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Hyping up the Cup
Team McLube



Nov 18, 2011, 12:43 AM

Post #1 of 5 (14511 views)
Hyping up the Cup Log-In to Post/Reply

Why is Scuttlebutt hyping up the Cup regatta in San Diego which, at least from outside eyes, seems a pretty tame affair?

Today we are asked to vote for our favourite team, which seems a desperate attempt to have us "engage" in the action. So long as everyone wears helmets, and is padded up like the Nutty Professor on steroids, I can't see myself "engaging". And today there was fog and light winds.

I would post this on Scuttlebutt itself, as I used to, but my emails are always returned these days. Is this censorship, or just a sensitive spam filter?


Nov 23, 2011, 6:06 AM

Post #2 of 5 (14388 views)
Re: [adrianmorgan] Hyping up the Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I would have to differ with the basic statement that Scuttlebutt is hyping the event in San Diego. Craig has been quite careful in presenting the views of both the supporters and the detractors of the America's Cup world series and the new format for the Cup. In fact, his personal view if anything has, in my opinion, been a bit on the negative side overall. If you go back and read all of what has been said on the subject in the Butt, I think you will agree.

As far as it being a pretty tame affair, I'm wondering if we are watching the same event. A 25 knot sailboat just isn't all that tame.
Incidentally the "padding" is a PFD.
Check Six .......Mal


Nov 23, 2011, 8:51 AM

Post #3 of 5 (14383 views)
Re: [Mal] Hyping up the Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

OK, was San Diego evidence that the ACWS has "proven to be riveting"? Where's the proof? Was it a "a complete success" as stated in Scuttlebutt? Who's to judge?

Guesting on the back of an Oracle boat does sound like fun, for the 0.000000001% of fans given the chance to enjoy Mr Ellison's hospitality. And the professionals must be laughing all the way to the bank.

As for me, one of the worldwide audience watching on YouTube (until I fell asleep), I saw agonisingly slow tacks, technology malfunctions and a pretty small crowd watching from the sidelines.

Once you've got over the fact tat the sail is rigid, not soft, it looks much the same. And these wings are ancient technology, so no one can say they are cutting edge. And speed is relative. After a while you get used to 25 knots, just as you get used to 280mph race cars.

Plymouth looked a blast, mainly because everyone capsized at one time or another. San Diego was pretty tame by comparison, but that's weather for you.

If Scuttlebutt would only publish the numbers that took part in the poll, and the figures for attendance, I would consider it fairly reported.

I know that the fat suits are PFDs, and helmets are there for safety, but how on earth can you be expected to recognise the skippers if you can't see their faces? Once the AC gets as big as Formula One, perhaps, we won't need to see who's driving, but for the time being Spithill, Barker, Coutts et al all look much the same, bouncing around like big babies. Hardly cool.

Don't get me started on how much the whole thing is costing, but then he can afford it...


Nov 25, 2011, 2:55 PM

Post #4 of 5 (14347 views)
Re: [adrianmorgan] Hyping up the Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Riveting? Certainly not for the non sailor... not yet at least. To a catamaran racer it is. To the open minded monomaran sailor, I would think it to be as well but maybe not. As to the crowds watching from the shore, how many were watching from other America's Cup events in San Diego or almost all of the other AC contests? None at all. Maybe a few with really long lenses on the Hauraki Gulf. The jury is still out on whether or not the ACWS can attract fans from the non sailing world. The folks around me at the end of the pier were certainly interested though I can't say they were engaged.

Everybody knows who's driving #24 in NASCAR and the red boat is skippered by Dean Barker. Even so the identities are clearly visible to the on board cameras. I'm sure there are those that watch NASCaR for the crashes too but I'm hoping they are in the minority. Great strides have been taken to help the non sailor understand the racing. They won't be fans until they understand, maybe not even then. We'll see but there is a far better chance that this format will generate non sailor interest than the IACC boats.

My only real point is that Scuttlebutt has been more than fair in it's presentation of both sides of the controversy within the sailing world over the new Cup format. What I can't understand is why there is one. It seems to me that the sport itself can only be helped by the new format. I would venture to say that more people have been directly exposed to sailboat racing, certainly that associated with the Cup since the ACWS format started. It can only help.

It is much the same really. Sailors seem to have an almost unreasonable dislike for cats ever since the 1800's when Cap Nat's cat was disqualified after it spanked all the big monos in a race. You would have thought Dennis Connor peed in the punch bowl the way he was talked about when he defended the Cup in a cat. They are just fast, physically demanding sailboats. They have a huge range of winds in which they can be fairly raced and it can be done close enough to shore to be much more widely accessed. Tacks look agonizingly slow because the speeds between are fast and they decelerate fast when head to wind. They also accelerate fast after the tack. We've seen dial ups and dial downs, tacking duels ... most all the typical match racing moves. Sure you can get used to 25 kts in a sailboat as an observer but if you've sailed, you're impressed. If the general public takes enough of an interest to try it, they will be too.

I just wish the dissenters in the sailing community would either give it a chance, go sail a cat some, use constructive criticism or just go by the old adage that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
Check Six .......Mal


Nov 26, 2011, 1:33 AM

Post #5 of 5 (14336 views)
Re: [Mal] Hyping up the Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

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.

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.

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