Tuesday, September 10, 2013

America's Cup - Catch it before it ends


Last weekend we went to see the America's Cup.  It was a beautiful day, and it was amazing to watch the boats fly across the water.  It is one of those things that I've wanted to do since I was a kid.  Oracle Team USA is defending the title they won three years ago.  The winner of the recent Louis Vuitton Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand race series is the challenger for oldest continuously contested trophy in sports.  Unfortunately the races were a little underwhelming.  New Zealand led from the first mark to the end on both races Saturday.  Sunday was quite a bit more exciting with New Zealand and USA splitting the two races.  Today New Zealand won another race.  The Kiwis are looking very strong.  I still think that the Red Bull Youth America's Cup series with ten boats racing at a time was much more impressive to watch.  That was exciting racing!  

While it is amazing to see the America's Cup spectacle in real life, the television coverage is quite outstanding.  The video below shows the technology involved in TV coverage which is available on YouTube.  They are able to track incredible amounts of live telemetry and turn it into things like overlays on the screen that show a grid, not unlike a football field, in the San Francisco Bay.  When you watch in person, you have to interpret all of this yourself.  In some ways, the TV coverage is much easier to follow.