I hate the America's Cup.
I haven't always felt that way.
In the early days, like most Kiwis, I was captured by the Red Socks campaign, the song Sailing Away and the courage of our first America's Cup skipper Chris Dickson.
I starting going off it though when I woke up to the fact that the main backers of the cup were the same people who wrecked this country and benefited from the asset sell-offs and Rogernomics policies in the mid-80s.
Yes, Michael Fay and David Richwhite threw around $100 million at the Cup but then both of them could afford to because they had made hundreds of millions of dollars off the back of New Zealand when this country could least afford it.
I really started to hate the cup though when Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth, after winning the Cup for us, sold themselves off to Switzerland, took off with all our secrets then won the Cup off us sailing for the enemy.
It was the ultimate betrayal yet our stupid government knighted Coutts in 2009 and continued to fund our America's Cup challenge, giving $36m to the latest challenge.
Believe it or not though, I was hoping we would beat Oracle which might sound like a contradiction and many people have said to me how can you hate an event then want New Zealand to win it?
Well easy, the Cup challenge was always a David versus Goliath matchup.
New Zealand with its meagre resources up against the fifth richest man in the world, Larry Ellison, the boss of Oracle and Team USA.
Team NZ was the underdog so despite my resentment towards the Cup I was won over by the huge challenge that confronted our team.
I was also impressed by the leadership of Grant Dalton and Dean Barker who both fronted with humility and if anyone could bring credibility back to the Cup it was going to be those two.
But it was not to be. Oracle staged perhaps the greatest comeback in sports history, coming from 8-1 down to win 9-8.
A miracle? Maybe not because Ellison started talking to Boeing and found a way to reconfigure the technology so all Oracle had to do was push a button that activated its automatic foil system and the Kiwis didn't have a chance.
Oracle was just too fast.
Its comeback though didn't make any sense.
Its skipper Jimmy Spithill showed great fighting qualities but there was no way Oracle's sailors became supermen overnight.
No, their money and automation won it for them and that's the problem with the America's Cup - it's all about money.
It was always an elitist rich man's sport and it's time for New Zealand to get out of it.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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