An America's Cup campaign is a total effort that involves challenges of design, construction, sailmaking, steering, tactics, crewwork, tuning, fund raising, and management. Failure in any one of these areas can and usually does handicap an effort, resulting in a certain visit by the Selection Committee to thank the crew for their (unsuccessful) participation. The "Summer of'74" was no exception to this rule. Obstacles arose in every one of these areas at some point for each yacht; in certain cases they were either fatal or at least crippling:

- in design … the failure of MARINER's radical stern configuration resulted in a rebuilding that for all intents and purposes ended her summer…

- in construction …both MARINER and COURAGEOUS were completed behind schedule, resulting in tremendous time pressures relative to INTREPID …

- in steering and tactics …several skipper and afterguard changes were caused in part by a new level of match racing aggressiveness (that also resulted in many protests) …

- in crewwork … everyone watched COURAGEOUS pull her crew together in the nick of time to defeat a well­prepared INTREPID …

- in tuning … experts shuddered to see MARINER depart for her last race with the mast moved as a last ditch ef­fort to attain a racing tune …

- in fund raising … the newspapers covered COURAGEOUS's near death in the height of the fuel crisis when construction was barely beginning …

- and finally, in management ..this past summer demanded an unprecendented number of difficult decisions that had to be made under tremendous pressure, decisions involving all the above issues.

In the remainder of this discussion, I will approach the issues just touched upon by presenting a combination of descriptive compari­sons of the three American twelve meter efforts and my interpretations of that material. Organizing to win, selection of personnel, methods of evaluation, the use of time and money, and the impact of major changes will be explored. Lastly, let me emphasize that the opinions and conclusions drawn within this article are my own, possibly shared by no one else. My experience aboard MARINER (and VALIANT) and later INTREPID gave me a rare opportunity to examine two efforts involving three twelve meters from the inside. Although it is often difficult, I will try to be objective and not abuse 20/20 hindsight.

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