WILD OATS XI the top Australian ocean racing yacht has just won the Sydney Hobart race for the eighth time. It came in ahead of the new American racing yacht Comanche in a close race.
What makes this race so fascinating is the sailing skills and the boats that race in challenging conditions. It is all about the boats, the skippers and crews - and the challenges of sea and weather! Sailing!
By comparison the Americas Cup is just a Hi Tech freak show - a bit like the circus coming to town. The Aussies are shunning it on a cost basis. Hamilton Island Yacht Club - home of Wild Oates XI - officially withdrew its challenge on July 18 2014.
And even though the tech know how of the last event in San Francisco was from the universities in New Zealand, the Kiwis are now questioning the value of continuing to chase the Cup as well. The New Zealand government saw no value in continuing to back Team New Zealand but finally gave their support under pressure. It will be interesting to see if this lasts.
Will the sailors from Down Under go back to sailing? Or will the Americas Cup move back to ocean racing? The 2017 Americas Cup is still promoting catamarans on foils.
Forbes magazine says that the owner of Wild Oates XI Robert Oatley plans to challenge the US team for the 'ocean racing' Americas Cup in 2016! Curiouser and curiouser! I think they need to check their facts! The Americas Cup is in 2017. And ocean racing on foils?
It will be interesting to see whether the Bermuda venue produces the intense interest the Americas Cup used to generate.
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