America's Cup: “Team USA” Devoid of Americans

Glancing out the window here at SF Weekly, we saw a graceful AC45 catamaran featuring a large tricolor on its sail was just towed toward today's race.

Apparently, we are supposed to root against this French interloper into San Francisco's waters, and put our efforts into cheering for the “hometown” squad, Oracle Team USA. “One thing we're really hoping we can rely on is some hometown support,” Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill told the Examiner. “There's something about racing at home that gives you a little bit of an advantage.”

The notion of San Franciscans going out of their way to root for the corporately branded plaything of yachting billionaire Larry Ellison seems farfetched — though, who knows? We put our heart and soul behind the 49ers and Giants, and those aren't exactly small-time nonprofits existing solely for the benefit of the community.

What's more counterintuitive, however, is the notion of “home,” and, for that matter “Team USA.” Spithill, for one, is Australian. His 20 fellow Team USA sailors include six New Zealanders, four Australians, three Dutchmen, two Canadians, a Brit, an Antiguan, an Italian, and a guy with citizenship in New Zealand, Ireland, and Australia.

There are only two Americans, one of whom is a dual citizen of Australia.

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