Congratulations to Alinghi!

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Alinghi won the 32nd Americas Cup today, beating Team New Zealand by one second! Alinghi was comfortably ahead on the last downwind leg with Team New Zealand still owing a penalty turn; it looked like the race was in the bag. Then, the wind shifted upwind. Team New Zealand dropped their spinnaker (the downwind sail) and put up their jib; Alinghi tried to do the same and ran into trouble, with their spinnaker flailing and pole out of control. They got caught in a light wind hole and New Zealand went past. TNZ did a double-tack for their penalty turn (unusual since typically boats will do a 360 - armchair sailors will be debating this forever) and were racing toward the line. Alinghi got their speed up just in time to nose over the line, ahead by a second. It's incredible that after about 90 minutes, these two boats were only a second apart.

This has been the most amazing Americas Cup. Alinghi won 5-2, but each race was fantastic. The boats were well matched for speed despite all the rumors of Alinghi's boats being half a generation ahead. Alinghi simply executed better. The commentators can't stop gushing about what a fantastic final this has been.

So, congratulations to Alinghi for defending their title and keeping the oldest trophy in sports. Also, kudos to Team New Zealand for doing such a great job through the Louis Vuittons and the AC.

Wow. I can't wait for 2011...

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Nigel Parker Reply

I watched a reply of the race over my breakfast this morning.

I agree what a race! When Brad Butterworth called out to drive at TNZ on the top of the tird mark and that will get the right of way he talked as if there was no doubt in his mind that it would happen.

There are a lot of people in NZ really fumming over the NZer's that have changed teams and chased the coin... personally I don't have an opinion either way and I didn't like the abuse that the kiwi fans threw at Butterworth this morning when Aligni came into rest after winning the cup.

It was interesteing to see Larry Ellison sacking his kiwi skipper Chris Dickson so cerimoniously only to replace him with ex Alinghi and kiwi skipper Russell Coutts. Coutts is expected to take the five prominent Kiwi sailors in Alinghi - Butterworth, Simon Daubney, Warwick Fleury, Dean Phipps and Murray Jones - with him to Oracle (like he did when he pulled them from Team NZ all those years ago) but I'm not sure if Butterworth will go after today.

This lands hard for NZers that think America's Cup is a national thing as oposed to a professional commercial sporting competition.

Tony Reply

While I'm happy to see that there is competition for these great sailors (so more of them can make a living sailing), I agree with the Kiwi view that this should be more of a national thing like the Olympics (although the thought of having to root for Larry Ellison's team makes me ill). There were more Americans on Luna Rossa this time than on BMW Oracle. In any case, what a fantastic series.

Ken Coit Reply

OK, this retired and now armchair racer wants to know: Why turn a 50,000 pound boat 1/2 way around and then reverse direction insead of turning another 90 to 180 degrees in the same direction? What is the rationale for that? Seems to me that it has to go against the laws of physics and put them even further downwind, but maybe I am missing something.

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