Monday, August 15, 2011

America's Cup Sailboat Racing

Since the 4th of August, the America's Cup sailboat races have been going on between Cascais and Tamariz Bay, which is just below my living room window.  This year features a new format, with very fast (35 knots) carbon fiber catamarans competing in various events.  The boats, whose masts are over 70 feet tall, raced in four types of races: open events, which were 9-boat fleet races, speed trials, where they raced all-out for 500 meters, match races, where the boats raced one-on-one, and a final fleet race, which was held yesterday. 
While the boats were racing, there was a fleet of vessels timing them, marking the limits of the course, and following them with photographers.  Even a couple of Portuguese Navy patrol boats were on scene.  There were also three helicopters filming the race from above the entire time. 

The large, three-masted sailboat in the background of this photo is one of a couple beautiful old ships that offered vantage points for race-watchers.  For a fee, you could embark in Lisbon for the short run up the coast, anchor just off the course, and watch the races close-up while eating and drinking.  The first day of the races, one of these ran aground.  Lots of little vessels tried to tow her off, but she had to wait for the tide to come in and lift her.


fareastsails said...

Thanks for sharing such interesting sailboat's racing events.

Steven Givler said...

You're welcome, and thank you for visiting. The America's Cup will be back here in March, and I hope to write more about it then.