America's Cup in New York, on the Saturday With No Wind

On the first day of racing of the first America's Cup in New York in 85 years, the wind was calm. All were waiting for the sun to break through the clouds, and the winds to pick up in a southerly direction, so the sails could set sail and the races could begin. Delay followed delay. Yet, tens of thousands of spectators remained to watch the fast boats and their international crews sail up and down the New York Harbor and the Hudson River for races that didn't transpire. Eventually, officials got in one race, deemed officially a "substitute race" if needed after the races the following day on Sunday.

On the waterfront at Brookfield Place, the home base for Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series New York

Softbank Team Japan won the sole race on Saturday, followed by Sweden's Artemis Racing, Groupama Team France, Oracle Team USA, Land Rover BAR of Britain, and Emirates Team New Zealand. (More specifics from The Telegraph.) Identifying the sponsoring entity on the sailing yachts was much easier than trying to make out the individual national flags, given the relative size of the signage across the water.

Spectators take in America's Cup racing from the Battery Park City Esplanade.

These races are part of the preliminaries of the America's Cup, with teams accumulating points in advance of the final in Bermuda next year. Team New Zealand won the most points from the weekend. Oracle Team USA came in second place.

Land Rover BAR Team in action

On Sunday, May 8, the sun came out and the winds picked up in New York Harbor and on the Hudson River. Conditions were excellent for sailing. These pictures are from the gray day, the first day of sailing on Saturday.

Groupama Team France with the Statue of Liberty

No matter, as the backdrop of the New York Harbor, the lower Hudson River, and the opposite shore in New Jersey helped establish a dramatic scene. Even without racing, the sailing yachts entertained spectators with dramatic fast turns toward the shoreline and occasional leaps from the water. These types of boats are engineered to hover above the water at their fastest speeds. Many spectators paid good money to sail on other sightseeing vessels in the water. Lovely sights included Team France with the Statue of Liberty, their most famous gift to America.

A slideshow from Saturday's action (Flickr):

America's Cup Saturday May 7, 2016

As an historical note, from the American Civil War to 1890, a major center of yacht building was City Island in the Bronx. Visit City Island Nautical Museum to learn about the racing boats of the 12 Metre Class that served as defenders in seven successful America's Cup campaigns. (Learn more at this post.)

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from Saturday, May 7, 2016.

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