Chris Rattue 's Opinion

Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue: It's no luffing matter tuning in to Cup races

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Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA in the restart for race 13. Photo / Chris Cameron
Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA in the restart for race 13. Photo / Chris Cameron

Please, please, please let the America's Cup be over.

If it does end tomorrow I'll be out celebrating somewhere and not just because Emirates, Emirates, Emirates Team New Zealand won. I just can't take another early morning choppy wave - including the ones from my nearest and dearest. Not only that, but important news such as the All Blacks not taking Argentina lightly is being obliterated by this tub race.

The America's Cup was exciting at first ... and interesting. Go on, ask me a question about San Francisco weather patterns. Well, what happens is this. The San Francisco ground heats up during the day, probably helped by the fact that there are a lot of homeless people there keeping it covered. The hot air rises, and whoosh, the sea air gets sucked in like a bloke in a bush hut buying the PremierLeaguePass.

Those wind shifts are reinventing our great nation. We're not just loyal anymore. We're patient according to exclusive new reports and probably a nationwide poll conducted in 20 seconds.

This was a true revelation. Well count me out - I lost my patience over the weekend and chucked a good luck Grant Dalton doll at the screen.

I'm also very concerned about Martin Tasker. The TV man and all round good bloke has hardly had a day off over there and he's looking frayed around the boundary line. Put it this way - he's having trouble luffing anymore.

Last week, he forgot what day it was. In the old days, there were stories of sailors going crazy, becalmed in the middle of nowhere on a yacht. But Martin has gone mad on dry, hot land in San Francisco, and who can blame him.

There's a reality show in this - Meet the Taskers. The person meeting the Taskers is Martin, who is unrecognisable from the man who skipped off in such high spirits months ago.

In episode one, Martin has to be restrained in the family car while having a fit on the Harbour Bridge while looking down at More Bloody Yachts. In episode two, Peter Lester turns up for a barbecue and Martin has to be restrained again. In episode three, Martin gets into trouble with TV One for phoning in to say he is having a lay day.

One of the problems with a long campaign is that the small details take over. For instance, it's very unfair the way bright and 12 to 14 knots breezy TV person Toni Street - who flitted in to San Francisco for all the glory - got to wear a red, happy-looking all-weather jacket while Martin (and Peter) were stuck in skimpy TV One grey yesterday. Very unfair.

Has anger ever found a more enthusiastic home than on Saturday, when Tasker was positively negative after Emirates Team New Zealand won the 147th tub race by a nautical mile, only to have touched down well over the dead ball line so to speak.

Lester tried to calm him down but Tasker was having none of it. It must be noted that Martin recognised the time-limit danger well before Lester, although it must also be said that Martin has been nervously spotting warning signs and bad omens since Race One.

Life might never be the same.

Every time I look at the ocean my eyes superimpose a ladder on the water and blue dots and red swirls take over. This was a common and much sought-after experience in San Francisco during the 1960s one gathers, but is really disturbing when it happens in Mission Bay, 2013 and more disturbing, still, when running a bath. One wonders what the ladder, dots and swirls have done to Martin.

There has been one big surprise. Initially, we were led to believe that one much faster yacht would zoom to victory without even having to zigzag up the ladder. Well how wrong can you be? Time to go but remember this - the All Blacks will not take Argentina lightly. That must not be overlooked in all of this.

- NZ Herald

Chris Rattue

Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue writes about a wide range of sports for the New Zealand Herald. He has covered numerous sporting events for the Herald including Rugby World Cups and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Read more by Chris Rattue

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