Changes: Fun Because from that summer on Gleam, I had been attracted by the America’s Cup. I had written about it enough by 1973 to know the Cup skippers were a dreary lot, more or less like the early astronauts. The astronauts would ride the rocket 60,000 miles or so into space ~ if nothing malfunctioned ~ to be among the first humans to look at Earth as we look at the moon, then blast through the violently vibrating furnace of reentry, splash down in the ocean somewhere, and hope they didn’t drown. When the press would ask them about that extraordinary Buck Rogers experience, they would maintain a poker face and talk about how the machinery functioned. It was so disappointing! Same with the Cup skippers. There might have been an unbelievable five minutes of sparring prior to the start, both boats luffing head to wind, seeing who could last the longest and still have control; or one skipper would pin the other and push him away from the starting line, with the other guy faking tacks and jibes and trying every trick he knew to shake free. When the press would ask the winner about those wild tactics in the unresponsive 65-footers that weighed 30,000 pounds and were crewed by only 12 people, he would maybe grant a slight smile and say it was “quite interesting.”
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