Unless you are a sailor, this will be meaningless. This morning the SSL finished 5 days of great competition, 100 Star boats in three fleets, on a small lake in the middle of Hamburg. It was fabulous, the Star is a ‘cheap’ one design that is almost 100 years old.  5 days, 100 boats, 200 of the worlds best sailors and $100,000 in prize money. I think that there were a total of 16 races, conditions varied from 4 knots to 14 knots.

It was a wonderful regatta. The video feed and commentary was A-one, the only downside was the time zone, Central Europe is +7 hours from here is Mississippi. However not even that was a problem, the feed was available as a recording. I got up late this morning (5am haha), but I did not miss a single second.

The Star Sailors League know how to put on a regatta. You can pick up a Star for a couple of grand,  23 feet of fun. OK the boats I was watching probably were a little more expensive and finer tuned. But you can’t change much and still be a Star. They are both simplistic and complex in the same breath. The back stays and the boom vang have a real purpose.

On the other side of the coin we have the Americas Cup. The boats cost the GNP of a small nation and break if you look at them sideways. Don’t get me wrong, hi tech 45 foot catamarans foiling and moving along at 40 knots is wonderful to watch. It is more fun than watching a Star boat lumber down wind at walking pace with a 180lb crew member rock the boat from side to side. But Joe Gorilla does move the boat in the right direction.

Today we were handed a rare treat, the Americas Cup snobs would put on a display of just how great they are. To make it even better, they would do it in New York, the place that the Americas cup languished for over a century. It was an epic event to see the Americas Cup make a pit stop in New York.

It is unfortunate, but the actual video seems to have been deleted. Some knuckle head gave the go signal for a race and there was zero wind. Six boats lined up and 5 of them were over the start line early, oh it was not because the skippers pulled the trigger too soon, it was the brutal 1.5 knot current in the Hudson River. The good news is that the first mark was downstream, all  of the multi million dollar boats floated gently along. Some floated facing forward, some backwards, and some sideways.

As the fleet floated past the First mark even the race committee admitted defeat. Yup this was another miracle on the Hudson! No lives were lost.

What a boring and pointless waste of time and money.

Simon Barrett

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