Credit where it’s due
But legacy is as powerful a motivator as revenge. “If you look at what’s been invested even in the last ten years, Larry Ellison didn’t have to commit to building a whole fleet of one-design 45-footers back in 2011,” says Coutts.
“He could have said at that point, the next America’s Cup is in foiling wing-sailed catamarans, I’ll see you on the startline. But he didn’t, he chose not to do that, and I don’t think he’s received as much credit as he should have.”
Ultimately the motives might not really matter. The worst-case scenario is that Sailgp will provide an adrenaline shot for all the foiling catamaran design and sailing skill development that was paused after that final race in Bermuda last summer. The best case is it that it builds a fan base for sailing that the sport has never seen before. It’s a phenomenal experiment.