Wednesday, November 16, 2011

America's Cup World Series - San Diego

AC Fleet in San Diego / ORACLE Racing (Coutts)

On my way back from Ensenada, I stopped at the America’s Cup Village in San Diego.  There was no racing on Monday or Tuesday, but that allowed me to get a up close view of the AC45’s and to be a tourist in the village. 

Aleph - France

Emirates Team New Zealand

A fun tourist activity is a 5 minute video of what its like to sail on an AC45.  Viewers sit on catamaran trapeze seats and when the action starts high power fans and splashes of water add a bit of realism to the video.

AC45 tourist video ... it was wet!

AC World Series racing has been very competitive and the two previous days of warm up races saw 6 of the 9 teams winning races.

Day 1 Racing

Today was the first day of the World Series and with a new skipper, French team Energy won the top spot and along with Emirates Team New Zealand and ORACLE Racing Spithill, they are seeded in the match racing semi finals.

GreenComm Racing - Spain

ORACLE Racing (Spithill)

Kathryn and I have been following the America’s Cup races on TV.  Racing the AC45’s looks crazy difficult.  A boat can be well ahead of the fleet and lose their position pretty quickly as mistakes are made or conditions change.  It is a good thing they have two years to practice before the main event in September 2013.

Wine Tasting in Mexico?

Guadalupe Valley

Kathryn attended a meeting in Albuquerque last weekend so I headed down to Ensenada to spend some time on Agave Azul.  After completing boat chores on Sunday morning, our slip neighbor, Bill and his wife Sandy and I went off in search of wine tasting in the Guadalupe Valley.  Kathryn and I enjoyed an excellent bottle of local wine, Monte Xanic, at a restaurant on our last trip so I was excited to visit the wine region.  Guadalupe Valley is just a few miles up the road from Ensenada and a complete drive through the region takes just a few hours.  

Wine tasting in Mexico is a bit of an adventure.  Although there are signs to La Ruta Del Vino there were few signs to individual wineries.  So we started at the easiest to find & largest winery in the region, L.A. Cetto.  We tasted some good wines, bought a few bottles and we got a wine area map that helped us find other wineries.  

We drove down some flooded dirt roads (big storm on Saturday) in search of a recommended winery, but couldn’t find it.  Bill speaks Spanish so he stopped to ask a winery worker for directions.  The winery worker turned out to be a plastic surgeon who owns his own winery.  His winery tour appointment was a no-show so we stopped to taste his Vinedos Lafarga wines.  He told us about the history of wine growing in the valley and how his family got started in the winemaking business.  His passion for winemaking made it a great visit.

Dr. Lafarga 

Vinedos Lafarga Vineyard

The big find was Adobe Guadalupe, a winery recommended by a local sailor who raced in the San Diego to Ensenada race.  The region has conditions similar to those in southern France so Bordeaux blends and Rhone varietals are popular.  The Adobe Guadalupe wines were excellent.  Mexico is definitely on its way to becoming a top wine producer.  

Adobe Guadalupe Winery

It's a comfortable B&B, too

Tasting Room