Author's Note: Because the first race was delayed for a second time on Wednesday, Race 1 will begin Tonight/Early Morning Friday 3am Pacific (This is yet another postponement of 2 hours from the 1am start time). The best coverage state side is espn360.com
Today the Vince Lombardi Trophy will be hoisted by the greatest professional football team in the world. But the Lombardi Trophy is nothing compared to the oldest sporting trophy in the history of mankind.
History has shown what those will go through and sacrifice to capture the cup. Yachtsmen have failed and even died in attempts to win. It defies logic to dedicate so much time, money and livelihood to just a sport. The Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, British royalty are the type of characters who chase this holy grail. The 2010 America’s cup is undboubtably the most maddening edition of a yacht race that spans three centuries.
In one corner you have a team that hails from Switzerland… Team Alinghi. Alinghi is backed by gizllionaire drug lord Ernesto Bertarelli. Team BMW Oracle, now known as USA-17 is headed by yet another gizllionaire Larry Ellison.
In short only these two teams, rather than the more than ten we are used to, are foolish enough and egotistical enough to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a single event that could be realistically decided in the first 10 minutes. The technology being applied to these two boats is ridiculous. These boats move more than three times the speed of the wind… defying all traditional science. USA-17 doesn’t even have a mainsail, it uses a wing! A wing so massive it dwarfs that of a Boeing 747
We’ve never seen, nor will we ever see again in our lifetimes such infuriated amounts of research, time and money being thrown at a sailing race. The next edition of the America’s cup will most likely turn back the clock to traditional monohauls and sails. So this is it! If you don’t follow the America’s Cup there is no better time to start. And if you do, this is the race you tell your grandchildren about. The resources dedicated, along with the ludicrous soap opera between these two team makes this perhaps the most single important sporting event of all time. And the 33rd America’s Cup Starts Tonight!