US SAILING Communications Manager
Ever wonder what it is like for a spectator at the America's Cup? As we patiently wait for the racing to begin, US SAILING Offshore Director, Dan Nowlan, gives us an inside look at the sights, sounds, and tastes at this year's multihull match race series showdown in Valencia...
VALENCIA, SPAIN (February 10, 2010)
We all knew that the race was postponed until at least 1pm because of the leftover seas from yesterday’s wind. All morning there were reports that the nice offshore wind would be overpowered by a sea breeze later, but the lump was really the worry.
The BMW Oracle facility filled up with people hoping to go out to see a race. Finally, around 11 am, an announcement was made to board the spectator boat you were assigned to. Since we all could see Alinghi still at her dock, we knew no racing was in store for the near future. We could not see BMW Oracle. She needs to ride a mooring to keep the wing into the wind. She is at the commercial basin that is off-limits to the general public.
After boarding the boats, we were told there would be no racing because of the leftover seas that were too large for the race boats. And we would go visit the BMW Oracle tri so all could see and photograph her. Then we would return to the dock and have a lunch there prepared by the boat’s French chefs.
BMW Oracle was interesting. While viewing BMW Oracle we noticed the sea breeze had filled in nicely at around 10 knots. Near shore where we were, the seas were not lumpy left over waves. They were big long period swells - rollers. Very smooth, but with swell heights that exceeded the 1.4 meter limit. I am not sure how high they were, but our 100 foot yacht slid down one like we were surfing. I will leave it to others to determine if the racers would be bothered by these and I have no idea what the sea state is like 20 miles away.
Moet champagne, French red or white wine.
Starters: Foie Gras Mousse, Onion Chutney and Toasted Gingerbread, Tomato Mozzarella and Pesto ”Mille feuilles”
Main Courses: Marinated Salmon, Pan Seared Vegetables, Asparagus and Tomatoes “Concasse”, Green Curry Chicken, Sauté Vegetables and Scented Rice, Assorted French Cheeses
Desserts: Crème Brulee, Pineapple Carpaccio and Chocolate sauce
I could get used to lunches like these… Things were not so bad for those not on a boat.
When I left an hour ago, the party was really warming up!