Untold: The Race of the Century on Netflix

Season two of the Netflix documentary series, Untold ends with a more obscure sport than football or basketball. It follows the story of how an underdog Australian team won the America’s Cup sailing race. Sailing is not a sport that many people participate in or watch so the nuances might be a little trickier. Still the underdog aspect of the story we can all grasp on to.

Sailing is a sport involving the rich of this world. Inner city kids do not tend to take up sailing as it is a very expensive sport. A sport involving those of means and typically white.

Going into the America’s Cup (the most prestigious sailing race in the world) to say the U.S. had dominated would be a gross understatement. More precisely, America’s teams had been on a winning streak that had gone on for almost a century and a half. In this particular race the New York Yach Club was in it to win it. At any cost. Read between those lines to understand the depths they would go to in order to come out victorious.

Though you might not have heard of the America’s Cup race or any sailing races, does not mean this is small time stuff. There are millions and even billions of dollars on the line. Small teams do not win this huge race. But someone forgot to tell a plucky Australian team this. We learn of their determination and courage via interviews with the members of the team. To completely flesh out the story we also get interviews with some of the American team. Besides the presentday interview, you also get footage from that time.

In order to take away the America’s Cup title you actually have to win four races. First team to win four races wins the America’s Cup. Like the World Cup, the America’s Cup only happens every four years. This gives teams time to build and perfect their boats. You can see how the demainds on time, effort and pocketbook are immense.

The members of the Australian team, we learn, are from a variety of backgrounds. You get to see how they come together to become a tightknit group. Besides their close bond, what gave them an advantage was a keel they developed.

While it is slower (or at least of a different pace) than the other three episodes thise season, it is still a worthwhile watch. Actually, it is an incredible story at times. Unbelievable in parts. Watching the last race, I defy you to not be biting your lip or gripping the arms of your seat. It is tense stuff! An added bonus you get while watching this doc is the knowledge/information you gain about the sport. For instance, how I learned that it is not just physically demanding, but also psychologically, as well.