Planted stories, rumours and misinformation are part of the America’s Cup. This is what Peter Lester, world-renowned America’s Cup commentator from New Zealand, wrote last Saturday in a column in the New Zealand Herald. There is an ongoing rumor in Valencia and around the internet about an alleged structural damage on NZL-92, the newest yacht of America’s Cup challenger Emirates Team New Zealand.
The kiwi team has obviously denied having suffered any damage whatsoever and we have shot pictures of NZL-92 being towed out of Port America’s Cup a couple of days after the alleged incident. When everybody thought the matter was closed, the rumor resurfaced with a fantasy picture, allegedly taken by some other team (respecting the 200-meter rule) the moment the New Zealand boat broke. Just like dozens of other people here in Valencia we received earlier today the now-famous photo.
This is supposed to be a picture taken by somebody in the race course the moment NZL-92 broke around 2 weeks ago. This can obviously be any picture of the team training, scaled down and then digitally altered.
It looks more like a bad joke rather than a genuine photo of the supposed incident. Obviously, what strikes first is why would anyone take a black and white photo when even elementary mobile phones have better image quality!!
The reason we publish this photo is to show that psychology plays a very important role in the America’s Cup and there are people that would go to such lengths as produce such a crappy picture, hoping to influence the other teams. Of course, it could be some form of reverse-psychology maneuvers by the New Zealanders themselves!!
In exactly nine days we’ll know the truth.