The mono versus multihull debate is already shaping as the most exciting thing about the 36th America's Cup.

The conversation's gone a bit R-18 in some quarters, too.

When a correspondent here suggested that taking the regatta back to monohulls represented a missed opportunity, one letter writer to the sailing desk worked himself into a right state.

"Take the long-term approach rather than the quick orgasm now approach," wrote a "long-time recreational sailor" who we'll call Kevin. "You will find the sensation lasts longer and reaches a much more satisfactory conclusion rather than the quickie approach you seem to be angling for."


So are we to take from this, um, impassioned response that monohull enthusiasts are the tantric gurus of the sailing world, engaged in a slow-burning intertwining where position is key, while cat people are selfish lovers, pumping away on their hydraulics, trying to get to the finish line as quickly as possible?

I know, I know, stop it already.

Part of me wants to acknowledge that Grant Dalton and company have won the right to shape the competition in the way they choose and have, with such a brilliantly conceived campaign in Bermuda, earned our trust.

Yet a bigger part of me thinks that turning back from the very thing that engaged non-traditional sailing fans - the speed and performance of the cats, the inshore racing and, yes, the danger - is poor politics. That did-they-or-did-they-not pact with Luna Rossa could turn out to be Faustian - after all, someone once said that the Devil wore Prada.

Sailing purists might have found this sort of action cheap and nasty but for others found it quite sexy. Photo / file
Sailing purists might have found this sort of action cheap and nasty but for others found it quite sexy. Photo / file

Writing about sailing and the America's Cup can cause agitation. Those with close ties to the sport are known to get a little unhinged when unsolicited opinions are offered and my fears of a disconnect between this regatta and all the neophyte fans attracted by the glitz of the last two events might be totally overblown.

You could send one-man crews into a Para pool on inflatable pink flamingos and as long as it was still called the America's Cup and there was some snazzy graphics there'll be plenty here infatuated with it.

That might be true but for all those outside of New Zealand and Italy who became transfixed by the action at San Francisco and Bermuda, there is enormous pressure on the committee to come up with a single-hulled boat that delivers the same sort of thrills.

Because, let's face it, when it comes to sport in the 21st century, most time-poor people are into a bit of wham bam thankyou ma'am.


It could be a while before New Zealand-born Ben Stokes is required to don his whites again. Photo / AP
It could be a while before New Zealand-born Ben Stokes is required to don his whites again. Photo / AP

It seems there are two distinct camps on the Ben Stokes incident.

1. Those who are defending his actions, sometimes known colloquially as "Boofheads".

2. Those sickened by what they saw, often referred to as "Humans".

Anybody who uses the line "it's just what happens when you get a few lads together on the drink and someone gets lippy" is missing the point: when you get a few lads on the drink and someone gets lippy it's insanity like this that causes death.


Had a couple of fascinating interactions following last week's column, where I added my voice to the millions condemning Trump (still can't bring myself to call him president), while at the same time standing up for the rights of athletes to protest peacefully.

The first was a lovely/ angry email from a former employee of the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles. That fact alone hooked me.

"For some time I've been torn between my love for the game I played (high school, college), worked in, later wrote about as a magazine freelancer, and my hatred for the a**holes who run the sport and own (many of) the teams," my pen pal wrote. "Bless Trump for unifying the players and owners, even forcing the hand of the [expletive] commissioner, forcing them to open their eyes and see what a horrible, horrible schmuck the POTUS truly is."

A day later I received a call from a number in Hamilton and while every instinct in my body tells me not much good can come from a landline in The Tron, I answered. What followed was nine of the more interesting, nay instructive, minutes of my life.

The woman on the other end of the line had a strong English accent and she wasn't happy with me, but in the politest way.

After I explained that a clearly marked opinion piece doesn't need the same both-sides-of-the-argument rigour as a news story, she went on to list the reasons why Trump was a "very good man" and most of them centred around all the jobs he was creating during his short tenure.

I countered that job numbers had been rising steadily in the US since 2013 and that any improvement in unemployment rates could not be sheeted to a administration that had been in place for less than a year and had not passed one significant piece of policy.

We went back and forth like this for a while, always reasonably, until she asked me where I got my facts from. When I rattled off a few news and data websites she listened impassively before delivering the knockout blow.

"You should watch Fox News," she said. "It's the only place you get balanced reporting."

You simply cannot argue with that logic.


Small confession that will not endear me to the league nuts: I got bored watching Melbourne's one-horse-race canter to the NRL title. I admire their excellence and tend to agree with those who say the Smith-Slater-Cronk axis is the greatest Big Three to have graced the club game. This is not the most elegant tribute, nor do you have to worry about the last section, but nevertheless some nice insight into how they tick from Ryan Hoffman in PlayersVoice.

This is not strictly sport but much of today's column hasn't been. Deadspin does ask the question though, if Catalonia secedes, what happens to Barca?