The AC’s Skyline Stadium
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is upon us, in New York, this weekend, and in New Jersey as well. The return of AC 45s to America, this time on foils, is a divided event, that includes a drop-in spectator and hospitality venue at Manhattan’s North Cove and Brookfield Place and the compounds across the Hudson River at New Jersey’s Liberty Landing. The racecourse for Saturday and Sunday’s 20-minute races stretches north and south on the river, rectangular-like, with the finish off North Cove.
If swift current and turbulent winds make for outstanding racing, then spectators and online audiences will like what they see. Every team’s weather experts are spinning it the same way: “Variable.”
Bertrand Pace, Groupama Team France’s coach sum the weekend as such: “The AC45 will be making headway on a stretch of water situated in the middle of the Hudson River and subject to strong currents, which could reach 4 knots at certain times. In that instance, it might cause a few difficulties… Measurements made over recent days confirm this trend, but there aren’t really any hard and fast rules; it’s variable. With regards to the wind, there are three possible configurations: a southeasterly wind: this is a fairly violent wind, which comes from the skyscrapers if you position yourself on the course. A thermal southwesterly breeze. This is usually more stable, but with elements such as buildings, it may become more random. And finally, a westerly wind. David Lanier, who’s giving us a hand with the weather, has finely modelled the area, but with all the variables that I’ve just explained, analysis of the true situation remains complicated. As a result, the crew of Groupama Team France will simply have to adapt their game accordingly.”
In other words, win the start or be flushed to the back.
The good news for Groupama is they’ve got skipper Frank Cammas back on the boat, albeit still tenderfoot and ginger getting across the trampoline. The light forecast enables him to a soft reentry. Kiwi Adam Minoprio was a solid stand-in for Cammas at the Oman World Series stop, but Cammas brings the wisdom.
All the teams, of course, on in attendance, and holding court is Oracle Team USA. They’ve got a full schedule on and off the water, including a Friday morning “tech session” with partner BMW. Every hour from then on until lights out on Sunday night is filled with hospitality, meetings, interviews, dinners, public Q&As, and races, both practice and real.
Entry to the venue is free, and details are all over at www.americascup.com. For those unable to pile into lower Manhattan’s shoreline, there’s the AC App to watch the action live, or NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday at 2:00 pm, and NBC Sports Network on Sunday at 2:00 pm for live coverage. Ken Read and Todd Harris are back in the booth.
For the young Snapchat generation, a Story Live is planned on “Super Sunday.” We’re told you can add “Americas.Cup” as a friend.