The bickerings of Billionaires

After months and months of wrangling in the US courts it’s not the barristers or the bickerings of the billionaires that is delaying the start of the first leg of the America’s Cup – no and you guessed it – it is the weather. The three race series was supposed to have started on Monday but there was no wind. It was then scheduled for Wednesday but there was too much wind and the waves were too big.

Alinghi V and USA 17 are in Valencia, Spain – ready and waiting to race – photo courtesy of George Johns – Alinghi

The racing is now scheduled to start tomorrow – weather permitting – and will consist of possibly 3 races – the third race only being necessary if both boats win one of the first legs.

The 33rd America’s Cup is a Deed of Gift Match to be decided over the three races across two course types. Races 1 and 3 will be contested over a simple upwind-downwind loop totalling 40 miles, whilst Race 2 will be 39 miles long and around an equilateral triangle course comprising a 13 mile beat and two 13 miles reaches.

Of course we know there are only two contestants – the defender Alinghi V is racing under the ‘colours’ of the Societe Nautique de Geneve and is financed by the billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli – the challenger is  USA 17 which is financed by Larry Ellison of Oracle fame and BMW under the ‘colours’ of the Golden Gate Yacht Club.

Both these men are very determined and the stories that swirl around about both protagonists if printed would no doubt land us with a summons to court – so litigious have they become. What we can say is that what we would rather see is a mutual consent event with teams from other countries such as New Zealand, Great Britain, Italy, France and Australia making entries.

As a Deed of Gift Match it has come down to two mega rich individuals who are behaving in a spoilt manner and we believe this is detracting from the charm of the sport’s oldest event.

Ernesto Bertarelli

Ernesto Bertarelli – photo courtesy of Ivo Rovira – Alinghi

Of course the boats have been in Valencia for a while now and not surprisingly there have been some sharp lenses out on the water watching the action. Even if you disagree with the Deed of Gift Match format you will have to agree that the action is going to be very exciting – just imagine the jostling for position at the start line – the boats will hear a 6 minute warning before crossing the start line and then going hell for leather. All 90 feet of them attaining speeds in excess of 30 knots – wow it will be fun to watch.

All we can say is good luck to both teams, we hope there are no accidents and for goodness sake get on with the racing – at the end of the day it is only a sports event.

The action showing both boats in action comes from SailingNewsTV

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