Nov 26, 2011, 1:33 AM
Post #5 of 5
It's good to read that you also think the jury's out on the new format. And that the words "riveting" and by inference "complete success" are somewhat premature. I would call them wishful thinking.
Re: [Mal] Hyping up the Cup
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If the folks at the end of the pier were not engaged, then you cannot expect those at home to be enthralled. And why should they, unless already fanatic about sailing, as we both clearly are?
A sport that thrives on the open air should not have to rely on wide-screens and technology to convey the action. Or electronic touch lines. And yes, until the AC has the appeal of NASCAR and Formula One, we do need to see their faces. Its not enough to have Spithill emblazoned down the side.
Cats are fine. They provide intense thrills to those who sail them; but to watchers, they just look like slightly faster boats. I have watched more Tornado Olympic races than I care to remember; give me Finns every time, and gosh, they are boring.
Speed, as I said, can only be experienced viscerally by those on board who do seem to be having a wonderful time; and so they should at the salaries they are being paid. It's all a great big fun, lucrative circus for the professionals and will be until the dosh dries up and economic realities kick in.
Better perhaps to spend the money, as Bill Gates is determined to do, helping solve some of the world's more pressing problems rather than promoting one of the least important, and most environmentally damaging activities on the planet: America's Cup sailboat racing.
And to what end? As a taster of the San Francisco showdown I can see its value. As a money spinner, clearly no. As a promotional vehicle for various high-end sponsors? I'd like to see what return they have garnered to date. To further the sport of sailing, by popularising it? Hopefully so.
But if youngsters think sailing is all about bouncing around in team gear on trampolines, wearing crash helmets, and counting the dollars, they are in for a shock. A pleasant one, dare I say, for those who value the sport for all the good old reasons.
As for my saying just nice, bland, encouraging, positive things, rather than engage in vigorous, but polite discussion of the pros and cons, not until it becomes patently obvious even to commentators like myself that the new AC has indeed become rivetingly successful.