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Old 29-11-2010, 07:54   #1
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America's Cup - I Don't Get it

I didn't know where to post this, but thought general sailing would be as good a place as any

Look, I don't know how to post this without upsetting someone. I'm sure I'll raise the ire of the multi hullers. I assure you that's not my intention.

I haven't been following the America's cup for several years. I started watching them with Dennis Connor's team in Perth. Forget the year. Mid 80's. I had all the races on VCR and never tired of watching them. The next couple of Regatta's were interesting to me , but in my estimation, were not close to Perth and the afternoon Doctor. The most fun was at the start, watching the boats jockeying for position. Watching the countdown, the boats going through the fleet of spectator boats , seeing which boat would make it to the start line at the correct moment and on the best side for the wind advantage, without starting early.

I'm sorry, but I don't feel that way with these boats. The drama is not there for me. I miss the mono hulls, not prejudiced, it just seems somethings missing. These boats appear to me to be more like airplanes with no lift off. I know ( I guess ) it's progress, but nevertheless the excitement is missing. In golf the Ryder cup has changed, but they still play with golf clubs. Maybe they should play with a cannon and then the advantage would be to the man who can aim the best. Who puts the right amount of powder in the breech.

Watching the grinders, the tacticians making decisions, boats coming close and touching, banging into each other on occasion. The post race analysis and team interviews. Discussing rules infractions. It seems it's all up for grabs now. These new boats are so huge, the intimacy has gone out of it. I don't think we'll capture the imagination as we did back then. Maybe I'm wrong. It's basically efficiency and nothing more. No maneuvering. Just try to keep 2 of the 3 hulls out of the water and fly straight. Yeah, I guess you'd have to say, I'm turned off.
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Old 29-11-2010, 08:19   #2
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Its like most sports once the Multinationals and Big money get in they spoil it... what used to be an art of skill and tactics between independant (wealthy) owners devolves into simply Win at any Cost... and change the rules to suit...
The America's Cup used to be the F1 of the sailing world... now its just a 'Drag Race...'
Thank goodness here in the UK it has not degenerated to that and we still have huge events like Cowes Week where the amateur can get in and mix it up with the pro's... we're never really in with a chance and we know it... but its great fun.. and sometimes throws up the odd 'Class' shock winner..
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Old 29-11-2010, 08:40   #3
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I know what you mean, and I think you hit the nail on the head when you said the intimacy is gone. To be sure, the money and technology spent in Connors day were also astronomical, but the end "product" - the actual sailing - was still something that's familiar to anyone who sails. I think these new high-tech trimarans are to sailing what the space shuttle was/is to domestic air travel - spectacular and awe-inspiring in their own way, but completely remote, inaccessible and wholly unfathomable to 99.999% of the population.
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Old 29-11-2010, 08:49   #4
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I loved watching the America's Cup this year because I love speed and the machines that produce them. However, I don't think it was really a "sailboat" race. I also miss the excitement of the "old days." Connor created more interest and drama in the races. It is similar to bike racing without Lance Armstrong. A race without drama and interaction between the teams, without lawyers, just isn't as much fun to watch. The "machine" racers should create their own venue and leave the America's Cup to tradition. That would make it FUN for everyone.
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Old 29-11-2010, 08:53   #5
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the will be far less technology transference from those boats to the sorts of boats we sail, especially once they've gone to rigid wing sails. what I dislike most about the sort of boats that will be raced is that there will be a narrow range of acceptable conditions for sailing. What's that about? Spend a hundred million dollars designing and building a boat that can't sail in 25 knot winds? Can you hear us laughing out here?
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Old 29-11-2010, 08:55   #6
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The Cup was forever lost for me when Connors cheated and used a mega-Cat to get the cup back. Connors further tarnished it through developing corporate sponsorships. It used to be a quaint sport for millionaires. The billionaires are ruining it.
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:13   #7
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I think one of the goals of the current defender is to improve visibility and interest in the sport of sailing. The defender has concluded monohulls has a limited audience (which I think is true). They are taking a gamble on multihulls. Regular match racing of multihulls has never really been tried (except for the relatively unknown small group of C-class cats).

If you are the type who does not believe multihull racing is "true" sailboat racing (compared to traditional monohull match racing), then you will never like what the defender is trying to do.

For me, the jury is still out. It could be really exciting, or it could bomb. We'll see.
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:29   #8
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The Cup was forever lost for me when Connors cheated and used a mega-Cat to get the cup back. Connors further tarnished it through developing corporate sponsorships. It used to be a quaint sport for millionaires. The billionaires are ruining it.
You're right, I remember that. I loved Dennis in Perth, he was so much fun to watch. But he lost me with that mega-cat crap. I really don't understand how he got away with that. Arent there rules to go by. What was a 12 meter yacht all about anyway. But that aside, he was a master tactician, politician and incredibly good at gamesmanship. He controlled those interviews. Is he still around? I miss his humor. He should be commentating. Maybe he is and I've not seen. I live remote, so I 'm not up on everything and as well, I dont watch much TV. You're right about the Billionaires, but BMW/Oracle, geesh Mega Billionaires is more like it. I don't want to go back to the stone age, but can't we at least have a modicum of tradition? These things are no fun to watch. Can the crew hear the helmsman? He looks like he's a city block away. Pooh pooh pooh
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:35   #9
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I don't believe that the America's Cup was ever about viewability. It has always been a technology race. The 12s had long ago become so optimized to the rule that tactics came back into play. IACC boats didn't take long to get to the same point. After a few cup races the multis will probably get there as well. Tactics with 30 knot 100 foot multis will be decidedly different than 12 meter tactics though.

For the person who said Conners cheated, who had a 90' LWL boat designed, had it built and was ready to go in the water then issued a challenge breaking the verbal agreement to 12 meter boats that had existed for decades? Who issued the challenge giving Conner only one year to catch up? Nah, Fay wasn't cheating, that was completely fair. Fay got what he deserved. Admittedly after that neither side backed down to any compromise proposed.
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:41   #10
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I don't believe that the America's Cup was ever
For the person who said Conners cheated, who had a 90' LWL boat designed, had it built and was ready to go in the water then issued a challenge breaking the verbal agreement to 12 meter boats that had existed for decades? Who issued the challenge giving Conner only one year to catch up? Nah, Fay wasn't cheating, that was completely fair. Fay got what he deserved. Admittedly after that neither side backed down to any compromise proposed.
That monster was a 'boat'????

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Old 29-11-2010, 09:43   #11
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I stopped watching the Americas cup races when I discovered the Volvo ocean races. Much more exciting to me.


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Old 29-11-2010, 09:45   #12
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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
I don't believe that the America's Cup was ever about viewability. It has always been a technology race. The 12s had long ago become so optimized to the rule that tactics came back into play. IACC boats didn't take long to get to the same point. After a few cup races the multis will probably get there as well. Tactics with 30 knot 100 foot multis will be decidedly different than 12 meter tactics though.

For the person who said Conners cheated, who had a 90' LWL boat designed, had it built and was ready to go in the water then issued a challenge breaking the verbal agreement to 12 meter boats that had existed for decades? Who issued the challenge giving Conner only one year to catch up? Nah, Fay wasn't cheating, that was completely fair. Fay got what he deserved. Admittedly after that neither side backed down to any compromise proposed.
Now I remember Michael Fay was backed into a corner wasn't he. They weren't given enough time to design a challenger, or something like that. I don't remember all the details, but it wasn't just about the boat they brought.
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:51   #13
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That monster was a 'boat'????

Hahaha, should have named it HMS something or other. Gawd the memories are flowing.
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:55   #14
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Now I remember Michael Fay was backed into a corner wasn't he. They weren't given enough time to design a challenger, or something like that. I don't remember all the details, but it wasn't just about the boat they brought.
If anything it was Conner who was backed into a corner. Fay already had the 90 foot KZ1 build well under way at the time the challenge was issued. Legally, according to the Deed of Gift, the first race must be ten months from the date of challenge (unless the parties agree to otherwise, which they didnt). Back in the 80s, ten months was not enough time for Conner to design/build a monohull to defend with. Fay knew this. This is why many view Fay's challenge as a "cup grab".

(BMW/Oracle just BARELY pulled off a ten month build for USA17 in the last cup).
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Old 29-11-2010, 10:03   #15
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If anything it was Conner who was backed into a corner. Fay already had the 90 foot KZ1 build well under way at the time the challenge was issued. Legally, according to the Deed of Gift, the first race must be ten months from the date of challenge (unless the parties agree to otherwise, which they didnt). Back in the 80s, ten months was not enough time for Conner to design/build a monohull to defend with. Fay knew this. This is why many view Fay's challenge as a "cup grab".

(BMW/Oracle just BARELY pulled off a ten month build for USA17 in the last cup).
Yes, sorry Connors was backed into the corner. I stand corrected, Fay was from NZ. He wouldn't allow Connors time on purpose, he knew Connors couldn't build in time.
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