But the payoff could be legions of newcomers fascinated by speed and technology -- as well as the coastal vistas. America's Cup sailboats can reach 35 knots, or 40 mph, in winds of almost half that amount, at 18 knots or 21 mph. Hydrofoils reduce drag and boost speed.
"There's no denying that the hundreds of millions being spent are bringing a new excitement to the sport and perhaps some new fans as the final series of the Cup is about to get underway," Murray added.
A new era is unfurling in sailing, Murray said. Though it's strongly criticized, Murray defended the modernization of a world classic.
"We have boats sailing around 50 mph -- which is unheard of in the history of sailing," Murray said. "The way these guys are pushing these boats, it's quite remarkable and a huge test of the competency of putting a crew together to race in the America's Cup. So I look back and say it was the right decision."