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.
Now you know how Formula 1 fans feel.
Well, I couldnt care less that you do not care less that he does not care less!
Thirty years ago, catamarans were the bastard stepchildren of sailing. Now, they are mainstream.
Don’t care. Just so much fun!
I kind of agree with that, but, this is the top closed course racing event in the world so it should be run using the most technologically advanced equipment in the world. Kinda like the difference between sprint car racing and F1. These boats are not graceful like the IACC or 12 Meter hulls, but man do they make sailboat racing fun to watch. The same course awareness, tactics, and rules apply but at a 4X pace.
Great stuff. Watched yesterdays races on replay. “Foiling” is one of the most exiting moves in sailing. Reminds me of small cat sailing back in the early days.
Hey man, I grew up going to Ascot Raceway in Gardena, Calif with my dad to watch Sprints.
Fun to watch em roll and keep on going.
Technically, its US money (larry ellison) vs. UAEmerents (mid-east oil money).
I have sailed, thrown baskets and played pick up games, played some backyard touch football, played little league many years ago, tried golf a couple of times, ridden a bike, driven a car and motorcycle, Swam, Dove, worn a judo gi, pinned and have been pinned, run, hit a tennis ball, pulled a sweep oar, pushed a puck, kicked a soccer ball, thrown and caught a lacrosse ball.
I have also hurled, but I was young and had too much to drink.
I watch, or don't watch, various sports based on my own enjoyment of viewing. So do you. I suck at basketball, and really don't care for it. But I will watch the college and pro championships because I appreciate the high level of play in those games.
The writer has made a strong case. And if it were televised I would watch. If the situation was the same and a case had been made for a sport you prefer would you have posted the same thing?
I hope I'm wrong, but the impression I'm getting is that some of the objections are along the lines of: "this is a bunch of wealthy guys riding a buhzillion dollar 'boat'. Nobody cares, and anyone who does, shouldn't." Really?, on FR?
If there is something I'm missing about this please let me know. Thanks.
Unbelievable! Sailing (quote - unquote) at better than 50mph! Definitely exciting and has 2 Be a real rush.
Winning out after trailing with zero chance of a mistake is the stuff movies are made of. An amazing accomplishment
They are amazing boats, beyond anything ever raced on the water under sail at that size.
I couldnt care less that you don’t care less that I don’t care less.
Ha! I answered in the same manner before reading your post! ;-)
The America’s Cup is “too white.”
If you are trying to gain interest for a sport why make it unreachable for the common man?
Yes, it’s a shame the media ignores this. They should realize how insatiable US sports fans are and market all they can to them with this world class event along with the others.
Thanks for posting this, it mirrors my feelings. I have gotten to watch several of the races, either from the water or from the AC Park. They have been a lot of fun and I have gotten lots of good pictures. My husband has a relative whose name is quite prominently engraved on the trophy.
Boy, I sure am sorry I missed those boat races. Wait a minute...some kids are going to be racing their rubber rafts in a roadside, rain-flooded ditch close to my house. That will be almost as exciting as the America’s Cup races.
Perhaps you have not seen these boats go 50 mph or more down the course. Not boring at all.
Just like Indy car, right? Or NASCAR? Nobody watches that.
If they’d be dressed in pirate outfits (avast there matey!!!), firing smoothbores at rival ships, and swinging cutlasses as they boarded the ships, I might just watch.
Please tell me - how is the very highest level reachable IN ANY SPORT for the common man? The very nature of the top level is that very VERY few can participate at that highest level. How is this any different?
Most sports exclude based on genetics. Willie shoemaker would have had trouble on an NFL line. Neither could Reggie White have successfully ridden in the Kentucky Derby. But if you watch any sport you watch what is even more inaccessible to the common man than sailing.
Oh, the top level you say? America's cup? Well, what is the limiting factor? What is the nature of the exclusion?
Good luck with the response. In hold-em I believe this is called "the nuts". You may want to fold.
They don’t even resemble boats any more!
No more nor less than an F-22 resembles a Boeing 707.
Greatest comeback in the history of sports!!!
Never seen anyone come back from behind like this and take it all!!!
The official score is Oracle 9-8 but, the real story is they won by 3!!!
After being penalized by two races Oracle’s actual win is 11-8!!!
And! They scored a new world record for completing the race today.
The multi-hull "catamaran" design has been around for so long we don't even know when it began; possibly prehistory. A written description of one goes back to 1697. Modern catamarans have certainly been around for our entire lifetime.
The faster the boat travels the faster a crew must act and react in a race situation. So long as the rules are adhered to, technology should be allowed to provide as fast a sailing vessel as possible. These are exciting competitions IMO, and even more so with the upgrade to this design.
I have no interest in horse racing and think the term "horse racing industry" is absurd. The only tangible thing this "industry" produces is road apples. I lived 40 minutes from Pimlico in Baltimore for a number of years. I also lived 30 minutes from Saratogas race track for even more years. I have seen one race in my life but it wasnt at either of those tracks. I'm aware that one must ordinarily be well-heeled to participate, but consider that irrelevant. I understand and appreciate the hard work that goes into the sport, the beauty of the animals and the drama of a good race. I have never placed a bet, but the same goes for those who study the statistics of betting on those horses; they understand race conditions, and how to wheel, for example, to increase the likelihood of a payout.
There will always be those who are ignorant of what they are seeing and don't want to spend the time to find out. Others may know about it but still don't like it. That is their choice. OTOH, visiting a discussion thread of fans to scoff a sport is something else entirely. And it seems to happen too often on FR.
How many people play golf? How many people own and race AC72-class yachts? There's your answer.
I don’t own a nascar quality auto either.
Yours was among the most vacuous comments.