25 September 2013

America's Cup Final

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, of course I was aware that the America’s Cup was taking place in town. But that was about it. I’ve always loved anything associated with the ocean and spent years fantasizing about traveling around the world on a boat.  But that lifestyle was not something that was ever in the budget. Also, I have always felt that yacht racing was a bit of a snooty sport and only for the really rich. Nevertheless, none of those anti-yachting sentiments mattered when I heard that Team America had come back from an 8 to 1 deficit to tie Team New Zealand, and it was down to a final race.

This afternoon, soon before the race started, I drove over to a lookout area in the Berkeley hills. One can always see the bay, provided that there is no fog, and the day was beautiful. I had no idea if I would actually be able to see the race boats from such a distance, and was quite surprised at their visibility even without my telephoto lens.

Teams USA & New Zealand, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge
A few other people had gathered on the hill to watch the event. One man had downloaded and app that broadcast the tack-by-tack play. Another woman, who obviously knew a lot about the sport, held binoculars up and gave us more detailed updates about what the boats were doing. We could all easily see the difference between the red and black sails, and I mistakenly told everyone that the red one was team USA. (Something in my mind assumed that New Zealand would always be all black.) But since I didn’t really know what the boats were doing other then sailing back and forth, it didn’t much matter to me.

When the man with the Cup app left, another woman, there with her two kids, logged on to twitter and gave us the updates. For about half an hour, our little group watched and commented on the race. What a lovely little outing!

I honestly didn’t care who won. And since Team America seems to be made up of quite a few men who didn’t have American accents, it seemed to matter even less. What I did love was standing in the warm sun, talking to a small group of people I’d never met in my life, and watching a world event on the San Francisco Bay. Simply outstanding!
The new span of the Bay Bridge. Race is off to the right.