There Is No Second

During the first ever America's Cup race, then a race around the Isle of Wight, the entry from the "colonies" (named, appropriately, "America") won by a rather large margin. Sailor's yarns being what they are, the story goes that the lookout at the finish line announced that the boats were within sight. "Who is first?" asked the Queen, with "America" as the answer. "Who is second?" was a reasonable followup question.

"There is no second." As the Israelis say, "oopah." Or as my gamer son says, "pwned," although there's probably not a good translation into Swiss German for that one.

Despite starting 87 seconds behind at the gun, BMW-Oracle Racing won today's first race of the 33rd America's Cup by about five minutes, or roughly 2 miles. It is, as they say in Boston, a wicked fast boat.

I'm smiling ear to ear. I'm giggling. I'm remarkably proud of a boat to which I have no earthly connection other than the fact that it's American, I'm a huge America's Cup fan and cheer for the "home team," and it has my current and future employer's logos on the wing-as-mainsail.

Most of all, it's a remarkable feat of engineering. When you get all of the pieces finely tuned and working as a system (especially a system as complex as racing sailboat constraints), well, there is no second.

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Hal Stern's thoughts on software, services, cloud computing, security, privacy, and data management

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