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About scassani

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  1. scassani

    Larry's AC50 Circus

    In his obsession Coutts does not notice that spectators in the Cup area wave within a second of seeing themselves on the visual display. For all the boats being within sight from shore the entire time of the competition, these spectators' attention could as easily be directed to what is happening some miles away, on the sea or an arm of the sea. The confine of a stadium, bleachers and a screen allow Coutts to market the event in the only way people whose skills fall to selling things know to teach him: put faces together, build a crowd and sponsors will recognize an opportunity. Being out of sight from shore would take in the scale and variety of conditions of sail, water and wind that, when varied over a course, help skilled sailors show us the competition that comes of such skills. Coutts believes he has kept all the pieces and, in a way , he has. He succeeds in putting people together in a way that they will be part of an experience. What he sustains though is an interest that as easily takes in its own visage as that of the sailors on the water, what they do and how competitors do some things better than others, so long as they do them at just the right time. The stadium setting denies us the time needed if we are to watch more than a boat finishing first, another second and so on, through the field. It truncates the competition. More importantly, competitive sailing done in service to a marketing model dictates that the competition play out in small areas of shallow water. Hence the need to put boats in the air rather than over a keel. Coutts' vision of a World Sailing League took in competitive sailing but it did so as a means to salary professional sailors. Now that we've seen what such sailors do to earn their wage we are left to wonder whether we are as well entertained by what the visual display makes two-dimensional as we are surprised, and delighted, to see ourselves in its place.
  2. scassani

    Larry's AC50 Circus

    On reading through the succession of comments on the subject of broadcasting this weekend's Sail GP event I am left thinking the racing will not be shown on Sail GP's own web site. Nor will Sail GP make the event available for viewing on any well-known, publically accessible streaming service, such as You Tube. Amazon's Fire TV accesses both the Sail GP web page and You Tube; apparently I'm mistaken when I think I'll be watching the event this weekend, using a widely publicized and well-supported complement to traditional cable TV.
  3. scassani

    Larry's AC50 Circus

    NeedAClew writes: I freely stipulate there may be some gender based blindness here, but another thing I (female) do not understand is the focus on the SailGP team as "athletes ignoring the pain" as voice-overed in the video ads. Yeah, they are fit and it is nice to see buff bodies glistening (instead of SCOW), but this is supposed to be about sailing, boat racing? I mean, race car drivers have to have physical skills and endurance, but you think it is a fast car and he/she drives theirs better... Gender is not contributing to your perspective here. You place yourself apart from the marketing strategy Coutts believes will take he and SailGP where they need to be. Viewed from outside the strategy, as you see it, assimilating the genuine physical demand of sailing a performance sailboat with “ignoring the pain” shows itself to be what it is: hyperbole. The distance you put between yourself and the pitch Coutts would have work on you doesn’t allow you to see through the pitch. Distance, and not gender, keeps the pitch from having an effect. Viewed from inside the strategy, and this is where Coutts and those advising him betray a condescending attitude toward those whose eyes they would bring to competitive sailing, ignoring pain, shrugging off wear and tear, as these are made obvious by a sheen of sweat, show sailors to be anything but effete. That is the target Coutts carries over from selling America’s Cup campaigns. He will show professional sailors are every bit the steely eyed and sculpted heroes that ply their trade on ball fields, inside the ring or in the pits at a NASCAR race. Certainly the competition on the field and oval rewards our gaze, but, let that fight carry over to a fist-fight anywhere, and that is where the camera goes. As marketing teaches us about ourselves, fight satisfies as no informed gaze can. What Coutts relishes for professional sailing is the ease with which the audience for baseball, boxing and auto racing set aside “He knows the water and wind better than his competitor” in favor of “These guys don’t like each other.” That last quote calls for teaching a sailor a manner of introduction that shows he or she is ready to fight. Here is the manner: Begin by looking at the base of the camera stand. The camera approaches and on cue slowly raise your head to bring an unblinking gaze directly into the lens. Do not smile. After all, it’s not as though you are greeting someone. Compare this choreography with a sailor reviewing the latest weather report or she staring mindfully at a foil control the narrator tells us failed yesterday afternoon. It’s by means of making this comparison that I come to a good reason to say Coutts and his advisors condescend to let a bigger audience see competitive sailing. Is the attitude I speak to here directed towards competitive sailing? Marketing teaches us to say the event is not compromised by many who pass through the turnstile having little idea what to look for. Practice thinking this is a right thing to say leads us to worry it is not. NASCAR introduces ‘strategic yellow flags’ to slow a race before the leader’s gap on the field becomes dominant. Fans want to see close racing. “Racing is rubbin’.” Add interest mid-way in a nearly year-long season by publicizing a feud between drivers. Stage a vicious weigh-in the day before the fight. Boxing’s past is haunted by betting and mob influence. Keep this thought in mind and make-believe the day before no longer seems well advised. “Ali and Frazier hated each other!” And so they did, for most of their adult lives. But is that why the weigh-ins and their appearance together on the Tonight Show – “Look out Joe!” - went the way they did? I mention these bastardizations in the name of publicity out of a concern that the truncated courses Coutts and company introduced in AC34 carry much of the smell strategic yellow flags and scowling weigh-ins bring to what we call sport. The boats are fast, the courses short and the time needed if we are to see what we came to see is, well, it demands little of a day. That is the gist of what Coutts would accomplish on behalf of professional sailors everywhere. What they do is easy to follow and it’s over before you can ask “Why did Spithill think a luff would set his boat free?” The audience Coutts would bring with him doesn’t know what such a question asks. So they have no idea when to ask it. I worry the luff, and our reasons for anticipating the Bulldog doing it, might go the way of a too-long lead in a NASCAR race.
  4. scassani

    Larry's AC50 Circus

    NeedAClew writes: The real thing RC needs to prove is that he can run a break-even commercial enterprise now, then run one when it is subject to market forces, not run on subsidy. This observation is long overdue. Coutts' last exposed his idea to market forces when he, Cayard And Lagos set out in 2007 to build a World Sailing League. That precedent does not bode well for his current venture, especially so since Coutts seems to be travelling down the road of Apps as a way to demonstrate he brings an audience to professional sailing. Granting that this time the App is free, still, Coutts seems not to appreciate how poorly ACEA did on this subject. In market parlance, 'audience' is synonymous with 'market.' If breaking even is Coutts best, he having access to a non-competitive source of capital, followed by doing more of the same, this time the event earning its way to the finite hours available to sports broadcasting, calls for Coutts mastering a lesson he will not learn when tuition is free to him.
  5. scassani

    The new sailing twin skin setup

    The allegation of 'widow maker' as this term was used in discussions of repeated aircraft failures with loss of the pilot's life are not accounted for fully by talk of the aeronautics of Lockheed's F104 Starfighter. The planes designers were aware of the aircraft's demand for high takeoff and landing speeds. They did not fully understand the ease with which elevating the nose of the craft risked creating turbulence across the rear horizontal stabilizer. Turbulence compromised the effectiveness of the rear stabilizers and pilots' efforts to correct the situation by pushing the nose down met with varying and largely unpredictable results. The effort was begun by altering the position of the rear stabilizer. German pilots were first to call the plane 'widow maker.' Aeronautics played a part in earning this negative appellation; the rest of the story has to include mention of the plane's uncommon sensitivity to anything less than perfect maintenance of the propulsion, hydraulics and aero surfaces. A tragic series of aircraft failures was remedied after technicians from Lockheed took over responsibility for maintaining the plane from their German counterparts. Turn-around times suffered from what the Germans routinely achieved but at a terrible cost. In fairness to the Germans, they had not been advised that anything less than minutiae-level maintenance turned what was otherwise a 'sensitive' aircraft to fly into a plane that turned on its pilot without warning. It's no accident the US Air Force wanted little to do with Lockheed's 'missile with a man in it.'
  6. Would sail shape be equally effective for windward/leeward heel? Designing a sail around penetrating the oncoming air rather than pushing against it seems to call for different and potentially conflicting pressures.
  7. scassani

    When does pass to TNZ

    Farmer writes, "...Louis Vuitton, which complained through an arbitration process of its treatment by Oracle...". I have to assume the arbitration process Farmer mentions was in place during AC35. This process was closed to public review and, if I remember correctly, public mention by anyone involved. The arbitration involving Louis Vuitton and Oracle (or possibly ACEA) involving could have gone on for days and we have no knowledge of it. Yet Farmer knows Louis Vuitton sought relief from its treatment by Oracle through arbitration, presumably entered into with the understanding neither party could seek further review by a court. Does anyone recall mention of Louis Vuitton's complaint or how it was addressed? Another arbitration involved ACEA and Team New Zealand. The issue in this case was ACEA withdrawing from an agreement with Team New Zealand to hold preliminary races in Auckland. We've been told the settlement involved some tens of millions in cash being awarded to Team New Zealand. In the case of Louis Vuitton -Oracle we've not heard even this much. I'd enjoy reading the details of one more thing ACEA did poorly.
  8. scassani

    Team NYYC

    I'll add to the speculation that has dogged this subject for decades. Among the difficulties of committing to a mid-engine design are (1) The comparative difficulty and cost of tooling an evolving design, relying on off-the shelf-parts, and committing to a design that has too little in common with past efforts to provide an opportunity for cost-saving. A mid-engine configuration calls for an entirely new approach to designing the frame, suspension and drive train. Not much of consequence carries over from the front-engine car. To confront this challenge while maintaining production of the current design, if only for a year, suggests Chevrolet has more than fully recovered from the financial horrors of 2007. (2) Time after time Chevrolet has sampled its enthusiasts concerning their receptivity to an entirely new Corvette. In their response Corvette owners display an affinity for the past that equals that of the Porsche community. No Porsche owners shared the factory's interest in the 928 and 944 series of front-engine sports cars. Porsche marketing cited legacy; current owners of the 911 knew better and walked away. The number of current Corvette owners expressing delight for a mid-engine car of the same name is no greater. There may be some tolerance among younger owners but the bulk of the ability to pay and especially the ability to pay a premium for a new idea of what a Corvette should be is vested in owners sampling shows to be fifty-five years old and older. What interest there is lies largely in owners too few in number and too little in wealth to carry the cost of a fresh start to what makes a sports car a Corvette. Even if Chevrolet gets the engineering right, design and management presentations to the national Corvette Owner's Club bare an hostility to this change that could lead to resistance for resistances sake. A future that has a place for the Corvette will demand the car and with it, Corvette owners, abandon the bragging rights that go with displacement and horsepower. A dual overhead cam V6 of 3 liters and 310 horsepower will deliver more of what makes a 2600 pound, mid-engine sports car responsive than Corvette owners have known in the decades the plastic pachyderm has delivered performance at low cost. The Corvette will come into its own only to find the hot rod thinking that dominates discussions of the car's advantages works to deny the Corvette an opportunity to mature. Le Mans is a showcase for accomplishments Corvette owners fail to appreciate when the Chevrolet asks What's next?
  9. scassani

    Team NYYC

    So long as this thread has wandered beyond any semblance of it's subject... Stinger! Are we going to pass yet another year and the fifty-years old rumor of a mid-engine Corvette move no closer to reality?
  10. Would a foiling monohull use a spinnaker? I'm thinking the center of effort would be too far forward to mitigate through foil design...
  11. Doug, TC Follow up with a discussion of the effects of this approach on VMG. Thanks!
  12. scassani

    How to watch live races?

    NBCSN lists todays racing beginning at 11:00 am Mountain Daylight Time. The schedule updated only ten minutes ago to show racing in place of the Mecum Auto Auction.
  13. scassani


    I do not have an answer to Tornado Cat. He asks, "Which part of the 'conditions of the match' includes a gag order?" My silence stems not from me having nothing to say. There is nothing anyone might say. The vacuum here is a consequence of GGYC and a plurality of challengers trying to subsume what they know is best under the aged rubric that is the Deed of Gift. As Jimmy Spithill commented in an interview, "The Deed gets in the way." They don't take the mantle of "America's Cup" for their own out of respect for what they sell as the "oldest trophy in sport." They know the history shows Clubs and boat owners building a history. By departing from practices the Deed makes mandatory and past owners and clubs have largely carried though to each match, the generation of sailors to sail in AC35 turn existing history to their own end. It's all in the present for them. They keep the name; America's Cup is a brand. The same words no longer lead us to anticipate a match that is unique to the sport of competitive sailing. That status is earned by matches that show the same thing all prior Cup matches have shown but tailored this time to the best thought a generation brings to so hallowed a treasure. Among the more egregious departures ACEA wants us to read as being in accord with the history of the Cup is an authority that is unique to the Protocol governing AC35. No prior signatories to a Protocol have felt a need to penalize any public mention of how discussion among the participants led to a stipulation being adopted in the Protocol. Unless the speaker treats the stipulation, and the Protocol as done deals, he leaves himself open to a monetary penalty. TC is right-the Protocol furthers a public commitment to the brand ACEA is uniquely charged with perpetuating, if not indefinitely, certainly through AC35 and, I have to suppose, through the next iteration of the Cup competition. That is the legacy GGYC and the challenging clubs consent not to contest. They agree to keep the rubric America's Cup on the condition the competition to come will carry the name as a label. They do nothing to earn it. Whether this conduct constitutes building a history or sucking the blood from a gift past participants entrusted to us poses a conflict of honor that cannot be created from the terms of a match. The competition we are to call America's Cup 35 is the best we can make of it. It is also a pale imitation of what our forbearers accomplished in the name of another, and in their time, happily, unique competition.
  14. scassani


    The obligations a Defender and Challenger impose on each other through a mutually agreed to Protocol endure through the match. The match is the sole means the DOG permits for identifying the team that is next to possess the Cup. The change in ownership occurs off the water. The match is over; we know the winner. What seem perfunctory is actually the legal step to conveying the Cup. The Challenger to the 33rd America’s Cup took possession of the body of the America’s Cup Trust when the Commodore of Golden Gate Yacht Club signed a conveyance document. The document bound Société Nautique de Genève, as the holder at the time of the signing, to transfer the Cup to GGYC with the understanding GGYC would defend ownership of the Cup in accord with stipulations in the Deed that do not change from one regatta to the next. GGYC’s Commodore signs the same document to the same effect on GGYC’s conduct as Defender. Under the Commodores’ signatures GGYC becomes bound to honor the stipulations all Cup competitors agree bind a Cup holder and a successor in perpetuity. Stipulations that do not change from match to match and, therefore, are the same for every match tell us how Schuyler means us to see the competition he envisioned as continuing forever when all we watch is a match. Language that governs how the corpus of the America’s Cup Trust is to pass from one Club to another is an example of language no Club is free to change. A discretion the Deed denies to any qualifying Club is not created through mutual consent of the Clubs that happen to contest the Cup at a time in the history of Cup competitions. The terms of transfer set forth in the conveyance document are not subject to change. For this reason, all the stipulations in the Protocol become moot upon a winner being decided on the water. AC 33 did not have a Protocol. Even so, USA 17 winning two races in what Deed default language dictated would be a best-of-three series of matches is all that had to happen to enable a next transfer of the Cup . In this context we see references to AC35 in the Protocol making sense so long as the successor to GGYC is unknown. At the moment we yell, “The Kiwis win!" or "The Oracle Team wins!” the Protocol and, with it, AC35, end as legal entities. Anything a participant in AC35, and that reference extends to members of the participating Clubs, say and do remain in the purview of the rules of slander, misrepresentation and so on. These rules are potentially in effect independently of any stipulations the Defender and Challenger agree govern the match to come. Grant Dalton, Jimmy Spithill, Tom Ehman and Larry Ellison are welcome to say what they will no matter the language in the Protocol. Until a match decides the outcome of AC35, any participant in AC35 or other affiliated persons saying anything ACEA, in its authority to conduct AC35 deems contrary to its mandate, renders the speaker vulnerable to a monetary penalty. A match having decided the Club that is next to defend the Cup all such speech, including Richard Gladwell’s professional work, is subject to the constraints an editor imposes to protect his paper against a charge of liable.
  15. scassani

    Team France

    Ren, I'm using Internet Explorer. I failed to make clear the practice I want to resume using. Before 2013 or so I would type a post in Microsoft Word. After a few hours to let the argument I make settle I'd come back to the piece, edit it and cycle through until I was satisfied the contribution would not be better for stewing over it. I'd use the copy function in Word followed by pasting the piece into SA. This practice has not worked for over two years, leaving me to type as I am this complaint, directly into SA. Call it vanity buy knowing the things I contribute generate critical comment from knowledgeable folks leads me to edit work that at first blush seems fine. It isn't and I wish I could again type a reply off site, let it sit for a few hours and come back to it, warts and all. Using the copy function in Word and the paste function in the SA editor places nothing in the SA edit window.