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breaking away

A couple of hilarious sailors from the New Plymouth Yacht Club give us the funniest moment of the AC yet as they watch Emirates Team New Zealand streak off to two straight wins on Day 1 of the America’s Cup.  Burling and his crew outclassed the Aussie afterguard on Oracle in both starts and all the way around the course, and neither finish delta (around 30 seconds in the first race and closer to 90 in the second – big margins for these boats) showed just how much faster the New Zealand team is in the 7-10 knot range around the Great Sound.

We’ve all seen this show before: A great Kiwi design dominating the early rounds, but can an older Jimmy Spithill still pull a rabbit out of his hat?  And will the breeze ever come in, presumably equalizing the designs somewhat?

One comment about the nationally televised (free-to-air) NBC coverage of the AC opener: It was beautifully shot, well-directed, and overall, damned good.  Rather than sticking with the older, staler studio team the international feed used, NBC brought in Nathan Outteridge and Chris Draper to talk about what’s actually going on in those beastly boats and call the action.  Producers even waited for the first race to end before running 5 minutes of commercials…well done, broadcast TV!  We’re not optimistic on the ratings, but we can definitely recommend you catch tomorrow’s racing on the tube – it’s the final day that a real network will be broadcasting in the USA before it returns to cable TV and the awful NBCSports Live app.

If you don’t get the bicycle reference in the title to this piece, you’re young. Or we’re just old.

June 17th, 2017

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