There has been a buzz of excitement on the bay the last few months as the challengers of the America’s Cup have been going at it to determine who would go up against Oracle Team USA in the 34th running of the Americas Cup sailing match race. The battle for the very prestigious Americas Cup began in 1851 and is the oldest International sporting event in the world.
Being a long time sailor, Muscle Milk MEGA Athlete, Memo Gidley, has been one of the thousands of Bay Area residents that have been happily taking in the racing action the last few months. “I love racing and as a sailor, to have the Americas Cup in my backyard, is really a once in a lifetime experience or at best a very rare opportunity,” said Gidley. “This past year I have been out on the water with family and friends often as we cheer our Oracle Racing home team to a possible victory.”
However, for the last month, Memo has not just been a spectator, but has been working as the captain for the Oracle VIP 45’ Lagoon Catamaran guest boat! “When I got the call to go drive the Oracle VIP boat, I was super excited!” said Gidley. “As an Oracle VIP boat I have access to areas of the course and pits that most don’t get to.”
Memo has some of his own fast catamaran sailing experience as the owner of “Nac Attack” an 18’ Nacra catamaran that he sails, and has a real appreciation for what all the sailing teams are going through. “With my years of racing cars at the top levels, I understand what the teams are going through. The amount of work and effort that goes into a top racing program…no matter cars or sailing, by everybody on the team is enormous. It is also the side that is not seen by the general public,” said Gidley. “And then as a catamaran sailor, what these guys are doing with these 60mph 72’ monster cats on the bay, very impressive. The edge that they are on with these boats…is very small. I would guess like driving an Indy car on a street track in the pouring rain…not easy!”
Gidley does race the Elliott 1050 “Basic Instinct” on the bay on a regular basis and being an avid sailor…would he like to take the helm and race one of these big cats? “Of course!” said Gidley. “I get asked this question all the time from my racing buddies. But realistically, my expertise is car racing. To be great at sailing on a boat like this at this level requires complete dedication; you don’t just step on and go. But saying this, I also believe that anything is possible if you want it bad enough.”