America’s Cup: The REAL reason why the Defender won

Published on April 7th, 2014

Much has been made of the drama surrounding the 34th America’s Cup, and the factors which attributed to what is quite possibly the greatest comeback in sport history.

With the New Zealand challenger up 8 to 1, the American defender stormed back in the best-of-17 series to win on San Francisco Bay in September 2013.

Better sailors? Better boat? Maybe, but if you ask Q-bitz creator Peggy Brown, she’d say better training…

“I’m a professional game inventor, and it turns out that the Americans played a game I invented, in order to keep their brains from scrambling when they’re physically pooped from hoisting jibs and weighing anchors (those are two of the only three sailing terms I know).

“They played Q-bitz to develop and strengthen their mental acuity in the middle of their grueling training sessions so they don’t keel over (that’s the third one) during the big race.

“These world-class athletes trained by swinging kettle bells the size of hippos while running across bouncy nets, and by doing sit-ups by the millions and balancing like ballerinas on tightropes, and while this description may be slightly exaggerated, they pumped iron until they get practically delirious, and then, with sweat dripping off their noses, (this next part involves no exaggeration) they scoot over to the table and play Q-bitz.

“Q-bitz is simultaneously a race, a puzzle, and a work of art. It’s thinky in its simplicity and simple in its complexitude. It’s elegant and tactile and visual and has hardly any rules. It could be played between four players that speak four different languages, and nobody would have any discernible advantage.”

And we thought it was all about wings and foils. Learn more about Q-bitz at

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