America’s Cup Raced Through New York

by | May 10, 2016 | News, Sports

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This past weekend, fans packed the Hudson River banks from Tribeca and all the way down to Battery Park to watch the America’s Cup World Series’ races. For the first time in 96 years one of the oldest sporting events hit the New York waters and the urbanites came out to cheer on the sportsmen.


Photo: Courtesy of Chris Kuhar

“Right now we’ve got a Regatta which is all preamble to the America’s Cup,” explained Oliver Cukor, Director and Editor at Sleeveless. Cukor is an avid sailing enthusiast and supporter of the America’s Cup.

The America’s Cup World Series is a series of match races that take place over the course of two years. Teams race at different locations all over the world for two days with three races each day. The teams compete against each other to tally up the most points, leading up to the official 2017 America’s Cup, which will take place in Bermuda waters.


Photo: Courtesy of Chris Kuhar

The defending team, the Oracle Team USA, showed up for the races and to get a closer look at their challengers. Many of the regatta races – or match races – are also a warm up for the competing teams to get a familiarity with the boats that are constantly evolving and changing for each official Cup.

The athletes have to know their boats and be able to adjust them to the weather conditions, the water currents and the other competing teams’ tactics. The weather this weekend made for a couple of especially tricky racing days. “The Hudson is very famous for its pretty strong currents and also cross currents. Combined with the buildings, the wind is not constant, it’s moving all the time. Between the river and the winds changing directions it makes it almost impossible to make a tactic,” explained Cukor.


Ben Ainslie at the America’s Cup

But the teams didn’t let it throw them off and kept on racing, constantly adjusting their racing tactics to try to get the ideal placement and gather up the most points.

“The Hudson is definitely the most challenging place we’ve sailed this year. You’ve got the waves bouncing off the wall, you’ve got the wind going through the buildings, you’ve got helicopters,” said British competitive sailor Ben Ainslie. “But it’s good fun.”IMG_3108

The cheerful attitude was unmistakable. With so many people coming out, they more than made up for the rain and dreary weather that hung over the water and the rest of the city.

“The boys were really feeding off all the energy,” said Australian sailor Glenn Ashby, and appraised the New Yorkers for their great interest in sports and supporting the athletes. “New Yorkers are tough, but they’re huge sporting fans. I think coming down tomorrow they’ll really get a kick out of it.”


Photo: Courtesy of Chris Kuhar

Fans contributed with great energy, as did the historical setting for the races. The beautiful views of the city and the downtown area also played a big part in making the sporting events a special experience for many of the sailors, some having never even been to the city before.

“The New York skyline is just so iconic,” said Ashby. “And you just feel very lucky to be able to do this. Not many athletes in the world who can race out in front of that skyline.”

Photo: Courtesy of Chris Kuhar

CEO/Publisher of Downtown Magazine, Grace A. Capobianco, was there to cover the weekend festivities and cheer on the teams.

“When I think back on my three days covering the America’s Cup right here in our own backyard it makes me emotional. Not just because America’s Cup was started here in New York City between the United States and Britain, but rather to have the opportunity to interview these fearless sportsmen. To watch their talent right here on our waterways for the first time in 96 years is truly a moment in my history. A glorious weekend for New York’s waterways.”

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