America's Cup: Tom Blackaller on Cats in the America's Cup

Tom Blackaller: "Two of these big cats together, with pedal to the metal..."
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The modern America's Cup is almost completely devoid of the characters of yesteryear, epitomized by Tom Blackaller, who were never afraid to say what was on their minds, and stand up for their often extreme point of view.

Sadly Tom died too young at the age of 49, but his daughter Lisa Blackaller has posted this clip of Tom, once again firing from the lip, and with a smile the width of the Golden Gate Bridge - so you never knew whether he was just being outrageous, or to be taken seriously.

This 46-second clip includes shots of Formula 40 catamarans on SF Bay, and a brief interview with Tom in which he recounts a conversation with 1983 Cup winner Alan Bond (AUS) about what kind of boats the Cup should be raced in.

'Two of these big cats racing together…with the pedal to the metal, flying hulls with the big sails up could be extremely exciting….,' Tom says. 'I'd be back in the America's Cup in a minute if it were held in big, fast boats on San Francisco Bay.'

Lisa said in the note accompanying the post to YouTube, 'I just had to share this clip with old friends in the America's Cup world. This video clips and interview were done with my dad prior to his untimely death in 1989. He would certainly be thrilled and amazed that, yes in fact, the America's Cup IS coming to San Francisco Bay, and it IS being sailed in fast catamarans! Too bad he is not alive to share in all the excitement. He would love it all.'