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America's Cup World Series
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Mal
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Aug 28, 2012, 2:46 PM

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After being in attendance at all of the US events; I believe they've got it right in San Francisco. Only error was the last day blocking a good portion of the prime viewing area for a silly parachute jump well after the racing. I have watched from shore and from boat (Beneteau 393) and the shore is far superior. I drove the boat one day in Newport and saw almost none of the racing as it took too much concentration, missing the other boats and getting yelled at by the police, the park service and the Coast Guard. It was really nice seeing all the 12's in attendance though. I watched from the bow on another day with a trusted helmsman and it was much better but not near as good as from shore. The difference is 10 times as great in SanFran. Obviously it's difficult to argue that TV/Internet is the best viewing as far as actually knowing what's going on but I certainly prefer to be there.

If you are watching in person, use a VHF tuned to channel 20 for the same commentary seen on UTube which is far better than the TV or loud speaker at the venue (they may have even been the same?). The in person commentary was more involved in whipping up the crowd and advertising the event; I didn't like it but I certainly understand and agree with the choice. Ideal would be a tablet with earphone in one ear, listening to the loudspeakers and the boat noise with the other but I'll have to make do with the VHF.

Shame the October event coincides with the Annapolis boat show. It's also about the best sailing month on the Chesapeake so I may miss that one.

I attended the 2000 match in Auckland and I'm absolutely certain that this format is many orders of magnitude superior as far as public or poor sailor (I consider myself in that category) is concerned. I hope it won't be ruined by cordoning off more and more of the viewing and charging. I think the crowds in Newport would have been near SanFran levels if they hadn't charged $10 a head to get into the venue.

I'm sure there are some of the monomaran crowd still poo pooing the big Cats but I imagine those following the racing or watching it with even the slightest bit of an open mind will agree that Mr's Ellison and Coutts are totally vindicated.

I, personally, am even more the rabid fan.
Check Six .......Mal




The Publisher
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Aug 29, 2012, 9:15 AM

Post #2 of 14 (31616 views)
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From Bruno Trouble, Louis Vuitton:
Following Bruce's comments in Scuttlebutt 3663, I also would like to say how much I have been impressed by the success of America's Cup World Series event last week in San Francisco. At last, the AC Event Authority has been flooded with luck:

- Wonderful weather and wind
- Multiple lead changes
- Drama: Coutts hitting the Race Committee at full throttle
- A few capsizes (but not too many)
- Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson falling overboard
- Multiple come-from-behind situations (Spithill on Super Sunday)
- Breathtaking finish (3 boats in 3 seconds!)
- Extraordinary TV package which will change our sport forever!

Sailing is very diverse and complicated to follow for the general public. Russell Coutts, Iain Murray and Stephen Barclay have delivered something which will attract a huge and young audience. This will be great for our sport!

At Louis Vuitton, we are proud to be associated with the event through the Official Timing and the Louis Vuitton Cup. Only four boats on the starting line next year is not very good, but we have the strong teams. We are only missing the low budget teams which, in the past, participated with no real hopes of winning. You CAN'T compete next year unless you have 30-40 million. In the past we saw teams with 5 to 10 millions Euros (China, South Africa, etc.)

I have never missed a day in the America's Cup since 1977, and I say with confidence that the 34th America's Cup will be a huge success in the U.S. and the 35th will be even bigger with many more teams if we manage to keep the budgets at a reasonable level.

Changes in the America's Cup have been brutal and extreme in a short period of time. The world of sailing was so far a monohull world, but the top of our sport is now multihulls on TV. We all have to swallow this revolution. It takes some time but the future is bright.


From By Baldridge:
The America's Cup World Series races in San Francisco and elsewhere have been exciting to watch. The Fleet races put on display the great boat handling in crowded waters which these pros make look a lot easier than I know it is. However, as long as they continue to use gate marks for the match racing, it will never be classic match racing. With the gate marks, there is no covering and control of your opponent. The legs become a series of split tacks with fairly close crosses until one competitor gets a shift that turns it into a parade until the next gate where they split again.

EDITOR'S NOTE: More fan reaction, along with crowd photos, is posted on CupInfo.com: http://www.cupinfo.com/en/acws-san-francisco-august-fan-reaction-12076.php



Mal
*****


Aug 29, 2012, 10:54 AM

Post #3 of 14 (31612 views)
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"Changes in the America's Cup have been brutal and extreme in a short period of time. The world of sailing was so far a monohull world, but the top of our sport is now multihulls on TV. We all have to swallow this revolution. It takes some time but the future is bright."

Well said and, considering the source, I believe a significant shift toward what not only could be, should be but will be the long term future of the America's Cup.

Regarding Mr Baldridge's remarks concerning the gates, I can't help but disagree and say not only do the gates not prevent a match race, but that there has been match racing to a higher level than has been the case in the past already. I wish I had good data on lead changes and boat interaction to back it up. With but one mark, the "control" that Mr B mentions just continues the "parade".

The high cost of a jibe and the even higher cost of a tack or boat handling error make long term planning and seamanship far more important in the cats than the monos. The boat that can plan the top mark tactics and how to get there before the bottom mark has a huge advantage. And before you think that foresight limits the boat interaction, realize that if it is the best route, both boats want it limited only by the boundaries. There might well be a split but it won't be a big one.

I see a lot of fleet racing in the match races and a lot of match racing in the fleet races in the AC World Series. The feet racing is really exciting and I love it but the America's Cup is match racing and I think the full potential of the big cats in that format is yet untapped.
Check Six .......Mal


wetabix
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Oct 6, 2012, 2:00 AM

Post #4 of 14 (31238 views)
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The video coverage of the latest (October) SF series is absolutely superb. In the UK the live coverage is from midnight onwards so you sit in the dark in your dressing gown with a scotch and a cup of cocoa. Most of the niggles of previous series have been ironed out but the commentary is still leaden. Why do they use Stephen Hawking to do the course description and why does he insist that the close reach to Mark 1 is 'the fastest point of sailing'? (the boats visibly increase speed after the mark - something to do with those gennaker things and apparent wind, I believe). Gary Jobson talks a fair amount of nonsense and doesn't seem to understand 'the power of the right' in crossing situations. He was completely unable to explain how Spithill could be 8th in one race and win the next easily, suggesting he was 'out of practice' (he has ten times more time in the boat than most of the other skippers). It is a principle of television commentary that you should only speak if it adds to the picture; Gary seldom says anything that improves one's understanding of the race. In describing the match racing starting procedure the other commentator unhelpfully said that they have to do a timed run to cross the line as soon as the clock reads zero. Plausible, but untrue, and one of the principle differences between match racing and fleet racing. But all in all, superb entertainment. What will we do when it's over?


The Publisher
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Oct 7, 2012, 10:17 AM

Post #5 of 14 (31213 views)
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Date: Sat, 06 Oct 2012 19:13:05 -0700
From: Scot Citrin
To: editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com
Subject: AC45 Commentary

AC45 Commentary:The fastest boats, the best sailors, and the boring inaccurate commentary. Gary Jobson is good at interviewing sailors after the racing and should be relegated to that, instead of boring the listeners. Todd Harris has likely never raced a sailboat, doesn't understand the mechanics of sailing, the wind, or the current. If the goal is to alienate sailors and have them turn off the volume, they have succeeded with this sailor. Get any 2 of these (Genny Tulloch, Annie Gardner, Geordie Shaver, Jerry Kirby). All of them have the enthusiasm, stories and knowledge to bring the audio up to the professional level of video that is being produced, which might actually gain viewers instead of losing them.






The Publisher
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Oct 9, 2012, 9:02 AM

Post #6 of 14 (30846 views)
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From Ryan Hamm, Charleston, SC:
In response to Scot Citrin and George Morris total trashing of television coverage (Scuttlebutt 3692), all I have heard for years on Scuttlebutt is about the lack of television coverage of sailing. Now that we have major coverage on weekends that is as good as any in decades, the naysayers start up. Can we please give it a chance? What's next you asked... nothing if we all complain all the time. For those of us that love the coverage, would you negative guys please just keep it to yourself.

Several of my friends tell me how great the coverage of the Americas Cup has been. And these are friends that used to sail but quit after childhood. If ex-sailors and non-sailors are entertained and it gives them any inclination to get back in the sport, than this is a huge success. Heck, I have raced against at least five of the skippers and many of the crew in the AC races from this past Sunday and I thought the coverage and racing was great. What does that say about me? I guess I don't know anything about it either.

I think Gary Jobson is one of the best ambassadors of the sport we have ever had and is respected outside our sport. Please don't buy into it people. Let's grow the sport instead of shrinking it by trashing those that have done more for it than almost anyone. It was fantastic coverage and fantastic sailing and these boats are incredible machines.


The Publisher
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Oct 10, 2012, 6:43 AM

Post #7 of 14 (30813 views)
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From Scott Mason:
I was on the water Sunday at the AC World Series. Perhaps 10% of spectator boats left following the Blue Angels, but hundreds of spectator boats, packed bleachers and StFYC deck and live commentary provided a "buzz" I have never seen in our sport. It was very cool, and Jimmy added a NASCAR feel with his dramatic capsize. Very good for the sport!


From Stewart Hall, San Francisco:
As one of the many sailors on Saturday who took their boat out to watch the races it was a mixed bag. The added boat traffic for the Air Show was a pain but manageable - you knew what you were going to be faced with and acted accordingly. The worse part, and why I will never watch from the water again, was how far we were kept from the racing.

We were kept several hundred yards from the edge of the race course so you really couldn't see that much. We ended up gong below deck to listen to the commentary on VHF channel 20. Keeping spectator boats 150 feet or so from the edge of the course is understandable but several hundred yards - ridiculous and unnecessary. Not the spectator friendly racing as billed.


The Publisher
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Oct 11, 2012, 5:36 AM

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From John McNeill:
I was at the SF Marina both Saturday and Sunday for most of the day during the AC World Series, and would repeat what has appeared in the local press praising the event authority and City for excellent planning and handling of the crowds. Yes, it was shoulder to shoulder on the beach, but open enough for most to have good viewing, and the general air of civility was great.

What was most impressive to me, however, was the quick adjustments made overnight by the authorities as they learned of snags from the prior day. It appears from this peak experiment that 2013 should be a very good year for the fans.

A special 'wow' should also go out to the competitors and John Craig and crew for the awesome job of managing the racing in the midst of the air show Sunday, when the fleet race was pocketed in the middle of the air show. It was just amazing to see a large fleet of race committee boats and the competitors mass to positions on the course and be ready to go in a matter of minutes.


The Publisher
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Oct 11, 2012, 12:17 PM

Post #9 of 14 (30768 views)
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From Andrew Rist:
We were there for the October 2012 edition of the AC World Series. I was on the point near the wave organ - ground zero - with my 11 year old son. We were also there in Aug., that time including my 9 year old daughter. There were a ton of people but it spreads out pretty quick. It's totally manageable, and pretty easy to get a front row seat.

-- It's all very cool - whether sharing the bay with the 45s (and now the 72s), or watching sailing royalty have to short tack the city front in a flood, it doesn't suck being a sailor in SF these days
-- The fleet week box did suck - Aug. was far better with the boats coming 100 ft from shore. You could hear the chatter on the boats. The exclusion zone for fleet week is set further from shore, and the ACWS didn't have control over that. It meant that the boats were off in the distance, and there was a spectator fleet in between. We boooed a ferry that tried to catch the fleet race final (and block everyone's view), and I heard there was similar booing of the spectator fleet on Saturday.
-- It's exciting for non-sailors - whether it was my 9 year old daughter cheering for the finishing boats as they lifted a hull up in salute at the finish (in August) or civilians on the point, there to watch the air show, who thought the cats were pretty cool and were impressed by how fast they moved around the bay.
-- There were tons of people there - I couldn't help but run into friends from sailing community, and with fleet week it was just amazing how many people were out there.
-- Anyone with a VHF radio in the crowd is a star. They play the commentary over VHF, and that add a lot to the experience. People would crowd around to hear. Whether it's hearing the countdown to the start, knowing who copped a penalty, or just hearing the time diffs around the marks, that really helps you follow the race.
-- It's incredibly approachable - Before the awards ceremony on Sunday, we went up to the autograph tables, and got autographs from Phil Robertson, Paul Cayard, Peter Burling, plus Iker and Xabi. We just missed Lock Peyron and Terry Hutchinson. There's a bunch of medals, world titles, and laps of the globe in that group. They were all incredibly gracious.

We had a great time, and everyone we ran into seemed to feel the same. I just can't wait for the 72s...


The Publisher
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Oct 11, 2012, 12:19 PM

Post #10 of 14 (30767 views)
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From Larry Zeitlin, Cortlandt Manor, NY:
Why bother to race the America's Cup at all? The boats are designed by computer. The rules written in some arcane language by demented lawyers. The only real contest takes place in a courtroom and the outcome is decided by a judge who would get seasick in a bathtub. Just let the judge's ruling stand and award the Cup to the winner of the verdict. It would save and untold amount of time effort and money which could best be spent on sailing programs at the junior level. Give each child who wants a boat a Laser. Watch the sport grow.

Alternately, scrap the America's Cup rating formula and establish a box rule. Simply require that the hull, mast, and sails of the boats of wannabe contenders fit inside two standard seagoing shipping containers. The containers would be delivered to the competition site and the boats assembled by the sailing crew. Nothing could be added if it wasn't packed in the container. As for the design, anything goes as long as it fits in the box.

The America's Cup is an ultra rich man's pissing contest that has no real relevance to the sailing community at large. You recently covered the Scow Nationals. How many scow sailors give a damn about who wins the America's Cup? Not me, for sure.


The Publisher
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Oct 11, 2012, 12:19 PM

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From Roger Baker:
I think the planets have aligned. While having dinner last Sunday night at a local pub, surrounded by over a dozen televisions with football and baseball games, I struck up a conversation with an elder gentleman aside me at the bar.

Somehow sailing came up, and he said the AC45 coverage that afternoon had him glued to the TV. This was an 85 year old attorney who had boated but never sailed. He was very impressed with how the racing was explained and that he was able to follow the action with all the onscreen graphics. Here was someone who had no knowledge of sailing, yet was consumed by this coverage.

When I went to work on Monday (heavy construction/sitework company), the first thing my boss/owner says to me was Did you see that sailing thing on TV? Here was another non-sailor, with no knowledge of our sport, who was not watching football (not watching football for this man is rare to nonexistent) in favor of sailing.

Two unsolicited pro-sailing comments in two days from non-sailors? I felt like running to the window to catch the pigs flying by!

These non-sailors were happy with the way the sport was presented and will be looking for more of this in the future. They were particularly interested when I told them about the AC 72s next summer. Thanks to NBC for the primetime weekend exposure and the much maligned AC group for putting it together in a way all could understand and appreciate.

In this world of extreme sports, the ACWS has apparently struck a chord. This, I am sure, will filter down and inspire some adventurous youth to take up sailing.


Mal
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Oct 12, 2012, 10:09 AM

Post #12 of 14 (30664 views)
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Wow Larry. Your suggestions would result in a lot of front yards with Laser planters full of flowers. And as to what would fit in a box you might just as well auction off the Cup as that would surely result in the most money wins. Thus far the lawyers have been minimally involved and the rules are really not that complicated either for the boats or for the racing.

Likely some of the Scow sailors don't care but a whole lot of Olympic sailors and former AC sailors sure do. I suppose you don't think them part of the sailing community at large but I sure do.

Take time to study the DoG, The AC 72 boat specs, watch some races, attend at least one. If you're the least bit interested in sailing in general, I'm sure you'll be interested in this.

I agree with the comments on Gary Jobsen's commentary both good and bad. His credentials are superb, as are his interviews but maybe not so much his commentary.
Check Six .......Mal


wetabix
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Oct 21, 2012, 1:29 AM

Post #13 of 14 (29807 views)
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I have not always enjoyed Richard Simmons' commentaries but the current coverage of the Extreme 40 series in Nice is superb. In comparison the AC45 commentary is, frankly, infantile. Richard's 'expert witness' (someone called Markus) is absolutely top notch. Poach them, AC! And windward starts - AC should try them.


happymeng
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Nov 12, 2012, 7:57 PM

Post #14 of 14 (27318 views)
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You guys are really good at writing.





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