Sunday, September 08, 2013

Bad Course, Bad Boat, Bad Sailing

America's Cup started yesterday; two races on San Francisco Bay. The American defender started two races down due to an unprecedented penalty and must win eleven races against only nine for the challenger from New Zealand. I doubt they will win even one. They lost both races yesterday; one by more than 40 seconds and the other by more than a full minute. That margin in actual sailboats, which move at eight or nine knots, would be bad, but in these ridiculous contraptions moving at 50mph, it is utterly a blowout.

The announcers keep bleating about the course being five legs, but two of the legs are only a few seconds, and in actual fact there is one upwind leg and two downwind legs, which is ridiculous. Beating to windward is by far the better test of sailing, and it was the upwind leg where the Kiwis utterly destroyed Oracle. In a real sailing match the trailing boat could maneuver to find better wind or could engage the leader in a tacking duel, but with these so-called "boats" and with such a ridiculously confined course nothing of the sort is possible. What a joke.

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