Belfast Telegraph

Read all about the sailing in Bermuda or check it out on Oracle

Things have been a bit choppy of late aboard the good ship, I said 'ship', Stormont, but who would have thought Ken Reid would have gone overboard and hauled anchor to the Caribbean?

As it turns out, it wasn't the legendary UTV political guru, it was a Ken Read, who was BT Sport's expert as the America's Cup got under way at the weekend, with Clare Balding, every sport's first mate, the captain for the voyage in Bermuda.

Resplendent in orange, it could have been Stormont after all, we joined Clare port-side for races three and four, explaining that Team New Zealand, from New Zealand, won the first two races to lead 1-0.

Confused? I was, but it turns out that as they had to pre-qualify the Kiwis started on minus-one, and suddenly Ken wished he was in Northern Ireland where you can count on us to count the count properly.

They were up against Team Oracle from the USA, although most of them are Aussies, and wouldn't it have been nice if the New Zealanders had called themselves Team Ceefax just to make things all shipshape?

I don't pretend to know much about sailing, but it seems now it is a battle between grinders and cyclors, the latter a comic book character and the former something else that could land us in deep water, but in sailing terms the difference between pedalling with your arms or your legs to power the boaty thing.

Race Three fared no better for Oracle, Read admitting that 'at this stage you don't need just a mistake, you need a gift from the heavens, an act of God, a massive windshift' or perhaps a President who will send a flotilla of ships forthwith.

Commentator Alistair Eykyn confirmed "they've been taken to the cleaners in the first three races," and you'll need that to get the smell of dulse out of Bermuda shorts, while Olympian Shirley Robertson, out on the seas, told Balding 'bringing a knife to a gunfight springs to mind'.

She was right as 2-0 became 3-0, or technically 4-0 if they weren't cheating, which won't go down well down under as Robertson confidently proclaimed sailing is New Zealand's national sport.

Dear help us if they ever take up rugby.

"Four out of four wins, a 3-0 lead, they are certainly ruling the waves and ruling the sailing world," Balding concluded, setting sail for Ascot and dropping off Ken in Belfast on the way through.

Belfast Telegraph

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