TAG Heuer, New Aquaracers, A Smartwatch, Team Oracle, And The America’s Cup In San Francisco

TAG Heuer, New Aquaracers, A Smartwatch, Team Oracle, And The America’s Cup In San Francisco
TAG Heuer, New Aquaracers, A Smartwatch, Team Oracle, And The Americas Cup In San Francisco   watch releases
Racing on the second day, spectacular in the fog

For the first weekend in September, the folks at LVMH and TAG Heuer hosted a weekend in San Francisco to watch the America's Cup yacht races. Normally this would be Ariel's gig, but he was off-continent and I got to go instead. It was a heck of a trip - San Fran in September, high tech and high speed sailing, and even some watch content, too! TAG Heuer now only released an expected new Aquaracer Regatta chronograph, but also a very unexpected (not for retail sale) smartwatch for sailing called the Aquaracer 72. I am going to try an experiment here for my types of posts, and do a mixed format post that forms more of a travelogue. Tag (pun intended) along and let us know what you think.

Yacht racing has a pretty small following in the USA, so if you've not kept up, this is a good year to check out the changes due much in part to Larry Ellison with whom TAG Heuer works in their support of Team Oracle USA. The boats used to look like this one from 2007 - monohull,  sails , carbon fiber construction:

TAG Heuer, New Aquaracers, A Smartwatch, Team Oracle, And The Americas Cup In San Francisco   watch releases
2007 USA yacht

This year, for 2013, the teams are racing 72-foot carbon fiber catamarans called "AC72"s, on hydrofoils, with rigid wings larger than those on a Boeing 747. The AC72 ships are utterly amazing, unlike anything you've seen sailing. The sails and the rigging are all rigid, and once up on the foils, they can get up to 50 MPH!

TAG Heuer, New Aquaracers, A Smartwatch, Team Oracle, And The Americas Cup In San Francisco   watch releases
Oracle boat two

This has interesting consequences. The crew have to wear crash helmets and emergency air cylinders, and the chase boats have to be much, much faster. The races now last around 30 minutes, which is very TV and fan-friendly, and setting the 2013 races inside San Francisco Bay greatly increased the visibility of the contest. Fast boats need fast pursuit; this camera boat (seen below), with it's gyro-mounted camera, shows how extreme the racing has become.

TAG Heuer, New Aquaracers, A Smartwatch, Team Oracle, And The Americas Cup In San Francisco   watch releases
Camera boat

Most of the chase boats had 1,000 horsepower. That says a lot about how fast the race is now.

6 comments
ZL
ZL

Pass on the smartwatch; yes please on the chronograph. Tag fan :)

OngWeisheng
OngWeisheng

Reminds me slightly of LV's Tambour Regatta, except I much prefer the styling of LV to this.

mikeburdine
mikeburdine

The Garmin Quatix regatta watch released in May at $500 is much like the TAG Heuer custom digital device worn by the Oracle team. These are Bluetooth screens that receive data from the onboard navigational gear. I'm not sure about the TAG, but the Garnin actually keeps time and has built in GPS, chronograph and compass functions separate from the nav gear on the boat. Additionally the Quatix will function as a remote control for the Garmin autopilot. Steering a yacht from a wristwatch is just cool. Even better, if the wearer falls off the boat the watch marks the location on the boat's chart plotter allowing them to be found and rescued more quickly. Unfortunately the Quatix does not have a rotating bezel, which would be an even better way to steer the autopilot. As it is this must be done with the pushers.

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MarkCarson
MarkCarson

Great report. Yeah you have to wonder what the rotating bezel does on a watch with no hands. Gosh you are tall or Mr. Linder is, um, not as tall.

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