Purdy: America’s Cup Crew, From ‘Quarterbacks’ to ‘Martial Artists’
Then I met the other guys on Conner’s boat. I immediately regretted and retracted every insulting thought of a nautical nature. These guys were reinforced steel in windbreakers. A skipper can afford to be slightly softer, because he’s the least active guy on the craft. But the rest of the crew … let’s just say that if the sailors entered a tug of war with the 49ers’ offensive line, I’d take the sailors.
Why? The sailors use their shoulders and arms to pull ropes. They use their legs for leverage. They use their abdominal muscles to lean over the side of the hull and keep the boat from tipping over — while eating salt spray. Let’s see an offensive tackle try to do that. It’s impressive as hell.
You’ll see what I mean Saturday, when the two remaining Louis Vuitton Cup challengers face off. The best-of-13 series, matching Luna Rossa Challenge of Italy and Emirates Team New Zealand, will decide the opponent for Oracle Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup next month.