Tuesday, 15 December 2009

OT - America’s Cup 2010

For those of you that don’t keep up-to-date on sailing, the next meeting of the giants of match-race sailing, the America’s Cup, has been totally changed by the courts following legal battles between Larry Ellison (CEO of Oracle) and the Swiss challengers, Alinghi. Rather than a competition open to all entrants to fight to challenge the holders, next year’s competition will be solely between the holders, Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing – racing in mighty multi-hulls rather than the normal 12 metre yachts.

We may not yet know for sure where the February competition will be held (my betting is on Valencia), but next year’s America’s Cup racing looks as if it will be more a technology rather than a tactical race. Just look at the competitors....

Visit the BMW Oracle Racing and Alinghi web sites for more information, photos and videos.

I can’t wait to see who wins this competition next year – I just hope that the two boats are relatively evenly matched, otherwise the competition could be as boring as some Formula 1 GPs, where one car can be so dominant as to result in predictable, processional races. I don’t see multi-hulls as the ideal vehicles for close match racing, however, if we get some good breezes, just watching these monsters at speed could prove exciting on its own....

I hope that we will see a return to common sense rather the courts after 2010, with the competition returning to open races in boats built to an agreed specification (ideally 12 metres, but if not, let’s have a tight standard that puts the emphasis back onto the skills of the teams).

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