Thursday, June 28, 2012

Napa Valley Vintners & America's Cup: The excitement is building here in Newport…

The America’s Cup race park opened this past Saturday to curious spectators looking to see what all of this “new racing” was about.  Sitting in our Napa Valley Wine Lounge, you could hear the excited buzz. “The boats are racing so close!” “Look at how they turn on a dime!” “These wines are great!”  I have to admit, this was my first chance to see the boats up close, too, and watch how they perform on the water - I am getting excited to see the races myself. 

The whole experience draws you in.  As you file past the team bases, technicians are assembling the massive but beautiful catamarans. After the pontoons are fixed together, then the mast is secured, and a crane lifts the boat into the air overhead and gently puts it into the water to wait for the crew.  

Time to get to the Napa Valley Wine Lounge, to get a great viewing spot!  From our lounge, glass of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc in hand, I start to see one, then two, followed by the other three boats practicing today making their way to the course, gaining speed…gaining tremendous speed.  I can honestly say that I have never seen anything without a motor move that fast.  Because it is not an official race day, the course is not closed to other boating traffic, and as much slower boats are swerving out of the path of these boats that they came to see, I am pretty sure they are thinking the exact same thing that I am.  The boats practiced for a few hours, their colorful sails zipping back and forth across the bay before once again being lifted out of the water to be disassembled and cleaned for the next day.

I’m officially hooked! It didn’t take long watching the boats on the water this weekend to say that.  Unfortunately, I’ll be back in the Napa Valley for the official race days, starting this Thursday, but I can guarantee that you will see me on Sunday at one of our local viewing parties, glass of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc in hand, cheering on the boats.

Suzanne Gay
Napa Valley Vintners

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