So when Coutts, pharmaceutical billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, and the rest of the Alinghi crew trounced Team New Zealand, I began to quietly worry about the future of this great regatta. Everyone in Auckland knew the event would change, probably significantly, for the next defense. I fretted that Coutts, a forward-thinking professional sailor, and Bertarelli, a savvy and aggressive businessman, would craft something they felt was a marked improvement, but also cost the event some of its charm. This isnt a contest which gets by on shear adrenaline--the last three Americas Cups, all 5-0 victories, havent won any awards for excitement or drama. The quirks of sailing in general and the Americas Cup, as maddening as they can be, are part of the reason it stands out in a world of made-for-TV sports. While listening to Coutts and Alinghi executive director Michel Bonnefous early last week, however, most of my fears melted away. The next Cup will certainly be different, but it should be an improved event. One that the sailing community will spend more time applauding then defending or decrying and one that will be worthy of the money and effort spent by syndicates to win it.