This year’s start of season party included a talk by Mr Chris Simon who has been an umpire at the America’s Cup races.
The evening was opened by Commodore John Botterill who introduced Chris and gave a brief resume of his impressive CV.
Chris Simon’s talk was about The America’s Cup, its history and how cup racing has developed over the years. It was supported by some excellent slide images from the early days of the competition up to Auckland 2002-
Of particular interest was his explanation of how America’s Cup challenges are made, how the contender match racing series is conducted to select the boat and crew that will challenge the holders in the final match racing series.
This included some of his thoughts on how yacht development has progressed from J Class type mono hulls to the faster than the wind AC72 hydrofoils that we see nowadays.
Chris also explained about the challenges of umpiring such events. From following in umpire boats to actually being on the competing yachts and nowadays watching real time telemetry data transmitted from the competing yachts to a land based station.
Chris was able to provide a real insight into the world of America’s Cup racing and the challenges it continues to present to judges and umpires. It was a most interesting talk and at the end provoked a whole raft of questions which Chris dealt with, with knowledge and humour.
Finally Frank Rainsborough, who arranged the talk and knows Chris from way back at Queen Mary SC, thanked him on behalf of The Club for his talk and announced that the galley were indicating that supper was ready.
Afterwards Chris thanked Frank for arranging his visit to AQSC saying he enjoyed his time with us; he thanked us for our friendly welcome and kind hospitality. AQSC also thanks Frank for arranging Chris to give us a talk.
I can say that Chris will almost certainly be invited back to Aquarius SC at some time in the future to deliver another talk about racing rules and his experiences in the world of yacht racing.
Frank Rainsborough and Mike Baker
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