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AMERICA'S CUP "D

But wait! On Sunday, Dean Barker steered the black-and-red NZL 92 past Alinghi on the second beat and held on to

a best-of-five series. Sir Thomas Lipton's fourth Shamrock won the first two races against Resolute and actually crossed the finish line first in the third race, but lost on a 'time allowance'. (Understandably, the Deed of Gift was rewritten after this Cup to eliminate handicaps forevermore.) Her crew doubtless demoralized, Shamrock IV lost the final two races. The other time was in 1983, when Dennis Conner's 12-Meter Liberty fell to the wing-keeled Australia II 4-3 in that best-ofseven 'series heard round the world'. Lipton tried once more, in 1930 with Shamrock V, and lost once more. Conner, as we all know, won the Cup back in 1987 (and in 1988, if you count the catamaran/big boat thing) only to lose it again ALL PHOTOS THIS PAGE: CHRIS CAMERON/ETNZ

ewey Defeats Truman!" "Man Bites Dog!" "Alinghi Wins America's Cup!" "New Zealand Wins America's Cup!" "Paris Hilton Becomes a Nun!" Only one of the above 'headlines' is

true. We don't know which one, but by the time you read this, you will. Yes, sad to say the America's Cup races once again fell between the cracks in our publishing cycle. We did get the usual tease of watching the first two races, but the most definitive moment in sailing's really Big Show was decided while this issue was running through the presses. Of course, the mere fact that we don't know who won isn't going to stop us from expounding on the subject.

F

irst, what we do know. Races 1 and 2 of the 32nd America's Cup were sailed off Valencia, Spain, on June 2324, our deadline weekend. Alinghi's SUI 100, with American Ed Baird at the helm, won the first one, leading not only around the crucial first mark — the Dow Jones indicator of the Cup races if ever their was one — but also around every subsequent mark, going on to take the win by 35 seconds. If statistics mean anything, that strongly suggested another lopsided massacre — Alinghi over Emirates Team New Zealand, 5-0 . . . again. Page 140 •

Latitude 38

• July, 2007

Above, 'Emirates Team New Zealand' pulverized 'Luna Rossa' to win the Louis Vuitton Cup. Inset, syndicate head Grant Dalton. Right, 'Emirates' switched from their 'flag keel', used in the LVC, back to the 'buzzy bee' for the America's Cup match races.

win by 28 seconds. This might mean that Emirates rallied to avenge their brutal 2003 loss to the Swiss juggernaut, and went on to their own 5-1 thrashing of Alinghi. There's precedent there, too: in four out of the last six Cups, the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup (the challenger elimination trials) went on to win the America's Cup. And Emirates won this year's LVC pretty convincingly. Or — be still our beating hearts — it could actually have been a hard-fought, close battle between two equally good teams on equally fast boats that went the whole nine yards (and nine races), with victory being decided in the last 100 meters of the last run. Statistically, the chances of that were slim. Out of 31 previous America's Cups, only two matchups have 'gone the distance'. The first was in 1920, when it was

in 1995 to New Zealand's 'Black Magic' team. That was the last time Conner — who has sailed in more America's Cups than anybody — would sail in a Cup race. In many ways, it was also the end of an era for the America's Cup: the last time an American boat raced in it, and the last time a lot of sailors, at least American sailors, followed it with more than passing interest.

I

t's our contention that the America's Cup is not necessarily broken, but it needs fixing. We have some suggestions, all of which you've heard before, but which bear repeating. Maybe this time, whichever team wins the Cup will take

Profile for Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Latitude 38 July 2007  

The July 2007 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 July 2007  

The July 2007 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.