While Emirates Team New Zealand are fighting for their financial lives and America's Cup survival, Oracle's Sir Russell Coutts is delivering a master class in changing his colours.
In October 2007, in a letter the Herald on Sunday has seen, Coutts wrote to Alinghi after Oracle commenced legal proceedings when the Swiss Cup holder's protocol for the next regatta proved universally unpopular.
"As you know, we have been concerned about getting the event back to a clearly understood set of rules that support a level playing field for all challengers," he wrote.
He proposed dropping the court case if Alinghi agreed that:
The defender could have two boats - but so could everyone else.
The defender could sail in the challenger series but results would not count.
All decisions affecting the challengers to be made by all challengers, not just the Challenger of Record.
The regatta director and two arbitration panel members would be selected by mutual consent.
History records that Oracle's overtures were refused. They went on to win the court case and then a one-on-one challenge against Alinghi in a giant trimaran, successfully defending the Cup in San Francisco last year.
Fast forward nearly seven years, and Coutts seems to have changed his mind a lot. In their 2014 protocol, Oracle have said they can have two boats but everyone else can't, Oracle can race in the challenger series and the points count towards the Cup (meaning they can theoretically influence which challengers advance to the finals) and Oracle have far greater sway over the selection of arbitration panel members and the regatta director - establishing as much (if not more) of the control that Oracle objected to when they were challengers.
However, all that will not be exercising the minds of Team NZ as much as finding the money to keep them afloat between now and February, when most of Grant Dalton's anticipated fundraising kicks in.
In an election year, the Government have said they want someone else to stump up with the cash, nervous about promising more taxpayer money to Team NZ. However, Dalton has said the team will be "gone by the end of the month" if no further funds are found.
Dalton has taken a more conciliatory tone around the new protocol as it will be even harder to persuade the Government if they perceive the America's Cup is not a popular exercise. The public backlash against the Oracle protocol has so far appeared to favour boycotting the Cup or starting a new competition to rival it.
Dalton says such sentiments won't hurt Oracle but will New Zealand if they can't raise the money and disappear, the cost of starting again too much.
But it's hard to disagree with calls to quit the Cup or start a rival regatta when you reconcile the black-is-white feelings of Coutts in 2007 with Coutts in 2014.