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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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Swanno

VOR 2011-2012

39 posts in this topic

So now that the race has finished, what do you think they did good and what do you think they did bad and should improve on?

 

Good: Personally I thought that the hour long leg video on Youtube great and I really quite looked forward to them after the race. The footage coming from the boats on the updates as well as the livestream was great. When it was being updated.

 

The updates from Puma were also great. That high 5 one was a great laugh, as well as the one about whales..and the peanut butter jelly....

 

Bad: The updates on the VOR page were crap. You could see that something was wrong on the boats via the tracker, for hours in some instances, before the VOR site was updated. I remember watching Abu Dhabi in the Southern Ocean heading north east 5 knots for about 10 hours without any news on the VOR website, when all all the other boats were speeding away in a south easterly direction. It wasnt until later in the afternoon, once AD had gotten going again, that the site was updated to say they were conducting repairs...Well no shit!

 

 

What did/didnt you like?

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Good: video & photo

Bad: print

Needs improvement: Character development of sailors from MCM/ OA

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Missing a story teller, namely Mark Chisnell.

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Missing a story teller, namely Mark Chisnell.

 

AMEN

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...could have 2-3 women per crew or a women's boat or two

...it would add to the story in sooo many ways :rolleyes:

 

 

...and perhaps expand the spectator interest to a 2nd gender!! ;)

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Missing a story teller, namely Mark Chisnell.

 

X

 

I used Groupama afternoon reports as the substitute.

 

 

 

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What was good was on leg 6 Shannon Falcone was on puma and he made a timetable-like summary of the day.

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The bad... That idiotic stop at the mystery location to load the fleet on a freighter. Quite possibly the most rediculous thing I've ever seen in the name of whoring out your race in search of sponsor dollars.

 

The good... VO70's.

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For me, personally, the PUMA videos add nothing and actually detract much from the sport. Does sailing really need a 10 minute expose on potty humor? Similarly, the hour-long summaries did little to add any back-story to the legs. Mostly they rehashed content that was already available.

I found the coverage was horribly fractured and severely lacking.

 

The VOR site, the teams' sites, facebook and half-a-dozen barely competent sites like vsail, SA, etc - was I really suppposed to visit 7-10 sites per day to follow the race? How many hours is someone expected to spend sifting through all that crap to get a view of the action on a day-to-day basis?

 

There was no serious disclosure about the differences between the boats at any level, ever - the technical walk thru of the boats was a total joke. Where is the interview with Juan about the differences between his three designs? Where's the interview with Marcelino about the thought process that arrived at Camper's relatively radical keel/board/mast arrangement? Where's the interview with Bruce about what happened?

 

Most of the interesting stories leaked out too slowly and well after they occurred.

 

We got no details of the Camper, Abu Dhabi or Telefonica failures and repairs in the southern ocean or the Groupama damage that was repaired in Auckland. Sure, we got a few photos of stuff going on - but no real expose on what failed, why, how the repairs were designed, how the inevitable weight increase associated with the repair was managed, trade offs required in order to allow the in-the-field repairs to be effected quickly, etc, etc, etc. Why didn't we ever get the details about Sanya's major hull "crack" from prop case to rudder? Where were the details about how the Telefonica rudders broke and how they were rebuilt? What about any details of the failure analysis of the various rigging components that led to the dismastings?

 

Similarly, the details of the various protests - especially those regarding Telefonica's questionable combination of sails was, essentially, buried, which left a very bad taste. Was it a coincidence that after their sail choices were "constrained" that their performance went to shit?

 

 

There's no information about the process of selecting which sails go on board for the start of a leg or how many sail cards were used, when and why. No information about sail shape degradation, delamination or other failures.

 

And, I can't remember a single offshore sail change or tack or gybe that was featured in the edited content on the VOR site - mostly just endless clips of bow-plants.

 

Six boats with 66 crew members just raced 40,000 miles around the planet and there's not one single video of any contentious conversations among crew regarding tactics or strategy. We saw no real interviews with the families and/or crew that explained their abilities to keep in touch over the 9 month competition. There was, in effect, no personal side to any of the coverage at all.

 

It's really a shame that the most competitive edition of the premier event in ocean racing was really so poorly presented to the public despite such massive investment in on-board personnel and on-board equipment. This, the result of allowing each team to present what they choose, when they choose in the manner they choose.

 

There's a difference between reporting and blogging and this event deserves the former. Hard hitting, well informed journalists who ask the hard question and present the real facts, the real drama and the human side of the story. Not just endless 10 second clips of boarding waves.

 

 

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...geez,moonduster,,,yer didn't see one single piece of the VO you were happy with???

 

 

......maybe you should ask for a refund <_<

 

 

post-3217-001173600 1341988291_thumb.pngpost-3217-081404100 1341988294_thumb.jpgpost-3217-028548200 1341988317_thumb.jpg

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...geez,moonduster,,,yer didn't see one single piece of the VO you were happy with???

 

 

......maybe you should ask for a refund <_<

 

 

 

'cept that he's mostly right. Maybe if he put in some stupid pictures he'd make his point in a way you'd understand.

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They never show the bad parts of the human drama's.

 

Where are the real parts of the human element, crews in the middle of a big storm going on camera admitting that they are scared shitless, too cold too hot, really don't that dude I share a bunk with, funny stories, bad jokes, arguments. I'm sure it all happens why can't we see it ?

 

The vendee shows it, deadliest catch, a lot of other sportsmen spit the dummy on camera. Why can't we see it in the VOR?

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ive got similar complaints to moonduster.

 

The diversity of the location of the information was poor. The VOR website should be the source of all information, eg emails and assessemnt from Groupama, videos from the boats etc.

 

 

 

I didnt like livestream. it was too bitty, having to go between various boats. plus it did not work on ipad, phone. slow to use.

 

 

the lack of a daily strategic assessment was missed. someone should have been analysising the boats options, running routing and publishing it. the daily sail did this occaisionally well, but again should have been on the vor site. the lack of reporting on sails,either cards used or damage experienced. again technical details, such as why one weather scenario would suit one or another boat.

 

 

 

too much gear failure spoiling the racing on too many legs.

 

 

 

What i did like

 

following the racing hear on SA. the contributions from some here are excellent (although B2S sadly missed).

 

The level of the competition. It was one hell of a race.

 

Watching the import races in full. Excellent video coverage and pretty reasonable commentary.

 

The VOR70 is a pretty cool boat.

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...geez,moonduster,,,yer didn't see one single piece of the VO you were happy with???

 

 

......maybe you should ask for a refund <_<

 

 

 

'cept that he's mostly right. Maybe if he put in some stupid pictures he'd make his point in a way you'd understand.

 

 

...oh, sure he's 'right'...there's many fronts that could be improved

.......in fact as time marches on,,to look at what the race has devolved to is it's own spectacle <_<

.......imagine the Whitbread sailors sitting in a pub,,and one of them says....''hey guys,,how 'bout we make some changes........we'll race port to port,,,stop for a week or two ,,have our wives and kids join us,,,,,,,then when the going gets tough,,we head for port,,,call Maersk and have our boats shipped to the next play-date'' :lol: :lol:

 

.....yeh the VOR is a total cock-up,,,and I'm SURE that's not going to end,,,

,,,and sure it'd be lovely to have fulltime headcams on ALL participants.....

 

 

....but it's not going to happen........''it is what it is''

....and it's it's own great spectacle for that.

 

 

 

...so ask for your money back,,,,don't buy a volvo,,,,start your own RTW,,,,or STFU :)

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...geez,moonduster,,,yer didn't see one single piece of the VO you were happy with???

 

 

......maybe you should ask for a refund <_<

 

 

 

'cept that he's mostly right. Maybe if he put in some stupid pictures he'd make his point in a way you'd understand.

 

 

...oh, sure he's 'right'...there's many fronts that could be improved

.......in fact as time marches on,,to look at what the race has devolved to is it's own spectacle <_<

.......imagine the Whitbread sailors sitting in a pub,,and one of them says....''hey guys,,how 'bout we make some changes........we'll race port to port,,,stop for a week or two ,,have our wives and kids join us,,,,,,,then when the going gets tough,,we head for port,,,call Maersk and have our boats shipped to the next play-date'' :lol: :lol:

 

.....yeh the VOR is a total cock-up,,,and I'm SURE that's not going to end,,,

,,,and sure it'd be lovely to have fulltime headcams on ALL participants.....

 

 

....but it's not going to happen........''it is what it is''

....and it's it's own great spectacle for that.

 

 

 

...so ask for your money back,,,,don't buy a volvo,,,,start your own RTW,,,,or STFU :)

 

Knut and others read these comments. The point of the thread was to be honest and share comments and criticism. Let the informed rant continue!

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...geez,moonduster,,,yer didn't see one single piece of the VO you were happy with???

 

 

......maybe you should ask for a refund

 

 

 

'cept that he's mostly right. Maybe if he put in some stupid pictures he'd make his point in a way you'd understand.

 

 

...oh, sure he's 'right'...there's many fronts that could be improved

.......in fact as time marches on,,to look at what the race has devolved to is it's own spectacle <_<

.......imagine the Whitbread sailors sitting in a pub,,and one of them says....''hey guys,,how 'bout we make some changes........we'll race port to port,,,stop for a week or two ,,have our wives and kids join us,,,,,,,then when the going gets tough,,we head for port,,,call Maersk and have our boats shipped to the next play-date'' :lol: :lol:

 

.....yeh the VOR is a total cock-up,,,and I'm SURE that's not going to end,,,

,,,and sure it'd be lovely to have fulltime headcams on ALL participants.....

 

 

....but it's not going to happen........''it is what it is''

....and it's it's own great spectacle for that.

 

 

 

...so ask for your money back,,,,don't buy a volvo,,,,start your own RTW,,,,or STFU :)

 

Knut and others read these comments. The point of the thread was to be honest and share comments and criticism. Let the informed rant continue!

 

..no worries mate,,,prolly be helpful if moondust had mentioned an aspect he likes,then(?) ;)

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Knut and others read these comments. The point of the thread was to be honest and share comments and criticism. Let the informed rant continue!

 

I did enjoy the funny Puma videos. But they were garnish.

 

The videos from the 2005-06 run had a lot more meat in them than we've seen this time. Much better.

 

The "meat" videos this time improved as things went on as the media guys talked less and showed more.

 

'Twas a great show, but moonduster points out a lot of great stuff that should have been there.

 

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For me, personally, the PUMA videos add nothing and actually detract much from the sport. Does sailing really need a 10 minute expose on potty humor? Similarly, the hour-long summaries did little to add any back-story to the legs. Mostly they rehashed content that was already available.

I found the coverage was horribly fractured and severely lacking.

 

The VOR site, the teams' sites, facebook and half-a-dozen barely competent sites like vsail, SA, etc - was I really suppposed to visit 7-10 sites per day to follow the race? How many hours is someone expected to spend sifting through all that crap to get a view of the action on a day-to-day basis?

 

There was no serious disclosure about the differences between the boats at any level, ever - the technical walk thru of the boats was a total joke. Where is the interview with Juan about the differences between his three designs? Where's the interview with Marcelino about the thought process that arrived at Camper's relatively radical keel/board/mast arrangement? Where's the interview with Bruce about what happened?

 

Most of the interesting stories leaked out too slowly and well after they occurred.

 

We got no details of the Camper, Abu Dhabi or Telefonica failures and repairs in the southern ocean or the Groupama damage that was repaired in Auckland. Sure, we got a few photos of stuff going on - but no real expose on what failed, why, how the repairs were designed, how the inevitable weight increase associated with the repair was managed, trade offs required in order to allow the in-the-field repairs to be effected quickly, etc, etc, etc. Why didn't we ever get the details about Sanya's major hull "crack" from prop case to rudder? Where were the details about how the Telefonica rudders broke and how they were rebuilt? What about any details of the failure analysis of the various rigging components that led to the dismastings?

 

Similarly, the details of the various protests - especially those regarding Telefonica's questionable combination of sails was, essentially, buried, which left a very bad taste. Was it a coincidence that after their sail choices were "constrained" that their performance went to shit?

 

 

There's no information about the process of selecting which sails go on board for the start of a leg or how many sail cards were used, when and why. No information about sail shape degradation, delamination or other failures.

 

And, I can't remember a single offshore sail change or tack or gybe that was featured in the edited content on the VOR site - mostly just endless clips of bow-plants.

 

Six boats with 66 crew members just raced 40,000 miles around the planet and there's not one single video of any contentious conversations among crew regarding tactics or strategy. We saw no real interviews with the families and/or crew that explained their abilities to keep in touch over the 9 month competition. There was, in effect, no personal side to any of the coverage at all.

 

It's really a shame that the most competitive edition of the premier event in ocean racing was really so poorly presented to the public despite such massive investment in on-board personnel and on-board equipment. This, the result of allowing each team to present what they choose, when they choose in the manner they choose.

 

There's a difference between reporting and blogging and this event deserves the former. Hard hitting, well informed journalists who ask the hard question and present the real facts, the real drama and the human side of the story. Not just endless 10 second clips of boarding waves.

 

 

+1 on these comments. overall, I would give the race 7/10. Good, but not great - but I am not sure if I am the target audience they are looking for - a keen sailor / navigator. I certainly would have liked to have seen more technical content in the articles / blogs / videos.

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ive got similar complaints to moonduster.

The diversity of the location of the information was poor. The VOR website should be the source of all information, eg emails and assessemnt from Groupama, videos from the boats etc.

I didnt like livestream. it was too bitty, having to go between various boats. plus it did not work on ipad, phone. slow to use.

the lack of a daily strategic assessment was missed. someone should have been analysising the boats options, running routing and publishing it. the daily sail did this occaisionally well, but again should have been on the vor site. the lack of reporting on sails,either cards used or damage experienced. again technical details, such as why one weather scenario would suit one or another boat.

too much gear failure spoiling the racing on too many legs.

What i did like

following the racing hear on SA. the contributions from some here are excellent (although B2S sadly missed).

The level of the competition. It was one hell of a race.

Watching the import races in full. Excellent video coverage and pretty reasonable commentary.

 

The VOR70 is a pretty cool boat.

 

Fully agree.

Ten guys on a tiny (inside) boat, in the middle of storms, and all we get are boring sights of sunsets or repeated wave splashes. Sailing is a (relatively) intellectual sport, we want to see interviews on weather decisions, see psychological drama, etc.

I enjoyed the inports on my laptop (1 hour is a great format), the live tracker (rivetting). I am not such a big fan of the VO70, don't find it "corinthian" enough (too physical, too cramped below) so i won't cry about the switch to OD.

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Clearly on the plus side :

-VICTORY OF A FRENCH BOAT ! (pardon my patriotism)

-The race as never been so closed.

-The Inport really well covered.

-The last two three legs were really awesome.

 

On the minus side :

-Reaction time from the VOR website (as said before, having to search on other website to know what's happening is quite a pain in the ass)

-No daily analysis of the race by a professional.

-Too much things hidden regarding the breakage (but I can understand it, you don't really want your opponnents to know what to fix before next leg)

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They never show the bad parts of the human drama's.

 

Where are the real parts of the human element, crews in the middle of a big storm going on camera admitting that they are scared shitless, too cold too hot, really don't that dude I share a bunk with, funny stories, bad jokes, arguments. I'm sure it all happens why can't we see it ?

 

The vendee shows it, deadliest catch, a lot of other sportsmen spit the dummy on camera. Why can't we see it in the VOR?

 

Didnt Ian Walker have a black eye for a period during the leg from Rio to Miami?

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I believe that as long as the MCM is a member of the team, the coverage from the boats is going to be "soft". There's no incentive to air dirty laundry when the Media Rep is a member of the crew - in fact, the incentive is to bury nearly everything!

 

Instead, VOR ought to supply a journalist to each boat and probably rotate them each leg and forget the whole MCM award concept - if the coverage isn't good, replace the journalist.

 

 

 

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I believe that as long as the MCM is a member of the team, the coverage from the boats is going to be "soft". There's no incentive to air dirty laundry when the Media Rep is a member of the crew - in fact, the incentive is to bury nearly everything!

 

Instead, VOR ought to supply a journalist to each boat and probably rotate them each leg and forget the whole MCM award concept - if the coverage isn't good, replace the journalist.

 

Fuck i hate to agree with such a cunt.

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I believe that as long as the MCM is a member of the team, the coverage from the boats is going to be "soft". There's no incentive to air dirty laundry when the Media Rep is a member of the crew - in fact, the incentive is to bury nearly everything!

 

Instead, VOR ought to supply a journalist to each boat and probably rotate them each leg and forget the whole MCM award concept - if the coverage isn't good, replace the journalist.

 

Fuck i hate to agree with such a cunt.

post-60584-077155700 1342063601_thumb.gif

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Alan,

 

I was writing about journalism and that all-too-rare commodity within the field, often referred to as journalistic integrity. You're not qualified to comment.

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Alan,

 

I was writing about journalism and that all-too-rare commodity within the field, often referred to as journalistic integrity. You're not qualified to comment.

 

 

roflmao

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I believe that as long as the MCM is a member of the team, the coverage from the boats is going to be "soft". There's no incentive to air dirty laundry when the Media Rep is a member of the crew - in fact, the incentive is to bury nearly everything!

 

Instead, VOR ought to supply a journalist to each boat and probably rotate them each leg and forget the whole MCM award concept - if the coverage isn't good, replace the journalist.

 

That almost happened for this race. VOR seemed to want it, the teams fought it.

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They fought it because the VO70 was a development rule and they would have had no way to control information. That problem is more or less gone now.

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On the whole I missed Mark Chisnell analysis. It must have been brutal on him to do it on such a short cycle, but it really is a stand out from the last lap.

 

The tracker and even better the live tracker was huge from Brazil on and I would have liked to see it in the straight to Singapore (but at that point Tele was cheating and turned off their tracker.)

 

All the inports were well covered - so that was a highlight.

 

The stuff from Puma and Groupama was very entertaining and added the piece that makes them human - but I must say that the MCM's definitely were in too tough a position to air the laundry during the legs. That is the one piece that is missing. They either need to have the 'big brother cam' feeding to HQ or get something else in play. Part of this is cultural - no self respecting NZ sailor would air that stuff out. But for the US based Puma, and the Frog/Brit/Irish teams we did get a little of that insight.

 

The leg summaries were pretty good, and can go deeper (yeah we get it, the monoslugs plow into waves, what else?) but I think the real problem for VOR is that 10 years ago this coverage would be cutting edge - we are all now into the modern era of voyeurism in sports and have had our expectations raised.

 

If the race is going to be about racing, then get a good analyst like Mark and keep the race tracker improving.

 

However, if it is the sponsor sell out that it seems to be becoming, then you are going to have to make it into the compelling human drama that we are not getting to see this lap around.

 

IMHO....

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If the race is going to be about racing, then get a good analyst like Mark and keep the race tracker improving.

 

However, if it is the sponsor sell out that it seems to be becoming, then you are going to have to make it into the compelling human drama that we are not getting to see this lap around.

 

IMHO....

 

Better yet, both.

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If the race is going to be about racing, then get a good analyst like Mark and keep the race tracker improving.

 

However, if it is the sponsor sell out that it seems to be becoming, then you are going to have to make it into the compelling human drama that we are not getting to see this lap around.

 

IMHO....

 

Better yet, both.

 

 

agreed, no reason why the coverage cannot have both.

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Wow. This is really ... wow.

Somebody will say they linked to it ages ago. I just happened onto it.

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Just remembered about the live interviews like the one by Clean Vs Kenny during the 2nd last leg. I only managed to catch the last couple of interviews but i really liked the idea and having the camera pan out and see unedited footage.

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Dude,

 

Believe me, if you're seeing it, it's been edited!

 

considering how people are talking over eachther due to the time delay, i think not but will gladly admit i am wrong if given the proof.

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Dude,

 

Believe me, if you're seeing it, it's been edited!

 

considering how people are talking over eachther due to the time delay, i think not but will gladly admit i am wrong if given the proof.

 

I talked to Kenny in real time. All the LiveX interviews are without delays other than the second or three due to satellite routing. More live than "Live News" on TV.

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Dude,

 

Believe me, if you're seeing it, it's been edited!

 

considering how people are talking over eachther due to the time delay, i think not but will gladly admit i am wrong if given the proof.

 

I talked to Kenny in real time. All the LiveX interviews are without delays other than the second or three due to satellite routing. More live than "Live News" on TV.

 

yeah, as a viewer, you could see that it was real time by the 'we're still going' from Kenny towards the end. Must have been a real buzz to be a part of that

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Moonduster has a lot of valid poihts, especially that it was a major loss to have media team members on the crews (basically really good PR people) rather than independent journalists that were rotated. That would have changed the entire complexion of the coverage so that was a structural issue that was pervasive. That pales though to the joke that was the "secret rendevous". So Knut turned down Ericsson's two boat teams, but screwed up the entire race for Abu Dhabi? A boat that eventually couldn't get out of it's own way? GOOD CALL! Was that because the only team that would pick Farr was ADOR? Not to wear too much of a conspiracy hat, but res ipsa loquitur.

 

That said, I really liked the HD coverage, the streaming, the "Redux" series of all unedited video feed from the boats (that they stopped doing before the SO leg inexplicably), the post-race skipper and navigator interviews. Loved the VOR70 (so long, for now....).

 

Didn't like the lack of weighting for the legs, didn't like the weirdly formatted inshore races, because if ever there was a boat that would be better showcased by reaching triangle long courses, this was it. Would have been good to see a slightly port-favored windward leg with a windward gate and reaching legs going both port and starboard coming back to a downwind gate. Long legs with passing lanes, room to romp and opportunities to recover a bad start or sail change. With the course management they have, setting a tactically challenging course like this is doable. Didn't like how they swept so much under the rug. Yeah, I don't think it was any surprise that after Tele got their cheetah sail taken out they quit being a factor. Funny that, huh? But maybe they weren't penalized because they boat was set up to be so dependent on it? Hard saying not knowing.

 

This is the last race with the original intent of the Whitbread, from here on, it won't be a contest of sailor and the machine the concieve, it will be pared (some who could give a shit about conceiving the boat they race may say "distilled") down to a contest of sailor and $$$. Since it will be easy to determine who wins that (barring bad luck $$$$ will beat $$), I'm not at all interested in the OD.

 

Goodbye VOR, hello whatever race rises to take it's place. Wonder if Ericsson is considering sponsoring their own version, since the VOR is now just a reverse Clipper?

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To add to the thoughts. I'm not sure that the VOR/Whitbread ever had a consistent ethos. Even from the first race it was changing, and it changed with sailing as a whole. The technological changes, the professionalism changes, these beset sailing across the board. The introduction of sponsorship, the elimination of amateur status in the Olympics, these things occurred in parallel. I suspect may people feel that the nature of the VOR when they first became interested in it is the "real" VOR, and hanker to a return to whatever snapshot of the story that was.

 

One aspect that has been consistent, big money has always been thrown at wining it. And often did win. But not always. I think that is something that is special about sailing, and especially ocean racing. There is no assurance that money will buy you victory. When you have a massive advantage over everyone else sure. But the history of the VOR is that this has been reduced steadily over the years. The introduction of the VO60 helped enormously. And this last round showed that it wasn't a sure thing either. We did have the stream of sarcasm that suggested that ETNZ were so good that they would win no matter what they sailed, and that Camper was such a dog that second was all the boat's fault. So it seems clear, with the VOD65, ETNZ will win every race, and Frank, Kenny, Ian, Moose, should all simply forget it, they can't possibly ever raise enough money to buy the quality of sailors needed to beat ETNZ. They are all just second class sailors that should never be allowed control of a boat. Or perhaps some new sponsor will arise, and the magic eight perfect sailors will crew the boat and no other team will have a chance, because those eight are the worlds best and there simply are no others that are good enough to touch them. [\end sarcasm mode]

 

OK, thoughts on the race, and what would be nice to see.

 

Echoing some above thoughts.

 

Moonduster's comments were spot on.

 

Technological aspects of the coverage were great. Nice to get video feeds off the boat so easily. Tracker was frustrating, three hours is too long. One woke in the morning and found that the current status was not really all that current, and depending upon when one got a chance to check again, the granularity of updates made understanding what was occuring very lumpy. Especially when we knew that there was something important going on. When it flipped to one minute updates it was a revelation. 15 minute updates would be nice.

 

But, the coverage was very disappointing compared to previous rounds in terms of depth. The smell of heavy handed censoring of much that was going on was ever present. There was often obvious overt avoiding of reporting news. Sometimes it was just stupid. For instance the news article reporting how the shore teams had worked hard to meet the deadline to fix the boats in Lorient. Totally failed to even mention Telefonica. It was as if the team never existed. Just a bland feel good piece. Yet did they really expect that anyone who was following the race wouldn't notice? The only story was what Telefonica were doing. Yet how they handled the issues was never reported. Never. This is ridiculous, and offensive to the followers of the race. To imagine that those that follow the race won't notice this sort of thing is naive, and damages the image of the race. Certainly it damages the reputation of those reporting the race. We learn not to trust them.

 

Somehow the coverage has turned into just a festival of showering water and bow slams. Sure, nice and spectacular, and I enjoy watching some of that as much as anyone. But it does soon become very repetitive, then boring. The MCMs are not professionals here, and it shows. They seem to have evolved a number of set piece camera angles and tricks, and enjoy trying for nice pictures. But the race is about more than this. It was inevitable that the MCMs are team members. (It would untennable to have a person aboard a boat like a VO70 for three weeks who was not a sailor, and was someone who was not trusted as a team member. This may still be a significant problem with a VOD65.) Curiously the time when the MCM was a full sailing team member and the coverage much more amateurish, it gave us more really good moments. Somehow the MCMs have become trained to be good little corporate mouthpieces, and the coverage, although technically better, has also become more guarded and homogenised.

 

Again, look to two races ago. That coverage was riveting. Yet the on boat coverage was almost non-existent. Lots of slamming into waves does not replace quality.

 

There needs to be a recognition that both race management and the teams need to stop being such control freaks. Teams need to agree that there will be proper access to their operations, and VOR reporting needs to be much more focussed on acting as real journalists and not being corporate flacks. There is a real level of naivety about the way it is handled right now. This is common in corporations. The control freakery in how news is handled, somehow imagining that people reading or watching the coverage won't notice.

 

Loved the in-shore races. I would watch these in preference to a Formula One car race any day. Indeed they were better than the AC to my taste. Given they were real time there wasn't any chance to wreck them by editing and corporatising the message of what occurred. There is a clue here.

 

Technical coverage was woeful. We kept being told how wonderful the VO70 boats were. And then they break. But never any actual coverage of the boats or the technical side. Knut even admitted that VOR had polars for the individual boats. But performance differences between the boats was almost never mentioned. Perhaps it was regarded as something too embarrassing to mention or admit to. There was simply no analysis. This is a technical sport. I can get in depth analysis of a wretched football match, but not of the VOR. Such omission misses the point.

 

Video coverage when edited down ended up looking like a rock music clip. I really wish editors would stop this. It is a sport, not popular music. This seems to go hand in hand with the dumb sport image of the coverage. Perhaps the VOR management and media think their target demographic is dumb couch potatoes. Perhpas they should have a chat with their sponsors and ask what demographic they sell too. Currently there is a disconnect.

 

 

Personally I think the VOD65 is the right answer at this time. I will miss the VO70, big brutal, fragile, expensive thing it was. But in order to make the race work well in this guise the VOR coverage needs to be much more clear about what it is doing. Now there is no need to be secretive about boat design or questions of sail inventory (I hope) there is the opportunity to be much more open about the performance data. They can release the polars, talk about sail overlaps, talk about tactics in a meaningful manner. Similarly they can get the teams to open up more about what they are doing. It is a curious community. Very tight knit and when there is a problem highly supportive, but fiercely competitive, to the point of unsportsmanlike behaviour. Everyone needs to recognise that insularity and secrecy does no-one any good, and harms the long term perception of both the race and the teams, and by reflection, also the sponsors. Even a bunch of thugs kicking a ball around an oval gets deeper and more intellectual coverage than the VOR. This probably reflects the immaturity of the VOR and how it is managed.

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