Monday, April 16, 2007

Can't we just go to the beach?

Back in the day, in the very first springtime after Valencia was announced as the venue of America's Cup 32—a place with a reliable seabreeze—BMW Oracle dispatched a scouting party. That was April 2004, and it rained. The scouts walked around saying things like, What if we're here in 2007 and it's like this?

Well, it was, and then it turned sunny for Race One of the Louis Vuitton Cup, but not in time to build a seabreeze. Can you say "handwringing?" And, quick, what's the only sport that cancels because the weather is too good?

I think you know the answer.

©ACM 2007/Photo: Vicent Bosch

Says it all, verdad?

So much for the opener of the challenger elimination series. Monday's not-super-sexy dancecard now moves to Friday, a reserve day set aside for just this kind of thing. I figure the Mascalzone Latino vs. Desafio Español to be the most interesting match on Tuesday. They're rivals to make the cut to the final four. But the truth is we still haven't seen the ponies run. There's a lot of punditry regarding who's fast and who's strong, but until we actually see BMW Oracle against Victory Challenge (for example), we're all just blowing gas.

Speaking of sexy, the day had movie stars, soccer stars, and supermodels sitting on the fantails of high tech racing yachts watching the grass wither. Our one American-flagged entry, BMW Oracle, had a certain, striking, German-born resident of Malibu as "18th man." Fashion mavens will recognize the features of Tatiana Patitz, whom we present here for reasons that are purely gratuitous, in a team-supplied shot (thanks, Gilles Martin-Raget) taken outbound in the morning, when there still was hope for a race.

Everybody's hoping for better sailing conditions on Tuesday, but nobody's going to bet the farm on it. The region simply has not made the transition to a stable summer weather pattern. Then again, storm news from New England reminds me that we're not suffering the ultimate woes here in the South of Spain.

If I want the paychecks to keep coming, I guess I'd better not rub it in . . .