Yeah, I'll concede as well. Well done, Chris 249. I hope you'll forgive my conclusions (which were largely based on the prominent quotes I used) as excusable.
I also agree with Francis Vaughan that these discussions don't count for much. Except that SailingAnarchy is the best sailing forum I've seen, and we've also seemed to all agree that the AC is a management contest as well as what happens on the water. I'd certainly think that monitoring prevailing opinion and attitude on prominent and relevant forums would be part of competent management. And certainly most would imagine LE as a hands-on person with a need to feel in control. I wouldn't completely discount the possibility that interesting threads such as this one don't either get reported on, or even possibly viewed directly by the guy making the rules. And possibly influencing him. It's certainly possible as well that there are upper and mid level management (not to mention crew) that lurk in these threads.
Because let's face it, we're interesting.
I think that what draws me to the AC is the new. We've gone from a country where you once could do anything, as long as it wasn't specifically illegal, to one where you can't do anything UNLESS it's already specifically legal. Being out on the water is symbolic of escaping that. Add technology that's actually new (as opposed to fully mature tech applications like motor sport, flying, or really most any competetion out there) is fun and reinforces the hope that things can still get better. So I like these debates, and offer thanks to everyone who's made this thread so entertaining.