The Kiwis missed a chance to go to the top of the Sportsmanship Tree when they beat Artemis in the America’s Cup.
After their previous race which many AC fans, certainly those with no national allegiance to any one team over another, may feel that they (ETNZ) in effect ‘stole’ the point from Artemis. Not exactly stole perhaps as the umpires penalised Artemis for an incident which enabled ETNZ to win.
However, the aftermath of that incident, with the extremely rare admission by an AC Chief Umpire – on camera no less – that his team made an error and that there was indeed no penalty but as it was a “field of play” incident the result had to stand – he was certainly right on the last part.
In today’s race the two boats were again pretty close at Mark 6.
Now let me say that I know there is tons of pressure on all the teams to win but it would have been so easy for ETNZ to take the foot off the gas just a little and “give back” the point they were erroneously awarded on the previous day.
Not so uncommon in high level sport. The tennis player that apologises for a lucky net cord or even closer when, in soccer a ball goes out off an injured player the opposing team frequently takes the throw in direct to a player on the injured player’s team or further back in history a famous golfer admitting to touching a ball costing him his first ‘major’.
But then again, perhaps the stakes are too high in the America’s Cup to allow sportsmanship to creep in.
Not criticising ETNZ for not doing it, I can fully understand, but what an opportunity it was for the whole world to see that no matter what is on the line that sailors are still first and foremost sportsmen and women. – Shanghai Sailor.