From start to finish, what you need to know to watch the action on the course. S.M.
THE START In a break from traditional
sailing starts, each race in the Louis
Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup finals
begins with a high-speed start. Usually
boats begin a race into the wind, but
here they start across it — the fastest
and most dangerous angle in a performance catamaran. Look for the races to
start off the Marina Green.
THE FIRST TURN The boats could reach
the first turning mark in less than 60
seconds. Getting the inside lane is crucial
at this point of the race, as is avoiding collision — and potential catastrophe — as
teams converge. Think motocross racing
as all bikes hit the first corner at full tilt.
The first turn mark will be right off St.
Francis Yacht Club.
FIRST DOWNWIND LEG After rounding mark 1, the AC72s will accelerate,
screaming right in front of the Golden
Gate Yacht Club and gybing in front of
the fans on the Marina Green before
heading to the gate at the bottom of the
course to start the second lap. Traveling
at speeds exceeding 40 knots, teams will
have approximately six minutes sailing
downwind to determine which direction
will yield advantage.
SECOND ROUNDING Each crew can peel
left or right at each gate (t wo marks that
the boats must pass bet ween), depending on which side of the course they think
is better for the next leg, sailing back up
to the top of the course. This gate is set
between Treasure Island and Alcatraz.
THIRD ROUNDING When the boats reach
the top of the course between the Golden
Gate Bridge and the yacht clubs, they again
go through a gate and then back down to a
final and fourth rounding past Alcatraz.
FOURTH ROUNDING TO FINISH LINE
Once finishing their fourth rounding,
the boats race toward the city to cross
the finish line in front of the America’s
Cup Village at Piers 27/29.
NO TE There will be t wo races a day on this
course for the Louis Vuitton Cup finals and
America’s Cup. In the Louis Vuitton round-robins and semifinals there will only be one
race a day, so the course will have an extra
lap up and down the city waterfront before
heading to Piers 27/29 to finish.