...is now Switzerland's Cup!
March 2, 2003 2:24 AM   Subscribe

The America's Cup which became New Zealand's Cup in 1995 today became Switzerland's Cup. The land-locked Swiss have yet to decide where or when the next cup will be held, but it will be in Europe for the first time in the cup's history.
posted by sycophant (13 comments total)
This is not just a boring sports-news post, I promise - the history of the cup is quite interesting.

Also the cuturally implications within New Zealand are distressingly major.
posted by sycophant at 2:26 AM on March 2, 2003

All it means is there will be an absence of incredibly, rich, white men wandering around the waterfront and house-prices may come down a little. Other people don't see it as 'distressingly major' either:
ANZ chief economist David Drage says the 2000-02 build-up contributed less than 0.1 per cent of GDP and the $325 million from the regattas works out at about 0.2 per cent of New Zealand's $125 billion economy.
posted by meech at 3:31 AM on March 2, 2003

It didn't became "New Zealand's Cup", nor it will become "Switzerland's Cup". The name "America's Cup" will remain. "America" was the name of the boat that defeated the British at the Isle of Man in 1851 or something (-- the Cup was called the "100 Guinea Cup" before that), bringing the trophy in the States until 1983 when the Aussies won it
posted by matteo at 4:11 AM on March 2, 2003

Oh, and of course even more ironic than the Swiss being the first Europeans to win back the Cup that eluded the Brits, the French and the Italians for 152 years is the fact that Alinghi simply hired Russell Coutts and all the other good Kiwis and kicked NZ's ass
French Francs beat NZ Dollars -- that's sportsmanship!

Alinghi should bite the bullet and organize the next competition not in Portugal nor in Sardinia but in the Lake of Ginevra -- the only place on this planet where the wind sucks more than in Auraki
posted by matteo at 4:19 AM on March 2, 2003

matteo - Switzerland has it's own Franc, thankyouverrmuch :)
posted by slater at 4:27 AM on March 2, 2003

sorry -- since Alinghi are French Swiss, I got that mixed up
posted by matteo at 6:11 AM on March 2, 2003

And a challenge for the next cup has already been issued by Larry Ellison and the "Golden Delicious Gate Yacht Club" (Or so says the Google translation). If the Societe Natique de Geneve holds it on the lake, I do hope they'll use the Jet d’Eau as the first mark.
posted by donovan at 9:43 AM on March 2, 2003

Leading up the America's Cup in NZ was a bizarre national advertising campaign where people of all races, all creeds, stood on their local shore with their hand to the heart looking seaward and solemn. Cut to an old lady's face, smirking, and she slyly says "we're keeping it, it's ours... my preeeciious".

Well, scratch the last bit, but you get the point. It wasn't sporting.

It wasn't "we're going to sail with these people who (aside from the Americans) we respect and this is going to be a great sporting match", it was "we're going to win, and we're going to crush them, and the streets will run red with the blood of the disbelievers". The name of the campaign was "Loyal". Win. win. win.

It might be easy to brush off the campaign and say that this wasn't what people were feeling but everyone was behind it, no one spoke out against it, and it was a pompous disaster. It ended spectacularly.

I'm not glad that NZ lost, but I don't really care. I'm quite sure they won't learn to be not so vicious next time, so what does it matter. Bah.
posted by holloway at 12:36 PM on March 2, 2003

meech, you don't consider a sporting event which increases your economy by 0.2% for two years to be major? Seriously, that's a nearly unbelievable impact for an event which consisted of 10 teams of people attempting to build and race extremely fast, extremely advanced yachts.

Heck, they didn't even require that a stadium be built. True, it's not going to make or break a nation, but it's certainly welcome revenue to any country that manages to get it.
posted by mosch at 1:28 PM on March 2, 2003

Yeah, mosch, but you then have to ask which sectors of the economy benefitted, and how widely that benefit was distributed. From what I saw, the main beneficiaries have been: (i) Hoteliers; (ii) restauranteurs and bar-owners; (iii) boat-builders; (iv) travel agents; and (v) property developers. Sure, they employed people, but I really don't think that the economic benefit was that widely felt.

The main thing that the America's Cup did was to create* a speculative market in high-priced, waterside property which got completely out of control. Since 1995, the East coast north of Auckland has been totally clogged with upscale, poorly-planned development. Initially, a small area on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula from where the races would be actually visible started moving up in price. Then the bubble just took off; land prices up the coast started rocketing upwards, and the development started. The same thing happened in the central city: development started on the waterfront, then speculators moved in, followed by the developers. Now the entire CBD is riddled with residential housing aimed to take advantage of the Cup, all totally unplanned, and about as well-built as a '60s North London Council towerblock. The whole place also reeks of sewerage, which flows into the storm-water drains from over-flowing pipes, because the system was never designed to cope with the number of people now living there. Total chaos, from an urban planning point of view.

So, what's been the result? A few hundred people have made a hell of a lot of money. The CBD's an eyesore. The East coast is a salutary example of what happens when you combine poor building standards, star-struck local councils who refuse to enforce their own planning and environmental bylaws, and idiots driving 5.7 litre diesel-engined vehicles who want to tow their fucking runabouts up to their newly built beach-houses, so they can show off just how much of the banks' money they've managed to borrow. We're all paying about 50% more rent than we should be, thanks to the housing bubble. Household debt is at record levels, because no-one can really pay for any of this. Oh, and we've seen the depressing spectacle holloway mentioned -- the mass, hysterical stupidity of the whole Loyal campaign.

So yeah, I'm glad the Cup's going. Unfortunately, a lot people are going to crash and burn financially when the housing bubble bursts. I only hope that they'll be the same people who've been flying these annoying 'Loyal' flags from their cars the last few weeks.

*OK, not solely -- the Government's business-migrant scheme helped -- but it was a significant factor all the same.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:40 PM on March 2, 2003

Oh God yes, Sonny Jim. Now, if we can just lose at rugby and cricket some more, maybe we can find something other than sport to build the national ego on.

Jack has it right at Tall Poppy (about halfway down at the moment, search for "denigration").
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:25 PM on March 2, 2003

'distressingly major'?

What the hell is wrong with me? It was late, I have been working long hours.

It made a big impact, became a surprisingly strong part of our national identity and well, now it isn't here anymore...

Oh matteo, I was referring to Peter Montgomery's famous line when New Zealand won in 1995 "...and The America's Cup is now New Zealand's Cup" and then his inspired line in 2000 "the America's Cup is still New Zealand's Cup"

Mind you, if the yanks got to rename it after their boat all that time ago, maybe we should have called it "Black Magic's Cup" or something.

I wonder if it's safe to drink Coke and go to the Viaduct again now?
posted by sycophant at 8:31 PM on March 2, 2003

National identity? Well, Peter on Breakfast was crying like a girl.
posted by holloway at 10:58 AM on March 3, 2003

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