The America's Cup began as a contest between nations. The boats had to be built at home, the sails and equipment had to originate at home, and the crews had to be citizens of the challenging and defending nations. Dean Barker, a Kiwi through and through, and those who support and finance him know what's wrong with the Cup: it begs to return to being a contest between nations.
That's what the Kiwi's tried to do, (given the circumstances) with an all "down under" team last month, and it's why we cheered him on out there on SF Bay.
The problem: Oracle Team USA's boat was ALSO a product of New Zealand. In a sense, the Kiwis were sailing against themselves and in the end, sadly, money, not skill, not passion or national pride made the difference.
The hard truth is money will almost always triumph. The shame is, in sport, especially at its pinnacles like in the AC, it shouldn't be allowed to. AC boats should be one design, period.
Mr. Ellison, why don't you try to win with an American boat and team?
Maybe winning, for you, doesn't have any boundaries. I promise you that for us, the sailors and citiznes, it does.
So, the 34th Cup was a fantastic spectacle with no real depth and will soon be forgotten. We are passionate sailors, but for us it's "ho hum," and we don't really care because the whole thing has become an amorphous blob.
What could have been pride is now apathy. Yes, owner Larry Ellison's checkbook trumped NZ's, but for sheer spirit and joie de vivre effort, we gotta give it to the Kiwis cause they know how to root for the home team.
What do we want? Americans calling the shots on board.
Here's a link to a great post-cup interview with Dean Barker.