Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Beware of threes

Last week, America’s Cup Defender Alinghi hosted a media day in Valencia where they presented three details that did not seem to warrant a party, but they probably figured that providing cocktails and poo-poos to the yachting scribes might get them some complimentary publicity. Their message was:

* We are training on multihulls
* We are going to build a multihull
* We are in favor of a May 2009 defense

Not entirely riveting news, but there is an old adage of law that states: “When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the law is on your side, argue the law. And when you don't have either the law or the facts on your side, you pound on the table.” Maybe Alinghi is now pounding the table, and if they say May 2009 enough times, they could get their wish. The smart tactician identifies the situation, and succeeds or fails in how they utilize the options available.

Continuing on the theme of threes, the Alinghi team also took advantage of the media day to pay tribute to a previous Curmudgeon’s Observation: “The secret to success is knowing who to blame for your failures.” Breaking it down, blame can be aimed in three areas:

* Those that designed the Protocol
* Those that presented the Protocol
* Those that defended the Protocol

For those that designed the Protocol, they will remain nameless to protect their family and innocent bystanders from retribution. For those that presented the Protocol, Pacco Latorre, Alinghi head of marketing acknowledged that "we didn't do very well at explaining the team's vision for the 33rd America's Cup.” For those that defended the Protocol, Lucien Masmejean, Alinghi head of lawyering noted, “We haven't done very well so far from a legal point of view. The way the American legal system works is completely different to what we are use to in Europe. … It is all very confusing and that's probably why we have not been showing a great deal of strengths to date. We are a bit naïve in this …”.

Beware of things that come in threes. From a numerological standpoint, the 33rd America’s Cup was doomed.

Alinghi team quotes courtesty of Destremau Sailing blog

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