I disagree with some of those spectator opinions that match racing wasn't evident in the last AC semi- and finals. Seems quite a few races were nail-biters for me to watch.

So what if the separation was several hundred meters vs. a boat-length. At those speeds, the lead changed up to 5-6 times during the race. How is that different than a match race at 5 knots?

Doing 30 knots is much more thrilling, even if the video (and team professionalism) made it look like a gentle light-air sail....