|NEW RULES FOR THE AMERICA'S CUP
It’s now become obvious that these America’s Cup idiots need my advice. And although I don’t
have a lot of time right now, the thing has been driven so far into ridiculous that I have to step in.
Today, for example, the race may be postponed because of 'southerly winds'. They tell us it will
be postponed until the wind decides to do what’s right and come around from the west. The
other day—for the second time—the race was postponed because the winds were too strong.
This is a SAILBOAT RACE, you idiots… but the winds are just too strong. Can’t sail a sailboat if
the winds are too strong.
Since the beginning of this thing it has been riddled with the ridiculous. One team has been
penalized for coming too close to another boat, and I think that same team has been penalized
for building a boat that went beyond specifications and was too swift and maybe too dangerous
to sail. It’s true that a boat did a flip-flop during a trial run one day and a multi-billionaire sailor
lost his life, but, you know, not to dismiss that poor man’s life entirely, but if you're sailing on a
boat that you have purposefully built beyond suggested safety standards and it crashes, whose
fault is that?
On the other hand I’d like to say this: They ought to be able to build the damned boat any way
they wish and, dangerous or not, sail it any way they wish, at the risk of their lives if they wish.
These are all grown men and they were all born on the water--albeit in one of their daddy’s
yachts--and they all have more experience sailing than I do walking upright. So, the people who
are setting the rules and the regulations for these races should maybe consider that when
making more rules and more regulations and yanking boats out of the water to measure tillers or
fins, or whatever the hell that stuff is, and declare something 3 cm too long.
The other day, I saw an inside view of the control room for the America’s Cup races. Three men,
each sitting in front of four or five monitors and a couple of video displays, monitoring info. as it
poured into them in rolling waves of data, and charts, and video from every conceivable angle.
They were getting information from the various motor boats and helicopters that hounded these
sailing boats every inch along the way during every trial run and every race. All of this was in
place to assure that there is a clean race—to guarantee that no fouls occur.
OK, so here’s where I step in.
Forget all that goddamned nonsense. New Rules: One- Build any boat you want to build in such
a way that you think you can win this race. Two- Do NOT cross the starting line until the starting
gun goes off. Three- Sail through the course, as designated, for as many laps as are
designated, and the first boat to cross the finish line wins. It's that simple.
Of course, IF you purposefully ram the other guy or shoot him with a gun, or cripple his boat in
some way before the race, your win will not count; you will forfeit that win to that other guy. Oh
and, it’s a sailboat race, gentlemen, we sail under any conditions. If you or your boat can’t take
the weather on any particular day—or you don’t like the direction of the wind—that’s just too
bad. It’s a sailboat race. You’re supposed to be the best sailors in the world; prove it.
I—like you—wish that was all I had to say about this, but it’s not.
I’d also like to address the watchers of this race.
The other day my wife and I were down there walking the dogs and, in the official America’s Cup
viewing area—where they've built a massive grandstand and bleachers enough to accommodate
thousands—there were the usual three hundred or four hundred people watching the race.
Problem was, they were NOT sitting in the bleachers looking out toward the bay as the event
unfolded before their eager eyes. They were BEHIND those bleachers, with their backs toward
the bay, sitting on the ground, watching the race—as it was unfolding—on HUGE wide screen
TVs. It makes NO sense!
So, please don’t do that. Please. It gives a bad impression. It makes some of us wonder about
the intelligence of America’s Cup watchers. If you want to watch it on TV, that's fine, watch it at
home on TV, or in a bar. But, don’t go down there where you can watch the event LIVE, only to
turn your backs and watch it on TV. Yes, I know you don’t understand why not, but just take my
word for it, it’s not a proper thing to do.
So, just to wrap it up:
NEW RULES for sailors.
Build any boat you want, that you think can win.
Don’t cross the starting line before the gun goes off.
Race honestly and cleanly—even if you wish the winds were more to your liking.
And, the first boat over the finish line, wins.
NEW RULES for watchers.
Face the goddamned water.
When the America's Cup folks adopt these new rules, everything will be better all around.
I'm too angry to edit anything right now..