I thought I’d write something about the America’s cup, due to start later this month. It’s the epitome of Michael Green’s comment in Coarse Sailing, “the only sport where you don’t congratulate the winner when losing, but run into the committee room to complain and get them disqualified”. I was much more interested in the turn of the decade when I visited Valencia but it’s a competition of high drama at sea and in the court room. Here my notes for 2020.


  1. Wikipedia 2017
  2. Wikipedia 2013
  3. Wikipedia 2010, an amazing page, details the blow by blow pursuit through the NY courts, you’d think the “Swiss” would have learned, US courts would seem to be patriotic.
  4. History of America’s Cup controversy, from the NZ Herald, dated 2007 and so misses the drama post noughties

Here’s a puff piece.

And here’s the site, https://www.americascup.com/

I suspect that the use of courts as a weapon did not start in 1988 but the dispute is one of the most famous. The events are recorded in an article on the America’s Cup site entitled, AMERICA’S CUP LEGAL WANGLING INTERRUPTED BY SAILING, and details the fact that the race was conducted before the courts had resolved the argument surrounding the Deed. They also changed the result twice, although ending up with a US court awarding the cup to the US team, who had to be fair won the racing. Wikipedia records some of the events, in a poorly sourced section of the Dennis Connor article, The Big Boat Challenge and the beginning of multihulls in America’s Cup. The 1988 races may also have been the first to leave New York since the competition’s foundation.

Here’s a documentary on Team NZ’s 1988 challenge.

See also,

  1. https://www.sail-world.com/Australia/Think-this-is-ugly-You-should-have-seen-1988/-41765
  2. https://nzhistory.govt.nz/culture/americas-cup
  3. http://courts.state.ny.us/REPORTER/archives/mercury_sandiego.htm

Here’s how Team Ineos pulled it out of the hat.


Dave Games , , ,

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