The America’s Cup is a dream, it’s an ambition, it’s an obsession.
It always has been.
OK, so it’s likely, the Cup is on its way to New Zealand. Good on you! You earned it. Just like the S/Y America did in 1851, when Commodore Stephens and his crew went up against an entrenched British Establishment (a yachty one anyway) and took it.
But remember, when you have it, you also have a target on your back. And there are a LOT of hunters out there.
It’s been fun, this run up to 34. And its been aggravating. But any new concept has growing pains.
I don’t give a good gods damn about what you might think about Larry Ellison as a business man, but as a sailor, as a Yachtsman, he’s done more for our sport than you can imagine. The ramifications are yet to be felt.
First, catamarans as competitive sailing racers. Sure there has sometimes been a multi-hull class in our races. Sometimes. When we have to. Not anymore. Multi’s are IN. They are the “it” boat.
And, good lords, even the junior sailors are trying to get their Lasers to foil now. (Who the hell posted that YouTube video of a Laser foiling. Kill him, now. Or give him a patent. One way or another.)
So, foiling cats? Yup; they are here to stay.
Will AC 35 be in 72s? Hell no. They cost too much. AC45s? Nope, the “youth AC” have those now. Second class.... But a foiling AC55 wing sail catamaran? Hmmm, now we’re talking.
Was AC34 a good event? You betcha!
Did Larry over-promise and under-deliver? Maybe; but only a little.
Nobody really cares if the City of San Francisco made any money. Screw it. We’re about the sailing, not what’s “good for SF.” If SF didn’t make out enough, it’s OK. Really. And, by the way, what is the value of the international press the City got over these last few months. (If there was really a way to calculate the benefits the City received, I’d bet we’d see it came out far, FAR, ahead.)
So, let’s get back to the Cup, and what it might be like in AC35.
National Teams? I hope RNZYC keeps to that promise. Yes, it may be the New Zealand Cup for a while if so, but not for too long.
Owners on the boat? Wouldn’t that be fun? Even if the owner was just a grinder.
Lesser cost? Good luck with that. The obsession to win will drive up the cost. No matter what you say.
What other changes might Royal New Zealand Yacht Club impose? I don’t know. But I hope it won’t limit it’s Yacht Club reciprocity provisions. I want to go there, next competition.