A good tone for yachtsmen around the world in the last Cup was to cheer for Emirates Team New Zealand. Even some American citizens were spotted cheering on this unpatriotic activity - such as a high-tech billionaire... Jim Clarke.. Under the paint of his 90-meter-high schooner... Athenamoored in San Francisco during the 34th CA, he hung the b«iggest New Zealand flag he could find».
The reasons for this are the mixed story of Oracle cheating in the AC World Series "warming up" regattas, Oracle's controversial (in terms of pure sport) victory in the previous Cup, and the annoyance that some handshake yachtsmen feel aroused by the bully Spithill, a cunning conjuror, a serial seller of his historic homeland of Coutts, and especially alpha-faced Larry Allison, with his ostentatious billionaire epicure (in a country where ostentatious modesty is a good tone among the superrich, Allison is a white waterfowl).
Growing all over the world americanophobia also brought its two kopecks: in the bloodless arena of sailing there was an archetypical battle of small and proud New Zealand David with a big and nasty Yankee Goliath. That is why the defeat of the kiwi, which happened literally one step away from victory, everyone took so close to heart.
I was also among those who chewed all the nails, worried about Barker and his team. But these are emotions, and if you look at it logically, I can now say with a pure heart - and thank God that everything turned out that way!
Why is the victory of Oracle team in the «America»'s Cup not so bad, but on the contrary, very good? Good for the future of the Cup, and also specifically for you and me?
I'll tell you in order:
First, the venue of the Cup (so far) remains San Francisco.
Hardly anyone would argue that the venue turned out great - with a bright backround, interesting water area, good infrastructure and more or less predictable weather conditions. It's unlikely you'll find a place where you can see the «Golden Gate»Bridge, Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Downtown with its skyscrapers from all sides - and the finish and most of the race can be seen from the shore with the naked eye.
California time zone is also quite convenient to watch live races in the afternoon in New York, at least in evening Europe, even in midnight Moscow or Dubai.
In addition, we do not forget that San Francisco and the whole bay area is a very developed place in terms of tourism infrastructure, where there are hotels, catering, entertainment, museums and daily incoming and outgoing flights from anywhere in the world. The city can easily withstand several hundred thousand tourist spectators, if they happen.
If all this isn't enough for you, Las Vegas and Los Angeles have Las Vegas as a bonus in half an hour of summer, where fans can unwind between races.
In general, for the viewers, sponsors, press and TV channels broadcasting the Cup - San Francisco is almost an ideal place.
Now let's answer the question honestly, how would you imagine all this in the literal sense of an asshole world called Auckland, NZ?
Let's move on.
Secondly, it is now safe to say that hydrofoil catamarans will remain as the Cup yachts. It is not very fundamental, whether it will be AC72 (unlikely), its modification (most optimal) or some entirely new class (although unlikely). The main thing is that mincemeat cannot be turned back, and now, after the 34th Cup, where sailing boats flew 42 knots, any subsequent draw on single hulls will only cause yawning. Oracle will not change horses after the crossing, but the kiwifruit could, there were rumors.
Thirdly, there will definitely be no tightening of the rule, i.e. the rule that most of the team should consist of citizens of the country whose flag this team carries. About this rule stuttered principle New Zealand team Grant Dalton, when he on the background of a series of victories in the first race began to ask about the future Cup. By the way, these talks went even before the end of the race - and Grant's very fact, it seems, his team naturally jinxed.
Team USA is definitely not interested in this rule - there were only two Americans on board the USA 17 in the current cup. But the kiwis, who occupied all the top positions of the world's sailing sport, could easily introduce this amendment and close the Cup on themselves for many years.
Fourthly, the Cup will have almost limitless financial possibilities for Allison. No matter who treats him, and money does not smell. In a sport that continues to be, by and large, unprofitable, they certainly won't be superfluous.
All this together adds to the competition stability, and so the trend to win a new audience, set by the main ideologist of the current CA Russell Coutts.
Now one more point, important for Russian yachtsmen. Everyone has received a very clear confirmation that a fast boat is almost guaranteed to win the Cup, isn't it? And here we come to a very interesting conclusion.
The Russian team, if one is created by the next Cup, has a real chance to win!
No, don't look at me like an idiot. Already at the last Cup there were rumors that the sailing wing «Kiwi» counted one of our aviation research institutes.
Can you imagine what happens if the consortium Sukhoi OKB. с Alekseev Design Bureau will give birth to the beast machine that will roll out the Cup's defenders catamaran as an intercontinental ballistic missile. SS-18 «Satan» - the NPRO system?
We just need to bustle up and buy Dean Barker and Ray Davis right now while the New Zealand team is in full knockdown (at least financially). Because these guys are still fighting.
As a result, who knows - perhaps, in 10 years we will see the Cup regattas somewhere in Vladivostok. The bridge to the Russky Island is quite stretching in spectacle with «the Golden Gate» (if it doesn't burn down by that time).
Well, New Zealand certainly won't give up, and someday it's bound to get the coveted... "The Old Ware.". One thing we know for sure about America's Cup is that it's a drug that no one has ever been able to get off of in their life.
About the author: Nikita Gorchakov - publisher of itBoat, amateur yachtsman, spectator of all live broadcasts of the «America»'s Cup since 2003.