Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sweeps

The America's Cup is fundamentally a very boring event.

Did you know that in the last seventy years spanning sixteen America's Cup regattas, there has only been one occasion on which the losing boat won more than one race? That was the time when Dennis Conner won three races against Australia ll but still managed to lose the Cup. Eleven of the other fifteen America's Cup finals since 1937 were sweeps with the loser failing to win even one single race in what was usually a best of seven series.

No wonder it is tough to persuade the general public that the America's Cup is exciting. But this year things are different. With Alinghi's win yesterday tying up the series at 2-2, it is now certain that even the losing team will have won at least two races.

Aren't you just pumped up about that? Doesn't it make you want to jump on a plane to Valencia right now? Or at the very least subscribe to the Versus channel?

No? Oh well. I guess you could go and watch some paint dry.

The views, conclusions, findings and opinions expressed here may or may not be the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Laser Class Association, the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Her Majesty's Government, or America's Cup Management. The opinions expressed here represent the views of 0.000017% of Versus subscribers and do not necessarily represent the views of the other 99.999983% of subscribers, Comcast Corporation or its subsidiaries. You should check with them if you really care what they think. New readers to this blog are advised that Tillerman does not always say what he means or even know what he means, or know what he says, or ... Wait. Where was I? Where am I? Oh yes. You are advised that Tillerman reserves the right to write the opposite of what he really means in order to provoke some comments even supposing he knows what he thinks in the first place.

13 comments:

Litoralis said...

It's more interesting to watch than NASCAR...at least to me. But that's because I have no idea what's going on in a NASCAR race other than a bunch of cars driving in a circle.

Tillerman said...

One word Lito. Crashes.

Litoralis said...

Sure, but if you have ever talked to a real NASCAR fan then you will find out that crashes are not the main reason for watching the race.

Tillerman said...

So they say. So they say.

M Squared said...

I think there's a similar psychology with real hockey fans...

Tillerman said...

Unbelievable

M Squared said...

Sailboat racing has crashes too!

M Squared said...

Unbelievable is right... look at the "fans"... even the announces saying "this might be just what the Senators needed"... That's the WWNHL for you.

Anonymous said...

In the Great White North, we do sailing, laser types please genuflect north ( Bruce Kirby ). We also love and know hockey.

One of the little lessons from this blog - other than an ironic view of life - is that sailing is a skill. You may even take umbrage when the great unwashed think it's all about white flannels and Thurston J. Howell III (Jim Backus).

Hence hockey requires great skill - do you skate - and is played with passion. Fighting in hockey goes back to it's origins, like Edwardian gents in blue blazers.

Put that fight in context of a 60 minute game of high skill, higher speed, and the need for a team that had lost its' way in terms of character, to find itself. In the end it lead them to a Stanley Cup final where they were beaten by a better, more physical team.

Its easy to take on airs of superiority, particularly when ill-informed. Other wise someone may accuse you of playing about in big boy's pond yachts.

Tillerman said...

Thanks m-squared. Sailing does indeed have crashes too. My theory is that deep deep down we are all longing to see one of those two IACC boats T-bone the other in 20 knots of breeze. Can't beat a good sinking.

Anonymous hockey fan, I think you misunderstand me. I am not saying that sailing is superior to sailing or hockey because it has few crashes and almost no fights. I'm saying hockey and NASCAR are fun to watch because they not only have participants showing great skill, there's also the chance to see some real aggro too.

So I'm rooting for a crash in race 5 today with the two boats locked together and then the two crews boarding each other's boat and slugging it out.

We need more pirates in this world.

Anonymous said...

Well it didn't quite happen that way. Instead, Team New Zealand slugged it out with its spinnakers in race 5 and the spinnakers won.

Tillerman said...

Yeah - but at least something broke. It's definitely getting more interesting. Maybe a mast will snap before it's all over.

Anonymous said...

Well, i was there in Valencia the whole 2 weeks of AC 32 staying on a Bavaria 38 in the Port America's Cup south basin. The 2 weeks were anything but boring - the most exciting sports event of my life - even with out the spinn tear and snafu & guys falling in the water. Watching out on the water at the course or on the jumbotrons set up around the Venue, or huge plasma TVs all over in bars etc. - it was beyond belief.

A part of that is that the judges drive around right behind the AC boats and make their decisions on protests and penalties immediately - and you don't have to wait 8 hrs like in the Olympics or other races for the protests to be cleared to see who really won. I worked the 96 Olympics in Savannah and the protests went on 'till after midnight some days.

Hence the 1 second Alinghi finish totally gripping during and after NZL doing circles right at the finish, wind shift and all.

The AC sailing was phenominal - tactics, handling, everything - the AC boats beautiful and technical miracles, the venue was amazing, the coverage on the jumbotrons - watching it with a zillion Kiwis in a huge converted freight train station, even just being around the mega yachts that had sailed from NZL, UK, USA, RSA, SWE, Hawaii etc... was a trip of a lifetime. VA

Post a Comment