Conner still plans to race USA-77 in the Challenger Selection Series. In fact, he was quoted on his website as saying, "Small setbacks like this...."
Whoa there, Denny! Small setbacks? How much hull epoxy have you been sniffing? Your boat sinking is a small setback? What was the Perfect Storm, a pelican burp?
You wonder what his sales pitch will be the next time he goes, hat in hand, to sponsors. And we're almost positive we can keep it above water this time!
The challenger eliminations begin on Oct. 1, but there has been such a bizarro run-up to the Cup, you wonder if anybody will be left to eliminate. OneWorld, the U.S. syndicate that counts Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen among its backers, has been accused by Team New Zealand of stealing the Kiwis' designs. (OneWorld claims it was inadvertent.) Italy's Prada team charged the Oracle Racing syndicate with spying from a barge. ( Oracle denies it.) Both cases are being reviewed by an arbitration panel.
The victorious captain from the 2000 Cup, New Zealand's Russell Courts, sold himself to a Swiss team. (Hey, what says "ocean racing" more than Switzerland?) And the project manager of Sweden's team was just sentenced to eight months in the clink for tax evasion. So maybe the bottom of the ocean isn't as low as you can go, after all.
We may never know who was responsible for what happened in the bowels of Stars & Stripes USA-77 that day, but it must have been a colossal screwup by a world-class knucklehead.
Hey, wait a minute. Anyone seen Bud Selig lately?