Saturday, May 19, 2007

Debacle Redux

I was going to post about political issues today and ran out of steam, so a minor degree of outrage at America's pitiful sailing efforts is all you get today. Pitiful.

Yesterday the American boat managed not to lose the start. It wasn’t really a win on the start, but Oracle started in the position of advantage on the right side. The Italians sailed very aggressively and were leading by 25 seconds at the first mark, a lead they never surrendered. I commented yesterday that Oracle has lacked aggression when trailing; well, the Italians certainly don’t share that lack.

Today, once more, the prestart was just embarrassing. Chased out of the starting box altogether, Oracle managed to draw not one, but two penalties before the starting line. The sailing that ensued showed an American crew that was utterly demoralized.

I cannot help but feel that arrogance is becoming a national trademark. All teams but ours put responsibility for management of the race team in the hands of one person and leave sailing the boat to another. Only the US team combines CEO and Skipper in one man and that man is sailing the boat like a rank amateur. The boat is fast, and the crew work before today has been flawless. Even today the crew was well drilled, merely lackluster.

The commentators maintained today that the team should not change to another Skipper, but I believe they should. It is not that Chris Dickson cannot do better; he is a master sailor and clearly he can. But whether as a result of the pressure of managing the team or for whatever reason, he simply is not doing so.

This is the second American challenge that has combined team manager and skipper in one person. The last one lost the challenge in five straight races, and this one won’t even reach the challenge.


No comments:

Post a Comment