Skip to comments.America’s Cup 2013: A Real Shame
Posted on 09/25/2013 3:13:34 AM PDT by Jacquerie
It is Tuesday evening, September 24, 2013, and earlier today the United States representative, Oracle Team USA, tied the New Zealand team in the Americas Cup to create a tiebreaker scenario for whomever will be the 35th victor in the ultimate sailing competition.
And one aspect of this cup series has become glaringly evident: members of the United States sports media should be ashamed of themselves due to their lack of coverage of this event (and I am speaking directly to the major players in that profession such as Sports Illustrated, ESPNboth electronic and print, AP, and Yahoo).
If weather allows, tomorrow will see one team go home with the cup, but even if the United States loses its defense this time, all of those sailors can leave San Francisco with their heads held high because I doubt there has ever been a more thrilling series of heats for this trophy, and that means in terms of both the vessels themselves as well as the way the competition played out.
Here is why sports reporters everywhere should be forced to recite a mea culpa.
First of all, there is the way the series went. After demolishing all other challengers, New Zealand looked invincible. In the semi-finals against Italy, the only loss Team Emirates suffered was the heat in which the boat was, literally, dead in the water. In other words, the Italians could only win a race in which they were the only boat. And the Italians were not bad sailors.
To make matters worse, the Americans were penalized two points before even starting the nine-point contest, so they started two in the hole.
New Zealand certainly lived up to its reputation, taking the first three heats before the Americans were even able to register a win. Then, the Kiwis went on to win another three heats, so that when the Oracle USA boat won another, it was 6 0. That appeared insurmountable: the U. S. boat needed to win nine more while New Zealand could coast to victory simply by winning every third race, a more than expected goal given their previous record.
Thenand this is no hyperboleTeam Oracle USA began perhaps the greatest comeback in sports since the 2003 American League series, when the Yankees, trailing three games behind Boston, were able to get to the World Series. Without going into details, they have now tied the series 8 8 and put sudden death on the table of a sailing competition.
Yet there was barely any coverage either before, during, or after each race. Okay, NBC broadcast the first day of racing, but then it was nothing but golf from then on out on that network. This leads to the second reason the sports media should be ashamed. They can no longer hide behind the excuse of well, these are sailboats, and watching a sailboat race is as exciting as watching paint dry.
Anyone who has seen these new vessels or watched them in operation knows that this is definitely not the Americas Cup of any age prior, even though multihull craft have been used before. These AC72s scream along, sometimes exceeding 50 mph in a 20 mph wind. That is some serious torqueor whatever you want to call it. Think of a sailboat flying past many drivers on the freeway, and you get an idea of what watching this cup has been like (when you can actually see it).
And the word flying is entirely appropriate. These new designs have blades (called foils) that can be submerged and allow the boat to literally sail above the water once it attains the right speed, and during many of the legs of each race, the sight was every bit as thrilling as any NASCAR event.
Instead of this, you televised golf?
I have no idea who will walk away with the Americas Cup, but I know that sailing enthusiasts in the United States can feel great about their representative boat. One thing I do know, however, is that the members of the sporting media should hang their heads in shame for allowing this years event to go virtually uncovered and unseen.
As far as I’m concerned (or have been concerned), the Americas Cup races lost all meaning for me when that asshat Ted Turner got in the mix....
Hard to relate to these very foolish and very expensive boats.
And I am a sailor.
Yeah, I suppose the race should be in Optimist Prams. What excitement.
What was the meaning of the races before big bad Ted?
Well, for one thing, America had never lost one.
no, smarty, but something the common sailor can somehow relate to.
The way they set it up these monster boats are ridiculous.
Fast as hell but come on.
It is Team USA’s Kiwis vs. New Zealand’s Kiwis.
Yeah, but I'd still rather watch the boats than another semi-catatonic round of prairie pool.
Awesome race and I saw it today.
Wish I could see it tomorrow but, I am grateful for full replay via YouTube.
Awesome race and will be amazing if Oracle prevails .
I assume the next AC Cup would be held here again.
It’s a rich boys game.
If you can pony up, you can play.
It is irrelevant as to how you think sailors should relate.
Watching fifty mph sailing is exciting, and any sailor who raced a planing dinghy or windsurfer knows the importance of maintaining speed through jibes, and can therefore relate, as the AC72 attempts to stay on their foils.
Combine incredible skill and teamwork with the chance of NASCAR worthy mishaps makes for a great spectator event.
Couldn’t care less...
Never had an interest in the America’s Cup.
I think it’s amazing to watch these rise out of the water and it’s even more amazing to see them go three times faster than the wind.
I was in St Maartz a few years back and had the great fortune to race Dennis Conner’s 12m.
We were probably going to win with races no matter what.
All jocks on our bits and two girls on the challenger .
Was so much fun getting that going.
Yep. We did cats out of Santa Cruz. Lots of fun when we weren’t on my stepdads 42 footer.
Last cat I was on was in Mexico. had 30+ people on it.
So fun to go flying across the water, laying down on the mesh and watching flying fish race ahead of the boat....while drinking some rum condition.
I couldn’t care less that you do not care less.
It is great to watch! I love it. Magnificent machines. And great competition. Team USA needed to sail the boat to its strengths, not engage in tacking duels with the KWIS. When they started doing that the started winning. Absent error Team USA will win the cup.
If we win, . . . what a tremendous comeback, to claw from negative 2 points.
Great comeback. Our boat is faster over all but not as fast recovering on tack. Wish I could watch it but I gott go to work. Take care FReeper. Pray for our nation.
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