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DeanGibson
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OT: America's Cup

If one is an avid sailing fan, you couldn't ask for a more exciting sailboat race than the America's Cup between "Oracle Team USA" and "Team New Zealand", which just concluded today,  Down 8 to 1 in a "first team to nine" race, the Americans "Oracle Team USA" clawed their way back over the last two weeks to win it 9-8 today.

 

These are not your father's sailboats, putting along at 10-15 knots in a good wind.  The races were held in San Francisco Bay, with speeds of 40+ knots (51 knots / 57MPH was clocked a few days ago), both upwind and downwind, in winds of about 20 knots.  Of course, it helps that the boats are catamarans with hydrofoils underneath (both hulls are usually completely out of the water), and 130 ft tall sails.  Spinnakers are out;  they just slow you down.

 

Being retired, I got to watch every race in the finals, and each one was a good, breath-taking battle.

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kamas716
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Re: OT: America's Cup

I kind of lost interest back in the days of Dennis Connor
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deesy58
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Re: OT: America's Cup

[ Edited ]

DeanGibson wrote:

If one is an avid sailing fan, you couldn't ask for a more exciting sailboat race than the America's Cup between "Oracle Team USA" and "Team New Zealand", which just concluded today,  Down 8 to 1 in a "first team to nine" race, the Americans "Oracle Team USA" clawed their way back over the last two weeks to win it 9-8 today.

 

These are not your father's sailboats, putting along at 10-15 knots in a good wind.  The races were held in San Francisco Bay, with speeds of 40+ knots (51 knots / 57MPH was clocked a few days ago), both upwind and downwind, in winds of about 20 knots.  Of course, it helps that the boats are catamarans with hydrofoils underneath (both hulls are usually completely out of the water), and 130 ft tall sails.  Spinnakers are out;  they just slow you down.

 

Being retired, I got to watch every race in the finals, and each one was a good, breath-taking battle.


I watched every race, beginning to end.  They were the most exciting sailboat races ever, IMO.  There were times when both boats were able to exceed 60MPH in practice runs.  The fact that they could sail upwind at speeds exceeding 31 knots was mind boggling.  And they weigh in at over 13,000 pounds. 

 

I watched Dennis Conner and Ted Turner, and thought their races were exciting, but these catamarans are something to see.  They are able to stay up on their hydrofoils even when turning around a mark. 

 

Wow!

 

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patgolfneb
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Re: OT: America's Cup


kamas716 wrote:
I kind of lost interest back in the days of Dennis Connor

I agree, although the technology and financial commitment is breathtaking the fact that almost the entire crew is composed of non Americans limits rooting interest.  I guess our rich guy beat their rich guy. 

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deesy58
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Re: OT: America's Cup

Kinda like Olympic basketball and hockey, right?  The team members often come from a number of countries.  Do we also refuse to watch Major League Baseball, NHL Hockey, NBA basketball, Soccer,  or any other team sport just because not all of the team's members were born in America?  How provincial!

 

 

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patgolfneb
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Re: OT: America's Cup

Deesy , why must you pick fights?. Additionally  none of the examples you listed, except for the Olympics purport to represent the USA.  Olympian must be citizens of the USA.  A small number have dual citizenship because only one of their parents was a US citizen. An even smaller number are naturalized citizens. Regardless your response, as usual distorts my response and is offensive. 

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deesy58
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Registered: ‎01-22-2012

Re: OT: America's Cup

Distorts your response?  How so?  Dean and I joined a whole lot of other Americans in celebrating the win of the Oracle USA team in the America's Cup races.  You jumped into the discussion with a derisive comment about the birthplaces and/or citizenship of the crew of the boat.  Never mind that the original tactician on the boat was an American with extensive sailing experience in San Francisco Bay, and that the helmsman is married to an American woman. 

 

It is you, not me, who offends -- in this case every American who is proud of the traditions of yacht racing and the accomplishments of the people who stage and engage in these very competitive events. 

 

The United States government did not build the Oracle boat.  Larry Ellison did.  It's no accident that the boat is named Oracle 17.  BTW, Mr. Ellison is an American.

 

Who, by the way, did the Emirates-New Zealand boat represent: New Zealand or the United Arab Emirates?  And, were you aware that, of the four entries in the AC72 class America's Cup yachts, only the New Zealand entry was crewed by sailors who were citizens of the country that co-sponsored the boat?  Both the Swedish and Italian crews were made up of sailors from all over the world, with many coming from Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.  If that's where the best and most experienced sailors come from, that's where they should be recruited. 

 

You just had to jump into a conversation about which you appear to know nothing and lob a smelly blob of dog doo-doo into the thread.  :smileymad:

DeanGibson
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Re: OT: America's Cup

[ Edited ]

First of all, the whole history of the America's Cup has been between boats from very rich men.  The fact that Larry Ellison was supposed to be the keynote speaker at a local conference earlier this week, but showed up at the race site instead, says something about his priorities (which I happen to admire).  Yes, Mr. Ellison has a reputation for having a big ego (so what?), but it's not like the posts on this forum have been dominated by humility (including yours truly).

 

Secondly, I've been a fan of the America's Cup for some time, because I believe in innovation, and most of the America's Cup boats in the last thirty years have been quite innovative (athough nothing like the current boats).

 

Thirdly, I like a contest that involves thinking and strategy, rather than (primarily) strength or mechanical (fuel-powered) horsepower.  There is something exciting about a race that needs only the wind to move.

 

Fourthly, I supported Oracle Team USA this time around, because I usually root for the underdog (coming back from being down 1-8 to winning 9-8 is just a little bit exciting).  In 1983, when the USA lost the Cup for the first time ever after more than a century of dominance, I rooted for the Aussies, because (1) I find it's more fun to root for the underdog, and (2) I wanted the contest to be FUNCTIONALLY (as opposed the theoretically) international, and that has certainly happened in the following thirty years.  When Switzerland (a land-locked country) won the America's Cup a few years ago, that created real international interest, rather than a "ho hum, the USA won again" attitude.

 

Fifthly, I fly airplanes where we land at speeds below the top speed ot these boats.  I find that intriguing.  I've watched the last race three times (so far):  http://www.youtube.com/user/AmericasCup

 

Sixthly, this desire for a "pure" team is a little silly, in my opinion.  When you look at the comeback of the Boston RedSox from 0-3 to 4-3 in the 2004 World Series, does anyone think it was important to anyone that all the RedSox players were native Bostonians?  Or even of USA citizenship?  My guess is that most supporters didn't even know;  they just wanted to see good baseball.

 

Seventhly, in my opinion, the biggest reason for having a team associated with a city or country, is that it gives some people with little imagination, help in picking a team to root for (it also helps raise money for stadiums from stupid taxpayers).  I live in Seattle, and I do not support the Seahawks.  I root for the Dallas Cowboys, even though in my whole life I've only spent seven days in Texas.  No, I chose the Cowboys to root for, for a much more important reason:

 

I like their uniforms.  Same for the Cincinatti Bengals.

 

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deesy58
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Re: OT: America's Cup

Well said.

 

We also should not forget where the boats were designed and built, and the contributions of the large and dedicated ground crews without whom the races could not be held.  In addition, each boat had a "pit crew" that boarded the boats on the water between races and provided maintenance to the boats, and nourishment and hydration to the sailors. 

 

The teams that raced these boats were a lot larger than the 11 men we saw on television ...

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roustabout
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Re: OT: America's Cup

San Francisco got a terrible deal on the America's Cup, one that I hope is a lesson to any future cities being asked to host (SF included.)

 

During the arm twisting leading up the the city committing tens of millions to support Ellison, a group of Cup supporters promised to hold fundraisers to cover the excess sunk costs for the city.

 

Those fundraisers have come up short;  if SF were smarter, that wouldn't matter:  they would have written language which basically codified 'put up or shut up,' to wit:  "ok, board of the America's Cup, each of you are individually liable for any fundraising shortfall in the following percentages;  these liabilities cannot be discharted by bankruptcy"

 

Only with that language signed by those asking for SF to host the race should the supervisors have agreed.  The money involved is chump change for Ellison, but not for the city. 

 

As far as the race itself goes, at least in reports that I saw, it seemed the Oracle team - talented as they were - arguably shouldn't have been permitted to race at all.  The cheating they were penalized for seems to be the kind of cheating that could have forfeited the race. 

 

From what I know of Ellison there is simply no way that anyone on the team was sneaking gear onto the boat without his knowledge and the knowledge of the other crew.

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