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There is so much going on now that it is simply impossible to keep up with it all – fortunately between the SA legions peppering the forums with an endless stream of news, the assembled media, and at least one team there is some good stuff getting out.  BMW/Oracle is showing a nice level of transparency with their well-done livecasting solution, which while spotty outside the US is fairly strong in the homeland, provided you have decent broadband.

 Yesterday the BMW heads answered a pile of questions – some of them even relevant – at this press conference, with Coutts and Spithill laughing and joking with hundreds of assembled journos and VIPS and Ellison getting his message across as well.  Contrast that with Alinghi’s press conference where Butterworth and Bertarelli looked like they were sitting in a dentist’s chair waiting for a root canal (linkie).  Perhaps the most interesting part of the presser was Ellison’s explanation for why no one from BMW/Oracle would be at the official event press conference on Sunday – in Cups past, the place where the real fireworks were laid out.  Who can forget Connor’s famous quip during this traditional meeting "Why would you build a boat out of plastic unless you wanted to cheat?"  Like a boxing match, the final press conference is the final build-up of drama, but although this is ostensibly a Consorcio event and purportedly meant to make Valencia look good, Ernesto’s power over the city apparently allows him to have specifically excluded Russell Coutts from this tradition, and Larry showed some stones by telling them to pound sound.  "If Russell is not good enough" for the venomous Bertarelli, neither is anyone from BMW/Oracle’s team.

Between this ridiculous flexing of his muscles and rules we’ve learned about media and spectator boats, it is more clear now than ever that Alinghi’s goal for this Cup is to make it a non-event.  Win or lose, Bertarelli wants to get this over with in quiet.  Is he finally feeling the glare of the world on his thinning hair?  Is he intent on hurting Valencia as payback for the meetings they’ve had with BMW/Oracle and the Formula 1 mess that caused him the loss of tens of millions in fees for the leasing of the Alinghi base?  As usual with Alinghi, logic doesn’t provide a good answer when divining Alinghi’s intentions and we can only speculate.

And while there are loads of interesting people and things to see, what sets this Cup apart from the other is that the stars are not people, they are boats.  And just below this article i’s a ten minute look at the most advanced part of either – the massive USA 17 wing, with some very interesting comments from two guys that hardly every get in front of a camera and the men responsible for building the Challenger, Mark Turner and Tim Smythe.

Please don’t forget to thank our sponsors by checking out their sites and letting them know you appreciate their support.  The completely redesigned Layline.Com site will go live on Saturday with new gear added throughout the week, and it’s a perfect time to save a bunch of money using special coupon codes that we will announce shortly.  Tune in for some serious tests of the brand new Gill Race Collection, and to see how it looks on Mer and Genny, and you must have a look at what presenting sponsor GUNBOAT and PURE have in store for you if you like carbon and speed – lots and lots of both.  Sign up for Oman Sail’s facebook page to learn more about one of the truly groundbreaking sailing programs in the world today, and get psyched to learn more about the new company formed by the man behind the incredible growth and popularity of the foiling moth – Bladerider and Mach 2 designer Andrew "Amac" McDougall’s new Mcdougall Designs.  There’s no site yet, but Amac’s got some great stuff coming down the pike that you’ll have to see to believe…