03 October, 2009

A Cup in a storm

The America’s Cup is something like the Formula 1 of sailing. It’s a playground of grizzled billionaire playboys, buxom marketing girls in swim suits and brightly coloured monster machines. The big money involved attracts myriads of hangers-on like flies around the proverbial excrement.

The choice of a Gulf country for next year’s re-match between titleholder Team Alinghi and challenger BMW Oracle was seen by many as apt. Bling does as bling goes.

Ras Al Khaimah was delighted to have been picked by Team Alinghi as venue to host a world class sports event. A press conference was promptly held and even the venue was presented to the press. Or what was thought to be the venue anyway – it’s currently a stretch of sand by the beach called Majan island which strangely resembles a stretch of sand by the beach. But as the old adage goes: “Build a sandcastle and they will come”, assurances were made that “everything would be ready” to welcome the sailing Formula 1. (Not unlike the Metro that would be “ready” on 09/09/09 – “ready” in this case meaning one of two lines and a mere quarter of stations and no feeder buses.)
However it seems that the challenger’s team is opposed to Ras Al Khaimah on other grounds and not because of concerns over readiness. BMW Oracle has filed a suit in a New York court to get an injunction against Alignhi’s choice of Ras Al Khaimah, citing security fears over the proximity of the sailing venue (that would be the sea) to Iran.

Ahhh, geopolitics! It’s funny that it took BMW Oracle more than one month to figure out that Ras Al Khaimah is close to Iran and that sending an American-based team to “that part of the world” could be seen as inconsistent with the State department’s tack (haha, sailing pun!) in dealing with “Ayran”.

(Although it is even funnier that Ras Al Khaimah went public before a formal decision on the venue was made. Duh…)


Seabee said...

I'd love to know the real reason that RAK was selected, it's hardly the centre of world sailing. Fat plain brown envelopes passed under the table perhaps?

hemlock said...

'snow in rak' ??? totally pertinent

anyways, love the intro. dont forget to wave at the camera.

nzm said...

Since August, Geoff Pound has been maintaining an excellent blog with all the news articles, images and video that he can find on the America's Cup in RAK.

Go back to the August archives to view how Alinghi transported their cat across the alps under a helicopter!

America's Cup in the United Arab Emirates

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