Jul 8, 2012, 3:08 PM
Post #9 of 12
From Ed Vitrano:
Re: [The Publisher] Observations: AC World Series - Newport
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‘"Learn to Sail" class . . . The degree of over-talking and over-explaining . . . casual sailors and non-sailors’ . . . isn’t that the point? The NBC coverage (first network in 20 years) was intended to attract the uninformed, not the hard-core cynics who seem to delight in pointing out where the efforts to bring sailing into the mainstream have failed.
I posted Saturday’s YouTube coverage to my Facebook page and many of my 300+ “friends” expressed interest in watching Sunday’s coverage . . . and did. The speed of the boats, hearing the commands, the crew work on board, the athleticism . . . it was all on display and I say well done! While Gary was a bit droll at times, I was able to switch to my cable coverage and listen to the guys who spoke my language, albeit with an accent. However, I saw more lead and position changes this weekend, and under speed, than I’ve seen on any mono-hull race for years. The setting, while I’m still partial to the San Francisco Bay area, was startling in its beauty. It was all good.
My complaint? The cable company had the event listed as “Yachting” . . . Yachting!? It was Sailboat Racing . . . and with the best talent in the world.
I say let’s get behind this effort . . . not delight in pointing out where there was failure (less than anticipated attendance; failure to cover a capsize; fewer than anticipated teams; my-oh-my). Apparently, from my Observation, change is hard for Curmudgeons.
From Peter Wormwood:
As a sailor, the "Green Fleet" commentary in the America's Cup broadcasts is definitely tedious. Although I don't know or understand the nuances of NFL football or World Cup soccer, I thoroughly enjoy watching the games and listening to the commentators' educated comments about the action. I don't expect them to educate me about the basics of the sports. Rather, I expect sophisticated insights. Watch any sport for awhile and the basics will become self-evident.
Watching a sport that is new to you with the expectation that the announcers will teach you the sport, rather than provide expert commentary, is like going to a foreign country and expecting the locals to speak your language because you don't understand theirs.
From Richard Jepsen, CEO, OCSC Sailing:
In reply to your query about opinions on AC Commentating, as the owner of a sailing school and sailing club, I get to see a couple of different sides. We have brand new sailors as well as trained, but relatively new sailors in our program.
We projected Sunday’s racing (from NBC) during class lunch break and the new sailing students were enthralled. In fact, one of our club managers added additional explanation and commentary to help them better understand the nuances of chasing current relief and rules like the three boat length circle. The more experienced members who were in to go sailing on their own also enjoyed the broadcast, without a complaint about being talked down to.
Personally, while I found the commentary a tiny bit ‘over-explained’ at some points, it didn’t bother me much at all and I really enjoyed the visual spectacle. I admit that I kept visualizing what this is going to look like in August with 20 knots of wind daily when the road show comes to our San Francisco Bay. I think that visual spectacle will overwhelm any over-explanation that might occur.
Overall, given the situation in which the AC finds itself and the effort it is making to further popularize sailing, it seems to be the smart move to ensure that the demographic of new sailors or racers is educated during broadcasts.
From Roger Marshall:
I live about three hundred yards from the Newport AC course. I can walk down the street and watch the event live from the Jamestown headland. I consider myself pretty clued in to sailboat racing having a few racing miles under my belt. I am also a major skeptic about the way the AC has developed.
Watching from shore told me basically nothing. One wing sail went ahead, but with the spectator fleet in the way it was hard to tell which boat was actually in front. Even people who went out on boats to watch found it hard to tell what was going on. On Sunday I watched Stan Honey's creation on TV. What a difference! The commentary was inane (for Gary's information we have a 4 foot rise and fall of tide on a moon tide, not ten), but the course lines, tacking and onboard video was very, very good. It would have been even better if we could have heard the crews more often instead of being told where the layline is. That could easily be done with text. Kudos to Honey for what he and his team have developed. Every person I have spoken to, said the event was far easier to read on TV than on the course, and that includes many good sailors.
The event should not be shelved while we wait for the AC, but should be built into a real circuit racing monthly in different ports AKA NASCAR, It would have world wide appeal to hype the AC. Hold the AC every four years as the Championship/reward event in the same way that NASCAR uses the Chase to determine the winner. The difference from NASCAR is that the AC Series would be worldwide. With the way it was marked on TV by Honey's crew, anybody could understand it. As a worldwide NASCAR style series it will develop the sailors who will sail the AC in future years, create a pool of top sailors and become the event that could bring sailing to the masses. Just don't cover the boats with sponsor decals.