AUSTIN, TX – The Cup may also be the sporting competition that most honestly reflects contemporary notions of citizenship and the nation-state. Ostensibly, the teams represent countries, but each one has a clear corporate underwriter. Moreover, the sailors, support staff, researchers and other team members are not necessarily citizens of the country for which they race. This year, Swedish syndicate Artemis Racing was led by a British Olympian; SoftBank Team Japan included Japanese and British sailors under the direction of a New Zealander; and Australians led the Oracle and ETNZ teams. To some observers, this almost mercenary approach is lamentable, potentially stunting the development and wider appeal of the sport. In fact, rules legislating national quotas for team members are expected to be a major topic in the coming Cup cycle. In a moment of global populism and nationalist movements, it is perhaps fitting that this most representative competition is wrestling with issues of open borders and migrant labor. –Tolga Ozyurtcu, Ph.D., writing for the Strator website, as a member of their Board of Contributors. Full story
Photo: ETNZ via the Radio NZ website.