Because of the
glare of publicity falling upon the contestants it must always be an America's
Cup skipper's prayer that no twilight zones will descend upon him in the course
of the hard-fought struggle. Somehow he must sail an aggressive all-out race,
saving split seconds wherever he can, taking his opponents' wind whenever the
opportunity arises and yet contriving to run no risk of infringing the rules.
If he is racing to the limit, he cannot, in my view, guarantee to avoid all
twilight zones. If either boat decides that it must go to the judges for a
ruling it is my earnest hope that it will not lead to ill-feeling and
bitterness, perhaps exacerbated by those who do not understand the implications
of the yachtsman's protest flag.
There will be
close racing, I prophesy, in the selection trials of both challenger and
defender. We hope the cup races will be no less closely contested. No finer or
fairer testing ground exists than the waters around the America's Cup buoy,
which has been laid nine miles southeast of the Brenton Reef light. This
special patch of ocean provides our arena. In it the two yachts will do battle
for the best of seven races. Whether the challenge succeeds or not, the
America's Cup is secure in the unique position it holds in the realms of
yachting and of world sport.
If, as we intend,
it returns with us across the Atlantic, we shall defend it stoutly. Whether
future challenges take place in British or American or Australian waters, or
even elsewhere in the world, the luster of this famous trophy insures that
there will be keen racing for it far into the future.