America’s Cup : Valentine's Day Where were you two years ago today? Do you remember what you were doing?
Tuesday, 14 February 2012
I certainly do. My Valentine's Day in 2010 was quite memorable, if not for the surroundings or the romantic company, at least for the occasion.
I was behind a computer screen, very similar to the one I'm looking at now, located in quite an ordinary office tucked up out of the way on the second floor, in an all but forgotten corner of the BMW ORACLE Racing team base in Valencia.
February 14, 2010, was the second and, as it would turn out, the final race day of the 33rd America's Cup.
Valencia in February that year was colder than usual. Everyone on the team was exhausted after the final push to get ready to race. And although there was reason for optimism after a victory in race one, nobody on the team was counting on a win on the day. If the first race had proven USA 17 could be faster than Alinghi 5, the boys on the BOR boat would still have to get it around the course.
The nervousness came from the fact that race one was just about the longest the giant, technologically groundbreaking, trimaran had ever sailed without suffering some kind of failure that could take it out of race trim. While a generous interpretation would say this was an example of peaking at the right time, others might look at it as tempting fate to expect a similar result two race days in a row.
From outside the team, I'm sure people looked at the result of race one and were thinking it would be a valedictory atmosphere in the base that day. But inside the team, I can assure you, it was anything but. Everyone involved knew there was still a long way to go and many things that could go wrong.
The tension was palpable and perhaps exaggerated by how tired people were. I recall there was a great weight of expectation hanging over the day. People wanted the win, were ready to celebrate, and anxious for it to be over. Nobody wanted to think about the prospect - as tempting as it might be as a storyline - of an all-or-nothing race three.
On the day, the giant trimaran with it's immense wingsail started slowly, but made a pass before the first mark and extended the rest of the way to the finish line for an historic win. The celebrations went long into the cold Valencian night, and with the win, the pursuit of the 34th America's Cup could begin.
- Peter Rusch
PS: If you're in San Francisco, you can join in a celebration party at the 'Hi Dive'. More details courtesy of Russell Coutts himself here.
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 February 2012 )