I have to admit: I broke up with the America's Cup back in December. After hearing that Terry Hutchinson wouldn't be chasing his dream of winning the Cup, I was pretty done with the whole kit and caboodle. The technology is over my head (if you have to revert to airplane analogies to try to describe something, don't expect me to follow you), the boats are more like trampolines in a hurricane than any sailboat I've ever been on, and it was beginning to sound like half the battle would simply be getting the boats into some condition where they could compete instead of just capsizing dramatically.
Even those capsizes started getting under my skin. Yeah, it's hard to pull your eyes away from a train wreck, and yeah, it got non-sailors interested in the sport for possibly the first time in a long time, but come on. When you need both an Olympic sailor and an engineer with a PhD in fracture mechanics to tell you exactly what went wrong, it's just a little too much.
So the AC and I broke up. I cut off all Twitter ties. I defriended them on Facebook and I wouldn't let myself watch their videos on YouTube. I needed my space.
But then...ugh. Thenthe foiling started. I ignored the Facebook chatter, but when my husband sent me a video with the question "Can we put a foil on the Farr 30?" I had to look. And the first thing I thought of was the movie Step Into Liquid, where Laird Hamilton puts a foil on a surfboard to ride bigger waves. And if you're like me, as soon as the image of Laird Hamilton is in your head, your emotional stability is compromised beyond control.
I hate to revert to the inner dialogue of a 14-year old girl, but that's basically what happened.
OMG BABY I MISSED YOU SO MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHHHxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxo
Because look, the best analogy I can come up with is that the America's Cup is essentially like the new James Bond movies. And I am a purist who prefers Sean Connery, ahem, Terry Hutchinson, to Daniel Craig (whose role in this particular sailing drama has yet to be cast). However, that said, the gadgets and guns are cooler in the new Bond movies. The explosions are bigger and the cars are faster. Daniel Craig's opening scene in "Casino Royale," where he'sParkour'ing around a construction site in Madagascar is hot, but you know what else is? Pretty much any time Sean Connery did absolutely anything. And by Sean Connery I mean Terry Hutchinson. That man made the over application of sunscreen downright sexy.
Then, there are the spies. ETNZ coach Rod Davis recently opened up about the use of espionage tactics in America's Cup racing and shared this:
We definitely did not want them to know that we had figured out how to “fly” at that point, but we needed to test so we had to sail.
The boat with the flying (foiling) package appeared to break down, slowly being towed home. The other boat, with lots of interest from the shadowing chase boat, started sailing in the other direction, to draw the Oracle flies away.
Once separated, the boat with the foils could do their thing, without the spies knowing. The mistake Oracle made was not checking who was going with which boat … had they done that they might have seen through the smoke screen.
I know Rod Davis is a normal looking guy and all, but I can't help but hear the voices of those creepy dudes in "Diamonds are Forever" when I read that quote.
So where am I going with all of this? Well, Scuttlebutt recently reported that the folks over at Practical Sailor Magazine, which we know and love, are conflicted as to whether or not their readers are still into the America's Cup. And at SpinSheet, we have to ask the same questions. Because it would be easy to go for a clean break, throw away all our AC34 mixtapes and take all our t-shirts, books, and beer coozies to the Goodwill. Call it Team Terry, call it Team Dennis Conner, call it what you will.
But like the new James Bond movies, there's a place for the new AC34 boats, and I feel like SpinSheet readers will still check in from time to time. Maybe mostly for the crashes, but that's ok. We can remain Bond purists and still appreciate Daniel Craig, even if match racing rocketship trampolines isn't necessarily our thing.
Duffy <3 AC34 4evs