Northeast Boater is on the scene at the America’s Cup World Series in Newport…
While communities in Connecticut and Rhode Island are recovering from the line of severe thunderstorms that came through on Monday knocking down trees, telephone poles and even gas station roofs, final preparations are in full swing for the America’s Cup World Series in Newport.
(Read on for a preview of the event and more photos…)
Legendary sailing photographer Billy Black was on hand as the container ship carrying the race village unloaded and posted a video documenting the experience…
The Newport event marks the conclusion of the 2011-2012 America’s Cup World Series which is a worldwide circuit racing on one-design 45 foot catamarans. The AC 45 is incredibly powerful, with 2300 square feet of sail downwind, 1400 square feet upwind – all on a platform that weighs 3,000 pounds or about the same weight as the average full-size car. This circuit is designed to prepare the teams to race the AC72 in the Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup races on windy San Francisco Bay, where racing begins in July 2013.
2012 marks the first time since 1983 that one of the world’s biggest sporting events will be contested off of Newport. In 1983, in the waters off of Beavertail Light, the legendary Dennis Conner lost the America’s Cup to the Australians thus ending the longest winning streak in sports. The technology and personnel have changed a lot from 1983 but the goal is still the same – to win. In 1983 they raced in the open ocean on yachts designed to the 12 meter class rule, and there were only 1 or 2 onboard cameras with no capability to stream video off of the boats. For this event the racing will be so close to shore that the spectators will be able to feel the excitement and hear the conversations on board the boats. In addition there will be up to seven onboard cameras on each boat, plus microphones and heart rate monitors on each crew member. All of the onboard video, audio and position data will be streamed off of the boats to the media center. This data is all sent in real time to the broadcasters to enable coverage that is unprecedented in sports. For the first three days the races will be broadcast live worldwide via the official AC YouTube channel. The fourth and final day, which could very well determine the outcome of the entire 2011-2012 circuit, will be broadcast on NBC (Sunday, July 1st 2012, from 2:30 to 4pm.)
In an ironic twist of fate, in 1983 it was an Australian, John Bertrand who wrestled the cup away from the Americans; but in 2012, another Australian – James Spithill – who is trying to help America keep the cup. James Spithill is currently leading the America’s Cup World Series as the primary skipper of Larry Ellison’s Oracle Racing Team USA. In hot pursuit is Dean Barker of Emirates Team New Zealand followed by American Terry Hutchinson driving for Sweden’s Artemis Racing. With the series championship on the line you can bet it will be an exciting week of racing in Newport.
ortheast Boater will be at the final day of racing to witness all of the action up close. Expect a full report shortly after the event finishes up.