Just jibe talking

I can officially express publicly that I am an America’s Cup fanatic.  I find myself recording the sailboat races from the Great Sound of “The Rock,” the beautiful tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean,  Bermuda, then watching them when I get home.

While I’m still trying to convince myself it’s actually sailboat racing and not oceanic blade-running, the strategies, maneuvering, and dare-devil competition among sailing friends from other nations is still very much alive.

The finals begin tomorrow with New Zealand trying to steal the ancient trophy from the Americans.

But so far, the races, including the two aforementioned countries, along with Finland, France, Japan and England, all since eliminated, have been breath-taking.

The boats now glide at speeds up to and past 50 m.p.h. (40-plus knots) on foils that lift the twin hulls above the water, allowing the crafts to virtually fly across the sound.

There have been collisions, men overboard, equipment damage and failures, and a boat that completely toppled over — all that before things really get serious in the finals!

But I do believe I’m overdosing on these contests. When I’m shopping, I realize I take nearly-90-degree turns down the aisles. I find myself wanting to tack and jibe with the car in front of me on the highway. I’m just hoping that I don’t get the overwhelming urge to jump from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s seat on one of my tacks or jibes for better control.

There are some who feel this is just a “rich man’s sport,” with the boat garnering the most sponsorship having the best shot. But that’s the case in all sports these days. 

These sailors are incredible athletes, expending virtually every ounce of energy in their bodies for seven or so minutes several times a day, all while trying to out-think the crew on the spaceship just meters away from them — and all while flying at unheard-of sailing speeds.

This has been great fun for me, and I’ll miss it when I have to wait three or four years for the next sea wars — and God knows what the boats will look like then.

But whatever crafts are out there, I hope I’ll be watching. And that ain’t no jibe!

davejolivet@anchornews.org


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