America's Cup 35 Protocol: business as usual

The Duchess of Cambridge and Sir Ben Ainslie in front of the America’’s Cup
© Lloyd Images
The new America’s Cup protocol has been let loose, and already there are mutterings of discontent. Let’s get something quite clear before we go any further:

The America’s Cup is not a fair game conducted on a level playing field. It never has been, and probably never will be.

Ask Sir Tommy Lipton. Ask anyone who has ever walked upon that field of broken dreams and come away with nothing better than cut feet.

The America’s Cup is an arms race, and one in which the Defender gets to re-write some of the rules to suit themselves. If you don’t want to play against the odds, better stay away from the table.

This time the Defender has dealt themselves two hands as well as the right to look at the Challengers’ cards. The only thing undecided is in whose backyard the game will be played.

What this amounts to is ‘business as usual’. This is the America’s Cup, not The Ashes, (the play by the rules sporting contest between England and Australia) and it certainly isn’t cricket.

If Sir Ben Ainslie can get his head around this, presumably everyone else can as well. Get used to it, chaps.

Emirates Team New Zealand NZL5 practice before day eight of America's Cup 34. 18/9/2013


Emirates Team New Zealand follows Oracle Team USA around the first mark in race five on day three of the America's Cup 34. San Francisco. 10/9/2013


Athlete - Boat: Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Oracle Team USA, Event: 34th America's Cup, Finals - Race 8, Location: San Francisco Bay, USA, About the shot: It was a close race, and on the windward leg ETNZ had a slight lead. As the two boats approached each other with Emirates on port and Oracle on starboard, Emirates tried to tack on top of Oracle, but their wing articulation hydraulics failed and they couldn’t trim properly. They started to capsize and it seemed to unfold in slow motion. Fo