In fact, as soon as Oracle had won the Cup off Spain, Ellison’s crew rapidly created large, talent-rich and well-funded AC34 management organizations, which reconceived the next round in every way. The concept, more NFL than NYYC, is unapologetic professional racing in extreme boats on tight courses close to shore, stadium style. The main San Francisco event in 2013 — to be raced in custom 72-foot catamarans capable of speeds of more than 30 knots — would be preceded by a first-ever AC “World Series” fought in a fleet of matching 45-foot carbon cats so lively that the athletes on board, including many veterans of Olympic small-boat racing, often work at maximum pulse rates. There’s also a challenging tactical component to short-course racing this fast, plus a dash of NASCAR, since the AC45s can suddenly nosedive, flip or even cartwheel when seriously powered up. Hence the crash helmets.