DickDastardly

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  1. DickDastardly

    VOR AUCTION - OPPORTUNITIES LOST & STILL THERE?

    The world is changing - Nationalism is the new black. Not sure it's necessarily the case that National Authorities need to get involved, can still be a pro race that simply requires a limited Natinality mix in the personnel and other restrictions. DongFeng is a little like than now, as is MAPFRE.
  2. DickDastardly

    VOR AUCTION - OPPORTUNITIES LOST & STILL THERE?

    How much for a copy? What's the drumstick dipped in?
  3. DickDastardly

    VOR AUCTION - OPPORTUNITIES LOST & STILL THERE?

    I don't have a problem with OD being a disposable 2 year proposition - maybe 3 to allow time for lessons learned to be incorporated in the next round of OD thinking. Each renewal cycle, a new OD platform learns from the lessons of the old one and incorporates technology and methods from elsewhere in and outside the sport. The redundant boats trickle down into the Ocean Racing marketplace as have the VOR70s now run and sailed by Corinthians. And a tweaked (to be more short-course friendly) VOR 65 would be a seriously cool platform to take ocean racing in any other arena, though maybe reduce the keel axis tilt so they sail around at more normal heel angles... Is that a bad thing? Overall the standard of the sport lifts through that process and the fleet in the VOR stays at or close to the leading edge, without being on the bleeding edge. What any set of restrictions does, be it Box or OD, is focus competition on any unrestricted areas. Regarless of the level of OD employed, an arms race of sorts ensues - as it does in any sport. For example in the VOR at present it's about human performance, (Your Brains Trust expansion point), Multi-skilling, Nutrition, sleep etc. Risk modelling and decision support in Nav and Tactics may also be in play (perhaps some clever little apps are being used on weather files and scenarios that we don't know about?) Plus, seems there are still avenues for trying different modes with the existing hardware. It's all good. And, given that sails are replaced each edition there's still scope for innovation in sail design between events - as we've seen, and no doubt there will be useful trickle-down from that. The broader the box, the more scope there is for spending money on unrestricted areas. Look at TP52s, a box but close to one design on many dimensions in practice following many seasons of design optimisation. Many programs now share hull moulds and competition entails innovation and huge spend on construction, engineering and systems - which again will have big trickle down to the sport at large. Plus massive team budgets dedicated to maintaining hardware, software and human performance. I think I read recently that the Sled team has three seperate coaches... To me, a key determinant of RTW platform selection is "how do we want teams to compete" - what to restrict and what not to and why. Some competitive dimensions are more visible to the audience than others. Some are expressed on the water, some off. Some during the race, some beforehand. Very possibly the marketability of future editions will be linked to this broad decision. Whether it has 1, 2 or 3 hulls isn't a big factor to a non-sailing audience.
  4. DickDastardly

    VOR AUCTION - OPPORTUNITIES LOST & STILL THERE?

    Plus 1. My brain hurts...
  5. DickDastardly

    VOR AUCTION - OPPORTUNITIES LOST & STILL THERE?

    Great post, many thanks. Not sure I can do it justice! I don;t dooubt your statistics but they don't tell more than a superficial story. Eyeball stats are orders of magnitude distant from purchase decisions and sponsor business cases. And you're right, the numbers are miniscule compared to other sports. Your point about the ability to connect is a good one, most viewers will never get the chance to sail so you have to wonder how long they will stay interested. And just cos it's bigger than VG by a good margin doesn't mean a lot, as you say VG is franco-francaise and lverages strong state and industrial support developed over generations, plus a health dose of jingoism. Reality of the market and eyeball numbers is that VOR is new to a lot of Chinese and other non-traditional sailing audiences. Is it durable? Will they come back and watch it again? Will they just go back to their smartphones an dkeep gaming rather than buying sponsor product? I honestly believe the VOR is at the novelty stage at present in those markets, I'm deeply sceptical of its durability as a marketing platform for much at all. the rusted on audience are very probably largely rich coastal folk who sail, and they are indeed non-sustainable. Didn't quite get your household income numbers but 90K Euros is a big household income in pretty much any European country. That's a rich household. In Australia the mean household income is well under that. While those are attractive consumers they're not a volume market. The whole China story is about volume and household income in that audience is closer to 15K Euros than 90K so that third of the TV views probably isn't worth must to sponsors. As to who's driving the boats, they're pros. They'll drive whatever they need to to earn a buck, and they'll almost certainly have input to the platform be it OD or Box, Mono or Multi, flying or not. I find it hard to believe the pros would boycott a RTW event just because they aren't all that keen on the platform. BUT, some platforms are more likely to fail catastrophically than others - so that may well be a factor for the viewing public. If half the fleet ends up crippled the interest factor drops. How well did Mapfre do with a crippled boat last leg? But if they'd lost a rudder or foil it wouldn't have happened. These days pro sailors nd data geeks working off VPP and smart electronics can get a brand new boat up to speed in days (RAN 40, TP 52s for example) and that applies OD or not. Your point about the brains trust is spot on. I doubt a box rule boat would be any more competitive these days as certainly in a commercial event risk aversion will limit design envelope choices. Net-net I still believe the platform isn't particularly improtant to the spectacle, but high platform costs will certanly limit entries. I'd be disappointed if the race didn't have a future but the halcyon days are gone, and I really still don't buy it as a commercial proposition sadly. I'm with DC on self interest. I always back it.
  6. DickDastardly

    VOR AUCTION - OPPORTUNITIES LOST & STILL THERE?

    Maybe so,, but I contend that it really doesn;t matter terribly much. Any designer stepping up to a OD class will take input from pro teams and individuals who will be sailling it. And the nuances of Designer X vs Y really don't matter all that much in OD world assuming they are both taking input from thise that matter. A lot of the practical innovation in OD is features that allow th eboats to be driven consistently hard, and that comes from sailors not designers
  7. DickDastardly

    VOR AUCTION - OPPORTUNITIES LOST & STILL THERE?

    Net-net it's just not a terribly strong sports marketing prospect to a non-sailing audience in developed or developing markets. Sailing is a niche sport done by coastal rich folk in the main. And for all the cool videoi and tracking now being done, a tennis match is probably more fun to watch for the average joe. They can relate to it. From a commercial perspective it's a very hard sell. Plus the out-there-adventure aspect is commercially hazardous, limited sponsors have the appetitie for that brand risk, and those that do are in plenty of adventure sports already e.g Red Bull. The sailing community's endless musings on the platform used for the race (as if there's some silver bullet hardware idea out there that will turn things around) is laughable. It makes little difference to an untrained eye whether the boats foil or not, or how many hulls they have. The sailing community is only a tiny fraction of the target audience for a commercially backed race that requires a financial return to sponsors.
  8. DickDastardly

    Ben Lexcens designs

    There is a requirement for new posters
  9. DickDastardly

    B&G H3000 Questions

    You can usually connect using some form of terminal emulator and a RS232 interface from a PC. You need to know twh command set but I think that's available in the manual. That said, Expedition makes it simple but only the licensed version talks to instruments.
  10. DickDastardly

    Syd-Hobart Yachts, Where are they Now?

    The woody (50') is now in Sydney owned by Ray Roberts. http://pittwatertoparadise.com.au/news-releases/236-checkmate-launches-aussie-assault-at-pittwater-to-paradise-regatta.html
  11. DickDastardly

    Syd-Hobart Yachts, Where are they Now?

    Though I think I also recall a C Class cat being involved in something like that at some point, maybe Vic 150 or The Edge, or one of the older Cunningham boats? I think I was sailing Lasers at Woollahra SC at the time so prolly around 83-87
  12. DickDastardly

    Syd-Hobart Yachts, Where are they Now?

    Vague memory. IIRC boat #3 may have been a Tornado catamaran
  13. DickDastardly

    VOR AUCTION - OPPORTUNITIES LOST & STILL THERE?

    Great post! A couple of considerations. 1) As you point out the conflict of interest between capital and corporate management is a killer. Management get measured and rewarded on what drives the share price up, and in many jurisdictions over very short time frames. Sponsoring a sailing race is a no brainer - "Don't Go There". 2) An opportunity I'm not hearing canvassed (and haven't bothered reading the whole thread...) is introducing some form of Nationality-based rules. We are living in a world where populist nationalism and jingoism are seriously on the rise, the public "gets" competition between nations these days. The nationality card is probably a lot more powerful at present than it hase been in other times. It could even generate political interest and make the race more of a showcase for tourism - which is something both governments and the commercial sector are increasingly interested in. Now a nationality flavoured version of the round the world race might need to be fairly one design given that not many countries could design a fast box rule boat, but that's not a new thing. Nationality based rules could also do a lot to boost the profile of the sport in a range of emerging markets, Example: DongFeng is doing a lot to boost the sport in China, we're told.