[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Most days, I am an ROP (a regular ol’ person). On Thursday, though, I had the privilege of being a VIP guest of Nespresso at the America’s Cup World Series in Newport. I’d likely jump at any chance to wear my boat shoes on an actual boat, but this day on the water topped all others. I cannot thank Nespresso and Emirates Team New Zealand enough for the incredible experience.
As an official sponsor of Team New Zealand, Nespresso invited me and several others to join them for a front row, on the water viewing of Thursday’s quarter final ACWS fleet and match races in Narragansett Bay. We spent the better part of the afternoon on the top deck of the Gansett as the nine competing AC45 catamarans flew by.
If your grandfathers had anything to do with sailing, it would be appropriate for me to say something like, “This is not your grandfather’s America’s Cup.” This is fast, extreme sailing.
Recommended reading: America’s Cup racing now goes to extremes (Stan Grossfield, Boston Globe).
After a scenic drive to Newport, I met up with Jackie and our other generous hosts from Nespresso at Emirate Team New Zealand‘s base camp. We were treated to a delicious light lunch (complete with espresso, which only added to my high-on-life buzz) and a quick catch up on the course and the team’s history.
My knowledge of sailing is rather limited, but I did my best to follow along. Fortunately, the lovely people from Nespresso were there to talk us through the race, which was especially helpful as the course changed several times throughout the fleet race. The brand has a long history with sailing, and clearly the sport is something their team members are passionate about. What could be better than watching America’s Cup, with the perfect cup of espresso in hand?
We were truly right in the thick of things, cheering on the Kiwis and marveling (I couldn’t think of a more accurate word, and no, I have not aged 50 years since my last post) as the other eight catamarans flashed by.
Though they fared well in the fleet race, Emirates Team New Zealand was unable to finish their match races after their catamaran capsized. It was quite dramatic to witness, especially when it was clear the boat had sustained damage and it continued to drift farther and farther away from Fort Adams. At one point, we were close enough to see that a team member was in the water, working to lift the sail as the crew attempted to upright the boat. Truly, this is not your proverbial grandfather’s America’s Cup.
Fortunately, no one was hurt. The crew worked tirelessly to get the boat repaired (something we got to see first hand upon returning back to their base camp). They were back in the race the next day. Talk about perseverance.
Today’s culminating race in Newport will be televised lived on NBC (2:30 EST) and is definitely worth a watch. You can also watch all of the action live on YouTube. I’ll be cheering on Emirates Team New Zealand with an iced Nespresso protein shake (recipe to follow, promise) in hand. Perhaps I will even wear my VIP credentials and demand to be treated as such (which, likely, will not be received well).
Also On Tap for Today:
- Video highlights from Thursday’s race
- Nick is meeting our niece for the first time
- Congratulations to my newly married pals, Kristen and Kurt!
What’s your favorite way to pass a summer day?