“America’s Cup, you broke me.” A former fan’s disappointment

Just as the fate of the next America’s Cup is being decided.
(scheduled for 2017), with participating teams asked to vote on changing the boat for the 35th Cup (AC48 catamarans are mentioned), amid controversy (including Luna Rossa’s threat of abandonment by Patrizio Bertelli and Max Sirena) we received an email in the newsroom from a reader. A longtime disillusioned reader of the turn that has taken what remains the world’s most famous sailing competition. Read what he wrote himself and let us know if you agree with him….

Will the America’s Cup be done aboard catamarans? No wait, but not of the 72 feet, in fact not even of the 62… The costs are too high–it will be a 45- to 50-foot catamaran. “How nice, costs are reduced, we will have more teams.” “How bad, a Cup on small boats is not a Cup.” “But yes, let’s make the Cup a traveling show, like Formula One and like wrestling events.” “Eh, of course the old J-Classes in front of Newport….” “I’m getting out of the Cup!” How many have been heard! And even before that, the rigid-wing trimaran versus the supercatamaran, the whims of Ellison and Bertarelli.

Dear Editor, The writer is a long-time sailing enthusiast. One who spent sleepless nights hoping for Luna Rossa’s impossible victory over the New Zealanders in 2000 (For the adventure of Azzurra and Italia I was too young). Who hurled improper remarks at that obnoxious Russell Coutts, who esteemed Sir Peter Blake’s red socks, who cheered when Francesco De Angelis and Torben Grael gave the big moustache Paul Cayard a run for his money in the Louis Vuitton Cup final.

And now, I really broke down. I have grown tired of this Cup that has been going on, now since 2008, with controversy and is fought aboard spaceships. Call me nostalgic and perhaps reactionary, all these rich people of the present have not inherited what distinguished the rich people of the past (because let’s be clear, the Cup is and will always remain a challenge between tycoons): class. Yes class, elegance and respect for the opponent, “knowing how to win” and “knowing how to lose,” even if sometimes masked by mere commercial interests. Sir Thomas Lipton, if I remember correctly, was defeated no less than 5 times with his Shamrocks in 30 years, but his tea rocked in America (“Lipton Ice Tea, phenomenal,” said Dan Peterson). And Marcel Bich, Raul Gardini, and so many other big names of “losers” who, however, understood that the Cup was a promotional tool, not a whim for egocentric “duckies.”

But yes, have your Cup in Bermuda, aboard boats that do not reflect in the slightest what is “real” sailing (I used to see a similarity between the Silver Bullet and a pleasure boat anyway. Now you don’t want me to believe that the sail of the future, even the recreational sail, will be made of rigid wings, canting keels, foils). And continue to do battle among yourselves, going through courts and regulation changes.

I am going to watch the medal races of the Olympic classes.

Good wind,
Ricky Dazieri



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