Monday, September 9, 2013

America's Cup Races 1 & 2

As mentioned in the blog on Alemeda and San Francisco, my niece Alice has a friend who invited us to watch the race from a 10 story apartment building on a hill overlooking the area of the bay where the races were to be held. 

These are not traditional boats. The boats are made of carbon fiber and the sail is a wing that I presume is also made of carbon fiber. 

Owners boats lined up at the wharf.

Somebody wealthy from New Zealand. 

The wealthy bloke is probably the bloke in the middle who was welcoming guests onto the tub.

The map of the race area.

Since we did not want to climb the steep hill we took a taxi cab.

This apartment building is really something.

Inside the lobby.

The elevator (lift). 

The view from the apartment window. It seems to only have one bedroom but it is certainly big enough for a couple with plenty of room.

The elevator door on their floor.

We all went up to the roof with this fancy parapet.

The view towards the Golden Gate Bridge.

The New Zealand entry sponsored by Emirates. It has the red sail.

Alcatraz. Enough said.

I walked around the top of the building taking photos in different directions.

The US entry sponsored by Larry Ellison of Oracle. In case you don't know, Oracle is a very popular relational database engine. 

It was a hot day, especially so in the sun on top of the building. Cold beer was welcome.

Our hosts, red cap and white shirt. We let them know about house exchanges with Homelink and they were quite interested. With this location in SFO just a few yards away from a cable car they would have no problem getting exchanges. They were getting married next weekend and they are very nice people.

Finally it was time for the first race to start. There was a bit of jousting before the start to get into position and New Zealand won by getting the upwind position.

Pretty quickly New Zealand established a lead. These boats can do about 40 mph and the speedboats had to really churn to keep up.

One man on the next building closer to the bay.

New Zealand's lead increased.

Tacking on the way back into the wind, the US boat caught up and took the lead a little later.

On the final leg coming back down wind, the NZ boat had a slight lead and eventually won easily.

The second race started off much the same as the first race with NZ in the lead. The gap at this point was about 10 seconds going upwind.

The cruise ship near the finish line.

The NZ lead kept increasing. It was about 40 seconds as they finished the upwind leg and just kept increasing on the way to the finish line. It wasn't even close.

Curiously, most of the people on the roof supported the New Zealand boat. Larry Ellison is not popular and the Cup races have not drawn as much attention as he would have wished. There was barely a mention of the race results on the US sports web sites.

It was a wonderful experience and many thanks to Alice and our hosts for giving us the opportunity to watch the races.

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