A Day at the Races


Artemis_Americas_Cup_NYCBy “day” I mean three, and by “the races” I mean the America’s Cup. No big deal. It’s not everyday that the America’s Cup comes to town (It hasn’t been here since 1920!), and it is certainly not everyday you are named an official stake boat and get be a (very small) part of the iconic races. Our marina hosted what I am calling the technical race village which is where all the boats were built. Along with all the hot competitors walking through our marina to work on their boats, we had an influx of Helly Hanson gear everywhere you looked. It was honestly as if West Marine threw up in our marina. If it was people wearing it for the technical aspect of it I would be fine with it, but it was all these people who come out to their boats once a year (maybe twice this year, July 4th is still on the calendar!) and pretend to be boaters. Whatevs, back to our “official business”. I don’t know what the race organizers would have done without us, we were such a crucial part of making these races happen. A stake boat essentially sections off the race course from the spectator boats so that the competitors can easily navigate without worrying about crashing into anything. This works really well in theory, but there were boats EVERYWHERE, even ones who stupidly tried to outrun these boats known for their speed. I am honestly surprised there weren’t more crashes. Oh well, at least I got some cool official crew swag out of it.

Being an official stakeboat in the America's Cup in NYC has its perks.
We had to raise our official stake boat flag so that everyone knew not to mess with us. Don’t mind the blue tape, we’re in the middle of varnish work!
Team Oracle rounds the marker on the last day of the America's Cup
Team Oracle about to round the marker
Groupama, Oracle and Emirates are neck and neck on the last leg of the race

Despite the heavy congestion, one real benefit of being a stake boat is that we were the only ones who were allowed to anchor in the harbor. We got a front row seat to the boats and got to sit back and chill as opposed to constantly motoring around pretending we are in transit.

The down side to being a stake boat is that you were required to be there all three days – rain or shine. And we definitely had both sides of that. It had been pouring rain for a week leading up to the races and Friday was maybe the heaviest we have seen in quite some time. It was cold, wet, and windy. I was at work, but Jason and our friend Scott certainly got the crap kicked out of them. So much so they asked me to stop at West Marine on my way home from work and pick them each up a Helly Hanson bib. I nearly gagged.

Team Softbank sailing by after the last race. Hi boys!
Maven binoculars give a crystal clear view of the America's Cup
We didn’t have the best spot on the course, so our Maven binoculars definitely came in handy. Isn’t our official crew gear pretty sweet?
Team Emirates from New Zealand wins the 2016 America's Cup in NYC
In the last race Team Emirates managed to go from last place to first and ended up winning the entire NYC America’s Cup! Damn ferry is making a photobomb.
Team Artemis heads towards the race course during the America's Cup in NYC
And they are off! Team Artemis flies by our boat from their mooring.

Saturday was a lot nicer, still grey out but dry and a lot warmer. My friend from work and our travel buddies Sail Me Om came out for the festivities. It was awesome to see the boats zip by us! The races were delayed, and then called early due to no wind. Sunday was the exact opposite and the races were almost called due to too much wind. It was a perfect sunny spring day, and amazing to be out on the water.

Its now Monday night and I’m truly exhausted. We really didn’t get to relax at all this weekend, but being a part of the races was truly a once in a lifetime experience that I am so excited we got to be a part of.

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  1. Kelley, I love the post, but most of all I love the pictures of the boats with the greatest city in the world as a backdrop! Happy you and Jason got this once in a lifetime experience.