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Old 05-17-2013
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

A thing to consider is that we want the cup to go the team with the best designed boat crewed by the best sailors, not to the team most willing to endanger the lives of their crew.

Racers will accept a much higher level of risk that the rest of us are comfortable with. That is part of what makes them racers.


A few years ago there was a CART race scheduled for the Texas Speedway, a course designed for slower NASCAR races. The highly banked corners allowed the CART cars to run full out all the way around the track, meaning they were pulling over 5 Gs for a lot of the course.

Every one of the drivers did a series of test laps. So every one of the drivers knew that they were nearing blackout, losing all peripheral vision and becoming disoriented. And they were all willing to race like that.

It was only when a doctor noticed that one of the drivers wasn't able to walk in a straight line for quite a while after his test laps that they started interviewing other drivers and learned of the danger.

The governing body decided this was a level of risk they could not take, and canceled the race just hours before race time. It cost them tens of millions.

The racers were willing to take the risk, they would have gladly driven into that bloodbath. And the winner wouldn't have been the best driver, the winner would have been the one lucky enough to not black out at the wrong time or to get hit by someone else who blacked out at the wrong time.

It wouldn't have been a contest of skill, it would have been televised Russian Roulette.


If it is the case that the Artemis boat broke up before it crashed, and if it is the case that this structural weakness is endemic to these boats, then we're basically watching a dice game, not a game of skill. You roll snake eyes and your boat cracks up. Next roller step up to the table, please.
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