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ACUP 2.0 and the U.S. Presidential election
Team McLube


The Publisher

Nov 7, 2012, 11:56 AM

Post #1 of 5 (13903 views)
ACUP 2.0 and the U.S. Presidential election Log-In to Post/Reply

The U.S. presidential election has now joined the America's Cup in the category of "things you can't do much about." Part of the country isn't too thrilled with the guy that got elected, and there remain plenty of sailboat racers who aren't thrilled with the direction of the America's Cup. Can't do much about either now.

The problem I've had with the new America's Cup format is they've turned a chess match into a dodge ball game. The later is more fun to watch, but the former is highly strategic. Typically, the more you understand a game, the more you appreciate its strategy. ACUP 2.0 has strategy... it's just different.

The America's Cup is match racing, and match racing is about controlling the opponent. Get ahead and stay ahead. Moves and counter-moves. But the multihulls don't maneuver well enough to control the opponent. Commentators can't explain why leaders get passed. How come the leader split from their opponent? Teams can no longer play only their opponent; they must play the course. Like "speed golf."

The irony of ACUP 2.0 is the fans still don't like the match racing. They like the fleet racing. Multihulls do provide more passing, with speed differences that quickly change positions. But that goes both ways. In a match race, a small lead can become a huge lead. When you only have two boats, a huge lead is boring, no matter how fast you're going.

Regardless, the ACUP 2.0 has created a buzz. It has the attention of my neighbors. That was its mission. It has its new audience. Now it needs its new sponsors. Its oversized appetite must be fed. Can ACUP 2.0 become the engine to energize the world economy?
With the election behind us, and the America's Cup ahead of us, all we can do now is wait and see how it all turns out. We should know more in 10 months.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


Nov 8, 2012, 9:27 AM

Post #2 of 5 (13754 views)
Re: [The Publisher] ACUP 2.0 and the U.S. Presidential election [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply


I love your apt description of what they have done to the AM cup! They have indeed turned a chess match into a dodge ball game, and altho I have watched the races, they just are not the same. I would say they changed a formula one race into a NASCAR race.

Neither to the better...Mad
Russell Painton


Nov 8, 2012, 11:31 AM

Post #3 of 5 (13740 views)
Re: [The Publisher] ACUP 2.0 and the U.S. Presidential election [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I say a pox on those that foisted the AC45 and AC72 cats on Americaís Cup. Americaís Cup is supposed to be the very pinnacle of sailing.

The event has a history and a legacy that is deserving of competition of the highest order.

Instead, whatís being dished up is a TVcentric demolition derby, in boats that are quite simply unseaworthy, and potentially lethal. Iím sure these boats have a place in sailing, but that place isnít Americaís Cup.

When I was on the handles in 1983 when Australia II won the America's Cup, I was very fortunate to have played a small part in Americaís Cup history. But right now Iím feeling betrayed by the custodians of the Cup.

Watching these featherweight AC45s capsizing, cartwheeling and pitch poling all over the place, on relatively flat water, is just awful.

If this is what has to be done to boost television audiences then honestly, weíd be better off with smaller audiences. Americaís Cup should be about the very best of sailing, not TV ratings.

It should never have been allowed to become a smash Ďem up show, in an effort to gain audiences of people who know little about sailing. Itís a bit like sticking nitro fuelled dragsters in a Formula One car race, for couch surfers who want to see crashes.

After the farce of the last DoG match, Americaís Cup desperately needed some clear air. Unfortunately, what we are being dished up today is simply unworthy of Americaís Cup, and this once great event risks being damaged even further.

Lots of people are talking about the event, but for all the wrong reasons. Itís all about the high speeds, and the spectacular capsizes. Real sailors must be shaking their heads in disbelief.

How did iconic Americaís Cup come to this? Did the custodians not read the Deed? Americaís Cup is a match race.

Match racing is not about how fast you can get around the track, itís about what you have to do to beat the other guy. Itís a boxing match, not a sprint race. Americaís Cup is one boat against another, with nowhere to hide. Big boats and big egos. Thatís the way it should be, and those that canít handle the pressure should stay away.

Itís a battle of tactics, skill and wits, both on and off the water. Itís about efficiency in starting, and every other aspect of sail racing, including performance upwind, reaching and running downwind. Design, planning, experience, manpower, crew work, tactics and luck, should all play a part.

Americaís Cup is supposed to be the Heavyweight Title of sailing, but right now it just looks like any common Saturday night Roller Derby on TV, where everyone ends up on their arse.

Please, have a look at this and tell me otherwise:

The AC72s will just take this to another extreme. Check this:

Undoubtedly this sort of thing can make exciting televisionÖ for a whileÖ but is it worthy of the legacy of Americaís Cup, and does it serve its future?

I think not.

The small number of challenging syndicates might just be a reflection of general distain for these very expensive, paperweight boats. Personally, I think they are a huge mistake, and I just hope no one gets badly injured or killed out there, because that would definitely not be a joke.

For those that can remember back that far, arguably the most exciting AC match of them all was the epic match between Alinghi and Team NZ in 2007; the last to be sailed in big IACC yachts. Cameras and microphones had us all on board. For anyone who knows anything about sailing, it was riveting.

Why would anyone not want to see more of that?


Nov 8, 2012, 10:30 PM

Post #4 of 5 (13643 views)
Re: [willbaillieu] ACUP 2.0 and the U.S. Presidential election [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Will, welcome to the 21st century. Your referenced videos were akin to watching only the sinking of one TNZ IACC boat and the rigging failure of another. That's what the media does when they represent the "highlights" of any sporting event. Exciting as the videos are, they are not, in either case, IACC or AC45, representative of the contest. Further The America's Cup World Series is not even The America's Cup. The Cup is not at risk.

As one who has attended all but one of the US venues, I can assure you that even the lowly AC45's are quite a show in both fleet and match racing. Sure the fleet races are more exciting, particularly to the non sailor but to sailor and non sailor alike the boats are amazing and the racing quite a challenge. Far more physical and athletic than any former AC boat.

Look at the sailing talent the event has drawn from a wide variety of sailing. IACC boats, Cats, the Olympics, world circling races and records, match and fleet racing of all types. Arguably the best talent in the sport sailing the most advanced boats in the sport. If that's not the pinnacle of sailing, I don't know what is.

At the root of it all is none other than the winningest skipper in America's Cup history. I wouldn't take his judgement on the subject so lightly.

I agree that there is some level of risk in both the 45 and the 72. Many if not all of the advances made by man kind are fraught with risk. Without risk and those willing to take it where would we be? No trains, planes or automobiles; no travel in space; risk is inherent in almost all worthwhile endeavors. I think the risks have been minimized and the sailors understand it and accept it.

The Cup's history and legacy reach far beyond the little near one design 12's and 24's. It includes fleet racing, boats so advanced they barely held together, some of the earliest metal boats, some of the earliest fiberglass boats, carbon fiber, God help us and the New York Yacht Club, a winged keel .... even multihulls. You're correct in that it is deserving of competition of the highest order but I can't see how you can think it's not getting it.

I would say this is a little more representative of the AC 45 than your videos. Just a couple of notes on the match race: The winningest AC skipper vs the most recent and the youngest winner of The Cup. A time differential rivaling all but a couple of Cup races in the history of The Cup. More lead changes than most of the 12 or 24 races. Close maneuvering at the start as opposed to head to wind sitting of the monos yet classic match racing. Speeds of 3 times what the 12's would do. More spectators, in person, both sailor and non sailor than likely all the AC races in history .... combined. No capsizes, no contact. Certainly no demolition derby. Unseaworthy, you bet but try taking a 12 on its own bottom from Australia to Newport. Again, this isn't even for The Cup.

The small number of "challengers" is not at all indicative of a disdain for the boats, it is indicative of the event being the pinnacle of sailing. If it were easy, anybody could do it. Historically there are more participants than many of the Cup contests. If it weren't the pinnacle of sailing, there would be many more participants. By the way, read The Deed, excluding early exceptions, there is never more than one challenger for The Cup.

Will, your place in history is admirable and secure but the world marches on, even the sailing world. The Cup is in good hands, sailor's hands. It's still sailing. It's still match racing, more like the 1983 contest than any other sport.

Every situation is 90% what you think it is and only 10% what it really is. You can control that 90%. I know from all your sour grapes that you, like myself, dearly love The Cup. I know you are interested. Sail a beach cat, attend an event, just consider it a grand experiment even if you think it destined to fail. The elite of sailing are participating, you were the elite of sailing. You are bound to The Cup. you certainly haven't turned your back on it. Don't worry, be happy, enjoy the ride.
Check Six .......Mal

The Publisher

Nov 11, 2012, 9:00 AM

Post #5 of 5 (13509 views)
Re: [willbaillieu] ACUP 2.0 and the U.S. Presidential election [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Mr. Baillieu acts like the new cats are the problem and that the Americaís Cup is so different. These boats are on the edge of a demolition derby because they break when they are out practicing. Does anyone remember the French boat that broke in half or all the masts that have broken over the years in monohulls when carbon fiber came into play or thinner high tech sails ripped? Each year the boats always test the limit which is why we have all kind of great boats out there like the Melges fleet and other cool boats. The Americaís Cup tests new things every time it happens because of designers who come up with the fastest and newest technology. I feel like the old guys keep complaining even though the new guys think these boats are really cool. And the best sailors are sailing them. And there is close racing and passing. And they are being seen on TV. And everything that people wanted before is starting to happen and we complain. Just never ceases to amaze me the criticism this sport takes from within. If the cats donít work this time, in 4 years they will come up with something different. But I am betting that it will not be slower or with less technology. So get out on your slow boats or a fast boat and be thankful you are part of this sport or try bowling.

Sail fast, often, and have fun!

Ryan Hamm, Charleston, SC

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