I am writing this month’s editorial having just watched the final race of the 36th America’s Cup, where Emirates Team New Zealand defended their title in style, defeating Team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli 7 races to 3. This edition of the Cup has certainly rekindled my interest in the event, where this new breed of foiling monohulls have given us some fantastic racing in Auckland, New Zealand.
Charging around at over 40 knots, the AC 75’s are surely the class to stick with for the next edition of the Cup. They are spectacular to watch and the teams have shown amazing skill in some close racing, often just a few metres apart. Peter Burling, The Kiwi skipper, and his sidekick Blair Tuke, together with multiple world champion Glen Ashby as the afterguard, coupled with some monster grinders sailed a near faultless series and thoroughly deserved their victory.
For a country with a population of just 5 million to have won the America’s Cup four times since 1995, shows what an amazing sporting culture they have, not forgetting their Rugby and Cricket Teams. Their campaign was run superbly well by CEO Grant Dalton and Kevin Shoebridge considering the budget needed to successfully defend this trophy in such a small nation.
The rumour mill is suggesting that Ineos Team UK is the likely Challenger of Record for the next event, and a race around the Isle of Wight as per the original race in 1851 has even been mooted. This would be a great spectacle, and one not to be missed. Ineos boss, Jim Ratcliffe certainly has the cash required to attract the event and will sit nicely alongside his other sporting teams. Let’s wait and see !!
Thankfully the Covid 19 vaccination programmes are now underway, albeit very slowly within the EU, whereas the UK has done an amazing job in vaccinating almost 50% of the population in less than 3 months. This should help us all eventually resume our normal lives, with freedom of restrictions seemingly getting closer month by month. Travel will never be the same as pre covid, with the introduction of some form of vaccination passports being discussed right now. Until more countries successfully roll out their vaccines, I am afraid the businesses relying on tourists and travel will have to suffer more pain before normality returns. Fingers crossed that we get some kind of a tourist season here in Mallorca, the island desperately needs it.
The 2021charter season looks much more promising than last year here in the Mediterranean, let’s hope this promise materializes.
Fair Winds !
Simon Relph – Editor