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Colin Hogg: Commentators treading water

By Colin Hogg

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The coverage of the two races - with fog effects courtesy of San Francisco Bay - was at least visually gripping, says Hogg. Photo / AP
The coverage of the two races - with fog effects courtesy of San Francisco Bay - was at least visually gripping, says Hogg. Photo / AP

If sports commentating is supposed to be about raising the game, then those two old dears TV One had shouting the changes through yesterday's America's Cup races should quietly chain themselves to something substantial at the low tide mark and await the inevitable.

Maybe it was all the talk of "tidal relief". Maybe it was the claim that one of the boats had legs or perhaps it was Martin Tasker announcing, "I held my breath so long I'm light-headed".

Or could it have been Peter Lester totally popping his cork early in race three? That was when he had Team New Zealand "thundering over the top" in an "absolute body blow" using "absolute horsepower" to achieve an "absolute revelation".

When all I could see was one boat passing another boat, though they barely looked like boats at all, more like birds - flying rather than floating.

Still, with cameras onboard, overboard, above and even below, the coverage of the two races - with fog effects courtesy of San Francisco Bay - was at least visually gripping, though the America's Cup remains a sporting event that seems to need an awful lot of explaining.

More words might have helped. Perhaps the channel should have given Tasker and Lester a larger bag of them because Lester kept using the same ones, while dear old Commander Tasker often seemed to have run out altogether, lapsing into silence in the boring middle bits of both races. And after all, he's not just there to hold his breath.

Though there was some wild repartee during race four when Oracle, leading all the way, briefly faltered.

Lester: "Wooh, big nosedive."

Tasker: "Wheelie."

Lester: "That nosedive."

Tasker: "Soaked in that nosedive."

Lester: "The nosedive cost Oracle."

Lester: "Here comes the tidal relief of Alcatraz."

And really, commentatorarily speaking, it doesn't get much more exciting than that.

Well, not until the tide comes in on Tasker and Lester.

- NZ Herald

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