On the water, if you give a damn about this sort of thing, this is as good as America's Cup racing can get. It may be the best America's Cup racing there ever was. The question is: Is that good enough?
Over the course of three years, the America's Cup has been reduced from a spectacle dwarfing the Olympics and Super Bowl to a farce in which its scant entrants were forced to race against themselves after Team Artemis' boat disintegrated in routine conditions and sailor Andrew Simpson was killed.
So, no matter how thrilling the racing between Oracle and Emirates Team New Zealand gets, it's a fair question to ask if it was worth it. In any event, even with the "home team" down 7-1, things are heating up. Oracle clearly has tinkered with its boat to the point where it may feature the faster craft both up- and downwind. And, the battle of trash-talk has taken off. Behold the image to the right, which was tweeted out of Oracle HQ by skipper Jimmy Spithill, then deleted from his feed as soon as Kiwi journalists started asking questions.
But, unlike those earlier America's Cup races, two can play at that game.
An image captured in Emirates Team New Zealand's headquarters featured a photo of the team's boat and its "pie warmer" -- a device resembling a spoiler which reduces the drag from wind coming off the sail. (Of course, if you're in New Zealand, the device less resembles a spoiler than a pie warmer -- the ovens at "petrol stations" and elsewhere keeping meat pies toasty all day long.)
In any event, the photo was enhanced with the following text: "Oracle are quick: But they don't have a PIE WARMER!"
We'll leave it to you to decide who wins the battle of trash talk. The battle of yachts picks up again Tuesday afternoon.