Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The "Swiss" Win the Cup...Again.

Alinghi went out and beat the crap out of the Kiwi team to win the 32nd America's Cup. Truth be told, the Kiwis lost the cup more than Alinghi won it, but either way, it was an embarrassing loss for New Zealand, a country where every one is required by law to root for the All Blacks and learn to race sailboats.

I dig Cup racing, and it sucks that it is relegated to the Versus Channel, where one can also catch reruns of naked bull wrestling from Enumclaw. But it will never make it to anything close to mainstream television, in part because Americans are stupid, and in part because the America's Cup has been totally fucked up by the corporate sponsorships.

I want to bring America's Cup racing up the ladder a bit. And here's how:

1. Countries should have to field teams made up completely of native athletes. The Kiwi boat should be crewed by Kiwis. Period. Alinghi was crewed by a bizarre patchwork of American, Swiss, Kiwi, and Australian sailors.
2. Campaigns should be 2 years, not 4. Qualifying legs should be held in all of the challengers' home countries, with the finals in the defender's home country. The Swiss shouldn't be able to "host" the matches in Spain, for example.
3. Give the television rights to either ESPN or ABC. If they can make golf into a television-friendly sport, they should be able to make sailing more interesting.
4. Personalities. I still love Gary Jobson's idea of putting Lance Amstrong on the American challenger crew. He'd be amazing as a grinder AND the US public would follow the challenge.

There. I've fixed it.

Oh, and check out www.alinghi.com for some kick ass video and information on the Cup.

Cheers. I'm going sailing.