as tactician, we’re going to simulate decision-making under these conditions as well. Our
trainer is going to throw questions at me,
like math problems, while my heart rate is at
a sustained 180 because I will need to both
grind and be thinking on my feet at the same
time. I’ll be doing much more grinding in this
Cup than in the past.
One of the most exciting additions to Cup
racing is the reaching start, which has produced many a pileup at the first turning
mark. Why the change from the traditional
starting procedure? When we first launched
the 45s in Auckland, we tested a bunch of different types of starts. We wanted something
exciting, and we found that both upwind and
downwind starts resulted in a clear winner
each time. It wasn’t exciting to watch. So we
experimented with the reaching starts [boats
sail across the wind and reach the starting
line mostly together and with speed], where
we found everyone was able to get to the
mark at about the same time. It’s comparable
to other sports’ starts, like motocross, horse
racing or NASCAR, where everyone starts
behind a line, so it’s easier to understand.
This is a huge step for ward for our sport.
As we prepare for the AC72,
we’ve reconfigured our gym to
reassemble the layout of the
boat and the jobs we do.
We have a complicated sport and we need to
make it easier for spectators to understand.
And it keeps the racing exciting for both the
sailors and the spectators.
This Cup has introduced a youth event that
will see some of the world’s top young sailors
compete in the AC45s. Any surprises you’ve
seen during their training? I don’t think many
of these sailors were prepared for just how
physical the AC45 really is. No matter if you
are in your 20s or one of the older America’s
Cup sailors like myself, you have to learn how
to keep pace with a very demanding boat.
Because the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup
was created to help young sailors develop
into professional athletes, I think one of the
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