Last August a few friends and I were sitting around a bottle of Moet at the St.FYC talking about the state of the America’s Cup. I don’t have a dog (or cat) in this race so I have purposefully tried to stay quite in public but in private I voiced my opinion. Stating you are going after the Facebook, not the Flintstone generation was one of the worst marking moves ever. It alienated the base of fans and funders in one sound bite. The claims of less cost were outright lies and the concept of making super sized yachts to make sailing super exciting doesn’t make sense. The 45s and the 72s look just about the same when watching them on a television set. I was and am worried about the future of the America’s Cup, an event that has consumed much of my adult life and provided most of my friends and one that I cherish.
I obviously have opinions including that from a management perspective, there was no adult supervision. One person was given all the keys to the castle with little or no checks and balances. There are some amazing things going on, specifically with television. But with at least initially unlimited funds they were never forced to make hard and well fought out choices.
That reckless decision making was foreshadowed by my friend Craig Monk on that night last summer. He said, Dawnsie someone is going to die on these boats, someone is going to die. Katie and I looked at each other and at Percy and Bart and got chills.
When a member of management says – “this was never on our radar” I have to ask, why the hell not? Every sailor did and now our friend is gone and I can’t imagine the sadness of his true best friends who were there and could do nothing. My heart is broken on multiple levels and I’m having a hard time finding the silver lining.