America’s Cup World Series in Naples

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The contenders (the boats, of course, not the people)

Up until last year, I had no idea that sailing was a professional, competitive sport; I had always thought it was just a hobby. During the past year, when I would “share” my new learning with anyone, I usually–in this particular case, usually being 99.999% of the time–received a response that was something along the lines of, “Oh yeah! Sailing’s huge! Haven’t you heard of America’s Cup?” Not sure what rock I was living under, but no, I had never heard of America’s Cup before 2012. On the off-chance that anyone reading this is not familiar with this huge international sailing competition, you can read about it here on Wikipedia.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of heading south to Naples to watch an America’s Cup 2013 World Series regata. My super cool giornalista friend got me a press guest pass so I spent most of the day in the media HQ within the Tennis Club, providing my warm-weather-attire-clad self a much welcome relief  from the un-forecasted chilliness outside.  Mission control was decked out with a huge flat screen TV, several power-outlet-equipped workstations, complimentary WiFi and an abundance of Nespresso. My meh (but improving!) spoken Italian limited my participation in the mingling and hobnobbing, but I enjoyed myself nevertheless.

Anyhoo, back to America’s Cup: I watched the first regata alongside dozens of journalists taking copious notes to meet their post-race story-filing deadlines, then watched a good part of the second one outside for as long as I could tolerate the cold.   Honestly, I’m not totally sure how all of this works, but I believe this is how it all went down:  Tom Slingsby led USA’s Team Oracle to victory over Francesco Bruni and Prada’s Luna Rossa Swordfish crew to win the World Series cup, while Bruni and Swordfish triumphed the second and last race of the day–which involved the entire fleet–and therefore apparently rendering Swordfish the overall winner.

It would have been sacrilegious to not indulge in pizza no matter how short my visit so a friend and I hit up La Notizia for an ethereal meal. This was my first time in Naples and since this spectacular city is only a 70-minute train ride from Rome, my next trip can’t come soon enough. There’s an archeological museum to wander, Caravaggio paintings to see, inspiration to find and plenty of pizza, sfogliatelle  and other fried deliciousness to eat.

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