The longest America's Cup just keeps growing
By Rem O'Donnelley
The old mantra of tomorrow is what fans supporting both teams have been chanting last week and again this week at the America's Cup.
Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) fans hoped their team would get a ninth point last week since Wednesday. This continued on Sunday, Monday and yesterday. While those cheering for Oracle Team USA (OTUSA) also were wishing for the next day that their beloved team would score another point, then another the next day and so on.
Those supporting OTUSA have had their wishes granted each day as their team has gotten at least a point each day and they are finally tied with the Kiwi's eight points. This means two things. The first is that someone has to win today. The second is that media who have been covering the event will know that they can put their stories to bed and themselves in their own beds.
Those of you reading my earlier America's Cup stories will know while the longest, glitzy sailing circus in history has gone on and on and on, it has become a bad joke amongst journalists and photographers covering the event because of this.
Late last week I started hearing about and meeting some of the foreign press who were having to fly home in order to avoid costly fees to extend their tickets. I would also meet some of the Kiwis who flew out to support their team that would have to fly home without seeing an end to this historic cup.
There are also those in the media who are freelance and having to pay the costly prices to extend their tickets so they can finish photographing and writing about this event.
When the series was announced it had the dates of September 7-21. The end date was determined if the series went to the full 17 races in the best of series. There were even reserve days, some used, some not. However, no one figured there would be so many postponements of races to the next day or two because of unsuitable winds.
What no one expected was the series going past the September 21 date. What the members of the media who are paying to extend their own tickets or their employers are paying is that they don't know when they can leave San Francisco.
Some talented artist has painted on a window at the America's Cup Media Center - a picture of the America's Cup with the words, "Welcome to the Hotel California, you can check in but you can never leave." Once the planned end date was passed, this became a bit of a nightmare for those overseas reporters.
This leads me to the title of this story. Mother Nature has been cruel to some of us at the America's Cup. Whether stranded indefinitely on work assignment or having to go home early without seeing the end of the cup, old mother has been a bit of a mother.
She and her winds have pushed this thing longer than anyone expected or wanted. Even OTUSA fans would have wanted fair winds for their team to race in and quickly pick up the nine points to win the cup.
On Monday, I became one of the casualties of the cup. At the start of the month my other half and I were planning our late September vacation. She mentioned a date. I said something along the lines of, "the cup will definitely be over by then." That date was September 24. How wrong I was. If it was just me, I could have scrapped plans but with two people vacation plans become more concrete and time off work can't be pushed back one week.
Photographing from one of the official boats Monday when OTUSA won the only race that day (one race only because of delays due to weak winds) my heart sank. The first thing is I knew I wouldn't be seeing an end to the cup nor photographing the America's Cup being handed to the winning team. The second was I wouldn't see New Zealand or the USA team going nuts nor their fans in the championship victory.
With the race concluding today and most likely being in a region later that won't have internet, I will have to wait till the next day or two to find out the result of the last race.
Thanks Mother Nature.