Monday, March 31, 2008

The Way We Were

So per expectation we were back in court on April 2
- April 1 would have been so apropo -
to ask Dad to tell us, when may we go America's Cup yachting?

United Internet Team Germany closed the base and all sailor contracts as of March 31. New Zealand's Grant Dalton says his team could be back up and running almost instantly, given cause. But there isn't any cause. Pierre Orphanidis attended the press conference in Valencia of Desafio Español and reports that the Spanish team has got itself hooked up with a real yacht club for the next go-round and will occupy space over the next couple of seasons by representing its sponsors on the TP52 and GP42 circuits.

BMW Oracle is meanwhile physically on the water for training in Lorient, France with the Formula 60 trimaran, Groupama 2, and Alinghi is set back after flipping Alain Gautier's Formula 60, Foncia, off Lorient last week, and everybody's mad at somebody and eventually the America's Cup itself will again be fine, for a while.

Could take a while. And no, there's not a sked for when Justice Herman Cahn will come back with a go/no go ruling for 2008 versus 2009, the dispute du jour between the only two players on the field.

Remember the long ago, all-smiley days of the "Moet Cup"? The first round of what would become the Acts? People not on the scene were pretty sniffy toward it because it wasn't "the real thing," but in fact it was a form of the real thing and it turned out just dandy. I lifted this pure-nostalgia pic (you'd have to use Photoshop to replicate it) from Richard Spindler over at
Latitude 38 . . .

© Richard Spindler/Latitude 38

Then in an orgy of self-abuse I went back and reread these words, written when I was so much younger, from a posting in which I also noted that Al Jazeera fer crimineez sakes was covering the America's Cup:

Valencia, España
July 1, 2007

I woke up this morning and I felt so alive. I couldn't wait to get down to the port, and when I got here the place was already humming. Even the events that followed—no racing, the breeze never settled in, and we had a long wait—even that couldn't bring me down. No sir. I've seen America's Cup racing revolutionized twice now, and this is the real deal. The pre-events that built up a viable challenger fleet, and then the match itself, with races fought down to the last broken tooth and hangnail. Yes, Alinghi is up 4 races to 2 and needs just one more win to defend the Cup, but I doubt that Mr's Bertaralli, Butterworth, and Baird, sitting at the back of Alinghi, would want to resail those last two races that they won. Win them again they might, or might not. What more can you ask of a sporting contest?

And I reckon somebody out there is gagging right now because I sound like a cheerleader, so here, let me lend you a fork for that. The America's Cup has been debunked generation after generation, but you can't rationalize it away any more than you can rationalize it.

I'm not alone. Mark Chisnell has been doing a bangup job of analyzing the racecourse action in America's Cup 32, and when I sent him a note of appreciation, he answered simply: "It's not often something comes along where you just want to do it justice."

Excuse me. I have to go now. This hammer is wearing out and I need a new one so I can keep hitting myself over the head—Kimball