America’s Cup Chronicles: Same as it always is…

Published on August 8th, 2013

The Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series for the 34th America’s Cup is not what it was supposed to be. The promise of 15 challengers has been reduced to just 3 teams, but we were comforted in that they appeared to be strong teams. Quality over quantity, right.

However, a field of three teams was a far cry from what the event had become accustomed to during the five matches of the International America’s Cup Class (IAAC) era…

1992 – 8 teams – San Diego
1995 – 7 teams – San Diego
2000 – 11 teams – Auckland
2003 – 9 teams – Auckland
2007 – 11 teams – Valencia

But in each edition, regardless of field size, perhaps only a third of the teams had what it took to advance. While the variance among the field was not glaring, the better teams could gain a boat length here or there, make that cross, control their opponent, and win the race.

Where the IACC masked the speed difference, the AC72 has not. With a speed range of 0 to 40+, the span between fast and slow is measured in increments of 100 meters. While the AC72 has proven to be an exciting machine, it has yet to provide exciting racing.

With just three challengers for the 34th America’s Cup, all appearing to be strong a year ago, only a third of the field appear now to have what it takes to advance.

Same as it always is…

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