A Taste of the America’s Cup to Come

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The America’s Cup World Series gave San Francisco it’s first taste of America’s Cup-level sailing – and it tasted good, like a glass of sponsor Moet’s fine Imperial champagne.

A new professional circuit designed to test and showcase the AC45 model – which serves as the base for the AC72 which ultimately will be raced in the America’s Cup in September – the World Series delivered.


It was thrilling to see the new generation of America’s Cup models up close, pushing the limits with the world’s best sailors helming them.  It’s quite something to watch  these cutting-edge catamarans fly by at speeds of more than 30 mph.

america's cup world series

“The best sailors, the fastest boats,” has been promoted quite a bit but it’s so true.  These are indeed the crème de la crème of the sailing world.  It’s exciting to see them in action and a real treat when you meet them in person.  It’s not everyday you mingle with the real giants of sailing, but that certainly can happen the before or after a race or at an event…  Just think of the sailing star power, Jimmy Spithill, the youngest ever to win the America’s Cup; Sir Russell Coutts, four-time America’s Cup winner; French sailing legend Loick Peyron; Sir Ben Ainslie, famed British Olympic sailor to name a few.


My favorite event in celebration of the World Series was the hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club.  Speakers included Romain Serman, Consul General of France; Bruno Trouble, creator of the Louis Vuitton Cup; Loick Peyron, skipper of Energy Team France and Alain Thebault, creator and skipper of Hydroptere.  There was a definite French theme with French wine, cocktails and food.  Indeed, Corinthian chef  George Morrone of Aqua and Fifth Floor did not disappoint.

bruno trouble . loick peyron . alain thebault . romain serman

bruno trouble . loick peyron . alain thebault . romain serman

I especially like the series format, a mix of match and fleet racing…  As much as I love a good duel at the start of a match, there is just something intrinsically appealing about multiple boats in a race, all those beautiful sails, or in this case wings.

and they're off

This America’s Cup is cutting edge in a variety of ways.  Not only are the boats themselves technological marvels with wing sails that work very much like airplane wings – allowing them to reach amazing speeds, but advances for watching as well.  There are now graphics embedded into broadcasts via helicopter showing boundaries, lay lines, distances and speed of the boats.  Spectators on site can watch the from action from shore or on a large screen tv in the Digital Boat House while charging their electronic devices.  Running late for one of the races I was able to catch the finish on the big screen.  It was a pretty cool multimedia experience.

america's cup digital boathouse

Given my passion for all things wine, it’s not surprising I was quite taken with the the Moet and Napa Vintners tents.  Nothing says regatta to me like a glass of the bubby and Moet tent and outdoor area were the perfect meeting place to enjoy a drink with friends.

america's cup moet tent

I enjoyed some old favorites at the Napa Vinters tent and actually made a nice new discovery.  I was quite taken with the 2009 Atalon Napa Valley Cabernet and it’s nice to learn later Antonio Galloni of the Wine Advocate agrees, he scored it a 90.

atalon napa valley cabernet

The next America’s Cup event is the Louis Vuitton Cup which will select the challenger to Oracle Team USA for the America’s Cup in September.  Mark your calendars!

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