America’s Cup: Singing in the Clutch

Published on September 24th, 2013

By Kimball Livingston, journalist and unabashed local cheerleader

Let’s sing along with Jimmy Spithill:


(one of the greatest comebacks of all time).

I remember Newport, 1983 on the eve of Race Seven, the decider. Australia II, which should have taken the match 4-0, had come back from down 1-3 to a 3-all tie. You could hear a badly-sung Waltzing Matilda in any bar on Thames Street, and I was just as nerved up then as I am now. Dennis Conner and company were on the verge of defending the America’s Cup in a match against a faster boat. Or losing it.

This time out, I measure the defender as the faster boat, most of the time, and that would be Oracle Team USA. The body language of Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker would give me no confidence, if I were Kiwi.

And surely San Francisco, from City Hall to the Sunset District, is waking up to what we have. Yes, our 2013 event missed on a number of conspicuous counts. When you make big bets on making big jumps in everything, that can happen. But a 35th America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay would produce everything promised for AC34. One-boat “races”? Wouldn’t happen. We move on.

On Michael Krasny’s Forum program this morning, on KQED, with Tom Fitzgerald, we had a caller who wanted to tell us how she supports the Kiwis because they’re “so much more San Francisco than Oracle.”

I get it.

I’ve had my disappointments, and there’s no warm and fuzzy in Oracle Team USA, or in Oracle, and Larry Ellison doesn’t give us anything in that department to work with. I feel for my Kiwi friends.

But AC-N-SF, now, that’s something. I’m for San Francisco Bay.


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