.
Otherwise, it has been a slow day, one perhaps for the indulgence of AC politics and leading that fray has been Emirates Team New Zealand. The Kiwis seek a change in the protocol to allow the team to run its own website, subject to mirroring the content on the official AC34 site.
It’s a valid request so that the brand can be independently promoted and progress its future independently. It needs the agreement of the two teams who have a veto on matters of this nature – Oracle and Artemis, the defender and challenger of record – both governed by billionaires. Why they should object beats me and we await further developments, at the same time wishing ETNZ and any other team that wants the freedom to manage its own website, the best of luck with their endeavours.
Looking out from the marina at Cascais, it seems a pity that racing has ceased for two days – the sun shines and there is a goodly breeze of around 25 knots with a flat sea, ideal conditions for racing AC-45s. And I wouldn’t be suffering withdrawal symptoms. Get me back aboard one. I understand my next ride might be tinged with language difficulties – watch this space.