Today’s task: Stay focused – One race at a time!

Katie Pettibone heads out for what may be the final day of racing…
Or not…

I am heading out to San Francisco Bay with the Omega/Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) America’s Cup VIP boat. There was a strong air of expectancy at the base this morning. A sense of anticipation, nervousness and of holding the collective breath. ETNZ is one race away from winning the America’s cup. This has been a work in progress since 2004 when they lost the cup to the Swiss. They almost won it back in 2007, but the Swiss prevailed with the Alinghi Team. For Oracle this must be excruciating. They now have a yacht that is closely matched with ETNZ, but they have a mountain to climb back. It really would be one the greatest comebacks if they prevailed.

AC Omega

As a sailor I know the teams are just focusing on doing the next thing in front of them – which is simply sail a boat race. Whether it is trimming a wing, looking for wind, grinding or turning a wheel- it’s all been practiced a million times. The tough part is to not get ahead of oneself, and think ahead. Just stay present.

I am hankering to get out there myself. And numerous people are saying to me ‘it may be time for another women’s team’. True. There are no women sailing in this one, and I have heard some male sailors say these boats are too physical. Not true. Although similar to 1995, we would probably have some design tweaks. Ultimately we simply need more teams. There are only four teams competing in the end, and I know a lot of great sailors who didn’t end up racing because there just weren’t enough positions. That will require some different choices by whomever defends the Cup.

Whatever happens today, it will be exciting. Wind predicted between 15-20, true wind speed. We have a strong ebb tide in the second race, which will drop the wind limits for racing, but hopefully we will get two races in. Of course if ETNZ wins the first race, the second won’t be needed. Stay tuned…

Hong Kong press covers Katie Pettibone on Omega/ETNZ America's Cup VIP boat.

Hong Kong press covers Katie Pettibone on Omega/ETNZ America’s Cup VIP boat.