Man, I dig nationality when it comes to the America's Cup. When I first became aware of the America's Cup back in 1987 national pride dominated those of us in America who were rooting for Dennis Conner to bring the Cup back home from Australia. DC's boat was even named "Stars and Stripes" for God's sake. And when he successfully won he went on a celebration tour around America starting with a ticker tape parade in New York City. As an 11 year old kid at that time national pride is what hooked me on the America's Cup and the same thing happened a year later during the Seoul Olympics when American athletes like Matt Biondi and Carl Lewis opened my eyes to the Olympics for the first time and made me proud to be an American. Sure growing up in Annapolis I spent a lot of time on my Step Father's sail boats so it stands to reason I should be a fan of the Cup right? Not necessarily.
When it comes to nationality in the America's Cup I've compared it to the Olympics many times in the past while debating in America's Cup Anarchy (ACA). Every four years TV ratings in the US go through the roof for such sports as Men's/Women's Swimming, Women's Gymnastics, Men's/Women's Figure Skating, Alpine Skiing events, etc... Sports that no one not intimately involved in said sports give a rats ass about the 3 1/2 years between Olympics. Nationality is the reason why these sports matter every 4 years, the only reason. Hell, just the other day one of the biggest beneficiaries of Nationalism in regards to the Olympics, Michael Phelps, was on TV for an hour getting ready to, and actually racing, a computer generated great white shark to see which was faster of a 100m course. If it wasn't the nationalistic pull of the Olympics no one would of given two shits who Michael Phelps was never mind wasting an hour waiting for him to race a fake shark. Another good example of nationalism making certain sports popular look at Women's Soccer. Women like Mia Hamm and the shirtless Brandi Chastain rocketed to stardom on the back of the American flag. At one point they thought they were the reason for their success, not USA on their chest, so they started a professional Women's Soccer league. It lasted three years and lost approximately 100 million before it folded. Why? People wanted to see the USA Women's Soccer team not the Bay Area CyberRays or the Washington Freedom.
The America's Cup falls in the same category as Swimming and Women's Soccer in my opinion. Embrace nationalism and people will pay attention. Will the Cup ever be on the level of the Olympics? Doubtful, but nationalism could generate enough interest to successfully fund teams from many different nations and secure the future viability of the Cup for years to come. But when I say embrace nationalism in regards to the Cup I don't mean half assed measures like what Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts tried to pull for AC34 and AC35. Where they slapped TEAM USA on every part of their boats and gear yet had the entire sailing team jabbering on with an Aussie twang. American's might be largely ignorant when it comes to sail boat racing, but they know when someone is trying to bullshit them when they see a boat with TEAM USA on it but the guy behind the wheel sounds like Crocodile DunDee's kid.
Now with Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) the new defenders of the Cup there is talk of a true nationality rule. Nothing specific has been announced but there is talk of anywhere from 50% to 80% of the sailing team must be from the nation of the yacht club (challenger) they represent. I would much rather 60% to 80% for this cycle of the Cup but 50% is better than nothing, IMO. After the debacle that was AC35 (American Defender not defending in America) a nationality rule is crucial for the much needed reset of the Cup. Especially when it comes to America's involvement in the Cup. Not since AC31 back in 2003 has there been more than one American team competing for the Cup. Since 2003 Larry Ellison's Oracle Racing team has been the sole American, in name only, team. Between 2007 and now Ellison's Oracle Team has went from being ashamed to fly the American flag over their team base in Valencia, Spain to riding off to Bermuda to defend the Cup because cities like San Francisco wouldn't pony up money and property to Uncle Larry Ellison.
But now us American fans of the Cup may be done with Larry Ellison supposedly representing America in the Cup. With Ellison's sworn enemy in Grant Dalton part of the organization effort, and reportedly up to three American teams not affiliated with Ellsion expressing interest in challenging for the Cup, there is hope that at least one true American challenger will be on the water in New Zealand when AC36 kicks off. And with American sailors like Bora Gulari saying that they only have interest being part of the Cup if its with a true American challenge (http://sailinganarchy.com/2017/07/24/thats-a-wrap-5/) it says to me nationality is not dead when it comes to the Cup. At least I hope not...
Whats on my IPad song of the day:
Ok, its been over three years since my last blog post. That's beyond laziness and firmly in the worthless category. Having said that, the third time is the charm right? I think it is....
A lot has happened in my life over the last 3+ years. I lost a parent to Cancer (Fuck you!), transitioned from private sector employment to the government sector (paid more for less work!) and I have slowly watched my oldest daughter start the process of becoming a woman (Help me Jesus!). There has been more taking place in my life over the last 3 years, but those three things are the most significant life affecting moments. Its been a rough three years to say the least, but I am looking forward to starting a new and it begins with this blog entry.
More significant to this blog is what has happened in regards to the America's Cup over the last 3+ years. Lets see, Uncle Larry Ellison and Cousin Russell Coutts decided to take their Oracle TEAM USA to Bermuda, of all places, and defend the America's Cup. That right there was a gut punch of significance to me as an American America's Cup fan. Although American didn't put the America in the America's Cup, it was the home of said Cup for 130+ years. At no point should a defense of the AC by an American team ever take place outside America. Simply absurd and the final straw forcing me to end my support of Oracle. After that decision I lost a lot of interest in the AC. Sure I kept track from time to time on what was going, but I never watched more than a 30 second clip of any of the ACWS events that took place leading up to AC35 and became a ghost on ACA. When the LVC started in Bermuda this past May I started paying attention but it wasn't the same. OD boats and Bermuda, not very compelling to me. Luckily for me, I hope, ETNZ whooped OR-BDA's ass and the Cup has been pried out of Uncle Larry's semi-cold/dead hands. And with that a new era in the Cup is hopefully born. We shall see.
Speaking of this potentially new era of the Cup, as I expected, Kiwi fan boys are slobbering all over themselves on ACA with any and every bit of news that ETNZ produces on their much deserved victory tour of the Underworld (New Zealand). The latest dribble of drool is about ETNZ letting average folk, commoners, actually touch the Cup. Oh boy. Reading about that also jogged my memory about what happened around the turn of the century the first time the Kiwi's brought the Cup down to the Underworld and shared it with the commoner's.
Ah, yeah, I'd just assume ETNZ and the Kiwi authorities be a bit selective about whom touches the Cup while it resides, temporarily, in the Underworld. All joking aside, ETNZ and their fans deserve to celebrate however they choose. Its just tough for a guy like me who subscribes to the saying "Act like you've been there before" when it comes to sports. ETNZ and their fans have been there before but you wouldn't know it based on their current euphoria. Crazy.
Now for a bit of venting on a personal level. Primarily in regards to the fact that I am the sole male in my house. My lovely wife and two daughters are the best things to ever happen to me, no question, but man is it tough being the only one in the house that pee's standing up. Especially considering the fact that my oldest daughter is in the initial phases of blossoming into being a woman. Luckily for me my wife gets the brunt of my oldest's wrath but I do get the collateral damage. The current issue that threatens to end the world according to my oldest is she is getting tiny pimples on her face. I made the mistake the other night of making a smart ass remark about her new friends and my oldest decided to Jimmy Superfly Snuka me off her top bunk bed. After that I knew this shit was serious. The oldest is demanding Proactive, and I am ready to buy her a truck load after she Snuka'ed me, but my Wife is preaching patience and I am forced to agree. All the while my youngest is obvious to anything not involving her iPad and won't eat anything accept mac-n-cheese. That's a topic for another venting moment right there. I also forget to mention the cat is also a female, needed around $500 worth of teeth removed from her head and recently has started to try and sit on my head while I sleep for some unknown reason. Regardless, I am truly blessed.
Well that will do for right now. I started this late in my work day and I need to start wrapping up my so called work so I can get out on time and miss traffic. For those who have been blessed like me and had to endure rush hour traffic on the DC Beltway you know why its important to leave promptly when the day is over. I will say I feel confident this won't be my last blog entry for another 6 years or so. There is so much to talk about, like dumb ass Trump and his equally dumb offspring and the details of AC36, there is no reason I can't shoot out blog entry's on a more consistent basis. Especially considering I am a Government employee now, I have a lot of free time during my work day. No promises though.
Whats on my IPad song of the day:
Wow! More than 1 year between blog entries. I am a lazy POS.
Anyway, going to take another crack at this blog thing. Take 2!
Nothing really going on in my 2 favorite sailing events, the AC and VOR. Best I can tell in the world of the AC that is going on right now is round 2 of the circle jerk between OR and San Fran about hosting rights to AC35, and with the VOR going to an OD boat there is nothing really going in the VOR world accept occasional announcements of new teams and rumors about what teams might fill out the hoped for field of 8 boats. Good to see a sort of American team entered in Team Alvimedica, or what I like to call Team Turkey and (American) Cheese. And I expect, when its all said and done, for Grant Dalton and TNZ to guilt Mr. Knut into a sweet heart deal for the last boat so NZ has a team for the Auckland stopover. But that's it. No team announcements of their new boats hitting the water and the boat porn pictures that go with it. 1st real negative to the OD era of the VOR, IMO. So much for the VOR filling the gap that is the doldrums of an AC cycle. The time between the end of the last AC cycle and the release of the protocol for the next AC cycle. A real bummer.
The other stuff...
Winter Olympics are back:
The Winter Olympics are back and man is it great. Between the Summer and Winter Olympics I prefer the Winter version. Growing up skiing got me into the Winter Olympics more than the Summer version with sports like Bobsled, Luge, Skeleton, Skiing with a gun (Biathlon), Downhill and Ski Jumping being simply bad ass. The 9 hour time difference between Sochi and the US east coast sucks, but NBC Sports having all the events online sort of makes up for that time delay.
Hot, Cool, Yours? Apparently that is the theme for the Sochi 2012 Winter Olympics. That phrase is everywhere around the Sochi Venues. I guess it makes sense in Russian...
Where are the hot chicks? Curling and Cross Country Skiing events, IMO. When I was growing up the hot chicks were in Alpine Skiing. Now they appear to all have taken up Cross Country Skiing or Curling. Go figure.
And then there was Johnny Weir...
Living with 3 women I am obligated to watch Figure Skating and Ice Dancing (Whats the difference?). And that means staying updated on what Johnny Weir is wearing while commentating. Johnny Weir is a lot of things but dull isn't one of them. And he also happens to be a damn fine sports commentator. You go girl!
Well that's all I have for blog post #2. Hopefully something worthwhile to discuss in either the AC or VOR world will come along soon.
Whats on my IPod song of the day:
Just noticed the blog feature on this site, and considering the current state of the AC Anarchy forum (Troll on Troll violence), I figured I'd try this out as a way to express myself. So here we go:
First, a little about me.
I've made it clear since I started posting on this site that I am not a sailor. I grew up sailing with my parents, and briefly had a Force 5 dinghy that I ran up and down the South River, but my personal sailing experiences ended when I went off to College. But I have been obsessed with the American's Cup ever since '87 and Fremantle. My step-father taped the Cup matches so he didn't have to watch it in the middle of the night and made me watch them with him. Watching DC and Stars and Stripes pound their way to victory over the Aussies, bringing the Cup home, got me hooked for life. Also, KZ-1 (The Big Boat) paying Annapolis, MD a visit when I was kid didn't hurt either.
Enough about me, what about the real snooze fest AC34 has turned out to be? Here we are 8 months out from the Cup match and we have a 4 team event and not much else. The Defender's vision is far from realized, so is the potential of their boat(s), the COR has a boat that looks like a Lamborghini (and appears to be just as reliable) and the remaining Challengers (ETNZ and ETNZ/LR) are poised to unleash their own grand vision for the Cup (Nationality Rules! YAY!) primarily because they are the only ones that appear to have boats worth a shit. To say there isn't a group of us that bought Uncle Larry Ellisons grand vision hook, line and sinker, but are left with a hangover, is an understatement. I was skeptical, like others, when multihulls were picked for the new Cup class of boats, but after witnessing the ACWS in Newport in person, I was hooked. But now, with only 4 teams, AC72's that appear to be glorified drag racers and ACA overtaken by trolls, my excitement for the AC is at an all time low.
I suppose my piss poor AC attitude is really caused by the fact there is no boat porn for me to enjoy during this Cup cycle. During AC 32, with 11 Challengers, it seemed like new, or improved, IACC boats were hitting the water all the time. There was plenty of opportunities to debate and discuss the different teams boats on ACA. Now that seems like a fond memory never to return. It also doesn't help that the AC45's and AC72's are more nets, wires and tubes than a true boat, a mono-hull. The old IACC boats had long/sleek hulls. Curves that make referring to a boat as a Lady make sense. Where as multi-hulls, with their thin streamlined hulls and beams/wires holding them together, reminds me more of Usane Bolt running the 100 meter than a Lady. The AC multi-hulls have no substance to me, no story to tell. I have tried my hardest to get into this multi-hull thing, but even the great time I had at the ACWS in Newport can't get me to embrace multi-hulls in the AC. Maybe when the LVC and Cup Finals get going I will finally be swayed, but at this point in time I am a closet ETNZ fan in the hopes mono's are brought back to the AC should ETNZ win it all.
Well thats all I have to "blog" about for now. Pretty sure my first attempt at a "blog" is a bust, but I will keep on keeping on because I live in a house with 3 crazy women. I have no life.
Whats on my Ipod song of the day: