The Cup Is Back!

March 10, 2010

After a 15 year absence, the America's Cup is back in the United States, thanks to the efforts, talent, and brilliance of Larry Ellison and the entire BMW/Oracle Racing team!  A hearty congratulations to everyone on the team and a resounding Welcome Back! to the oldest trophy in sport! All the America's Cup action made me flash back to Auckland, 2000... ... when our Abracadabra 2000 Challenge built both boats and trained in Hawaii.  Sailing off Diamond Head - beautiful and warm! Marine artist - and Hawaii resident - Wyland, painted both of our hulls and - during a lunch break - he painted his own brand new VW Bug. Yes, in about an hour or so, he completely painted a just-delivered Bug. Amazing talent.     

Watching him paint an 80-foot whale on the hull was extraordinary. He even made sure Hawaii's state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, was represented.

P&O Nedlloyd sponsored us and carried all of our boats and gear to Auckland - shown here offloading in Auckland.

 And mugging it up with one of our build crew at our base in Auckland.

One of my favorite shots (although probably not one of theirs), above left, towing the boys back in after a long day of racing. It was spring in Auckland, cold and rainy a lot of the time. 

And then about ten years later, my own AC Reunion of sorts...

Both of our old boats are in San Diego now. One is part of Next Level Sailing's charter fleet. I had a chance to sail on her again a couple of years ago - and had the first opportunity to actually take the helm for a while. No, we couldn't put up a chute, and they'd made a lot of modifications to her, but it was still quite a thrill to take her out for a sail.

These 11-year-old monohulls are a far cry from the multi's that just raced AC 33. It will be exciting to see what technological innovations trickle down to the various levels of pro and amateur racing. 

It will also be very interesting to see what the participants jointly determine to be the rule for AC 34.  A new RC 70-footer maybe?

Very exciting, indeed!  Welcome back, Auld Mug.




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