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Changes for next America's Cup
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Michelle Slade
**

Apr 5, 2010, 10:22 AM

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* From David Tabor: (re, changes for next America’s Cup)
First and most important: how about making certain you stage it in S.F. Bay. Imagine people lining the shores/cliffs/etc to watch. Great angles for camera coverage (hint: think TV!)

Boats: Monohulls. Sure the multis are faster and kinda cool looking, but let's face it, they are kind of impersonal and don't really get into the kind of boat on boat tacking duels and crossings that made the Cups of old so interesting. People are going to be more interested in seeing what is happening on the boats (are we going to cross?) and the effort that goes into grinding the sheets in quickly. In short the PEOPLE are what make the race. Think D.C. in '87.

Next, limit the boats to 60 feet. Okay, longer is faster but sooooo much more expensive. Keep the boats at a reasonable length that encourages experimentation w/out needing to be a MultiBillionaire to afford a campaign. Sixty feet is long enough to be highly visible from shore and small enough to keep costs down. We want the South Africans, the Italians and anyone else who can put together a decent campaign. Let's not price out the competition before it even begins.

Also, Ernesto's idea of having ongoing regattas in the years leading up to the Cup was okay, but jeez, it all got kinda old. Let's go back to a format similar to the old LV Cup and Defender series. Maybe not just a single season, but I'm going to get bored of two or three years of this.

Finally (and no news to you) this needs to return to being a more nationalistic challenge. Maybe not as strict as it was a century ago, but come on, do you really think people are going to get as excited about a boat that is crewed by a bunch of mercenaries versus one that represents THEIR country. Just look at the Olympic hockey matches if you really don't know the answer. At least make the helmsman be a native. (I'll even volunteer to drive for ya,)





Mal
*****


Apr 6, 2010, 7:45 AM

Post #2 of 36 (85400 views)
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The multi vs mono question has been discussed ad nauseam. I'll only add that you are correct when you say they are, "faster and kinda cool looking" but "impersonal and don't get into the tacking duels and crossings"; I'm not so sure that you're not reading too much into what happened in '88 and this Feb. If the America's Cup returns to mono's it will miss a great opportunity to give sailing and the Cup a boost it needs. There is even some talk of a planing mono. Imagine what a runaway will happen if conditions are such that one boat is able to plane and the other remains locked in the displacement rule. If monos are used; they will have to be the lead haulers of old or not raced if planing is marginal. Multis, on the other hand don't have that problem. If the rule is right, they will be closely matched. If the course is right; they will maneuver. By their very nature, they will provide excitement. I would love to see some good coverage of Extreme 40's match racing over a short course in the Bay. I think it would be a cheap way to get a glimpse of what is possible. Perhaps the VOR in port racing will give us a hint.

Imagine, if you will, the closely matched boats of the recent LVC in Auckland combined with the athletics and instability of the 18 foot skiffs in a boat as majestic and fast as USA 17. Look at the extreme 40 cats in a breeze. Even the mismatch of 33 was a thrill to watch due to the size and speed of the boats. That excitement was present even with very limited coverage; none from the boats. I see more and more the excitement of the big multis cooling and the conventional mono mentality starting to prevail. I hope it's not up to the next generation of sailors to make the inevitable jump to multis. I'll be a fan of the America's Cup regardless but there is a whole generation out there that are unengaged but potential fans. I don't like it but I understand.

A good challenger and maybe even defender series is, I believe, critical to a close America's Cup match; particularly with a new boat. I would look forward to several regattas a year leading up to the Cup.
Check Six .......Mal




DLord
**

Apr 6, 2010, 5:32 PM

Post #3 of 36 (85381 views)
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I'm for multies-up until a 60-80' monohull foiler beats a 60-80' multi around a course. And that time is rapidly approaching-in fact its already happened with boats under 20'. I think the Cup should utilize the ultimate in sailing technology-and right this minute that means multies.
I agree with a return to a Cup that is more nationalistic-at least in crew.


Mal
*****


Apr 7, 2010, 6:51 AM

Post #4 of 36 (85368 views)
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I agree; multis are just the next step, foils on a multi, foils on a mono ...... time and technology will march on. The only thing I think that should limit that march is participation, spelled with an $. I suppose since Ranger that has been the case and it should continue. When technology is stopped because it is speculated that a tacking duel won't take place; I feel both the Deed and common sense are trampled on.

As to the nationality thing; though it was indeed a basic premise of the Deed; I have come to rather prefer the direction it has been going. AC 33 was an aberration but money, design talent, sailing talent, building talent, etc seem to have their own centers in today's global economy. It is a shame to eliminate even the tiniest center of interest or expertise. Look at participation in the earlier Cup matches. Naval superpowers with extremely rich individuals; all others need not apply. There is so much sailing talent in New Zealand but not near enough money even to have it represented. Lots of money in the Emirates but not too much sailing expertise. Enter Emirates team New Zealand generating interest in both countries for different reasons. Sail building expertise is another good example. Very few manufacturers have the expertise to build competitive sails. It seems rather unfair to eliminate whole sections of the world because they have no access to competitive sails. The ability to participate is key.

I really like the national pride element of the Cup, it's good for the cup. It's easy to say the Deed should not be violated and national identity of boat and crew be maintained but when you get down to the details and consider the consequences; it blows up in your face.

By no means should national identity be eliminated; I just think it should be decided on by the team. Many will say it's for sale if that is done but so be it for the good of the competition. Many of those not represented by the flag on the back will have a favorite sailor, sponsor, color of boat .... whatever. I have always been a fan of Paul Cayard so I was rooting for Artimus in the last LVC series. Sweden was no doubt rooting for him as well. Root for the flag on the back, the sponsor on the sail, the tactician ..... encourage the widest possible interest.
Check Six .......Mal




sailwatcher
**


Jun 14, 2010, 9:03 PM

Post #5 of 36 (84640 views)
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I am not a sailor myself, and don't follow sailing as a sport, but the past few America's Cups have been amazing to watch, to me. So, take this post for whatever it's worth to you, nothing more.

IIRC, the boats of AC 33 were based upon a 90' x 90' platform. Not sure if there were limitations on the height of the sails, but this somewhat annoyed me. The boats were so bloody tall. Seemed so much taller than any leisure yacht on the water to watch them. I'm not saying AC 34 should be contested in showroom stock boats, but I'd agree with a 60 x 60 square.

As far as type of boat, I don't know. I'm not nuts about cats, TBDH, but I also wouldn't mind this aspect being loosely regulated, so as to have one type vs. another type. Failing that, I prefer monohulls, especially with the ability to keel. Monos just look more traditional (at least to how I grew up).

As far as leading up regattas, well, I'd be OK with that sort of activity starting next year, at least on an exhibition basis. I was reading the wiki for AC 34, and it looks like certain aspects of the competition will be unveiled this year. I like that attitude. It'll help keep the AC, and sailing in general, from being forgotten by the masses.


waiknot
****

Jun 16, 2010, 6:56 PM

Post #6 of 36 (84601 views)
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I have to agree on the issue of "nationalistic challenge". Being a Kiwi I'm very proud of how sort after we are as crew, however I do feel the crew nationality ratio should reflect the country of the challenging or defending Yacht Club.

A sugestion would be:
The Skipper (dosen't need to be the helmsman) and magority of persons on board at any one time from the country of the challenging or defending Yacht Club.

E.G:
With a crew of 17 you can still sourse 8 crew globally or from New Zealand :)


sailwatcher
**


Jul 4, 2010, 3:06 PM

Post #7 of 36 (84322 views)
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I agree about nationality issues. I'd like the majority of staff to be of the country that the club is in (i.e. GGYC=American, at least 50 percent). But it's impractical, and perhaps accidentally prejudiced (?) to expect all crew to be American (on an American boat). But I guess I'd like to think the folks speaking at the podium of each race aren't just otherwise-detached hired hands.


sailwatcher
**


Jul 4, 2010, 3:14 PM

Post #8 of 36 (84321 views)
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http://www.americascup.com/media/AC34-Class-Rule-Multihull-Concept-1.pdf

http://www.americascup.com/media/AC34-Class-Rule-Canting-Monohull-Concept-1.pdf

Not sure if these have been online for a while, but they speak to what kind of boat is being pushed for, so it seems. Among the criteria called for in the monohull document, a 22m max length and a "canting keel". I'm new to the sport, so I'm not sure what that is, but I like the proposed hull size. The boats in AC33 were too tall for my liking, so this would presumable knock down the sail size, no?


sailwatcher
**


Jul 8, 2010, 9:01 AM

Post #9 of 36 (84143 views)
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And word out of twitter, from AmericasCupNPT says that SF is now officially the "only US candidate" to host.

I know there's a lot to do before the next AC, but they're getting off to a quick start figuring this all out immediately.


The Publisher
*****


Jul 21, 2010, 7:31 AM

Post #10 of 36 (82369 views)
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The America’s Cup according to Dick Enersen
July 20, 2010

As most of you know, I am “old school” with respect to the America’s Cup; so old, in fact, that in May I attended the fiftieth reunion of my class at a very old (1791) high school. I have written that it will be very difficult to conduct an old school America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay and, frankly, nothing has changed on the Bay to alter that thought, since the tides still rip, container ships, tankers and ferries still come and go, and it's not as big, or as deep, as it looks. What has happened, to my surprise, is that the appetite for the event among our local leaders has risen to a level I could not have imagined.

In an attempt visualize a way to make the Cup work on the Bay, I have thrown out my old school view of the Cup (match racing, in the most impressive mono-hulled sloops available, conducted over the course of a summer, with “foreigners” competing for the right to challenge and one or more defenders competing, or just practicing, on a separate, but equal, course) and start almost from scratch. I think there is actually a way to do it.

But first, a progress report on plans for the 34th Cup, for those of you not keeping score at home:
• GGYC (BMW Oracle Racing) is the Defender
• Club Nautico di Roma (Mascalzone Latino) is the Challenger of Record
• They get along fine
• As many as a dozen other teams (none from the US) have expressed interest in competing
• The Defender has issued a very large draft protocol for the next Match
• It will be sailed in 2014 in a new class of boat (either a mono- or multi-hull of around 65 feet), designed to a committee-created rule, to be announced in September
• It will be sailed either on SF Bay or somewhere in Europe, to be revealed by the end of this year
• There will be preliminary regattas in various parts of the world which are yet to be determined.

These are, in my view, all good things, but most importantly, the sturm und drang of name calling, litigation and bad manners which characterized the last Cup, right up through the prize giving, are in the past. All the decisions which govern the next match have been, or will be, made under the “mutual consent” provision of the Deed of Gift.

So, here’s my plan:
1. Designate the class as a “box rule” multi-hull, with maximum length of 75 LOA (including rudders and spars), beam of whatever, and max draft (appendages fully deployed) of 8 feet. This will allow the organizers to use a lot more of the Bay, including the Berkeley Circle (and maybe the South Bay), for simultaneous Challenger race courses and Defender practice areas.
2. Since I am completely unconvinced that multi-hulls make for good match racing as we know it (intricate pre-starts, quick tacks & jibes, close covering, slam dunks, etc.) and the Bay will always have major tides and traffic, do all the racing in a fleet racing format.
3. Many of those who squawked at my earlier observation about racing the Cup on the Bay cited the StFYC Big Boat Series as proof that we can have a terrific AC on the Bay.
Well they are right, but first we need to turn the AC into a great big BBS. I sailed in the first official St Francis Perpetual Trophy Regatta (1965) and lots of its successors and, the more I think about it, why not just do what it does? If you think in terms of “fleet” (all at once), rather than “match” (two at a time) racing, a lot of existing problems go away, or are minimized.
Racing on the main section of the Bay can be done on all sorts of courses, a la the traditional “Bay tour” final race of the BBS, with great viewing for all. We could even use the famous reach-to-reach jibe mark in front of the St. Francis Grill Room. As in the BBS, a “guard boat” will be used to keep the racing boats clear of commercial traffic and rounding fixed government marks makes life easier for the RC.
If one has to have “sausages” (windward/leeward, twice around, races), they can be held on the Circle, and its western extension, without bothering much of anyone and the relatively shallow draft of the multi-hulls won’t plow the bottom.
4. The Louis Vuitton Cup (or whatever the “foreigner trials” might be called) should be scored on cumulative points. Fleet racing, lots of it, will average out bad breaks and allow the superior challenger to emerge. Increasing the point value of the later races will keep all the crews incentivized, rather than eliminating boats as the summer goes on. Importantly, and maybe the only old school provision in the new scheme, is the iron clad rule that the defender(s) may not race against, brush with, or in any way test speed with any of the challengers until AC Race One.
5. The America’s Cup Match itself, the Challenger and the Defender, mano a mano, could be conducted exactly the same way, as fleet racing, but with only two boats in the fleet; sausages on the Circle one day, Bay tour the next, for example.

So there you have it. It’s not your father’s America’s Cup, or Bus Mosbacher’s, but it can be done, and it can be fair and exciting. Moreover, if ever television can be enticed to cover sailing with the vigor we saw in Fremantle, WA, it will be here.

Having solved the nautical issues (see above), there are still the real estate and infrastructure problems to solve. These are not my domain, but I know that both the incentives and the solutions involve major money. Monday’s Chronicle quoted an economic impact report suggesting that the Cup could bring $1.4 B to the SF area:
http://www.sfgate.com/...07/19/MNQD1EFJJ3.DTL. That sounds like major money to me. I have no idea what it will cost to rehab piers, provide parking, and beef up public services, but I am sure SF will need help from Sacramento, and beyond, to pull it off.

I ran into former Mayor Willie Brown over the weekend. While he no longer holds office, he has immense political savvy and not a little power. Willie says it can be done, and that he’s on the case. I believe him.


The Publisher
*****


Jul 22, 2010, 4:11 PM

Post #11 of 36 (82311 views)
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NATIONALISM OR BUST
John Folting was involved in the America’s Cup during the ‘good ole days’, and provides some perspective on how the train might have gotten off the tracks.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In 1980, 1983, and 1987 I worked as a volunteer for SDYC helping them and Dennis Connor with his America’s Cup campaigns as a volunteer. I had the pleasure of doing Race Committee work every day I could. Why? Because it was for the good old USA, period. I loved every minute of it, and of course I was watching the best in the world race each day.

I was fortunate enough to become the Race Committee Chairman for the America's Cup in 1988 and again in 1992; no politics, just on the water and as a volunteer. It was then that the nationalism started to go away, little by little. For the most part it was still national but with one or two people on the boat from another nation.

When it went to New Zealand a lot changed with only a two year residency required in the country of the boat you sailed on. So you now saw Americans sailing for Japan, New Zealand, and Australia and vice-versa.

Now it is almost all New Zealanders on all of the boats. New Zealand is a great sailing nation, however, it sure does not interest me to watch an all NZ team on an Italian or whatever boat, except a New Zealand boat.

Lately, you have been also discussing on this site on how to get younger people involved.
All you have to do is watch World Cup soccer (without vuvuzelas please), or on a local level, football, baseball, and basketball. Your team is from the USA in the Olympics, and maybe your home town in the other sports, and kids emulate these individuals. It is the same all over the world.

Dennis Conner never turned away a school group if he could find any way to make it happen, which he did on many occasions that I know of. The same was true of Young America. We are the teachers now; we are the guides for the young people at yacht clubs and schools. It is up to us, but like the kids, we too need a champion, someone or a country to root for and back. Sailboat racing really increased in the US when there was great interest in having a US team in the America's Cup.

It may not be the total answer, but it is a good start.




The Publisher
*****


Jul 22, 2010, 4:21 PM

Post #12 of 36 (82310 views)
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My recollection was that the nationality rule evolved in part to allow newer teams to employ experienced crew so as to raise the parity in the event. The two year residency rule proved to be an expensive concept as it was not based on a person’s citizenship but rather non-countryman having a permanent residence in the country they were competing for….a cost likely picked up by the teams. Fast forward to the 32nd America’s Cup from 2007, I wonder how many teams would have been affected if there was a legitimate ‘passport carrying’ 50% nationality rule. Certainly now, the one team that may be most affected by such a rule would be the defender BMW Oracle Racing, who has only John Kostecki - and Larry Ellison - as U.S. citizens on their sailing team.


- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt




The Publisher
*****


Jul 28, 2010, 10:31 AM

Post #13 of 36 (81813 views)
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From his early days as a high ranking advertising executive, Garry Hoyt has a long history of generating fresh ideas and inventions to invigorate the sport. Now Garry provides his advice for the braintrust deciding the details for the 34th America’s Cup:

I fear that the commendable intentions of Messrs. Ellison and Coutts (of BMW Oracle Racing) to energize and popularize the next America’s Cup are likely to run head on into the intractable paradox that the features which make sailboat racing so intriguing to its practitioners also conspire to make it both boring and incomprehensible to outside viewers. This is particularly true when it comes to the effective TV coverage which is vital to any hope of attracting major audiences.

So rather than attempting to graft together these incompatible elements, it would be better to treat the America’s Cup as the separate, premier event it aspires to be, and give it a separate set of rules that address the following realities:

1) Viewer interest in any race (track, swimming, cars, horses) depends directly on the viewer being able to quickly and continuously discern who is ahead and by how much. Conventional sailing practices often deny this.

2) Maintaining same screen proximity of the combatants is vital to viewer interest and comprehension and this requires special staging on special courses.

3) Given the scale and expense of the supporting equipment, sailing speeds that are less than what a man can run make sailing seem dull and archaic. Since multi-hulls are demonstrably and dramatically faster, why not go with them and design race courses that showcase their sailing speed.

4) Given the inescapable relation between wind velocity, sailing speed and visual excitement, minimum starting wind speeds of over 10 knots should be required and sailing areas that cannot reliably deliver that should be avoided.

5) Once liberated from the artificial constraints of conventional sailboat racing rules, a modern America’s Cup would be free to be as entertaining as it would be demanding. Suggesting this is not heresy or betrayal of sailing tradition, rather it is a practical adjustment to the special nature and stature of what the America’s Cup can and should be.

As I have previously suggested, there is no reason why AC sailing action cannot be continuous on a given day, with downwind starts immediately following upwind finishes of deliberately short courses that would allow 3 races on a proper day. This would maximize the heightened viewer interest that provably exists around the excitement of the starts.




ms
*****

Jul 29, 2010, 1:39 PM

Post #14 of 36 (81528 views)
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From If I may be so bold as to prostrate myself at Gary Hoyt's feet humbly contribute my two cents to his article in Scuttlebutt 3144.

While those things looked for by Oracle and Gary mention are important, they are also esoteric for the armchair sailor. We want good TV ratings? We need three simple things; a story, some skin and carnage.

Sex sells. For TV coverage, we need to not forget the AC bikini girls. They got em in Nascar, Basketball, Football, every other ad on the market, et cetera. Eye candy other then shiny race machines obviously works . . . Heck, you want female viewership? Pay Taylor Lautner to interview the sailors. You want males, 17-70? Get Angelina Jolie to go on a sunset cruise by Jimmy Spithill. Post the videos on Youtube. Heck, if you video tape Angelina pushing Jimmy of the boat as a joke, you'd have two million views in week. We need it to be fun, we work all day and come home tired, monotonoy is death to keeping a TV viewers attention. Put some of AC racers in Open Bics in 20knots (you say, "hey, they're way to big for those." I say, "exactly") and race in an unregatta them against the kids. Make light of the fact that the kids raced circles around them and show the fail clips. If you want to engage parents, an easy tactic is by appealing to the kids (though if anyone makes a Coutts or Ellison bobblehead I may reconsider this one).

Carnage and catastrophe. I'm not talking about people getting hurt (though bumps and bruises are par for the course), but boats flipping over or failing because they are being taken to the absolute limit is, in my mind, is a very good thing. Even if they are replays from training or from past Cup races.

For the action, sitting at home on my futon, I want to feel the crunch watching two boats collide with spinikers set. I want to cringe at the near miss during the long camera shot as the commentator creates suspense ("is he going to make it, I don't think he is, oh dear, that'll put him out of the race for sure, oh, oh, Oh, MY OH MY, I have no idea how he ever pulled that off"). On the best of days, there is a fair amount of dilly-dallying in sailboat racing. At least make it worth my time. Nothing like watching a giant cat flip over it's nose in 20 knots (think Extreme 40 racing 50k fans in attendance for Kiel week) or a multimillion dollar racer sinking on the race course (think Aussi 1) to liven up a race commentary.

Tell a story. Painting a picture of the downfalls, mistakes and travesties can all tell a story, they give the home-viewer, who has never sailed, a reason to care about what they are watching. I really don't want hear or care about how well the team was working together today, they're the best in the world, I expect it. Though I might be interested if you had something to say about how they weren't.

Give me background. I want to know the who/where/when/what/why/how of the people involved! Why should I care about the sailors if I don't know anything about them? And I don't mean he/she is so great cause he was a youth racer and had all the greatest youth coachs (personal note, Mommy boats should be banned). What hardships did he have to do to get here today? Tell me about the kid that mowed lawns to pay for his laser, built a trailer and biked it to the lake to race it every week. Tell me about how growing up he/she built his first boat with his dad, went sailing every weekend and fell in love with the sea.
In short, camera angles, lots of wind, fast boats and high end racing are all good, they can create awe and suspense and are necessary, but none of these draw viewers in. Give me a picture of the story you wish to tell, show me something pretty, break something expensive and, above all, make it fun.


sailwatcher
**


Aug 19, 2010, 9:47 AM

Post #15 of 36 (80864 views)
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http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/4040599/Oracle-predicted-to-change-Americas-Cup-venue

"Montgomery claimed on Radio Sport today that the State of California was broke and the financial clout required to host such an event will come from Europe.
Montgomery predicted the regatta would held in La Maddalena in Italy and will be raced in multi-hulls.
However, Montgomery believes the multihull decision could result in a small revolution from challengers with Team Origin already indicating it is not interested in multi-hulls."
I got this off of the Newport AC people's twitter. Makes me wonder, when NPT has hosted the AC, has it ever been in Rhode Island, or did they pick NYC as the venue? How viable are any of those choices?
I'm disappointed at no AC in California, but the AC needs to be done right.


EaglesPDX
***

Aug 20, 2010, 9:28 PM

Post #16 of 36 (80822 views)
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Montgomery is simply repeating what Bruno Trouble of Louis Vuitton speculated on a few weeks. Montgomery is not repeating anything heard from BMW/Oracle or Golden Gate YC nor did Montgomery attribute it to any of those sources.

The race will be in SF in multihulls.


Weekend Warrior
***


Aug 22, 2010, 6:04 AM

Post #17 of 36 (80780 views)
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Michelle & David are absolutely right.

For years the America's Cup has been losing its appeal. I grew up with a picture of Intrepid on the wall in my bedroom but I can't relate anymore, and I've actually sailed on a couple old AC boats. Why should an adult Midwestern Flying Scott club racer who pays for his own sailing or a junior sailor care about what some over paid Europeans do, unless he owns Oracle stock or a BMW?

For the last few events I've been a part of the small TV audience because I enjoy watching the racing but I wasn't pulling for any particular team. Visually they all look about the same; skinny black boats or weird looking multi-hulls that can't sail in anything over 16 with sponsor names plastered everywhere crewed by professional sailors from different countries in garish looking outfits.

Amateur racing sailors can't relate when the U.S. boat doesn't represent anything beyond its multi-national corporate sponsors and is crewed by well paid professionals from different countries. The fact that even grinders are full time employees earning six figure salaries is not lost on fans either. Russians playing in the NHL have more support. Nice for Russell Coutts that Larry Ellison hired him to run his program, but he'll always be the guy who won the Cup for NZ, not the US.

How to fix it?

1) 60 - 90' one design mono hulls to control the costs and encourage more campaigns. STP 65's would work well. Sole source hulls, foils, rigs & have sail limitations like the Farr 40 class. The R&D costs are out of control and $$ down the drain anyway. Given the audience numbers (CPM), AC team sponsorship is not a cost effective advertising buy for potential sponsors. Racing would be better, closer and more exciting with more teams and a bonanza for sail makers and boat builders too.

2) Strict nationality rules for racing crew. Hire all the foreign coaches & trainers you want, but the guys racing on the boat must be citizens of the country they represent. Look how excited the Spanish got a couple cycles ago about what arguably was a Spanish boat with 'Senor' Cutler onboard.

3) Shake up the format a bit, why just windward / leeward's? How about something like the race around the Isle of Wight or the Farallones thrown into the mix again just for fun? The fans would LOVE that.

The America's Cup is broken, time to fix it.

Cheers,

Ed

G. E. Kriese
www.OceanRacing.com





jlongley
*

Sep 2, 2010, 9:07 PM

Post #18 of 36 (80142 views)
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How sad to read Peter Gilmour's latest. Of course he thinks commercialization is happening too slowly - he's making a living off what once was a Corinthian sport and he wants a bigger paycheck!

Once upon a time, normal people used to get together on weekends and test their skills racing sailboats. We all had day-jobs, this was our recreational outlet, often with family members on the crew.

I realize that the America's Cup was slightly different, but only because 1. paid skipper and a deck hand or two were aboard; 2. the crew was largely made up of "trust-fund" or otherwise wealthy kids than didn't need a paying summer job.

Dennis Conner changed all that by prostituting the defense by paying crew and seeking sponsorship for boats.

Now we have sponsor names plastered all over the boats and non-professional sailors have virtually no chance to sail on the newest, most competitive boats, which seem to be owned by "rich guys" who rarely touch the helm and often only show up after the race to collect the trophies that they paid others to win.

Our sport has been taken over by parasites that are only interested in making a career by being paid by owners. Now wonder Peter G. wants faster commercialization of our sport - he's looking for a bigger paycheck!

--------------------------------------------------------

MODERATOR NOTE:
Scuttlebutt received the email below from the esteemed John Longley, who wanted to clarify that the information above was posted by someone else. For those that do not know, John is a veteran of five Australian campaigns for the America's Cup, including four straight Cup Matches, winning the Cup in 1983. After his career as a 12-Metre Class sailor and team manager, he contributed to the America's Cup by participating in the development of the America's Cup Class. John was inducted in the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 2009.


I saw the following piece in scuttlebutt forum which has caused me some embarrassment. Needless to say this jlongley is not me and I disagree with what he is saying. Given my close association with the Americas Cup many people may think these are my comments.

As you may know I am working closely with Peter Gilmour on the Perth 2011 ISAF World Sailing Championships. I suppose the easiest thing is to go on the forum and simply state that these are not my comments but I wonder if there is anything else you might be able to do to correct the situation.

I realise I don’t have the sole rights to the name j Longley but I would appreciate any advice,

Kind regards

John Longley






Mal
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Sep 8, 2010, 12:41 AM

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In Reply To

"I realize that the America's Cup was slightly different, but only because 1. paid skipper and a deck hand or two were aboard; 2. the crew was largely made up of "trust-fund" or otherwise wealthy kids than didn't need a paying summer job.

Dennis Conner changed all that by prostituting the defense by paying crew and seeking sponsorship for boats. "



I'm not sure you could be any further off in your comments. Slightly different? Are we talking about the same America's Cup? The America's Cup of Lipton, Sopwith, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Bic, Fey, and so forth. Then you talk of a carpet salesman, "prostituting himself"! "Paid skipper and a deck hand or two"? How about 12 professionals on Endeavor, crews striking or the owner's daughter helming; America's Cup history didn't start with the 12's.

It could even be argued that AC 33 was the more normal Cup match and the 12's and IACC boats were the aberration caused by the Deed of Gift allowing collaboration between challenger and defender to compromise what would otherwise be the epitome of sail racing within the rather unlimited boundaries of 90 or 120 feet.

Though there is room for the cup to lean toward the Wednesday evening beer can events or the World Cup; the "slight difference" to which you refer is what has made the America's Cup, the America's Cup and the longest continuously running sporting event in history.
Check Six .......Mal




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Sep 8, 2010, 6:53 AM

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From Scuttlebutt 3172

PACKAGING OVER PLATFORM
It was American Scott MacLeod who took match racing from its infancy and organized a global tour that offered elite racing, prize money and a World Championship title. The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) remains the only professional sailing series in the sport, which makes MacLeod somewhat of an expert about what can be organized to sustain a business model.

Given the interest for the America’s Cup to move to an event where teams are supported by entities seeking a return on investment - rather than billionaires seeking pickle dishes - here is MacLeod’s thoughts about the America’s Cup monohull versus multihull debate:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Personally I am more of a monohull traditionalist as I believe the match racing "game" would be more interesting. However, multihulls would be very exciting and it will be a different game that will need to be explained, analyzed and marketed.

Having created, marketed, and commercially funded over 20 professional sailing events in the last 20 years, I don't think it makes a difference what boats they sail. The Cup itself still has a very strong brand in the world of sport and if packaged correctly, leveraging all of the assets of the sport, including the boats, then the event will be very successful and this will be good for the sport as a whole.

When I owned and ran the WMRT we discussed having an event in multihulls which I thought would have been pretty cool so I don't think it's a bad idea. If they go with multihulls, the current owners of the WMRT will have to rethink their format as will ISAF with the multihull not in the Olympics. Whichever direction they go in, I hope they have trapezes on the boats! Let's see what happens.





Mal
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Sep 8, 2010, 10:14 AM

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If the boats benefit significantly from trapezes; they agreed on too small a boat. I'm hoping for lots of collaboration with the multihull community if it goes that way. I'm also hoping it does. As I have said before, look to an Extreme 40 on steroids (60) and a course designed for lots of maneuvering; maybe even a limited corridor. There also has to be room for innovation in boat design. One design racing is a real test of the sailor but not the tradition or rule of the America's Cup.

Oh and what's wrong with billionaires fighting over pickle dishes? Quite amusing if you ask me.
Check Six .......Mal


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Sep 8, 2010, 3:17 PM

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TIME TO TAKE A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
The oldest trophy in international sport, the America’s Cup has become an obsession for some of the most famous, powerful, and exceedingly eccentric characters in the world. The America’s Cup transcends mere sport; rather, it is a story of adventure, ambition, technology, innovation, creativity, and competition.

But of late, has it too much become a story of greed? For decades the America’s Cup was viewed as the elite event of the sport. Children aspired to participate. Enthusiasts followed the leading characters. Countries cheered for their teams. But now, most of this is gone due to the desires of the participants to revise an event for their own benefit. And apathy toward the America’s Cup is at an all time high.

With the absence of a nationality requirement for the sailors, fans can no longer embrace the culture of a team. Of their team. Now the talent has been spread to the highest bidder. While this change benefited the sailors, and balanced the competitiveness of the challenging teams, has the cost of this change been too high? Was losing nationalism worth gaining participation?

The remaining tangible connection between a team and its fan was the chance for the event to come home. When Australia broke the Americans 132-year winning streak in 1983, they brought the event home to Fremantle. When the U.S. won in 1987, they brought the event home to San Diego. And when New Zealand won in 1995, they brought the event home to Auckland. To this point, every winning team brought the Cup home.

The Swiss victory in 2003 highlighted how dramatic the event had changed. The team was comprised of the best free agents money could buy, and their club’s location prevented them from hosting the event on home waters. The selection of Valencia as the venue for the 32nd America’s Cup did bring the event to the European continent, but when the home Spanish team was eliminated during the 2007 challenger trials, interest among the local crowd dropped too.

There is little doubt that if New Zealand had beaten the Swiss in the 2007 Match, the Cup would have returned to Auckland. And when the U.S. won the America’s Cup in 2010, they said their preferred location to defend would be at their home too. But first, there was a mountain of obstacles to overcome before San Francisco could be confirmed as the venue for the 34th America’s Cup.

While initial enthusiasm among San Francisco officials and residents was high, the defender Golden Gate Yacht Club team considered all possible venue options, and received serious interest from other U.S. and European cities. With the list of prospects now whittled down to San Francisco, Italy, and Spain, the defender would not be without recourse if the home venue was unavailable.

Perhaps motivated by the threat of losing the event, San Francisco officials recently confirmed the event could be held at home. Local government has a plan. The sailing area is available, with consistent winds certain to provide epic action. The opportunity to energize local spectator interest is unquestioned. The road has been cleared for the winning team to once again bring the America’s Cup home to their country to defend.

The venue for the 34th America’s Cup will be confirmed by December 31st. At a time when the event desperately needs to connect again with the fans, taking the event anywhere other than San Francisco would be a step in the wrong direction. Without a nationality requirement for the team members, there needs to at least be one for the venue.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt




peterrugg
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Sep 8, 2010, 7:20 PM

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Craig,
Well said. We all have ample opportunity to get behind a multi-national team like Puma or Erikson in the VOR (or whatever it is called this week). As the AC is a friendly competition between foreign countries, the absence of a nationality rule is a bit hypocritical.
Peter


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Sep 9, 2010, 10:00 AM

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From Neil W. Humphrey:

I really enjoyed your words in TIME TO TAKE A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION as there are many questions to be asked about what is being done. I see the changes much like you but my questions about them are quite different for just two reasons -

1. The Cup was donated as stated in the Deed "This Cup is donated upon the conditions that it shall be preserved as a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries" In general one could read that it was donated to the sport.

The Deed is probably the only entity that can claim ownership of The Cup and other AC Properties and etc. That would mean any events derived from the Deed and The Cup would be as well, one would think. Ideally the Deed, The Cup and their properties should be retained by a controlling AC Trust with a board of individuals who are at arm's length from the Defender, AC events and with a focus on AC tradition and history. By doing this the commercial side of AC events would be licensed out from the Trust. Not only would Defender get reimbursed for their event costs, all the teams could get some expenses covered but the AC Trust could and should be properly compensated for its properties and be accountable financially to the IRS, NYS and the sailing community. AC Trust revenues could be used to benefit the sport which takes us full circle back to the donation of the Deed, The Cup and its properties.

2. The Defender as per the Deed is only responsible, has duties and obligations to only one challenger. The event they race in is the only event that can be called the AC as the Challenger Selection Series (CSS) is not covered under the Deed. This aspect of a CSS can't even be covered by Mutual Consent as the AC is only about vessels in a 1 vs 1 match of several matches. This being the case for the Defender, the question "TIME TO TAKE A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION" could ask why is the Defender jeopardizing racing at home when it's a 1 vs 1 match in the Deed. The Defender has no financial responsibilities, duties or obligations other than a 1 vs 1 event which seems to make racing in the Defenders home waters a no brainer as AC tradition and history have shown us until the Swiss came along with a different direction.

My hat is off to Larry Ellison, GGYC/BOR and those involved for staying the course of AC tradition and history during the legal saga and a true Deed of Gift match. It was a true lifetime event. But maybe unlike the Canada's Cup where there is a custodian or Trustee to glide a donation to the sport, the AC might continue to struggle without direction for better or worse for all beneficiaries within the sport until a Defender is willing to take a stand on AC tradition and history.......hope it's LE, GGYC/BOR as they had a solid understanding of the pre-DOG 33rd direction the Swiss where trying to take and said no to it.




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Sep 9, 2010, 12:57 PM

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WHAT WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON MONDAY
The organizers for the 34th America’s Cup plan on Monday, September 13th (1300 CET / 0600 ET) to host a press conference in Valencia, Spain to reveal three of the four cornerstones of the next competition:

1) The year in which it will be held
2) The new Class of Boat for the competition
3) The competition rules (The Protocol)

So what will be revealed? Well, the venue will not be revealed, though organizers have said that announcement will come before the end of the year. As for the rest, here are the Scuttlebutt predictions:

1) The 34th Match will be in 2014. We hope we are wrong (and it’s in 2013), but time will be needed to build the venue, particularly if it is San Francisco, and to adjust to the new class of boat. Also, the desire to create interest in the event, which is now at an all time low, might take that long. Remember, the American defender has promised the next America’s Cup will be like Happy New Year, Mardi Gras, and the Rio Carnival combined.

2) The boat used will be a wing powered 70+ foot multihull design. Defender BMW Oracle Racing is enamored by their higher performance over monohulls, which they believe to be vital to create interest. Maybe the camera loves them more too. Think Red Bull Air Racing. It probably helps that the defender is most experienced with this technology, but what about the Challenger of Record that is supposed to be representing the interests of challenging teams? Hmm . . .

3) We have no clue about the competition rules, though expect there to be plenty of pre-events, likely in a smaller test multihull design (40-50 foot) built specifically for the 2011-12 events. Don’t expect there to be a minimal nationality requirement, though defender BMW Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts said he supports the idea but interested challengers don’t. This seems a bit disingenuous considering the only two committed teams a nationality rule would most affect are the defender BMW Oracle Racing and Challenger of Record Mascalzone Latino. Sadly this seems like self interest over public interest.

Clearly, the BMW Oracle Racing team has a vision that will take the America’s Cup further from its roots than ever before. While their objective is for it to be the fairest-ever competition, they also find it now to be their duty to create a platform that can make money, or at least not bleed it. This means turning it into an entertainment event, perhaps with significant deviations from traditional yacht racing so as to achieve this goal.

While the America’s Cup was once at the summit of sailing’s mountain, it would seem like this new ideal is moving the event now to a new, artificially created mountain, which will likely spawn smaller events to support it. Will this new plan be the beginning of a complete separation of amateur and professional sailing? Time will tell.

LIVE COVERAGE: If you want to watch the announcement on Monday (1300 CET / 0600 ET), the Scuttlebutt website is hosting a Viewing Player that will carry the coverage here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/10/0909/

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt




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Sep 9, 2010, 5:35 PM

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ADAPTING THE RULES TO THE GAME
Richard Slater is an authority on the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS). He is an ISAF International Judge and Umpire, and is a member of an ISAF advisory board to assist nations and ISAF International Judges, Umpires, Race Officials and Measurers in the consistent application of the RRS.

From his experience as an America’s Cup team rules advisor for the past four Matches, the last two with BMW Oracle Racing, Slater comments on the possible ramifications that a change from monohull to multihulls for the America's Cup might mean, and whether there are any areas of the rules that might not be well suited to the match race game when played at high speed:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
There is a long history of the America's Cup community making changes to the ISAF Racing Rules to better suit the event and the boats that are raced. The World Sailing Team Association (under the guidance of Bill Edgerton) have continued to look at how the rules best worked for the Louis Vuitton Trophy events. Improvements have been made in this area and better racing has resulted.

Russell Coutts and Vincenzo Onorato recognised the benefits of tailoring the ISAF rules for the event when they announced that we will have the Racing Rules for the next Cup published by 31 December 2010. This process is gathering momentum with the Cup community working with ISAF to create an America's Cup version of the ISAF Racing Rules. The aim is to create rules to produce more exciting racing and make the sport easier to understand, irrespective of the choice of boat.

We want to review the rules to make the America's Cup event better, not just in response to a new type of yacht. The standard ISAF rules are designed to apply to an Opti race as well as an offshore race. One area that is an exciting change is to give the officials the ability to tap into the "TV data" coming off the yachts. Overlaps and the relative state of each yacht should be able to be transmitted to the officials for them to simply then apply the rules. This will have major changes to the need for Umpire wing boats or observers as well as umpire boat positioning.

This may be a new world of high speed match racing, however, one thing I can say is that we should look back in history as to what will really change. I can remember discussions in 1999 about match racing the ACC yachts and how certain manoeuvres could "never be done" in those yachts because they were too big and powerful. Then within two Cup cycles we had ACC yachts doing such manoeuvres. So while the game may change with the new yachts, the fact is that an AC Match race is still a match of cunning and skills of two of the worlds best sailing teams. We will assist the umpires by providing simple rules and the ability to make consistent calls so that the real attention can be on the spectacular racing.


JollyRoger
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Sep 9, 2010, 6:39 PM

Post #27 of 36 (79246 views)
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In Reply To
WHAT WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON MONDAY
The organizers for the 34th America’s Cup plan on Monday, September 13th (1300 CET / 0600 ET) to host a press conference in Valencia, Spain to reveal three of the four cornerstones of the next competition:

1) The year in which it will be held
2) The new Class of Boat for the competition
3) The competition rules (The Protocol)

So what will be revealed? Well, the venue will not be revealed, though organizers have said that announcement will come before the end of the year. As for the rest, here are the Scuttlebutt predictions:

1) The 34th Match will be in 2014. We hope we are wrong (and it’s in 2013), but time will be needed to build the venue, particularly if it is San Francisco, and to adjust to the new class of boat. Also, the desire to create interest in the event, which is now at an all time low, might take that long. Remember, the American defender has promised the next America’s Cup will be like Happy New Year, Mardi Gras, and the Rio Carnival combined.

2) The boat used will be a wing powered 70+ foot multihull design. Defender BMW Oracle Racing is enamored by their higher performance over monohulls, which they believe to be vital to create interest. Maybe the camera loves them more too. Think Red Bull Air Racing. It probably helps that the defender is most experienced with this technology, but what about the Challenger of Record that is supposed to be representing the interests of challenging teams? Hmm . . .

3) We have no clue about the competition rules, though expect there to be plenty of pre-events, likely in a smaller test multihull design (40-50 foot) built specifically for the 2011-12 events. Don’t expect there to be a minimal nationality requirement, though defender BMW Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts said he supports the idea but interested challengers don’t. This seems a bit disingenuous considering the only two committed teams a nationality rule would most affect are the defender BMW Oracle Racing and Challenger of Record Mascalzone Latino. Sadly this seems like self interest over public interest.

Clearly, the BMW Oracle Racing team has a vision that will take the America’s Cup further from its roots than ever before. While their objective is for it to be the fairest-ever competition, they also find it now to be their duty to create a platform that can make money, or at least not bleed it. This means turning it into an entertainment event, perhaps with significant deviations from traditional yacht racing so as to achieve this goal.

While the America’s Cup was once at the summit of sailing’s mountain, it would seem like this new ideal is moving the event now to a new, artificially created mountain, which will likely spawn smaller events to support it. Will this new plan be the beginning of a complete separation of amateur and professional sailing? Time will tell.

LIVE COVERAGE: If you want to watch the announcement on Monday (1300 CET / 0600 ET), the Scuttlebutt website is hosting a Viewing Player that will carry the coverage here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/10/0909/



Craig

Don’t be such a wet blanket.





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Sep 12, 2010, 5:30 PM

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Sent to Scuttlebutt by email:

From Jack Griffin:
I agree that AC34 "must" be in San Francisco. And I agree that sailor (and designer and build) nationality would be a good thing. But c'mon, admit it: your suggestion of sailor nationality is also a commercial suggestion. It's neither in the Deed of Gift nor in AC tradition. It's an invention of the 12m era pushed in the Interpretive Resolutions that had no basis in law, rules or tradition. What was the nationality of Charlie Barr when he steered the Herreshoff Defenders? What was the nationality of the crew hauling in the 1,000 foot long mainsheet on Reliance?

I still agree with you: we should have nationality rules. I just admit that my reasons are commercial.


From Brent Boyd, San Diego:
Two quick comments about Monday’s AC summit:

Meeting in Valencia? Sounds a little suspicious concerning choice of possible venue. Wake up San Francisco and smell the giant rolls of cash leaving your politically corrupt government and special interest groups city. Your waterfront could really use a free multi-million dollar face lift; right now it is a world-wide embarrassment for visitors even though SF is one of the most beautiful places on the planet not to mention an incredible sailing venue.

Seventy plus foot multi-hull with wing power - that will knock lots of possible syndicates out of the development, build, experience category - think $$$$. Another two boat AC exhibition will be about as interesting as the last one. This is a big mistake; this event should have at least a dozen aspiring programs with half of those being really in contention.


Mal
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Sep 22, 2010, 7:30 AM

Post #29 of 36 (78396 views)
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Quoting Cameron McIntyre from Scuttlebutt 3182 "are the Cup holders really reinventing the wheel to improve the AC and international sailing, or are they creating a platform that benefits their experience and technology?"
Oh no, another conspiracy theory. As to technology; the wing on the BOR tri was crude compared to the wings on the "C" class that just raced in Newport. That technology is already old. Their experience is extremely limited. No two boat testing and a whopping 2 races against a clearly inferior boat and crew. Little experience and old technology. As seemingly amazing as the boats of 33 were; they were really as much a cobbled together guess at what could win a DOG race as the '88 defender. Although Spithill sailed, all those that visited the C class boats had equal and unfettered access to far superior wings on a smaller scale. The challenger of record has expressed no concerns for such a conspiracy and I think there is an overwhelming case that there is not. The America's Cup is not reinventing the wheel it's simply being the America's cup; the fastest boats with the best crews.

As for the money; I am all but certain that a 70 foot cat, even with a wing sail will be less expensive to build, transport and sail in today's dollars than an IACC boat. Even the wing might well be a money saver in the long run. How many tacks can a modern IACC sail take? How often do spinnakers blow out? The wing, though initially very expensive, may be quite durable.

For those who are still locked into mono hulls; I urge you to sail a beach cat in a breeze ..... now imagine it 70 feet long with a wing sail and a crew of 11 ...... you'll soon get it.
Check Six .......Mal




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Feb 13, 2011, 8:59 AM

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From Scuttlebutt 3277

BAIT AND SWITCH
Vasco Vascotto, who was skipper of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia during the 2007 America’s Cup, is not happy. A former World champion in the J/24 and Farr 40 classes, Vasco finds that a ‘bait and switch’ has occurred with the Cup. “I wouldn’t say I ‘m angry but rather disappointed. It seems to me that the team that legitimately won the 33rd America’s Cup then didn’t act in a way to help the sport of sailing.”

In an interview Vasco held with VSail.info, he responded to the self-interest of Oracle Racing. “If they want to do whatever they want, that’s fine with me but then they should expect criticism from the sailing world. I think my opinion is shared by 98% of the world’s sailors. Maybe the remaining 2% are happy with the changes but 98% of them strongly oppose them, as well as at least 80% of the journalists I talked to. Now, if those journalists don’t openly write their opinion because they might be afraid or feel under pressure, that’s another issue. I think I have never seen such level of discontent with the change to catamarans in the America’s Cup during my 40 years of sailing.”

Concerning the parody in the field for the 34th America’s Cup, Vasco finds the playing field severely tilted. “It won’t even be a fair America’s Cup because we already know who is going to win and this is quite evident. Oracle fought hard in the 33rd edition to have a fair regatta. That’s very good but I don’t think they are now acting in the same way. I’m not convinced there has been any discussion between them and the Challenger of Record and this comes from good friends I have inside the team.

Given all those factors, I don’t think this America’s Cup will be a success and so far it has failed to live up to its promise. I don’t think they have waken up the interest for a new and different America’s Cup.... This is my personal opinion, I don’t wish this edition of the Cup to fail, on the contrary, I wish enormous success. However, I think we’re heading the wrong way. The discontent of the sailors was seen in Key West when during the prize-giving ceremony a person (Russell Coutts) went on stage and was booed.” -- Full interview: http://tinyurl.com/vsail-021011


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Feb 13, 2011, 9:00 AM

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From Rick Bernstein:

As a loyalist to anything American and the keeping of the Cup on US soil, I can't believe I'm going to write this. As an AC fan for 30 plus years, I'm siding with Mr. Vascotto and his Bait and Switch article: who I've never met, only read about.


The reasons and statements as to why BMW Oracle so radically changed the regatta, when obviously most of the world seemingly rejected the notion, simply don't add up anymore. Why did they not heed to warnings and listen to the sailing world? So they're taking their successful technology advancements from winning the cup to the next regatta, then what? It seems pretty obvious because Mr. Vascotto brings incredible knowledge and respect to his article, the next cup is not what the world wants, not what the sailing community wants and it seems like the sailing world is rapidly losing interest. Hasn't anyone contemplated organizing a set of Cups, one mono-hull and one multi? Make them every other year like the Olympics. Talk about monster growth world wide as a package deal to the sponsors, donors and potential challengers; but I digress.

Then to read that Mr. Coutts was booed at Key West; was this action truly related to his role in altering the face of the greatest yacht race on earth? One can only assume that Mr. Coutts, who I have worked with on a Leukemia Cup Event and is an incredible man, and Mr. Ellison who I've never met, mostly have the best interest in the cup and its future in mind; it seems this is being questioned more and more and this is radically disappointing. Every non billionaire will state and/or think this is about money, but good lord, Mr. Ellison needs more money? Are you kidding me? Doesn't it all flow together after the first 100 billion? I know, I know, next in line of going on the offensive is ego and that's obvious because these guys don't get to this level by being school yard sissies and wimps. Ego used to sustain and help are good, ego used solely for the self is sinful; which one are you guys?

I would like to propose a question to the challengers: If Mr. Vascotto is even close to being accurate, and everyone already knows who's going to win the next cup, why participate? Why put yourself through the task of years of work to try and finish second. There are obvious answers, but let's hear it from you folks: Can the Oracle team be beat?


Stefan
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Feb 13, 2011, 3:54 PM

Post #32 of 36 (75708 views)
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I do not at all agree with Vasco Vascotto in his opinion about the next Americas Cup according to the linked interview. He is off-course free to have his own opinion but his numbers that 98% of all sailors and 80% of the media are against the AC going multihull are not by far correct.

You get the answers you wish if you ask the right people and I strongly recommend Mr. Vascotto to go to The Netherlands June 25 for the 34:th edition of the Round Texel Race with his AC-opinion pool where 500+ cats race in the worlds largest cat-race.

Mr. Vascotto gives multihulls as a construction the blame for everything he dislikes about the new AC format and there are many things here that are not all connected to the numbers of hulls. I can agree on some critics - like that they should worked even harder to reduce costs in order to attract a few more teams. But this is the same regardless if it is mono- or multihulls.

AC was hurt from all the controversy in it´s last edition and many teams hit new directions as they were excluded from the possibility to participate. The multihull format was given much of the blame for this too by monohull fans but it would have been the same with two different monohulls where one had a technical advantage.

There is some work to repair AC and in a step to widen the spectator demographics in the same deal (in order to race market value) I truly welcome multihull. Smile





Fred Roswold
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Feb 13, 2011, 11:54 PM

Post #33 of 36 (75539 views)
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Obviously Vasco Vascotta over stated it with his "98%" and "80%" but it seems clear that many sailors and journalists don't like the multi-hull choice. I know that I don’t.

Maybe it is just a nostalgia thing for me; The AC has always captivated me in the past: the boats, the racing, the $, the glamour, the egos, even the off-the-water shenanigans… I’ve loved it for years and years. Multi hulls don’t get it for me; yeah it will be a spectacle, but it isn’t the America’s Cup. OK, so I am old fashioned.

Give me huge monohulls, stronger nationality rules, and a “once every 3-4 years” exclusive event.

Or maybe it is more subliminal; I know that if the competition for the top sailing prize is sailed in multihulls it sure as heck makes my stock, as a monohull owner and sailor, go down. My IOR boat is already considered to be a dinosaur. I’ll be out of the conversation, obsolete, might as well have a cayak.

But let’s not kid ourselves, “98%” or whatever, most of the proponents of the multi-hull format are either:
  • multihullers already and want the sport to validate their choice of boats
  • enthusiasts who simply want sailing to be more popular with the TV viewing masses (for God knows what reason)
  • professionals who want to earn more with a bigger event
  • The Oracle boys who loved winning last time and want to repeat, (and having a leg up is a good start)
  • And maybe a few liberal minded folks who can think outside the box and don’t value tradition too much


I don’t expect Ellison and Coutts to reverse direction and I don’t expect any of the few teams which end up actually competing to have much of a chance.

So, it will happen, it will be spectacular, it’ll gain a bunch of non-sailing, very fickle, viewers who will soon lose interest and tune in somewhere else, and lose a lot of sailors. And I won’t care much.


Stefan
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Feb 14, 2011, 5:31 PM

Post #34 of 36 (75216 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] re, changes for next America's Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

The bottom line in almost all the arguments that are thought up against AC going multihull are that these monohull-fans do not see multihull as "proper sailboats". It might not be outspoken by all but still very obvious when reading this thread or equal ones.

In my vision both formats are just as much sailboats as the other and both have their individual advantages and disadvantages. The first step to think outside the box in this matter is to stop looking on sailors as "we” or "them” depending what they sail.

We are all sailors and I am sure Fernando Echavarri from Spain who won Olympic Gold and World Championship in Tornado multihull did not go through some kind of transform to "the other side" in order to become skipper during the last Volvo Ocean Race and started to dislike multis.

I think the AC-multihull have an advantage to attract much more viewers than traditional monohulls. They have the exotic look, the advanced technology, the speed and the spectacular view when they are flying one hull. And more viewers equals a wider spectator demographic opening the doors to new sponsors and boosts the status of winning as well.

I see multihull as one of the key factors that in long terms can make the AC go from the sailing worlds most prestigious event to a sporting event that interests the whole sporting world more than today. There is a lot of marketing efforts and hard work to push AC up the ladder and multihull will not do the job by itself but will be a valuable tool to do so. Smile





The Publisher
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Feb 17, 2011, 7:06 AM

Post #35 of 36 (75069 views)
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PERCEPTION AND REALITY
By Chris Gill, WindCheck editor

I became interested in sailing when I was eight years old. My family had little sailing background; we just happened to live near the water. With modest knowledge of the sport, the America’s Cup, in my eyes, was the pinnacle of sailing. The idea of being able to watch it on television for a couple of hours at night during any given Cup year was pretty cool.

I was captivated by the Cup and my growing love of the sport infected my whole family - they really had no choice in the matter. I was young. Sailing was all that mattered. I talked my parents into signing me up for sailing lessons (and buying a second-hand Blue Jay). The rest all came later...the purchase of a family boat, sailing vacations, crewing on race boats, and forging lifelong relationships with sailing friends - just about every framed photograph in our house was taken aboard a boat or with our friends at the yacht club; All that from simply seeing what an amazing sport sailing is on television when I was a child.

Lately, I’ve heard comment after comment, seen post after post, and read article after article about the apparent poor state of the Cup. Though I no longer think the America’s Cup is necessarily the pinnacle of our sport, I believe it remains, in effect, the ambassador of our sport to the general public. If you asked someone on the street if they’ve heard of the Melges 32 Worlds, they’d probably think you were talking about a sci-fi movie. Ask about the teams prepping for the Volvo Ocean Race, and they’d ask how one could possibly race cars on water. For most nonsailors, the America’s Cup is what it’s always been: a bunch of guys racing big, expensive sailboats, crashing through waves (like in the Old Spice commercials), wearing matching crew shirts with zinc oxide on their noses, and spinning pedestal grinders a million miles per hour.

So what’s wrong with the Cup getting a facelift; a perception shift, if you will, that the general public will see as different, exciting and accessible? Yes, the last few Cups were shrouded in a fog of lawsuits and bad blood, but most regular Americans know that our guys in a super-fast, space-age three-hulled boat beat their guys in a super-fast, space age two-hulled boat - and that the Cup is back home. To me, the time is right for repositioning the Cup as an everyman’s spectator event, as exciting as soccer or car racing, or bull riding...all sports that I enjoy watching despite limited knowledge of the inner workings of them, their major players or best teams. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/WC-021511




The Publisher
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Feb 17, 2011, 7:07 AM

Post #36 of 36 (75066 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] re, changes for next America's Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

* From Doran Cushing:
The doomsday sayers who believe the America's Cup will be destroyed by racing in multihulls might take a step back and breathe deeply. So what if this latest manifestation of a constantly changing sporting event doesn't blow the wheels off the general public? It can't be fatal as the Cup has never had a significant audience in its history. So why not just get behind the program, learn something new (like how to go really fast on a sailboat), and just can the criticism? Divided we fail...remember that as you preach "the old way" in your sport.

A few years ago when I was racing my F-27 trimaran "tri Southwinds" at the St. Pete NOOD, I was berated at the yacht club by the old guard who were borrowing the club Sonars to race the event. No, they didn't own a boat. No, they didn't sail much. And no, they didn't really want to go fast, which is why they raced Sonars. But one of the boatless crusties said to me, "Why don't you get a REAL boat?" This was after our Corsair fleet, on the same circle with the Sonars, had scared the bejesus out of the fleet at mark roundings and everywhere else on the course. We're doing 15 knots at the leeward marks and they're doing 4 knots.

So let's not pretend the seasoned ‘traditional’ sailors of the world really have any basis for bitching about the Cup and its format. The time and the place for radical, high performance sailboats is NOW.


* From Brent Boyd:
Chris Gill certainly cut through all the crap negative comments about money, venue, boats, ad nauseum concerning an awesome sporting event. Even my non-sailing friends stayed up half the night to watch the races and called me all night asking questions until I told them to just come over and watch with me.

Even though I will never forget the lead mines slamming off of Perth, this America’s Cup is going to rock and surpass all others. I am renting an apartment in SF and inviting my friends to come up and see the spectacle. PS - If they schedule even a couple races that go out to the Golden Gate, it will be rebroadcast over and over worldwide just like a Monaco Gran Prix.






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