So were the words of a bold attendant to Queen Victoria when the royal yacht was bested by a strange-looking upstart vessel from the former colonies called America. As the Queen revealed her ignorance of the rules, I too must confess that–like a an inhabitant recently retrieved from a remote island and watching a MLB or NFL game for the first time–I was largely unaware of what I was seeing. No matter, I enjoyed it and hope you enjoy these photos.
First, the muster. If you want the instructions, click here.
It certainly appears the Japanese boat here is being towed. Is this to demonstrate the foiling or train for it? Here’s an explanation of how these 3000-pound vessels fly .. . or foil.
If it seems that all the boats are identical except for the sponsors, you’re right.
The logo at the top of all the mainsails is for Louis Vuitton. Can someone explain why a trunk maker chooses to sponsor this race? Isn’t it somewhat like an Indy car race sponsored by Victorias Secret, Epifanes, or Penguin Books?
No matter, notice the throngs along the shore and the ledge of the building to the left? I think of the third and fourth paragraphs from Moby Dick:
“Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see?—Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster—tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here?
But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder
warehouses Battery Park City will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in. And there they stand—miles of them—leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets avenues—north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither?”
The answer to that last question, it seems, is Yup!
I’m intrigued by this power cat . . . the timing vessel. Is its work called telemetry? Anyone tell me more about what instrumentation it contains? I’m wondering if this will be the official timer for the larger boat race next year in Bermuda.
I’m posting these photos earlier than usual today in hopes that they may prompt anyone who missed the race yesterday to brave the weather and watch today.
I’ll post some more tomorrow.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is grateful to Gerard Thornton for this platform. Click here (and scroll) for a photo of Eric R. Thornton.