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SurfCityCatamarans

Reports from ACWS in San Diego

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It is a lifeboat. Crew climbs aboard, close the hatch, attach their 5 point seatbelt, and get released/shot overboard.

The most fun you can have in a sinking ship ;)

 

Standard kit on oil platforms too.

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IMG1699-XL.jpg

 

IMG1652-XL.jpg

 

Odd that some were packed into containers

 

while obviously at least that one is still in whole ??

 

TNZ was in a container so likely not hoping on the Con & heading by truck to LongBeach or Ensenada ???

 

then on to a Hot Summer of Sail Training before the next raceing

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SCR I can say you lived this event pretty well and it was a pleasure meeting you and the rest of the Seedy Lot of Malcontents of SA in person

 

 

Thanks SCR. Your shots (and those of others) and your videos were a great addition to the 'official' stuff from San Diego. Much appreciated - hope you are involved again somewhere next year.

 

Thanks guys! I learned a lot. I struggled with what to cover with the AC Media Machine in full force. Their coverage is awesome, and pretty complete.

 

I'm currently chasing funding in order to get to Europe for the next events.

 

Make sure to tell Scot if you enjoyed any of my pics.

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^ Funny, I bumped into him at Fiddlers Green. SCR did too, before I arrived and even has a photo taken with him.

 

I just said "Pleasure to meet you", shook his hand, let him go along on his way to the elevator. He looked plenty good to me; good spirits, bright smile, clear eyes, firm handshake.

 

A local San Diegan that I was chatting with the next day brought DC up, said at age 79 (?) he is still winning races; but he also mentioned that he thinks DC is on medication for diabetes.

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SCR ... tell us what DC had to say!

 

Friend 1: Oh my god it's Dennis Connor!

 

SCR: Looks around, sees Denis leaving. He forgot his credit card at the bar, so Fiddler's staff was chasing him down.

 

SCR: Let's go get a pic with him and ask him about the cup!

 

Friend 2: You guys are fucking idiots. Leave him alone!

 

Friend 1: We can't, he's mean!

 

SCR: I don't give a shit. What's he going to do punch me? Let's go!

 

SCR and Friend 1: Run down Fiddler's stairs like little school girls and meet DC as he exits the elevator.

 

SCR: Hey DC, my name's SCR, how are you? Are you following following The Cup?

 

DC: (Grumbles) Shiiiit. (Tries to leave)

 

SCR: I've been following your racing for a long time, how about a pic?

 

DC: That's fine. (Perks up a bit, obviously honored.)

 

Take pic. DC walks away.

 

Friend 2: You guys are idiots.

 

i-Vs4SwBm-L.jpg

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During one of my J World experiences one day we had lunch at SDYC. DC was there and our instructor waved a friendly hello to him and he came over to our table and introduced him self. Didn't stay long to chat but made himself available. Very pleasant experience I thought.

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Take pic. DC walks away.

 

Friend 2: You guys are idiots.

Not smooth, but damned honest. I'd sail with you.

 

Koukel

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Ellison interview in the New York Times

--

 

For Ellison, Sailing's Challenge Extends Outside Water

 

By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY

 

Published: November 23, 2011

SAN DIEGO — Larry Ellison's team had just won another sailing race. His gear was still damp from the salt spray and the Champagne, and he was wearing a gold medal around his neck.

 

"The gold medalist passenger," Ellison said mockingly of himself as he sat for an interview.

 

Ellison and humility are not often associated. A self-made American billionaire who co-founded Oracle Corporation and is one of the world's wealthiest men, he remains a very conspicuous consumer in a nasty economy: a collector of trophy properties and, after quite a chase on the water and in the New York courts, the America's Cup trophy, too.

 

But Ellison, lupine gaze and dandily trimmed beard in place, is more than clear-eyed enough to admit when he is being taken for a ride. Last weekend, during the America's Cup World Series event in San Diego, he sat as an observer on the back of Oracle 4, one of his team's AC 45-foot catamarans, while skipper James Spithill and the other four members of the crew owned the podium: winning the match racing title and the fleet race.

 

Ellison, the team's owner and an accomplished sailor in his own right, hopes to take a more active role when the real America's Cup is raced in a 72-foot, or 22-meter, version of these catamarans in 2013 on San Francisco Bay.

 

"I'd like to be on the boat, but again, what's important is that we put the best guys out there who have the best chance to win," Ellison said.

 

 

contd

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Ellison interview in the New York Times

--

 

For Ellison, Sailing's Challenge Extends Outside Water

 

By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY

 

Published: November 23, 2011

SAN DIEGO — Larry Ellison's team had just won another sailing race. His gear was still damp from the salt spray and the Champagne, and he was wearing a gold medal around his neck.

 

"The gold medalist passenger," Ellison said mockingly of himself as he sat for an interview.

 

Ellison and humility are not often associated. A self-made American billionaire who co-founded Oracle Corporation and is one of the world's wealthiest men, he remains a very conspicuous consumer in a nasty economy: a collector of trophy properties and, after quite a chase on the water and in the New York courts, the America's Cup trophy, too.

 

But Ellison, lupine gaze and dandily trimmed beard in place, is more than clear-eyed enough to admit when he is being taken for a ride. Last weekend, during the America's Cup World Series event in San Diego, he sat as an observer on the back of Oracle 4, one of his team's AC 45-foot catamarans, while skipper James Spithill and the other four members of the crew owned the podium: winning the match racing title and the fleet race.

 

Ellison, the team's owner and an accomplished sailor in his own right, hopes to take a more active role when the real America's Cup is raced in a 72-foot, or 22-meter, version of these catamarans in 2013 on San Francisco Bay.

 

"I'd like to be on the boat, but again, what's important is that we put the best guys out there who have the best chance to win," Ellison said.

 

contd

 

Good scene-setter for NYT readers. And for us, a few choice tidbits like this one: "Ellison said he still expected 8 to 10 teams would make it to San Francisco but was concerned enough about their finances to have contacted sponsors himself in an attempt to help rivals like Team Korea with their budget."

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Yes, that is an attention grabber.

 

A couple possibilities come to mind for how the conversations might go. One, tell them you will be ensuring that the broadcast production effort will have your full support. And/or two, tell the CEO at Hyundai that Oracle's top salesman will be remarkably forthcoming, to his CIO :)

 

Sounds like Korea is one of several he has made calls on behalf of. 'rivals (plural) like'

 

Hopefully his optimism on 8 to 10 teams going into AC72's is based on those conversations. Going way out on a limb, Branson and David Rockefeller's presence in SD, where the interview was done, could even be coming factors?

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Hopefully his optimism on 8 to 10 teams going into AC72's is based on those conversations. Going way out on a limb, Branson and David Rockefeller's presence in SD, where the interview was done, could even be coming factors?

 

 

It is awfully late.

 

Unless Larry intends to build boats for late comers.

 

The big-3 are all building their AC72s - now!

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Hopefully his optimism on 8 to 10 teams going into AC72's is based on those conversations. Going way out on a limb, Branson and David Rockefeller's presence in SD, where the interview was done, could even be coming factors?

 

 

It is awfully late.

 

Unless Larry intends to build boats for late comers.

 

The big-3 are all building their AC72s - now!

Didn't OR just ask the IJ if the defender could enter into ETNZ/LR style deals? Like can the defender build boats for the challengers?

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Yes, that is an attention grabber.

 

A couple possibilities come to mind for how the conversations might go. One, tell them you will be ensuring that the broadcast production effort will have your full support. And/or two, tell the CEO at Hyundai that Oracle's top salesman will be remarkably forthcoming, to his CIO :)

 

Sounds like Korea is one of several he has made calls on behalf of. 'rivals (plural) like'

 

Hopefully his optimism on 8 to 10 teams going into AC72's is based on those conversations. Going way out on a limb, Branson and David Rockefeller's presence in SD, where the interview was done, could even be coming factors?

 

 

IMOCA, the Volvo, the BWR, and other major big boat events devote major resources (the Volvo Ocean Race has four full-time employees who do nothing but seek out team sponsors) to finding sponsors for potential teams. It is essential to success, especially in this day of hard-to-find corporate cash.

 

 

I would be surprised if Ellison didn't contact sponsors himself, and I would also hope that ACEA has staff members spending a lot of time on the phone and the plane trying to make deals happen.

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^ They do have staff who prepare materials for teams to use in their presentations, I do know that for certain. But the above is the first that I've seen of such direct contact on behalf of teams.

 

LE must be an extremely convincing guy, however he does it. Am glad Clarey asked the question and that LE answered so forthrightly, even if we don't have a good one liner quote from his response. Am sure he pulls a metric million tons more weight than any VOR, or ACEA, staffer..

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Went and got a shot of the area this morning

 

looks quiet with the covers on the Con. and with only 1 forklift and a handful of workers on Navy Pier

 

shot in RAW today so slow downloading

 

will post a pic shortly

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Turkeys smile.gif

 

 

PS Dead Wales Never have a nice Day = now on the shore of Fiesta Island sad.gif

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Yep....back up in the YELLOW Chopper to shoot the Turkey Day 5K

 

took a spin around the coast etc before heading home

 

this'll give you an idea of what the day looks like

 

don't have time to post more at the moment ...........................

 

TurkeyDago2011.jpg

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Any word on where the OR boats are going, and where they are going to be doing their training for the winter?

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Any word on where the OR boats are going, and where they are going to be doing their training for the winter?

 

 

Somewhere it was mentioned they were loaded on trucks and headed north.

Guess P80 will soon be host to 4 AC45s, Dogzilla and shortly Syanora. B)

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Any word on where the OR boats are going, and where they are going to be doing their training for the winter?

 

 

Somewhere it was mentioned they were loaded on trucks and headed north.

Guess P80 will soon be host to 4 AC45s, Dogzilla and shortly Syanora. B)

 

Fleet training rolleyes.gif

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Any word on where the OR boats are going, and where they are going to be doing their training for the winter?

 

 

Somewhere it was mentioned they were loaded on trucks and headed north.

Guess P80 will soon be host to 4 AC45s, Dogzilla and shortly Syanora. B)

 

Fleet training rolleyes.gif

 

What does Sayanora rate?

 

 

 

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Any word on where the OR boats are going, and where they are going to be doing their training for the winter?

 

 

Somewhere it was mentioned they were loaded on trucks and headed north.

Guess P80 will soon be host to 4 AC45s, Dogzilla and shortly Syanora. B)

 

Fleet training rolleyes.gif

 

What does Sayanora rate?

 

 

 

 

you mean after they put on the DoGzilla Wing ??

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Yep....back up in the YELLOW Chopper to shoot the Turkey Day 5K

 

took a spin around the coast etc before heading home

 

this'll give you an idea of what the day looks like

 

don't have time to post more at the moment ...........................

 

TurkeyDago2011.jpg

 

 

a couple more from Thanksgiving morning cool.gif

 

IMG_1895.jpg

 

 

 

IMG_1893.jpg

 

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A few days after SD let us try to see the success and failure:

 

Success

 

- teams: they most of the them improved a lot and the results are now tought

 

- boats: did well in a light-medium weather

 

- TV cover: excellent globally, best that we have regarding a sailboat race. Any Joe can now understand sailboat races. The possibility to choose a camera inboard is excellent

 

- Commentators are globally good, even if we take into account the screamer. French audience was particulary lucky when they had Alain Gautier and Bruno Peyron at the same time. To have a CEO giving the comments of his team while racing is not given everyday.

 

- Technical team (Stan Honey, Oysterhead etc.) did very well to assure a mimimum cover when the system had failed

 

- Venue: in the middle of a big city.

 

 

Failure

 

- lawyers with the Jones Act fiasco, or the person who took the danger too lightly. Did Craig Thomson pay for that ?

 

- Technical team when the system failed during a race. There is also no reason a race should be abandoned for a technical glitch, they should have directives in case of system failure. Overall the results of the tech teams are in fact mixed, too bad as they accomplished a lot.

 

- Richard Worth for losing 5 M $ per event (if the figure is true). Not much for Larry but still too much to have a self sustainable event.

 

Possible Solutions

 

- Venues: ACEA still has to understand that the venues come first, then the sponsors, the teams, the boats etc...This is the weakest point of the system but nothing new about that.

The venues have to take place in the competitors countries if they want to attrack large crowds.

 

- ACWS name: they have to change that name, what does ACWS means ? nothing for us sailors, so speak of the general public ! Have some of you tried to explain it to friends: it is the AC but not really the AC. They have to replace it with a real name, like the name of a sponsor (ex: RedBull air race) or with something easily undertandable for the public like Cities Sailing Race, World sailing tour. Anyway, they could find something.

It is de facto detached from the AC, so why keeping the name? It is also a guarantee of job later for RC if he loses the Cup.

 

- Race format: Larry wants extreme races for TV, good, but why do we keep the old : upwing-downwind format ? the small leg of reaching is good but too short to be exciting. Reaching is the fastest , why don't they organize a long

leg along the shore (if the wind allows it) with boats sceaming at maximum speed in front of the public and TV. Sailors often say it is not technical or interesting. This is right on mono but wrong on these boats.

As we could see during speed trials the biggest difference of speed between helms were during the reaching. Also teams can decide to take risk with a gennaker or choose for the sometimes faster jib, depending on the conditions.

Imagine AC72 at 40 knots during miles in front of the piers and the public in SF. True that if they pitchpole we could pick parts of it on....................................... Lombard street.

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Any Joe can now understand sailboat races.

 

On this, I think unfortunately not yet. I showed the final best fleet race to several cruisers and several non-sailors and despite all the terrific graphics they still struggled to understand what was going on. The non-sailors said it was like an American trying to understand Cricket. You know the batter is trying to hit the ball and then run back and forth, but beyond that everything gets really murky and unexplained. I am wondering if they are simply over estimating the audience - NASCAR is pretty easy to watch as they guy in front is winning and there are clear points for the season, with football you know they are trying to run down the field and score and the score tells you directly who is winning, Here the ladders do attempt to tell you who is in front, but then sometimes suddenly someone else is leading and its not really expected or explained (like when jimmy went thru the gate and turned right rather than left). The audience can't really see or understand the mechanics of winning. And where it is all leading, with all the different sorts of races in different places is complex.

 

There also seemed little real attempt to create any personal or emotional links with the sailors or teams. We have discussed this horse and beat it pretty thoroughly already, but getting to know the sailors and team identification that is more emotional would be useful.

 

I just had dinner with two 'serious' sailors, one of whom did a whitbread and the other knew the koch players - neither even know anything was going on in SD. So other than SA, the marketing effectiveness was pretty non-existant. They both lost touch with the AC during the DOG days and have not been reconnected (yet).

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Re technical glitches:

 

The military was playing with some high powered toys, which caused interference to anything electronic...including our cell phones.

 

On the ACTV screens, I could actually see the beam of energy sweep across like a radar.

 

(I think that I already said that somewhere.)

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There also seemed little real attempt to create any personal or emotional links with the sailors or teams.

 

I'm surprised that "AC Uncovered" hasn't really pursued that line (it has a bit but not much). But apart from Draper and Peyron, the sailors come over as a dull bunch.

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There also seemed little real attempt to create any personal or emotional links with the sailors or teams.

 

I'm surprised that "AC Uncovered" hasn't really pursued that line (it has a bit but not much). But apart from Draper and Peyron, the sailors come over as a dull bunch.

This situation will not improve with gag orders in place. Streamlined, corporate puppets like in F1.

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On the personal contact side, why not, instead of just getting some radio/video contact from the boats between races, talk to the shore crew guys during the race or between races like the do in the auto races? You know, get feedback while things are happening, a jib gets fouled, comments on performance, etc. That would bring the rest of the team to life for many.

 

Could you get a Dalts, Cayard, etc. to comment on what their team is doing and what they might attempt to gain, extend, or catch-up, depending on the circustances? All the teams have plenty of personnel on the water to get comments from. Like the NASCAR crews (sorry to use the analogy again) but are they watching the race on laptops, like the race crews do, to see what the boat is doing? The car race teams look for things to make changes on for the next pit stop; do the sailing crews look for things to discuss/adjust between races? If so, let's get some insight to what they are thinking.

 

It is a shame that there is such a long break now that the momentum has been started. With the improvements we have seen since Cascais they may hope to do a lot of work between now and April on the visual aids, commentary, etc. Probably more testing during the sailing in SF, maybe a lot of new and improved toys when they do get back.

 

We have to remember though that this is still early in the game, they are trying to do things different, new, and advanced of what has been provided before. So far I think they deserve a passing grade, but as always there are areas that can be improved.

 

Let's sit tight on ragging them too much. We know they are checking this site and the coments that are being made. I think it is obvious they have adressed concerns that have been expressed here, and will continue to do so as things go along. TE posted a reply the other day when called-out, they're listening.

 

 

 

 

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One challenge my wife noted while watching is with respect to slow mo replays.

 

In the fleet racing, they have done a good job making fast continuous action, but it seems to leave no room for slow mo replays of important points. If they cut to a replay them we miss potentially important ongoing action. If they don't cut to a replay then we never really see the important action in detail. The only solution I could think of was a separate broadcast team ready to do replays and run them in a window/box while still showing/covering the big race picture.

 

Related, when the format was designed, they must have thought about how/when to cut to advertising but it was not obvious to me where they planned to do that in the fleet race.

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Kimball Livingston's take on SD:

 

 

Takeaways San Diego

Does Mikey like it?

I keep forgetting these races are horseshit.

 

I've seen some exciting racing at the America's Cup World Series in San Diego, and I'm a guy who can't usually sit still to watch a whole sailboat race. A race for the America's Cup, yes, but this is not that, and yet—

 

And yet, I keep getting caught up. There's the match racing back and forth, and when the breeze is on, the fleet racing is just plain hot.

 

So, the grand experiment is working, and I guess these races are not horseshit at all. Vincenzo Onorato spoke the truth as he bowed out of AC34, and it went something like, "The international economic crisis, with the difficulties of finding sponsors, is the only true, real enemy of the next America's Cup."...................

 

 

Link: http://blueplanettimes.com/

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The Connie was heading out as I arrived to shoot todays Hot Rum Race #02

 

Pix to follow

 

 

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Re technical glitches:

 

The military was playing with some high powered toys, which caused interference to anything electronic...including our cell phones.

 

On the ACTV screens, I could actually see the beam of energy sweep across like a radar.

 

(I think that I already said that somewhere.)

 

IIRC, Oysterhead told us it was a "technical" human mistake.

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Re technical glitches:

 

The military was playing with some high powered toys, which caused interference to anything electronic...including our cell phones.

 

On the ACTV screens, I could actually see the beam of energy sweep across like a radar.

 

(I think that I already said that somewhere.)

 

IIRC, Oysterhead told us it was a "technical" human mistake.

 

Military interference took down the system while I was there.

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One other comment on the tech side . . . slow mo replays . . . They have done an excellent job creating a format with fast and furious continuous action, but it leaves little room for slow mo replays. While watching I am constantly wanting someone to stop and play it slowly and explain it, but if they do then the fast and furious action has moved on and you have missed almost a whole leg. It might help if they could do the replay full screen with a small window back to the ongoing race.

 

 

 

Related to this . . .they must have though about advertising breaks when they created the format, but I was puzzled where they might have put any such breaks in the fleet race.

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11HotRumB0001.jpg

 

 

 

11HotRumB0007.jpg

 

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11HotRumB0009.jpg

 

 

 

11HotRumB0025.jpg

 

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11HotRumB0027.jpg

 

 

 

11HotRumB0043.jpg

 

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"lupine gaze"??? I always found it to be a bit more batrachian in nature.

 

Hopping mad?

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"lupine gaze"??? I always found it to be a bit more batrachian in nature.

 

Hopping mad?

 

Kermit, then? It figures. Here is a clip of Larry at SD still trying to get to grips with CEQA?

 

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..   It was powered by twin 115hp outboard motors that had a snug cover over them as the manufacturer would not pay a royalty to ACRM for the public exposure the boats would have.  Larry Ellison had covers built to keep the manufacturer from getting free advertising.

 

Tells a lot, doesn't it? And who is this blue-blood compatriot of mine?

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Got any more pics, especially of said Russian chick and myself, that I might NEED to buy from you lest they fall into the wrong hands?

 

She spoke about 3 words of English, couple that with my 3 words of Russian...anyway... :D

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We will have to begin negotiations via PM. If we fail to come to an agreement I'll be forced to post the photos here. On second thought, maybe SAers will bid up the price.

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