And the winner is… Prada

It’s become a common sight over the past couple of months to see these magnificent AC75 boats swooping around the harbour. They’re amazing, able to go about four times the wind speed up on their foils. Obviously they’ve worked out the aero and hydrodynamics, but it still looks like some sort of illusionist’s trick.

Depending on which course they use, we can watch the racing live with a walk or a few minutes drive. However, like with most sports, it’s better on TV for me. Their cameras are way better, and better placed, than my eyes. Since I don’t really understand the sailing, even the commentary that more knowledgeable people find inane and elementary is helpful. And the distance lines they superimpose on the water also help me remember which way is which.

The actual racing got underway this weekend with a preliminary series. After some thrilling moments on Friday and Saturday, a windless Sunday ended the competition without a winner. Of the three teams who will contend against NZ for the Americas Cup in March, it looks like the American team will have the best shot. So I’ll be able to claim victory either way.

But the real winners will be Prada and the other sponsors who will somehow turn their massive marketing investments into gold. In some ways, that seems even more remarkable than the flying boats.

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