America’s Cup

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The mainstream news is all about the amazing comeback from 8-1 down for Oracle Team USA to win the America’s Cup 9-8. Even if you don’t like sailing, take a moment to admire these amazing machines (scrub to about minute 15 to see some action). These sailboats fly, and I mean that literally. They do 40 knots (46 mph  / 74 kph) with both carbon fiber hulls out of the water on impossibly thin carbon fiber hydrofoils. The unheralded free-market news is that these fantastic boats are a physical rebuke to the statist prattle about the necessity of government to fund and direct scientific research . The massive research dollars invested in sports have real world applications in products. No where is this more apparent than racing of all kinds, where free-market improvements in hull design, composite materials research and manufacture, sail design, auto engines, fuel injection systems, braking, suspension, and safety systems have all made their way into commercially available products.

Other great developments – the nomenclature of the race pitted Oracle Team USA against Emirates Team New Zealand. How encouraging to see the corporate sponsors take the first position on the sails ahead of their state of origin. Given that well over 50% of the sailors, designers, and support personnel of “Team USA” are non-Americans, the announcers sense the irony of calling them “Team USA”.  and use “Oracle Team USA” and “Emirates Team New Zealand” instead.  While Team New Zealand’s talent tend to be more home-grown, consider their title sponsor is the global airline based and named for a small Arab Gulf state on the opposite side of the world. States are becoming increasingly irrelevant as sports bring together the best of the world for mutually agreed competition against each other without all the jingoism.

8:17 am on September 26, 2013
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