I lament the changes that have taken place in the America’s Cup, originally organized as a two out of three race between two yachts clubs who each entered single hull sailing vessels between 20 to 27 meters. The speed of these fabulous boats increased dramatically in 2010, when the rules changed, allowing multihulls to compete. Soon, hydrofoils, a new technology increased the velocity and made monohulls noncompetitive
For me, along with these changes went the romance of humans mastering the wind. The beauty of billowing foresails in a downwind match is gone in exchange for technological advances. They market to the next generation of mariners and spectators, who have been trained with video games and fake reality TV, to expect nothing but immediate satisfaction. Sadly, the America’s cup has changed forever. I hope this never happens to The Bucket.
St. Barth’s hosts this an invitation only race for monohulls every winter. In previous years we anchored near the channel to Gustavia, and thrilled as the parade of participants strutted their fine sailing lines, gleaming topsides and finely tuned crew on their way to the starting mark. This in itself is a marvelous percipient sport. The vessels draw you in to a world few will ever know. This year we decided to forgo the promenade and watch the action from Colombier, a small harbor to the north and the perfect spot for long range viewing. Getting too close would damper the challenger’s maneuverability and could cost them the race. There wasn’t a better place from which to watch.
The course is set based on the winds direction and speed. We had two out of the three days of action perfectly off our stern. When the race ended, we left hoping the glamour and glory of wind and sailing remains with The Bucket. We need exquisite ladies in our mist.