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Old 12-10-2014, 11:03 AM   #41
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I remember when Newport was synonymous with the America's cup. Those days are gone. Anyone remember, Ted Turner, Dennis Conner, the Kiwi's and their super secret weapon, the winged keel?
Dennis Conner and Stars and Stripes got me into America's Cup for the first time and I've been a big fan ever since, until this past year. I loved that Dennis wanted to bring the Cup back to Newport.

This past year, with the small number of challengers, the reduced maximum wind speed and the impression that more than ever the entire race is won at the start, has made the entire venue less appealing.

Yes, they are following the money, just as the NBA has done for the last 20 years, with the result that they have less fans and people watching than ever before.
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:14 AM   #42
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Fremantle 87, best Americas Cup racing ever.
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:10 PM   #43
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Fremantle 87, best Americas Cup racing ever.
Agree. I was there and now I feel old!
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:08 PM   #44
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This past year, with the small number of challengers, the reduced maximum wind speed ...
I don't remember the exact year, but some time in the early 1900s (I think), as word got out about the new, fast fishing schooners that were entering the fleets in New England and the Canadian Maritimes, the New York Yacht Club invited some of the owners to bring their schooners down to Newport and participate in one of the season's big club events.

The schooner owners, some of whom were also the boat's captains readily agreed and they took several of their big schooners down the coast.

These were boats and crews who were used to working the Grand and Georges Banks in everything from calm conditions to dowright hideous storms, and had long since learned to take it all in stride. They arrived and were snickered at by the high-society club members and local residents aspiring to high-society status, but they went about preparing their big schooners without comment.

Come the first race day all the boats were prepared to go out, or perhaps even had gone out, when the race committee decided to call off the race due to high winds. IIRC, the winds were some 25 or 30 knots.

The first reaction of the fishing crews was astonishment, quickly followed by disgust at the wimpy attitude of the club members. To the fishermen, 30 knots was a pleasant day for a sail. So after what I can imagine was a sound verbal thrashing of the race committee, the fishermen got back on their boats and went home.

But the race bug had bitten, so the fishermen decided to hold their own races. One of the requirements for entering was that the boat had to have fished commercially during the year of the race. This was to ensure that the boats were true fishing boats and not some purpose-built yacht gussied up to look like a fishing boat.

They named the race the International Fishermen's Race. Perhaps the International was included because entrants were from both the US and Canada.

The most famous race winner was the schooner Bluenose, from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Once she started racing, I don't believe she ever lost.

But while Bluenose is most remembered today for her unbroken string of victories in the Fishermen's Race, every season saw her had at work on the banks, fishing for cod.
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:21 PM   #45
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The most famous race winner was the schooner Bluenose, from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Once she started racing, I don't believe she ever lost.

But while Bluenose is most remembered today for her unbroken string of victories in the Fishermen's Race, every season saw her had at work on the banks, fishing for cod.
Thanks, Marin - for the story. To me... that picture is EXCITING!

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Old 12-10-2014, 08:54 PM   #46
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the impression that more than ever the entire race is won at the start, has made the entire venue less appealing.
That may have been your impression, but not at all close to what actually occurred.

The boat that won the start won 12 races and lost 7. Oracle came back and won 4 races after being behind at the first mark, and NZ came back and won 3 after being behind at the first mark. After being behind at the second mark, Oracle and NZ both came back and won 3 races each. After the third mark NZ came back and won 1 race. Not much need for the fifth leg though. Have you seen an AC that remotely compares to this?

Never has there been so much passing in the AC.
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:56 PM   #47
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Isn`t there a story about someone using a monkey instead of a person as the forward hand in an early AC race (always assuming you could tell the difference)?
If I categorize current hightec cat AC racing as different, exciting, and distantly related to sailing, I get to like it.
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:54 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barpilot View Post
Fremantle 87, best Americas Cup racing ever.
Don't remind me. I had just bought my second trailer yacht back then, a maxi version of 26 ft, a Gazelle called Black Widow. About that time NZ's KZ7 was wasting the competition, and big bad Dennis Connor made a huge fuss and accused NZ of cheating. "After all", he claimed, "why would you build a 12Metre AC yacht out of fibreglass, if you didn't want to cheat..?"
(up to then the 12M AC class were all built of aluminium)

As a result, in the end they took core samples, and proved it met the scantlings exactly, and he gave up on that. That was his second rule protest defeat, having had his protest re the Australia II's winged keel thrown out after a legal wrangle in the previous stousch in Newport in '83, when the cup ended up in Fremantle.

I remember the occasion well for one good reason, and one not so good.
I won my first race in the gazelle at that time, and by a large margin, and it was kinda neat all the club members back in the clubhouse, over a beer, calling for core samples.

The not so good aspect was that KZ7 beat all comers, until the final sail off for the challenger spot. It just so happened Connors Stars and Stripes was a bit of a slow dog in any but really heavy conditions, but like recently in San Francisco, the weather Gods were agin the Kiwis, and that series of races struck the strongest winds of the whole series and he won. The rest, as you know is history. Star and Stripes easily won, as the Aussi boat, Kookaburra II, was a dog also, only worse, and if Connor hadn't won the right to challenge, there was no doubt KZ7 would have taken the cup back to Auckland right then. As it happens it took another two tries and 8 yrs to pull that off in San Diego.
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