THE DARK SIDE OF THE AMERICA’ S CUP BY ALAN SE FT ON AND LARRY K EATING, BLOOMSBURY,§¢.
It’s always been the funny thing about the America’s Cup – win it, and you get to set the rules. What sport works like that?
Well, the oldest continuous sporting contest on the planet, which dates back to 1851. Throw in the fact that its history has involved some of most powerful moguls of their time, men devoted to getting their way, and you have a set-up ripe for intrigue.
Indeed, some of the best competition is off the water. If you enjoy reading about legal disputes as well as sport, you’ll enjoy this tale. For local angles, 1983 and Ben Lexcen’s winged keel has a prominent part, and the intersection of technology, legality and commerce persists to the present-day debate over catamarans.
With their hands finally and deservedly back on the mug, the New Zealanders have promised to get the America’s Cup back to its roots: monohulls, home waters, sailors under their flag. If it’s really true to the Cup’s past, there’ll be more controversy, too.