Sunday, December 21, 2008

Not a national sport any more... America's Cup

America's Cup 'too much like F1'
Hugh Treharne, part of the Australia II crew during their unforgettable 1983 America's Cup triumph, is sad Australia won't be contesting the famous competition for a fourth straight time.

A list of 18 teams from 12 nations were last week registered as challengers for the 2010 Cup. Australia is not among the competitors.

Treharne, who will soon contest his 29th Sydney to Hobart, lamented it was increasingly difficult to pull together a truly national team for the Cup.

"All the teams are made up of international sailors from every country. It's not a national sport any more," he said. "It's like a Formula One racing car - they just get the brains and the power and the design and the expertise from wherever they can get it."

He acknowledged the cost of contesting the event was "quite incredible. I'm always quite amazed how New Zealand can manage to do it and Australia can't," Treharne said.

"Anyway, it doesn't matter, there's plenty of opportunities for sailors who want to get involved in America's Cup sailing, it's just that it's not local any more.

Australia last fielded a challenger in 1995 and wasn't represented in the 2000, 2003 and 2007 events.

Treharne will sail south to Hobart from Boxing Day aboard the 50-year-old Sanyo Maris, skippered by Ian Kiernan. - AAP