The America’s Cup. It’s definitely not yacht racing as Sir Tom Teabag Lipton once knew it.
Take the first scheduled day of racing in Bermuda that got canned and then picture this scenario: a complete sailing layman wanders over to an official and asks why the day’s racing never happened. “Because there was too much wind”, comes the reply. Holy moly, the irony in that. And not a good start with attracting any newbie fans to the event.
Then I had a goosey gander at the Herald preview in Friday’s sports pages. A study of the Kiwi crew stats and at first a thought that a sub-editor had put some coverage of the Giro D’Italia on the wrong page. But no, there it was: Out of ten crew aboard our giant speeding pedalo, no fewer than seven were listed as ‘Cyclists’. I mean to say, I know we watch out for them on the roads, but on the sea?? This is all getting a bit weird. And Blair Tuke’s officially listed position; trimmer, perhaps? navigator? tactician? Nope- Flight controller and cyclist. One can only assume we will indeed be in safe hands then if our craft suddenly gets too airborne off its foils.
Most may well know by now that the defender, Oracle has somehow been permitted to race in the Challengers’ round-robin series AND the semi-finals (what the?). You may not be aware though that should Oracle win that semi-final of the, cough lol, Challenger series, they will begin the actual Final already one race up- at least according to Peter Montgomery on Radio Sport this afternoon. HOW BLOODY UNFAIR IS THAT?!
That above arseholery seems a long way removed from the days of the 12 metre boats, our ‘plastic fantastic’ KZ7 and other boats in that regatta with absolutely fantastic names like Syd Fischer’s Aussie entry ‘Steak n’ Kidney (we missed a trick there this time round; ‘Bacon and Eggs’ or ‘Mince and Cheese’, what sounds more Kiwi than that, I ask you).
At least if all the cancellations get a bit naff there is a perfect villain to detest in Oracle’s Larry Ellison, even though he’ll probably never reach the infamy of the man we all loved to hate in the 1980s: Dirty Dennis Conner. Watch him in all his abusive glory from 1988, here:
Just hope that we don’t go 6-1 up in the first-to-seven final should we get there, if you know what I mean.
And finally, this is our most famous America’s Cup song ever: