I will be the first to admit that selling Sail Boat races to the masses is a tough act. It doesn’t have the fan base that NASCAR has. To the best of my knowledge way more people know about Sham Wow and Oxyclean adverts than they do about Boat Racing.

Some 5 years ago rich kid Larry Ellison told the world that he was going to change everything. The Americas Cup was going to be the ‘event’. Gone were the days of boring monohulls lumbering along at 10 MPH, in were the 72 feet catamarans ripping along at 50 MPH. Out was having a race course a few miles off shore, in was a course inside San Francisco harbor.

These changes sounded good(ish) and might just drag the AC into the mainstream. For sure the TV and media were interested. The future looked bright.

So here we are in 2013. Rather than the promised 8 challengers, there are  2 ½. Actually there is only one viable challenger Team Emirates New Zealand. Luna Rosa have a working boat, but based on the stats TNZ are going to squish them like a bug. Artemis (Sweden) had a major problem with boat #1 and are working hard to get a second boat on the water.

All we have seen so far are 5 races, 4 of which were one boat sightseeing trips. The one and only two boat race TNZ vs LR was beyond funny. TNZ spanked LR before the race even started!

It really is not surprising that the TV stations suddenly lost interest in live coverage. I believe that NBC Sports is the only US based outlet that has even a vague interest.

“No prob” the loons running the event said, “We will broadcast live on YouTube”. I am guessing that people with cute cat videos on YouTube are garnering more watchers than the AC, as the last few solo attempts to make it around the course without opposition has become even more boring as they could not even bother to air them.

It is such a shame, the AC has such a great history, yet the rich boys would like to see its demise. It is not the sailors that bug me, it is the politics and spin. Get off your hobby horse and move forward.

I like innovation, but I also like a good and fair race. I know that the two people that agree with me will say stop the BS and bring the AC back to what it was. Part of me says, bring back the 12 meter, at least their was real racing.

Simon Barrett

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