A view on the America’s Cup

Published on March 10th, 2013

From Adrian Morgan:
From the remote fastnesses of the Scottish Highlands, one can see for miles, both backwards and forwards, and from my perspective, 1000s of miles from San Francisco it looks like the America’s Cup is shaping up to be just like those contests in the early 1900s.

It was during that era when hulls like that of the absurdly over canvassed Reliance were built of exotic materials such as aluminum and Tobin bronze, lasted for a few months before self-destructing, and money was no object. Come the America’s Cup match this year, with realistically just Oracle Team USA and Emirates NZ in the running, they may well self-destruct during the races, will be redundant soon after, and cost a bomb. Just like the old days.

This is more like it, I hear myself saying: a proper, elitist, exclusive and ruinously expensive America’s Cup in mad boats set against the backdrop of a global recession. Forget bringing sailing to the masses by making it more accessible; forget the spectacle of dozens of boats racing on the Bay; this is an old fashioned grudge match between two old adversaries, with the other two teams there only to make up the numbers.

And who will win? My prediction is that the billionaire who bought the Cup last time around will, with the help of a bunch of renegade Kiwis, win it on the water this time.

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