Nov 23, 2011, 2:25 PM
Post #7 of 7
From Paul Warren, Redington Beach, FL:
Re: [The Publisher] Spectating tips for ACWS San Diego
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I agree completely with your readers Vince Casalaina and Mal Emerson, Scuttlebutt 3476, re the San Diego ACWS regatta. Like the other Scuttlebutt observers, I spent eight days in San Diego watching the event, both landside and on-the-water.
The racing was exciting: there was lots of action - packed mark roundings, near collisions, and several substantial lead changes. But, it was understandable only if you were/are an experienced sailboat racer who understood all the intricacies of catamarans, wing sails, fleet racing, match racing, and race course layouts. Otherwise, the novice, I think, is left bewildered.
“Stadium sailing” is all well and good if you were a knowledgeable viewer. For the neophyte, there was no real explanatory description of the action, no introduction to the art of sailing (windward/leeward, upwind/downwind, match racing tactics, etc.). I agree completely that the audio-visual component of the landside spectator experience needs to be UPGRADED! Site-specific commentators, describing the racing for each location, might be a good solution. Or, more simply, just install “jumbo-tron” style TVs with the live commentary feed at all the landside viewing locations. (Other events do this on a regular basis. Why not the AC?)
Another observation: landside viewing was not optimized to make spectators comfortable and, thus, keep them on-the-scene for longer times. Spectators were forced to stand in crowds for the duration, unless they brought their own chairs and got front-row locations. Additional tiered bleachers would have been helpful. If AC organizers needed to fund the cost of said bleachers, why not sell the seating sponsorship to a company looking for product sampling opportunities. They’d have a “captive” audience who would probably be willing (I would) to complete a brief market research survey in exchange for free seating to watch in relative comfort. “Stadium sailing” should have some semblance of a stadium!
The live TV commentary was expert, involving and enhancing. However, I know many avid racing sailors who haven’t yet been incented to tune in to YouTube or other ACTV outlets to see the live action and/or the replays. This is NOT a good way to attract potential sponsors to the event.
The ACEA is obviously on a steep learning curve with these events. They did a very good job with the San Diego event, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.