Well, we are finally getting a hint of what the real deal might look like. Luna Rossa and Team Emirates New Zealand just sailed an America’s Cup “race” course, going head to head, the first time two AC72s have lined up in San Francisco and raced an America’s Cup course.
Here’s what it looked like:
You have to take into account this is edited video, set to music, so it is a highlight reel.
On the plus side: the boats look pretty cool together, and you can feel the adrenaline when they are foiling side by side.
On the minus side: you can see that the cameraman and editors had to work to put the two boats in the same shot, suggesting there was often quite a bit of water separating them around the track.
Perhaps this extended version of the same action, shot by John Navas (who is cranking out good video to his YouTube channel), gives you a more honest sense of what the action is really like:
Navas also has a nice extended video of Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand out practicing. Go to the 16:50 mark if you want to see ETNZ pull off the Holy Grail of AC72 boathandling: a fully foiling gybe.
Now contrast that with this video of Team Oracle USA finding foiling slightly more challenging:
Having (almost) all the AC72s out on San Francisco Bay is taking the preparation for the imminent America’s Cup racing up a big notch. It’s still too early to know for sure what AC72 match racing will ultimately deliver in terms of excitement and sailing drama. But with all the video pouring out on YouTube we know a lot more this week than we did last week.