In the 90’s I was involved with the Americas Cup, not as a member of one of the teams, no, I loved to sail but I certainly did not qualify to be a team member!

Instead, I became part of the organizing committee. Oh I was just a grunt, haha but it was the ‘ultimate’ grunt job. I ran the folks dealing with the press conferences and the media center.

Our paths crossed on numerous occasions, Dennis was about as athletic as a donut. I remember a regatta in San Diego a stop on the ‘F1 Tour’ in 1992. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got roped in to helping out with the commentary. At the skippers press conference there were 7 slim and trim athletic ones and then there was Dennis! His beer belly was resting on the table.

What Dennis lacked in fitness he more than made up for in sailing skills. His boats were often not the fastest but his tactics and team were so focused that wins came aplenty.

On the subject of the latest Americas Cup, he had this to say:

Dennis Conner, who won the Cup four times from 1974-1988, told Newstalk ZB on Friday he wanted to see a Kiwi victory to end the “circus” of a regatta currently taking place with the foiling catamarans in Bermuda.

“I like what I’m hearing about the possibility of going back to a mono hull and not making it the same circus that we have [in Bermuda],” the American told Rachel Smalley on the Early Edition show.

I am in complete agreement with Dennis. Yesterday the Kiwis won the America Cup and so the Cup heads down south. The Oracle circus is over. Better still the Challenger Of Record (COR) is the Italian Luna Rosa team.

For fans of sailing these are great developments. I love the idea of going back to Monohulls. It would end the ‘drag racing’ and get back to tactics.

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