Photo: ACE | Studio Borlenghi

The America’s Cup and the Vendée Globe are regattas that attract millions of fans around the world, and their finales, as tense as thrillers, turn sailors into sporting heroes.

The America’s Cup and the Vendée Globe – so similar yet so different. These are the races that celebrate the greatness of sailing, the state-of-the-art technology, as well as the greatness of athletes and coexistence with nature.

The story of the America’s Cup began back in 1851, a full 45 years before the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, with Queen Victoria enjoying her afternoon tea and watching a regatta around the Isle of Wight, where the powerful British fleet was defeated by the American schooner called America. At the finish line, the Queen asked one of her aides who was second. ‘Your Majesty, there is no second,’ was the short answer. And the legend of the most important and spectacular sailing competition was born. Throughout its history, this regatta has attracted prominent businessmen such as Sir Thomas Lipton, Alan Bond, Age Khan, Ted Turner, and the best sailors such as Dennis Conner, Russell Coutts, Peter Burling etc.
They all came with only one goal – to conquer the Holy Grail of sailing. The fact that only four countries in the history of the competition have managed to win the iconic Auld Mug trophy shows how difficult this is. These are the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland. The America’s Cup simply requires excellence in all fields. The budget, the technology, the people, all must be in perfect balance to win the world’s oldest sporting competition.
The 36th edition of the Cup, which was held in the waters off Auckland on the innovative AC75 foiling monohulls, capable of developing speeds of more than 50 knots, represented, in many aspects, the future of sailing. The new technology that will change the world of the entire nautical industry in the coming years, combined with the world’s best skippers, provided a real spectacle. The title was defended by the Emirates Team New Zealand, beating Italy’s Luna Rossa 7-3 in the final, with the New Zealand wizard helmsman Peter Burling making the narrow circle of people who have won the Cup twice. A convoy of a few hundred boats that escorted the New Zealand sailing boat to port is the best indicator of how much people love sailing.
‘I had a feeling that New Zealand erupted following our victory. Now it’s time to enjoy. Winning the America’s Cup in front of the home fans is an amazing thing. It has been a great honour to sail for five million Kiwis,’ Peter Burling said after the triumph.
And while the curtain was coming down on this great sailing show, preparations were already being made for the 37th edition of the America’s Cup. The British Ineos has been confirmed as Challenger of Record against the defending champions from New Zealand, and we will see the leading actors such as Burling, Ainslie, Spithill and other big names in the world sailing again on the innovative AC75.

 

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