I’ve been following closely the ‘prelimenaries’ of the America’s Cup the past week. Emirates Team New Zealand won today.
It’s sailing in a completely new way. The races are only 20 minutes long (my races are 90 minutes) and the boats have an average speed of app. 30 km an hour (mine is happy with 10). So the sailors have hardly time to think what to do next. It becomes very instinctual and every fault in boathandling is severely punished. It becomes a bit like Formula 1 racing. Still the tacitical moves that are made are the same and the tactical faults as well. But there is no time to recuperate.
Dean Barker seems to have the strongest mind. His ‘equanimity’ is something I can learn from. He is able to wait until Spithill makes a wrong move and he is not getting frustrated to be second for a long time. Spithill overstood the mark a little, forgot to defend his position, got frustrated, was passed on leeward, again ‘forgot’ to defend and was hoping for a miracle at the other site of the leg. I know how he’s feeling. When things turn bad it is extemely difficult to keep cool and to keep thinking clearly. You need a great crew to get you out of your foul mood. Or a great coach beforehand that helps you to deal with your frustrations… He is the youngest and has some time before the real America’s Cup will be sailed in 2013.
You can watch the action at www.americascup.com. Tons of videomaterial, analysis by experts and interviews with the sailing gurus. The coverage is for sailing exceptional. Every boat has several cameras on board, there are helicopters in the air and even all kind of coloured lines in the live video footage to explain what is happening. View with expert commentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwANt5VbOMs
But still there are not that many viewers…