ORACLE TEAM USA
BASEBALL EQUIVALENT: NEW YORK YANKEES
Oracle would have you believe that they’re the Giants, but really, they’re the Yanks: insanely rich, likely to blow away the competition, easy to hate.
STAR: If Larry Ellison is the George Steinbrenner of yachting, that makes clean-faced, ginger-haired Jimmy Spithill the cup’s Derek Jeter.
EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND
BASEBALL EQUIVALENT: ATLANTA BRAVES
Both teams had periods of glory in the last decade or two, but neither has reached those heights recently. The Braves famously collapsed on the last day of the regular season in 2011. in 2007, new Zealand lost its final race by one second.
STAR: Skipper Dean Barker, who joined up in 1995, is their Chipper Jones.
LUNA ROSSA CHALLENGE
BASEBALL EQUIVALENT: OAKLAND A'S
Both have had some success in recent years—though neither has gone all the way. Who can resist such lovable losers?
STAR: Skipper Max Sirena—who blew off a request not to set sail soon after the death of Andrew Simpson—sort of reminds us of captain nonconformity himself, Billy Beane.
BASEBALL EQUIVALENT: CHICAGO CUBS
Chicago Cubs these are the teams that tragedy and heartbreak always seem to strike.
STAR: Like the cubbie’s wunderkind general manager, Theo Epstein, team director Iain Percy is a proven winner (he’s a three-time British Olympic medalist), hired in 2010 to turn around a lackluster organization.
Originally published in the July 2013 issue of San Francisco.
How To Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the America's Cup
The Year in Fail
America's Cup Magnate or James Bond Villain?
A Field Guide to Fans
Ask a Bookie
An Abbreviated History of Cheats
Pier vs. Couch
The Fair-Weather Fan's Racing Calendar
Will Larry Ellison Actually Be Sailing?
What Happens If There's No Water?
Which Team Should You Root For?