Louis Vuitton Cup challenger Emirates New Zealand leads with four points while Italian Luna Rossa is in second place with one point after the end of Round One Sunday on foggy San Francisco Bay. Six feet seven inch Grinder Ray Waddell of New Zealand chatted with media at 2:00 after the team sailed a short course solo to earn the fourth point.
Related: Emirates New Zealand leading over Italians 3-1. (slideshow)
Related: Luna Rossa and Emirates New Zealand to race (slideshow)
They incurred no mishaps waving to the fans or penalties as the 72 foot flying boat stayed within course boundaries even though it slipped a little while foiling. Helmsman Barker and tactician Davies took the boat into the air beautifully, sailing smoothly over the surface with hulls out of the water of the bumpy bay between Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Fans lined the tiny peninsula behind the sponsoring yacht club the Golden Gate Yacht Club, down to the St. Francis Yacht Club and the marina green as well as clamoring for a good photo op at the end of Piers 27/29 and the America’s Cup Pavillion.
The sailors feel when things go smoothly as the boat even sounds happy, humming along literally. The tension on the dagger boards creates a high pitched hum just as it does on the little dinghies many sailors begin learning on.
Face to face with grinder Ray Waddell and mates
One team member Ray Waddell, 6’7″, chatted with the press after the race and he had changed out of his gladiator sailing suit into a jersey and shorts, his ankle wrapped in an ace bandage. The towering, broad shouldered gentleman Waddell, a former gold medal winning Olympic skull rower also holds a black belt in judo.
The handsome, clean cut man with dark hair said training for the America’s Cup differs from training for Olympic rowing in that rowing is more endurance and grinding is more of a sprint. Grinders crank continually during the race and only vary intensity from a jog to a run, Waddell told media. He also eats a lot, saying he’s on the “see food” diet, “I see food and I eat it”.
About sailing solo, he mentioned noticing when Luna Rossa sailed next to them, saying he looked over and noticed another huge boat next to Emirates. Other than that comment about having more than one super catamaran on the course, he said the challengers tend to look alike even though there’s nothing else like them on the Bay, saying “there’s a lot of big black boats on the water”.
Wind speed on the foggy morning approached the 20 knot limit and the sun burned through by the time the race finished. Emirates turned toward the audience at the end of Pier 27/29 and the crewmen waved from just yards away during their fly-by.
New Zealand sails next on the weekend. Luna Rossa sails Tuesday and Thursday.
Biking to the village at Marina Green or the Pavillion at Piers 27/29 on The Embarcadero is easy although bikes are not allowed on the grounds. Walking from Embarcadero BART is also easy along the Embarcadero although pedestrians may hop on Muni or take a pedi-cab.
For more information: www.AmericasCup.com
For more stories by this writer check out CBS San Francisco’s website under Eye on the Bay, San Francisco arts & culture “Best Of”; and San Francisco Arts & Culture on usedview.com. Subscribe by hittng the SUBSCRIBE button at the top of this article.
CBS SF website: Best permanent exhibits in the North Bay
CBS SF website: Best outdoor theaters around the Bay Area
CBS SF website: Best local authors in San Francisco
Wings of Freedom World War II bombers—tours and flights for the public
America’s Cup defenders wreck giant catamaran, all safe
Wedding gifts of adventure
Big Sur in Spring-Whales, Waterfalls and Wild Flowers
CBS SF website: Presidential and American History around SF
CBS SF website: Celebrate Star Wars Day on the Peninsula
CBS SF website: Best places to find street artists in SF
Saving our arts & culture from big banks and fraud