The oldest trophy in sport comes to Oman in the form of the Louis Vuitton challenger series, and I couldn’t be happier. There are a few reasons that this news excites me:Oracle Team USA won AC34 in the biggest comeback in sport history last time out in 2013 on the foiling AC72 catamarans. Due to penalties, they basically started out the regatta 2 points in the hole, and needed 11 points to win instead of 9 point needed for the challenger Team New Zealand. Team USA lost the first 3 races, won race 4, lost the next 3, won races 8 and 9, then lost races 10 and 11. At this point Team New Zealand were at match point (8-1) and only needed one more point to take back the trophy to kiwi land, and the Kiwi’s looked strong and dominate, Team USA had little answer in all races before. But it wasn’t meant to be for Team New Zealand and skipper Dean Barker, race 12 was the start of the comeback and Oracle Team USA won the next 8 consecutive races, successfully defending the cup.
The America’s Cup has many been held in American hands and regattas have been sailed in American waters all but 6 times, so It’s a shame that an American team has decided to take it out of American waters, but I’m sure it will still be a good show in Bermuda for AC35, and it’s probably better for world viewing and promotion of the sport commercially.
With the announcement of the challenger series visiting Oman, it looks like I’ll get a peak at what the main event will look like. Here, they will be sailing the foiling AC45s, and I’m sure it will be impressive
Are you interested in America’s Cup sailing yourself? Oman will put on a good event, and the local crowd won’t be huge, so I expect the viewing to be prime. Book your flights and hotels now, before everything is all booked.
See you in February.