I love sailing. Especially sailboat racing.
You get to go out, freeze your ass off as you get smacked in the face with tons of saltwater, all the while, getting yelled at for not doing complicated, dangerous activities not quite fast enough, on a moving platform that rocks and rolls in, seemingly, 12 directions, all at the same time.
And, on occasion, getting violently seasick and having it get blown back in your face in gale force winds.
Did I mention that I love sailing?
Maybe not the racing so much anymore, which explains why I pretty much have left that aspect of the sport to the much younger sailors, and for the boat owners—which I once was, prior to a wife and a house payment—much richer individuals.
As in the case of the recently completed America’s Cup competition, $100 million richer; reportedly the amount it took to campaign the extreme design, high-tech, scary-fast sailboats.
While the typical mono-hull sailboat chugs along at a blazing 8 mph, the AC72 catamarans are capable of literally flying over the surface of the water on carbon-fiber foils at more than 50 mph.
While I might occasionally feel the need for speed behind the wheel of a sports car, or screaming down a groomed ski slope, put me on the elevated hull of an AC72 going warp speed and I would be whimpering for my mommy, as I lay curled into the fetal position wrapped around the mast base.
Luckily, I was able to view the action that took place on the storied San Francisco Bay from the relative safety of a slow moving, motoring sailboat with a fully equipped liquor cabinet, thanks to the generosity of a boat owner who maintains a delicate balance between work and play.
Nothing like a stiff Hangar 1 Bloody Mary fresh off the dock to steel one’s nerves. You can just see our stress level out there.
This is but the first chapter in a series of stories where I will
make shit up like it is nobody’s business reveal exciting details of sailing and the recent America’s Cup campaign (including the cryptic title of this blog post), said by some to have been,
“The greatest sailing spectacle ever seen in the history of the world, showing true grit, unheard of
blatant cheatingtechnical innovation, unpaid strip club bills, and yes, the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat.”
(Actually, said by me, just now, except the portion I stole from ABC Sports.)
For a glimpse of what got everybody so damned excited, check out this video:
If you think you are ready to enjoy the conditions described in the first few paragraphs of this post, grab your slickers (which I have personally found sheds orally spewed human detritus much better than my face does) and read my intro to sailing from a couple of years ago.
I’ll be back with more, as soon as I grab some Dramamine®.