My buddy JC (who happens to live in TriBeCa) has asked some very good questions regarding this weekend’s historic, high-profile, fantastic—and frustrating—America’s Cup World Series event in New York City. And while I won’t go into all the details, JC read Sir Ben Anislie’s measured and well-stated analysis of the event (that draws attention to the pretty horrible sailing conditions that led to some pretty goofy racing) in the Telegraph and is still wondering…”Why was it so bad? Because of the location in the Hudson River? Because those two buildings really had such a negative effect? Or because the wind happened to be light? Where would have been a better choice in NYC?”
Great questions right?
And the answers are pretty simple. Yes, the location was the biggest factor. Yes, it was awesome to see almost 100,000 sailing “fans” on the Brookfield Place waterfront, but racing in an area that is notorious for a ripping current and erratic wind (if there’s any at all) in close proximity to 100 story skyscrapers will always produce goofy sailing. Everybody knew it. Everybody had to deal with it. But….it was avoidable. If race officials picked a place (in the NY area of course) that was better for the sailors (less current, less building interference) the racing would have been even cooler than simply being “a spectacle” with lots of celebs because, instead of these high tech boats literally being flushed into the starting marks and over the line early, they could have “flown” instead of inducing “groans!” TV time pressure (and cutting away to commercials at crucial moments) didn’t help either.
So, for all you folks who aren’t sailors but want to see what the cutting edge looks like (and frankly what the AC is really going for), watch this. It’s a much better spectacle, right?
Stay tuned. We’re all learning!