While today is a normal working day for our team here in VLC, most of Valencia is off celebrating "Valencia Day." There was a massive fireworks display here last evening, and the highways and streets were all but deserted on the way into the Port America's Cup this morning.
As I write this at midday, there are throngs of families and others walking up and down Base Row here in the PAC, visiting the team shoppes and interactive areas, and otherwise enjoying the ambience. Nice to see this, and hopefully this local interest will grow over the coming months.
Today it is balmy and overcast; unfortunately, there is very little wind and not a lot predicted. So far few if any ACC yachts have docked out. However, even as I type this the breeze has started to fill in (at least here in the harbour) and I see Mascalzone's new, black ITA 90 and the Alinghi boats starting now to tow out.
While it is not Columbus Day here in VLC, it is in the USA. So best wishes to our American colleagues for whom this is a national holiday, and especially Italian-Americans who celebrate the fact that Cristóbal Columbo was, in fact, an Italian. No doubt Peter "Luigi" Reggio (AC 32 principal race officer) is at the head of the NYC Columbus Day Parade. [Update: At dinner last evening, a prominent AC figure drew a modern-day parallel: "Who would have thought that 514 years later the Spanish would have a Pole sailing for them."]
That Columbus was sailing for Spain is not lost on the hispanic/latino world. Indeed, Spain celebrates Día de la Hispanidad
this Thursday, as a national holiday. (At least for Valencia, a three-day weekend followed immediately by four days off next weekend!)
Why Monday in the States and Thursday here? 12 October used to be the holiday in the USA as well, until Columbus Day, like many USA holidays, was moved to a Monday -- in this case the second Monday of October -- to create a three-day weekend.
And while we are at it, Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian colleagues and friends, who celebrate their national day of good providence also on the second Monday of October.
"First Landing of Columbus on the Shores of the New World." Painting by Discoro Téofilo de la Puebla; courtesy of the Library of Congress.