Sunday, February 14, 2010

The fastest America's Cup ever

BMWOracle Racing’s USA (top) en route to victory in
America’s Cup 33,
trailed by Swiss defender Alinghi 5.

It was won on the water.

It was won by a high-tech flagship – one that was beautifully, but reluctantly designed, built and sailed to satisfy a Deed of Gift race that never should have happened.

It was won by a brilliant team – one that was brilliantly led, brilliantly managed, and brilliantly responsive to every challenge in what became the most complex, confusing, and frustrating America’s Cup in history.

Above all, it was won by the world’s most persistent – and patient – sailor.

Not only did Larry Ellison (USA), make one great leadership decision after another – including hiring Russell Coutts (NZL) as chief executive, supporting his team throughout the darkest days of the campaign, and above all, investing in the most advanced design and technology ever developed for an America’s Cup yacht.

But on behalf of the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco (GGYC), the head of BMWOracle Racing also invested in initiatives to protect the honor and integrity of America’s Cup.

Responding to a ludicrous protocol for the management and conduct of AC33, Ellison went to the mat for fairness, competitiveness, and a level playing field.

Now he has won even that.

At the post-race press conference, Ellison announced that America’s Cup 34 will be a multi-challenger event, developed in partnership with teams who enter, with independent juries and race committees, and independent management.

Russell Coutts added that the boat design rule would also be developed in consultation with the teams.

At his own press conference, the Swiss defender Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI), head of Alinghi, mourned the loss of the America’s Cup he loved.

These were the fastest races in America’s Cup history, and he lost. But it could have been a different kind of event, which he could have won.

During the race on Friday, and particularly today, he had plenty of time to contemplate what might have been.


gshc said...

Congratulations to Oracle. They won on the water and that is the victory who counts. Now let's hope the next editions will indeed be fair and open. For the memory, the 32nd edition was very successfully organised and the competition was disputed until the very last minute, and for the 33rd edition, 17 challenger had agreed for a multichallenger edition that Oracle refused. So you will allow me to doubt that Oracle is the knight saving Americas Cup from the bad Ernesto Bertarelli (who by the way is fair play enough to admit the defeat and do not go to court or protest).
When someone has a trophy, sooner or later they must loose it, everybody would have preferred to see that on the classical multichallenger format, (now just teasing, I could say that Oracle being unable to win against the other challenger chose the direct way to access to the final races), Oracle won it on a great boat, using the wing technology that already paid in 1988, but at least they won on the water and offered a great show. Now may they take care of the cup in a fairplay way (although the choice of the challenger seems as much a "convenient choice" as the spanish challenger initially chosen for the 33rd edition, excpet that I am sure that Oracle made sure that the italians are a juridically acceptable choice ;) ). Good luck for defending the cup in the future! I will personally cheer for the kiwis if they join as they proved that they are the nation of the Americas Cup, but I mainly hope there will be great races on the water.

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