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PeterHuston

Does anyone here support Coutts?

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Is there anyone in this forum that still supports Russell Coutts and his idea of how to run the America's Cup?

 

Does anyone have an ear to the ground to know if Ainslie and ETNZ really support him?

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I support RC insofar as he is a brilliant sailor, and actually a pretty good manager. Running the operation OR put on last time is not trivial.

 

That being said, I believe a good manager knows how to change course when things are shown to not work. The ability to change one's mind is proof that the brain works.

 

So... I don't like what I see right now. If they dig in their heels, I will not support their strategy.

 

But the keys: I don't know who is really calling the shots. Is Larry or RC the final word? If Larry, then RC is just an implementer. Is SF off the table for reasons outside their control, but that we don't know and can't know due to NDA? In general, Is there info that I don't know that they do? Usually there is, and this is the main reason I choose to focus on depersonalizing and emphasizing that I don't support the strategy as I know it instead of the person.

 

Second question: I can't imagine anyone wanting to go to either Bermuda or DAGO over SF if commercial viability is their interest... not to mention sailing. You just have to drive the business side properly. Its hard work, but easy work in lesser venues is unlikely to reward anybody.

 

Finally: Question for you. A few weeks back you presciently suggested that HIYC was going to drop out. What led you to believe that? A little birdie or inference or what?

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I support RC insofar as he is a brilliant sailor, and actually a pretty good manager. Running the operation OR put on last time is not trivial.

 

That being said, I believe a good manager knows how to change course when things are shown to not work. The ability to change one's mind is proof that the brain works.

 

So... I don't like what I see right now. If they dig in their heels, I will not support their strategy.

 

But the keys: I don't know who is really calling the shots. Is Larry or RC the final word? If Larry, then RC is just an implementer. Is SF off the table for reasons outside their control, but that we don't know and can't know due to NDA? In general, Is there info that I don't know that they do? Usually there is, and this is the main reason I choose to focus on depersonalizing and emphasizing that I don't support the strategy as I know it instead of the person.

 

Second question: I can't imagine anyone wanting to go to either Bermuda or DAGO over SF if commercial viability is their interest... not to mention sailing. You just have to drive the business side properly. Its hard work, but easy work in lesser venues is unlikely to reward anybody.

 

Finally: Question for you. A few weeks back you presciently suggested that HIYC was going to drop out. What led you to believe that? A little birdie or inference or what?

 

I agree with all you say. I've only spent a bit of time with Russell, he wouldn't know me today if I hit him over the head with a 2 x 4. For sure I respect his sailing talent in all respects.

 

But we've seen this movie twice. AC 34 was without question the single biggest sports marketing startup failure in the history of man. The situation today is much the same, lots of ideas, but no clear plans. The notion that a team is going to spend $1 million to enter, without even knowing when and where is absurd.

 

As to whether or not it is Russell or Larry calling the shots, hard to really know. I know a guy, very well, who was a senior C-suite guy at Oracle long before Oracle Racing was ever even contemplated. From him, I got a pretty good insight into the way Larry thinks. He's got a different time horizon than most, and lives very much in the future. My friend had a lot of complementary things to say about how Larry can judge a market in the future.

 

So...based on that, I have a very hard time believing Larry is driving this bus. My guess, he gave Russell a budget and said "here's some money, you figure out the rest". It's like the whole land deal in AC 34, from what I understand, contrary to the comments by some in this forum, Larry had nothing to do with the Piers. That was a couple of people trying to play Real Estate developer with Larry's money. In end Larry said "no mas" and walked, as we know.

 

But it's hard to cut Russell any slack here. He's making the sport look stupid.

 

As for how did I know about HIYC....lets just say I've been around this block a couple of times, I hear a lot from a lot of different people who are well placed and I can read the tea leaves fairly well. It was more judging a trend then anything.

 

It's like this one. Russell seems to think he has 90 days to sort out the Challenger of Record. What if all four of these guys dig in their heels and never cough up the entry fee?

 

This is all just sad to watch. The sport deserves better.

 

Bottom line, I am of the opinion that this is all Russell's doing. I think Larry has so much going on in his life that the AC just isn't a day to day priority. Maybe when Aug 8 comes he'll look at the entry list and make some decisions to change this, for the better. After all, I think the guy really wants to go race again.

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Now that we are getting to philosophy, I'll throw a dagger at it too.

 

First question that comes our way is why were there so many challengers in the old mono days? And how was that parlayed into something closer to being commercially viable.. despite what Rita might say about that today?

 

I think the main reason the old AC had so many participants was not the "TV and marketing appeal" of the product. The general public watching IACC boats race was a VERY short lived channel switch for curiosity. If this were the case, the AC72 racing would have drawn equal or more participants. After all, the campaigns ended up costing similar amounts of money.

 

The difference I think is that old IACC racing was a natural evolution of the passion and hobby of super rich yacht racers taking their passion the 'next level'. In fact... that is what got Larry in the game. From Lido 14 to bigger boats, to ocean racers, to AC. He was able to race and be on board for all of this, and have it feed his competitive bug. Even in the AC, he could be onboard if he chose... even if it was just as a passenger. This is the way that the AC was able to skim the richest most competitive folks from all the different circuits: SORC, TP52, Big Boat Series, Sydney Hobart, etc. The AC was the 'big leagues' to all existent events, and the rich and competitive naturally wanted to move up.

 

The multihull AC breaks with this feeder system. Sailors naturally are happy to move up to the foiling cats. Who wouldn't? Money AND fun!!! But the owners not so much. For them it is Money Out, and no direct fun with the added disadvantage that their competitive edge from their previous sailing successes is not transferable at all.

 

So there is a now much smaller pool of folks that are willing to underwrite the game - those that can make a commercial or marketing go of it. These folk are clearly much rarer, and they are also much more demanding in terms of the commercial terms of the proposition.

 

I think it is this fundamental change, that hasn't been fully incorporated into the defender's thinking and it is killing the event.

 

That being said, I sympathize that they have been painted into a bit of a corner by technology, the DOG and the Facebook generation. They can't go back to IACC because nobody would watch having seen the Tri and the AC72s. The DOG forces them to use the fastest boat possible or they will be vulnerable to a challenge, and finally attention span of the audience. They just can't offer a slow product.

 

What does this leave them with? A tough business where they need to face the challenges that their product requires. That means realism and hard work in getting the right venue consistent with the product. In this case it means SF. It means respect as much of the tradition of the event as possible as this is a key leg to marketing the event. It means announcing things on reasonable schedules so people can do their planning. It means losing the "the AC is special so the world has to adapt" attitude at the door.

 

This is all necessary because if this is commercial, it has to be run like a serious business. In the old days, this might have been OK because the uber rich were happy to play at a leisurely pace. It was Play.

 

Not so in today's AC..

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Mr. Bowman: "The reality is that there is no way to imagine actually making any money ever winning the America's Cup"

 

The Court: " That's my understanding, too. It's a losing proposition all around"

 

Those TUSA boys, they're lying for sure in one forum or the other :D

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Is there anyone in this forum that still supports Russell Coutts and his idea of how to run the America's Cup?

 

Does anyone have an ear to the ground to know if Ainslie and ETNZ really support him?

I'm sure that Rasputin of the America's Cup, Tom Ehman, knows. Let's ask him.

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I'm clearly in the "can't give a shit" camp.

 

I would like the next one to be in SF, with many challengers, but I'll also watch a match in Bermuda (on the tele of course)

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IMHO he's a very good sailor, probably a half decent engineer, and an abysmal failure as a project manager. Grant Simmer OTOH, is a pretty damn good PM.

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new

 

America’s Cup: A more humble approach is needed
Published on July 23, 2014 |
Force10 Marketing President Scott Macleod has over 20 years experience within the global sports and entertainment arena, which has included the launch of the World Match Racing Tour (2000-09) and involvement in the America’s Cup since 1992. With the current holders of the America’s Cup seeking to create a commercially “sustainable” event, Scott is not optimistic that the current path will succeed. Here he explains…
The 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain delivered the most commercially viable event in the history of the Cup:
- 60M euro profit distributed to the teams ­ yes, a profit!
- 11 Challengers
- 9 Countries
This was not that long ago, and the 2007 numbers carried on from the 2000 and 2003 America’s Cup in New Zealand, which showed sponsors a positive upward trend in the ‘commercial’ development of the event.
Unfortunately, the wholesale changes that were instituted for the 2013 event have not shown a significant change to make the commercial ‘product’ better. The current model has, and will continue to, deliver less teams which equals less commerce.
The math is actually pretty simple:
Less Teams = Less Countries = Less Broadcasters = Less Exposure = Less Sponsors Interest = Less Commercial Return.
So how do we get more teams to compete?
- Lower the cost significantly
- Use a platform type that is available and used by a wider group (owners, sailors, designers, builders, etc.)
While the technology and cool factor of the AC72 foiling cats was impressive, it didn’t deliver a significant boost in the audience numbers to justify 1/3 of the teams competing in the last event. And for this current cycle, it once again is showing less interest in teams competing in AC62′s.
If the goal is to create a commercially sustainable event, the math points to monohulls. If the America’s Cup announced that the event was to be held in TP52′s tomorrow, you’d have ten challenges in a heartbeat!
The current plan is too full of contradictory elements. The boat type is a hindrance to attracting challengers, yet its coolness has convinced organizers that it will attract viewers. And organizers only want four quality challengers to provide close competition, yet this limits the audience pool from which to attract viewers.
The sweeping changes so as to sell a ‘sexy’ event appear doomed. The market reality is that the America’s Cup is a tier 2/3 niche sport at best. Our current audience is small but highly wealthy, exclusive, passionate and global. We must speak to our core fan first (the “Flintstones”) before trying to attract new fans.
If the organizers become more humble in their approach, and build the ‘product’ reputation by delivering consistency, there is a chance of doing more good than harm. Currently, I worry that the later is being done.

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RC has an AC35 arrangement that in some ways has the potential to top AC34 by a good margin, given how strong the top potential Challengers are.

 

Team AUS was not ever going to be in the thick of it anyway; their withdrawal is no real indictment of the vision and of its still-very-likely fruition. Every big team has simply snuffed it off as 'disappointing.. but we're betting big regardless.'

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Now that we are getting to philosophy, I'll throw a dagger at it too.

 

First question that comes our way is why were there so many challengers in the old mono days? And how was that parlayed into something closer to being commercially viable.. despite what Rita might say about that today?

 

I think the main reason the old AC had so many participants was not the "TV and marketing appeal" of the product. The general public watching IACC boats race was a VERY short lived channel switch for curiosity. If this were the case, the AC72 racing would have drawn equal or more participants. After all, the campaigns ended up costing similar amounts of money.

 

The difference I think is that old IACC racing was a natural evolution of the passion and hobby of super rich yacht racers taking their passion the 'next level'. In fact... that is what got Larry in the game. From Lido 14 to bigger boats, to ocean racers, to AC. He was able to race and be on board for all of this, and have it feed his competitive bug. Even in the AC, he could be onboard if he chose... even if it was just as a passenger. This is the way that the AC was able to skim the richest most competitive folks from all the different circuits: SORC, TP52, Big Boat Series, Sydney Hobart, etc. The AC was the 'big leagues' to all existent events, and the rich and competitive naturally wanted to move up.

 

The multihull AC breaks with this feeder system. Sailors naturally are happy to move up to the foiling cats. Who wouldn't? Money AND fun!!! But the owners not so much. For them it is Money Out, and no direct fun with the added disadvantage that their competitive edge from their previous sailing successes is not transferable at all.

 

So there is a now much smaller pool of folks that are willing to underwrite the game - those that can make a commercial or marketing go of it. These folk are clearly much rarer, and they are also much more demanding in terms of the commercial terms of the proposition.

 

I think it is this fundamental change, that hasn't been fully incorporated into the defender's thinking and it is killing the event.

 

That being said, I sympathize that they have been painted into a bit of a corner by technology, the DOG and the Facebook generation. They can't go back to IACC because nobody would watch having seen the Tri and the AC72s. The DOG forces them to use the fastest boat possible or they will be vulnerable to a challenge, and finally attention span of the audience. They just can't offer a slow product.

 

What does this leave them with? A tough business where they need to face the challenges that their product requires. That means realism and hard work in getting the right venue consistent with the product. In this case it means SF. It means respect as much of the tradition of the event as possible as this is a key leg to marketing the event. It means announcing things on reasonable schedules so people can do their planning. It means losing the "the AC is special so the world has to adapt" attitude at the door.

 

This is all necessary because if this is commercial, it has to be run like a serious business. In the old days, this might have been OK because the uber rich were happy to play at a leisurely pace. It was Play.

 

Not so in today's AC..

 

I agree enough with this that I wish I had written it. It follows much of how I felt coming out of 33, go to the IACC's at least one more time to get all the players back in the game with a quick turn-around, then with the ability to make a more well-rounded decision on the next boat type. (which it appears the players wanted to discuss) This would have been a quick way to get things back on track.

 

But, no use crying over spilled milk................................

 

Maybe.

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I loved the move to AC72s and the progression into foiling, and fully expect the AC62 Class to be even better racers. Yes the owners can't earn a spot during the serious races but it's absolutely stretching Design to new, ahem, 3D heights.

 

But again: RC, LE, Mayor Lee, whoever all, should have struck a deal for a SF repeat in the ~immediate~ aftermath of AC34. That situation was hot. That has been the one biggest mistake, but it's apparently too late now with the calls by Challs to name a venue sooner rather than later. SF would take forever again.

 

The best hope is that the AC62s will be lit up in even SD Bay winds.

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RC is a fanstastic sailor and his vision so far ahead that most teams can't follow.

 

But how seriously HIYC accept such a protocol with no venue, no real agenda, archimedian AC45, two venues in two different hemisphere.

 

How can you ask millions to a sponsor being clueless about the future ? Total nonsense and stupidity.

 

But do we have blame Coutts or the Oatleys ?

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RC is a fanstastic sailor and his vision so far ahead that most teams can't follow.

 

But how seriously HIYC accept such a protocol with no venue, no real agenda, archimedian AC45, two venues in two different hemisphere.

 

How can you ask millions to a sponsor being clueless about the future ? Total nonsense and stupidity.

 

But do we have blame Coutts or the Oatleys ?

good question - TC

 

you know the answer -

 

ggyc has all the blame and liabilities -

 

all their crooked bs and hire a scapegoat corps-ie acea and coutts etc is not the ones really responsible

 

ggyc is the purported offender / defender yc

 

ahole 2 - soiler aka sheep whisperer will be posting his expert comments on this shortly - :rolleyes:

 

with ahole 1 spinray doing follow up with his usual '' thats what is I was thinking '' bs like he is all knowing - :rolleyes:

 

:lol:

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new

 

America’s Cup: A more humble approach is needed
Published on July 23, 2014 |
Force10 Marketing President Scott Macleod has over 20 years experience within the global sports and entertainment arena, which has included the launch of the World Match Racing Tour (2000-09) and involvement in the America’s Cup since 1992. With the current holders of the America’s Cup seeking to create a commercially “sustainable” event, Scott is not optimistic that the current path will succeed. Here he explains…
The 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain delivered the most commercially viable event in the history of the Cup:
- 60M euro profit distributed to the teams ­ yes, a profit!
- 11 Challengers
- 9 Countries
This was not that long ago, and the 2007 numbers carried on from the 2000 and 2003 America’s Cup in New Zealand, which showed sponsors a positive upward trend in the ‘commercial’ development of the event.
Unfortunately, the wholesale changes that were instituted for the 2013 event have not shown a significant change to make the commercial ‘product’ better. The current model has, and will continue to, deliver less teams which equals less commerce.
The math is actually pretty simple:
Less Teams = Less Countries = Less Broadcasters = Less Exposure = Less Sponsors Interest = Less Commercial Return.
So how do we get more teams to compete?
- Lower the cost significantly
- Use a platform type that is available and used by a wider group (owners, sailors, designers, builders, etc.)
While the technology and cool factor of the AC72 foiling cats was impressive, it didn’t deliver a significant boost in the audience numbers to justify 1/3 of the teams competing in the last event. And for this current cycle, it once again is showing less interest in teams competing in AC62′s.
If the goal is to create a commercially sustainable event, the math points to monohulls. If the America’s Cup announced that the event was to be held in TP52′s tomorrow, you’d have ten challenges in a heartbeat!
The current plan is too full of contradictory elements. The boat type is a hindrance to attracting challengers, yet its coolness has convinced organizers that it will attract viewers. And organizers only want four quality challengers to provide close competition, yet this limits the audience pool from which to attract viewers.
The sweeping changes so as to sell a ‘sexy’ event appear doomed. The market reality is that the America’s Cup is a tier 2/3 niche sport at best. Our current audience is small but highly wealthy, exclusive, passionate and global. We must speak to our core fan first (the “Flintstones”) before trying to attract new fans.
If the organizers become more humble in their approach, and build the ‘product’ reputation by delivering consistency, there is a chance of doing more good than harm. Currently, I worry that the later is being done.

 

 

This from Scott MacLoed is more significant than many may know. If you don't know, he is the guy who ran (and still might, I don't keep track any more) the Bermuda Gold Cup. So for him to come out and speak against Coutts is huge.

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^^ The TP52's should have died on the vine after Audi pulled its support for the MedCup. It was the best produced and broadcast sailing other than AC and LV Series racing. But, they have worked hard to keep it going and even had new boats built. In spite of all the AC related teams and crew leaving to go multi-hull sailing.

 

So being so 'un-sexy' in the modern age, along with the RC44's, how can these guys hang in there? I wish the Congressional Cup could get better video work as that racing gets as exciting as anything at times, racing right up to where the pier is an obstruction in most starts and you only see the top of the rigs.

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What does MacLeod mean by, "Use a platform type that is used by and available to a wider group, (owners, sailors, designers, builders, etc."

 

Sounds like he's suggesting something completely cheap, pedestrian and boring.

You might get a bunch of low level teams to enter but who would give a fuck?

That's not special. Its not the AC.

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What does MacLeod mean by, "Use a platform type that is used by and available to a wider group, (owners, sailors, designers, builders, etc."

 

Sounds like he's suggesting something completely cheap, pedestrian and boring.

You might get a bunch of low level teams to enter but who would give a fuck?

That's not special. Its not the AC.

 

I agree. Maybe if we had 50 foot foiling moths with 6 guys on traps it would be amusing, but old slow mono slugs? Nope.

 

But the fact that Scott is speaking out against Russell's plan at all is huge. Scott has done a ton of business in Bermuda sailing, and he basically just told them they are going to get screwed. There is no question Scott knows the Bermuda sailing sponsorship market better than anyone. He's had his finger on the pulse of sponsorship in sailing on a global level for a very long time. Part of what he is saying is he knows what would appeal to sponsors and at what price.

 

The AC is a game for really rich guys who can have some of their costs offset by sponsors. No one is getting to the starting line based only on corporate sponsorship. There has to be a sugar daddy (or sugar government) somewhere to prime the pump initially.

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The word in SF political circles is that RC/LE asked the city for rent-free facilities, $5 million cash, and an exemption from the prevailing wage ordinance.

 

This town is booming. Rents are increasing at double-digit rates as are evictions. The resentment towards the techies -- with their luxury shuttle busses and 'sharing economy' lawlessness and arrogance -- is palpable. The average price of a house topped a million bucks last month. Middle-class working families are really anxious about the continued ability to live here. There's a raging debate about hiking the minimum wage. And the projected/promoted economic benefits for the last go-round came in at a fraction of the total.

 

So for OTUSA to set such an absurd ante evidences a disconnect, a political tone-deafness that was simply draw-dropping.

 

But at least they're consistent. For them, reality is such a distration.

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The word in SF political circles is that RC/LE asked the city for rent-free facilities, $5 million cash, and an exemption from the prevailing wage ordinance.

 

This town is booming. Rents are increasing at double-digit rates as are evictions. The resentment towards the techies -- with their luxury shuttle busses and 'sharing economy' lawlessness and arrogance -- is palpable. The average price of a house topped a million bucks last month. Middle-class working families are really anxious about the continued ability to live here. There's a raging debate about hiking the minimum wage. And the projected/promoted economic benefits for the last go-round came in at a fraction of the total.

 

So for OTUSA to set such an absurd ante evidences a disconnect, a political tone-deafness that was simply draw-dropping.

 

But at least they're consistent. For them, reality is such a distration.

If all they do is run a yacht race in the bay, let the teams get their own bases then they really don't need all that much. Cooter is making too big a deal out of his ac village thing.

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There are two great AC sailors / managers in the modern era the rest are average.

 

Dennis Conner and Russell Coutts.

 

most muppets here rate people in the AC on a "whats in it for me" bullshit/myopic manner.

 

they never think about what they would do, considering all the factors, if they were in charge.

 

they never holistically look at what is best for the AC with regard to the Era it is run and the financial state of the world and potential competing countries.

 

 

from a sailing / event management / winning / and truly dominant winning team perspective I rate Coutts just ahead of Conner because Coutts has never lost a AC... everybody else in the modern era has.

 

Both are very focussed no bullshit guys. both buiold great winning teams and both give the event a better and higher profile!

 

both do not give a rats sphincter about what idjits on AC forums, media, or other teams think!... why should they! they had to struggle to win the AC so they are not going to hand it to someone easily!... no winning team ever has and never should! that's the beauty of the AC!

 

Coutts has just run a excellent campaign and the people moaning about the new protocol are doing so because of one thing.... MONEY and their lack of ability to get enough!

 

That's nothing new and the history is full of people who could not afford to compete and people who competed without enough money. about 90% fall into those categories.

 

 

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The Scott McLeod piece is excellent.

 

It certainly is possible to go back to monos, for all the reasons he outlined. And it would be in keeping with the history of the AC. The claim (often implied or repeated here) that the AC has always been about boats that are bigger, faster and more radical than anything else afloat is simply historically incorrect. America herself was wiped by Maria even before the first AC, the 12 Metres would have been wiped by 75' multis like Fleury Michon or Jet Services, IACC boats were slower than IMS maxis. There have always been bigger racing boats, there have always been more radical racing boats, there have often been boats that are as fast or faster, and there have often been boats that are all three - but despite that, the AC remained a great prize.

 

The foilers are amazing boats, but sportspeople and viewers are happy to watch competition that uses highly-restricted gear that is a lot slower than unrestricted gear - look at the world's biggest annual sporting event, which is running across France as we write. Sure, the sailors may love the foilers but surely if you're a pro you do what you are paid to do when you are working.

It's also interesting to see that participation in the dinghy foilers is not growing anywhere nearly as fast as a lot of the hype would have us believe (although the boats are amazing designs and fun to sail) and that many people drop out of foiler racing after they have tried it, just as with other forms of sport.

 

Maybe the AC72s will be like Ranger - symbols of excesses that led to the Cup going into hibernation for decades. Carleton Mitchell once wrote that it was ironic that the Cup was in hibernation in a period when sailing thrived as never before. Arguably it was no coincidence - when the sport concentrates its attention on such exotic and inaccessible craft it will not thrive. If the Cup goes into hibernation again and the sport turns back towards concentrating on boats that normal people can afford, we may once again see the sport blossom.

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What RC is asked to do is no sailor job. so let's not rate his sailing abilities, it is not the point.

As event organiser, he miserably failed once and is on the verge to fail a second time. Why?
He's so arrogant that he thinks his sailing skills can transfer to the business and management world. Wrong.


And it is not because he made over 50 millions for himself that it makes him a good manager. A good crook maybe or say the money is for winning the cup.

 

Conclusion: Coutts is an arrogant incompetent prick

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The Scott McLeod piece is excellent

 

It certainly isn't advisable to go back to monohulls......... and there is no need.

 

A new monohull rule would lead to nearly as much money being spent as the new multihull rule, so what's the point in changing. I don't think it is the boat that is the real cost challenge. However, McLeod hits the nail on the head with his comment

Less Teams = Less Countries = Less Broadcasters = Less Exposure = Less Sponsors Interest = Less Commercial Return.

It doesn't matter that with the larger entries, some of the teams aren't competitive. They draw in audiences that otherwise wouldn't watch. This is why LV tied their level of sponsorship to the number of boats entered. They aren't stupid, but it seems that RC doesn't understand this point. He says he wants to make the event financially sustainable for organisers and teams, which some have an issue with but i don't. However, his logic of how to achieve this is hard to understand.

 

To get more entries, the cost barrier needs to be lowered. I am not saying that the AC needs to have a cap to spending, or that it should be as cheap as, say, the Volvo entry, but the current costs are out of all proportion to the value to a sponsor. Considering other sponsorship opportunities, the AC gets to a fairly small audience for the spend. For instance, you could run a 2nd tier F1 team (capable of getting points) for a year on the budgets involved, and the exposure would be a quantum leap ahead of what the AC can provide.

 

There are ways of getting the budgets under control. For a start, while the ACWS seems to be a cost effective way of gaining some exposure, there is no need for the big boats to be part of a travelling circus. Limit where and when the AC62's can be sailed - at the challengers home for some of the time and at the event venue for the rest of the time. Next, you limit personnel. The sailing roster for each team should be the number needed to sail the boat plus a few reserves. You might even bring in a salary cap for the sailing team. In fact, limit the size of the whole team and what can and cannot be contracted out. And that's what i can think of quickly. The reality is that the AC62's should cost no more than about $15 million, yet most believe that the minimum budget needed will be $80 million. That means you are spending $65 million on salaries, bases and support equipment. Finding ways of trimming that should be the priority.

 

Yet none of the above would change the sailing spectacle at all, because I am saying leave the rule as it is.

 

Of course, you only do that sort of thing if you are serious about making the AC commercially sustainable. So either RC is lying about his ambitions for the Cup or else he has no idea what he is doing.

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I support RC insofar as he is a brilliant sailor, and actually a pretty good manager. Running the operation OR put on last time is not trivial.

 

This is something that has been repeated so often that people think it's true, but I don't think the evidence backs it up.

 

Russell has worked on teams that had good managers, such as Peter Blake, and he has run teams where he employed good managers, Grant Simmer being the obvious example. But as for things that Russell has managed well himself, nothing stands out, and I can certainly think of many counter-examples.

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^^^

 

Agreed.

 

I also think that some serious thought needs to be put into how to get the owner aboard. The boats have gotten so extreme that not only are guest ridealongs risky, but they are prohibited.

 

In order for owners to show up in larger numbers, I think they are going to want to have some role on the boat. What I don't know, but standing on the shore isn't it.

 

Some may say that rich fat guys own basketball and football teams. True. But in those sports, first of all, there is a real business proposition, and second, the role of owner gets as much or more adulation as the players.

 

In sailing... not so much. I remember secretly laughing at a girlfriend's father when he was tooting that his J-30 was winning some series in St. Thomas. She had told him I sailed so he though he would show me who was the boss.

 

I immediately started asking about the racing, and just sailing details of the event. Quickly it became clear he was never aboard during races. Sat in the Bar and waited. As the conversation progressed he moved to the "I'm going to sell that piece of shit" phase. He got the headaches and the hired crew got the glory.

 

Too bad she wasn't long term tolerable. The money would have been nice.

 

Anyway, that's today's AC. I'd sell the piece of shit too... After going for a great rage around the bay in my ACXX

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I support RC insofar as he is a brilliant sailor, and actually a pretty good manager. Running the operation OR put on last time is not trivial.

 

This is something that has been repeated so often that people think it's true, but I don't think the evidence backs it up.

 

Russell has worked on teams that had good managers, such as Peter Blake, and he has run teams where he employed good managers, Grant Simmer being the obvious example. But as for things that Russell has managed well himself, nothing stands out, and I can certainly think of many counter-examples.

This isn't a point I'd fight hard for. But I would say that a good manager knows how to delegate and to hire the right folk. By that measure, he got the job done.

 

The bigger point here is whether he has the strategic vision of where this can and should go. I don't think so.

 

It isn't due to malice, but rather that he doesn't see the reality of the non billionaire backed campaigns and make the event work for them as well as his well funded team.

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Bringing in a salary cap is an interesting option, as naturally the teams with the biggest budget can afford to go shopping for the best personnel. Great for the sailors/boat builders/staff etc but yes this is also driving up the costs. It was obvious Team Australia could not or would not front up the cash to get back some of their home grown talent.

 

Would bringing back some sort of nationality rule help to reduce costs to stop teams with the most $$$ head hunting the talent and dangling the golden carrot in front of them?

 

The Scott McLeod piece is excellent

 

It certainly isn't advisable to go back to monohulls......... and there is no need.

 

A new monohull rule would lead to nearly as much money being spent as the new multihull rule, so what's the point in changing. I don't think it is the boat that is the real cost challenge. However, McLeod hits the nail on the head with his comment

Less Teams = Less Countries = Less Broadcasters = Less Exposure = Less Sponsors Interest = Less Commercial Return.

It doesn't matter that with the larger entries, some of the teams aren't competitive. They draw in audiences that otherwise wouldn't watch. This is why LV tied their level of sponsorship to the number of boats entered. They aren't stupid, but it seems that RC doesn't understand this point. He says he wants to make the event financially sustainable for organisers and teams, which some have an issue with but i don't. However, his logic of how to achieve this is hard to understand.

 

To get more entries, the cost barrier needs to be lowered. I am not saying that the AC needs to have a cap to spending, or that it should be as cheap as, say, the Volvo entry, but the current costs are out of all proportion to the value to a sponsor. Considering other sponsorship opportunities, the AC gets to a fairly small audience for the spend. For instance, you could run a 2nd tier F1 team (capable of getting points) for a year on the budgets involved, and the exposure would be a quantum leap ahead of what the AC can provide.

 

There are ways of getting the budgets under control. For a start, while the ACWS seems to be a cost effective way of gaining some exposure, there is no need for the big boats to be part of a travelling circus. Limit where and when the AC62's can be sailed - at the challengers home for some of the time and at the event venue for the rest of the time. Next, you limit personnel. The sailing roster for each team should be the number needed to sail the boat plus a few reserves. You might even bring in a salary cap for the sailing team. In fact, limit the size of the whole team and what can and cannot be contracted out. And that's what i can think of quickly. The reality is that the AC62's should cost no more than about $15 million, yet most believe that the minimum budget needed will be $80 million. That means you are spending $65 million on salaries, bases and support equipment. Finding ways of trimming that should be the priority.

 

Yet none of the above would change the sailing spectacle at all, because I am saying leave the rule as it is.

 

Of course, you only do that sort of thing if you are serious about making the AC commercially sustainable. So either RC is lying about his ambitions for the Cup or else he has no idea what he is doing.

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To analyse what is happening by asking "Coutts: hero or villain" is to look through the wrong end of the telescope.

We all know that WSL wasn't viable and the AC34 and the planned AC35 were WSL coupled to the prestige/brand-value of the AC.

A simple question is whether that coupling makes WSL viable. The answer is yes to the extent it has attracted some teams. The answer appears to be no as far as creating an event that doesn't cost so much as to make even the 5th richest man on the planet cringe.

A more interesting question is whether you can couple the defender-managed model of the AC to a commercial sport. There's no other commercial sport that hands over the management of the event to the winner of the last event or consequently defers planning future events until the last one is won. That's the real problem. You can have the AC with all its historical quirks, that has, apart from the post-WWII hiatus, attracted rich owners prepared to play a game where the defender holds most of the cards. Alternatively, you can have a commercial sport with governance that is not provided by one of the competing teams. Who on earth believes you can have both? RC can talk about "commissioners" but unless you've got a defender prepared to entirely hand over running the event to an independent body, you are still in quirky AC land. I don't just mean running the racing, I mean running everything and deciding everything. Now who is going to spend $100Ms on winning the AC and then hand it over lock, stock and barrel to an independent body? It's clear EB wasn't and LE isn't. The AC35 protocol has clawed back most of the elements of independence that AC34 provided.

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The Scott McLeod piece is excellent

 

It certainly isn't advisable to go back to monohulls......... and there is no need.

 

A new monohull rule would lead to nearly as much money being spent as the new multihull rule, so what's the point in changing. I don't think it is the boat that is the real cost challenge. However, McLeod hits the nail on the head with his comment

 

McLeod outlines why it would be advisable to return to monos with his second point;

 

"- Use a platform type that is available and used by a wider group (owners, sailors, designers, builders, etc.)"

 

Monohulls are available and used by a much wider group than multis, and there is no evidence of that changing. While there is much current publicity around some very nice modern multis, they appear to be no more popular than F28s, F40s, F1 etc were in their day and many sectors of multi racing are on a downward trend. I'm not celebrating that (just as I'm not celebrating the fact that some of my own favourite craft are not growing or very popular) but in the current situation it's hard to see how multis will form part of McLeod's recipe.

 

Personally I would like to see an AC65 challenge or two because IMHO they will not be successful and that may demonstrate that the sport should take a different route.

 

PS - you make (IMHO) good and interesting points re cost containment.

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new

 

...

The 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain delivered the most commercially viable event in the history of the Cup:
- 60M euro profit distributed to the teams ­ yes, a profit!
- 11 Challengers
- 9 Countries

...

I'm beginning to get a bit fed up with people lauding the 'profitability' of AC32. I'm certain that the city and region of Valencia has a financial hangover of a lot more than 60m euro as a result of that event.

 

It's easy to say that a profit was made if you ignore the people who actually footed the bill...

 

Furthermore that situation is so far removed from current economic conditions that any comparison to whatever is happening today is incredibly irrelevant.

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To me, RC is a key figure in many of the traits I dislike in the AC of the past decade of so.

 

His jump from TNZ to Alignhi helped kick the door wide open to the Cup being held by club in a landlocked country, leaving no choice but to have the event outside of that country's borders, granted to the highest bidder.

 

While Valencia did a nice job with their AC village, they bankrupted themselves in the process, and set an unrealistic and unsustainable expectation for host cities to build expensive, dedicated faciliities to accomodate the AC circus...all of which should be subsidary to the sailing conditions, and the tradition of the club's home waters. A nice paddock means little when the track is shite.

 

Of course, he is not solely responsible for everything that has occured during this period, but I do wonder what might have happened if he had not become a key player. It will be interesting to see how these times will be viewed when they become a part of past history.

 

Part of LE's managment style, and what many believe to be a strength, is his willingness to delegate. In his day job, he has surrounded himself with smart, tough-minded people, and allowed them to go about their work.

 

He has also been unafraid to make changes when required. The question is, does RC still have LE's trust? What would it take for him to lose that trust and force RC to deploy his golden parachute?

 

Despite all the talk that LE will try to hold onto the Cup by hook or by crook, the challengers are still his loyal "customers," and their discomfort is bad for business.

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new

 

...

The 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain delivered the most commercially viable event in the history of the Cup:
- 60M euro profit distributed to the teams ­ yes, a profit!
- 11 Challengers
- 9 Countries

...

I'm beginning to get a bit fed up with people lauding the 'profitability' of AC32. I'm certain that the city and region of Valencia has a financial hangover of a lot more than 60m euro as a result of that event.

 

It's easy to say that a profit was made if you ignore the people who actually footed the bill...

 

Furthermore that situation is so far removed from current economic conditions that any comparison to whatever is happening today is incredibly irrelevant.

FWIW, Valencia wasn't the highest bidding host venue.

 

But you are right. Things are different now, but it still shouldn't be such a big excuse. Simply put, at the top end of sports sponsorship, things have now returned to close to the pre GFC numbers. We see that with sports like F1 and the Olympics. The issue for the AC isn't just getting a host venue to pay up, but also to get event sponsors to do so. And as pointed out above, LV asked for money back because of the low number of competitors. The actual costs to ACEA of extra teams would have been far less than what they gave back, so in terms of commercial success, more teams is better than less teams. The same applies to TV rights. With so few teams, TV companies weren't keen on taking content and ACEA actually had to buy airtime. I suspect this time around, with the spectacle of AC34 being so good, they might manage to get some revenues from the TV companies, but they would get more if there were more teams.

 

I do believe that a scaled down version of the AC can turn a profit, but only if there are enough teams and that won't happen without a big shift in attitude from RC and his guys.

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but unless you've got a defender prepared to entirely hand over running the event to an independent body..

... Now who is going to spend $100Ms on winning the AC and then hand it over lock, stock and barrel to an independent body?

 

Would also mean putting aside the DoG. Would the NYSC allow this? Doubt it, myself. But yes, I agree with your premise that the structure of the AC is inimicable to a modern, commercial sporting event.

 

AND the said party of the second part hereby accepts the said Cup subject to the said trust, terms and conditions, and hereby covenants and agrees to and with said party of the first part that it will faithfully and fully see that the foregoing conditions are fully observed and complied with by any contestant for the said Cup during the holding thereof by it; and that it will assign transfer and deliver the said Cup to the foreign yacht Club whose representative yacht shall have won the same in accordance with the foregoing terms and conditions, provided the said foreign Club shall by instrument in writing lawfully executed enter with said party of the second part into the like covenants as are herein entered into by it, such instrument to contain a like provision for the successive assignees to enter into the same covenants with their respective assignors, and to be executed in duplicate, one to be retained by each Club, and a copy thereof to be forwarded to the said party of the second part.

 

(Is anybody else amused that the link to the DoG on Americascup.com gives an internal server error?)

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It's one of the biggest gripes about the current state of AC35 is the lack of a viable venue. San Francisco is about the only place in North America where the wind and waters come together to provide the perfect setting for big foiling cats that can be viewed from shore. AC34 lived up to every promise, but it wasn't until the finals that these promises.were realized (ok, the ACWS wasn't all it was to be, but let's be real, it was fist time out, and the LVS was a flop, but the only team to design a foiling cat from the start was ETNZ, OTUSA and Artemis were in catchup mode all year, but nobody has yet to match the video coverage).There is no doubt that the next AC should be in SF. Everything about this event is designed for SF, and it is the missing link to bringing everything together.

Every event mentioned above are good examples of how to start a successful event, but they have one advantage RC does not have. The cities where the events are staged want the events. SF could care less where the next AC is held, and as far as that screwed up city is concerened, they would rather it be held somewhere else. You will never be able to hold a successful event in a city that doesn't want you, and SF doesn't want AC35.

Even if the economics of holding the event in SF were worked out, there would still be the hostility of the cities opinion that its a billionaire's event, and whatever it is they want, they need to pay double (and more because they are billionaires, the bastards) and even then its not enough .

The main problem with AC35 was how great AC34 ended. I don't think RC is completely to blame for what is happening, and expecting to negotiate a "bargain" cup is just plain unrealistic. The Americas Cup was and always will be a rich man's game, and it is the attempt to make it "affordable" that is hurting The Cup .

It's not about equal opportunity, it's not really even about fair. It's about who can gather the biggest pile of money, design the fastest boat to (and beyond if not caught) the "rules" agreed upon, and after the boats are launched, the race is won, and you feel that you have been cheated, who has the best legal team.

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What does MacLeod mean by, "Use a platform type that is used by and available to a wider group, (owners, sailors, designers, builders, etc."

 

Sounds like he's suggesting something completely cheap, pedestrian and boring.

You might get a bunch of low level teams to enter but who would give a fuck?

That's not special. Its not the AC.

 

I agree. Maybe if we had 50 foot foiling moths with 6 guys on traps it would be amusing, but old slow mono slugs? Nope.

 

But the fact that Scott is speaking out against Russell's plan at all is huge. Scott has done a ton of business in Bermuda sailing, and he basically just told them they are going to get screwed. There is no question Scott knows the Bermuda sailing sponsorship market better than anyone. He's had his finger on the pulse of sponsorship in sailing on a global level for a very long time. Part of what he is saying is he knows what would appeal to sponsors and at what price.

 

The AC is a game for really rich guys who can have some of their costs offset by sponsors. No one is getting to the starting line based only on corporate sponsorship. There has to be a sugar daddy (or sugar government) somewhere to prime the pump initially.

 

Hi Peter - I'm not out to speak against Russell. I just don't agree with what he's is doing with the event and the business model. I keep seeing people who talk about a commercially sustainable event and the reality of the math points back to mono-hulls. More teams = more $$$. I think the foiling cats are great, very cool technology and visually cool but they haven't moved the needle and haven't produced more teams to make a "sustainable" event. People will say the sport can't go "backwards" Well 11 challengers in 2007 to 3 in 2013 isn't forward.

 

BTW - I sold the WMRT in 2009 and got out of the sport in 2009. Working now on a motor sports project and Eric Clapton's final shows at Royal Albert Hall

 

It would be great to see the AC become commercially viable again as I had a very good business around it in Valencia in 07

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So it's not about strong well funded teams and wet your pants bad ass boats.

Its about Scott waxing longingly about the money he could be making from those pretender teams no one remembers.

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So it's not about strong well funded teams and wet your pants bad ass boats.

Its about Scott waxing longingly about the money he could be making from those pretender teams no one remembers.

:D

 

Give me that RC vision instead. Bring it!

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I agree - it would be awesome to replicate all the strong, well-funded teams that turned up last time. Oh wait, that's right ...

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My opinion of Coutts:

 

Fantastic view of what would be the ultimate in exciting sailing to watch. Fantastic team leader, as far as leading sailors and designers.

 

HORRIBLE at promoting the event. You HAVE to get the ball rolling, and he does not seem to get that. Have to nail down venues and not overreach until you have an established product. Meaning, don't try to squeeze blood out of the turnip related to venue fees, etc until the product is firmly in demand. Basically the same problem last time and this time.

 

He needed to keep AC35 in the San Francisco bay. Hell, he could have even moved it across / up the bay, if need be, might not have had quite as good of wind or backdrop, but would have still been in the GGYCs waters and in the general wind machine. Could have used that as a bargaining chip against the SFBOS. Set up bases in Marin or somewhere else in the bay, if you can't work it out in SF, whether racing off the Embarcadero or elsewhere in the SF Bay . . . would have been better than the whole unknowns and circus related to San Diego / Chicago / Bermuda.

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I agree - it would be awesome to replicate all the strong, well-funded teams that turned up last time. Oh wait, that's right ...

Yes, the Challenger series in AC34 was lopsided, ETNZ just completely kicked everybody's ass. No contest.

 

But think about what this next one might bring.

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So it's not about strong well funded teams and wet your pants bad ass boats.

Its about Scott waxing longingly about the money he could be making from those pretender teams no one remembers.

 

Right, 3 well funded teams from 3 countries = 3 real broadcasters = No "commercial" event.

 

11 shit teams from 9 countries = 9 real broadcasters = euro 60M profit for the event distributed to the teams in 2007

 

I guess you did well in Math at school...not

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So it's not about strong well funded teams and wet your pants bad ass boats.

Its about Scott waxing longingly about the money he could be making from those pretender teams no one remembers.

 

Right, 3 well funded teams from 3 countries = 3 real broadcasters = No "commercial" event.

 

11 shit teams from 9 countries = 9 real broadcasters = euro 60M profit for the event distributed to the teams in 2007

 

I guess you did well in Math at school...not

 

But how much did Rita invest to support the event ?

 

Is the 60M in profit real or artificially inflated ?

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So it's not about strong well funded teams and wet your pants bad ass boats.

Its about Scott waxing longingly about the money he could be making from those pretender teams no one remembers.

 

Right, 3 well funded teams from 3 countries = 3 real broadcasters = No "commercial" event.

 

11 shit teams from 9 countries = 9 real broadcasters = euro 60M profit for the event distributed to the teams in 2007

 

I guess you did well in Math at school...not

 

11 Shit teams will never account for real interest. It's only at the top of the pyramid that the rubber hits the road, and that's all that broadcasters, like fans, care about. Versus in 2007 didn't give a rip about showing any of the RR's, because - smart as the actual broadcast experts are - they had already predicted that basically nobody would care at that early a stage. The sharp end is what matters.

 

4 strong Challengers would very nicely fill a gap that AC34 experienced in the CSS. Strong competition should ensure that the Cup Match is again competitive too.

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Scott's article is only pointing out what has been said in most sailing communities ever since the move to multis was first suggested .

 

AC 34 was very interesting to a great number of sailing fans but unfortunately a far greater number of current sailors couldn't care less and tuned out of the AC completely.

 

The big foiling multis are fast and exciting and should have a venue, unfortunately as the shrinking numbers show , its not the Americas Cup.

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Scott's article is only pointing out what has been said in most sailing communities ever since the move to multis was first suggested .

 

AC 34 was very interesting to a great number of sailing fans but unfortunately a far greater number of current sailors couldn't care less and tuned out of the AC completely.

 

The big foiling multis are fast and exciting and should have a venue, unfortunately as the shrinking numbers show , its not the Americas Cup.

 

It's just the Coutts Commercial Cup.

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But Scott's advice comes from his experience running the WMRT, and he gave up on that.

 

Think about that sailing series: it's neat enough in a narrow way but: Outside of a very few dozen people, absolutely nobody cares to follow it. Nobody ever hears about it, nobody cares. It's as boring as batshit. That they race in monohulls can't save it, and so the argument for a return to monohulls based on that event falls flat.

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It's just the Coutts Commercial Cup.

And yet most everyone criticizes the impression they have of a failure of the effort to Commercialize the Cup. Almost none of that criticism is constructive, mostly it's just personal attacks.

 

If RC was some kind of Czar and could act alone then the vision he's pursuing might happen instantly. But he isn't one, and it can't happen that fast.

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But Scott's advice comes from his experience running the WMRT, and he gave up on that.

 

Think about that sailing series: it's neat enough in a narrow way but: Outside of a very few dozen people, absolutely nobody cares to follow it. Nobody ever hears about it, nobody cares. It's as boring as batshit. That they race in monohulls can't save it, and so the argument for a return to monohulls based on that event falls flat.

 

When the WMRT serviced the cup as the training series it was very successful in monohulls. I'm not personally against multi-hulls but a mono-hull will deliver more teams.

 

- Less cost for teams

- More readily available designers, builders, etc.

- A greater pool of qualified sailors to sail the boats

- Owners! Yes, the guys who pays for these teams...where do they come from. They sail and campaign mono-hulls.

 

The ratings for the final race of the AC on NBC-SN was a .08 Yes, point zero eight. That's 230,000 viewers and that's not falling flat?

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230K is a lot for the US, the most ever. In NZ they were getting about a million per race towards the end. Those are pretty dang big numbers.

 

I get that owner-racer series appeal to many of the moneyed owners and that's fine. Let them stick to those RC44s, TP52s, even Js, series that like with the WMRT almost nobody cares about either. Absolutely nobody is forcing them to step up the the big leagues. That's exactly as it should be.

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230K is a lot for the US, the most ever. In NZ they were getting about a million per race towards the end. Those are pretty dang big numbers.

 

I get that owner-racer series appeal to many of the moneyed owners and that's fine. Let them stick to those RC44s, TP52s, even Js, series that like with the WMRT almost nobody cares about either. Absolutely nobody is forcing them to step up the the big leagues. That's exactly as it should be.

 

The ratings in 07 were higher and they and more teams and countries who broadcast the event.

 

The money-race-owner is who steps up to the AC and funds a team. That's where Larry came from, Koch, etc... You want more teams that's your market for team owners and they sail mono-hulls.

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There were three decent teams, NZ, LunaRossa, and Oracle and 8 or 9 dregs and jokes that I barely remember anything about.

 

(2007)

 

You remember incorrectly, there were two decent teams, NZ and Luna Rossa, and 8 or 9 uncompetitive teams, one of which was Oracle. You've clearly forgotten how crap Oracle was for its first two challenges, despite the ridiculous amounts of money Larry poured into the teams.

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It's just the Coutts Commercial Cup.

And yet most everyone criticizes the impression they have of a failure of the effort to Commercialize the Cup. Almost none of that criticism is constructive, mostly it's just personal attacks.

 

If RC was some kind of Czar and could act alone then the vision he's pursuing might happen instantly. But he isn't one, and it can't happen that fast.

 

 

After how many years of Russell trying to commercialize the Cup, it is time for him to go. Personal attacks are part of the game, especially after he has pissed off so many people.

 

Just look at the landscape of the major sports marketing people who have been around the Cup lately. Start with Casey Wasserman. He only owns the 2nd biggest agency in the world. Then go to Rob Prazmark, who worked for both ISL and IMG. He invented the Olympic TOP program. Between those two guys alone they talk to just about anyone who matters in the sports marketing world. Casey was on the group of five who advised ACEA. He gave up because they weren't listening to him. Rob was brought in to try and help ACEA after Worth(less) and Thompson got the flick. He walked.

 

The notion that the Cup is going to be more marketable in Bermuda than SFO, a better "commercial" place is utter bullshit on Russell's part. There is nothing about place that changes the image the Cup has within the global sports marketing world. Coutts is a pariah. No on trusts him. No one. (Except, I guess, Larry, so maybe Larry is happy to keep paying the freight). But in terms of pure sponsorship, it isn't happening with this formula.

 

What are we supposed to do, sit around and tell the Emperor what a wonderful new wardrobe he has?

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230K is a lot for the US, the most ever. In NZ they were getting about a million per race towards the end. Those are pretty dang big numbers.

 

 

 

You get would those numbers in NZL if was sailed in Elliott 6s, Volvo70s or 12m, it's the event not the boat.

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230K is a lot for the US, the most ever. In NZ they were getting about a million per race towards the end. Those are pretty dang big numbers.

 

 

 

You get would those numbers in NZL if was sailed in Elliott 6s, Volvo70s or 12m, it's the event not the boat.

 

 

I think the TV numbers would go up a hell of a lot if at least a couple of the guys in black were replaced with a bowchick or two like your avatar.

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I don't think RC is completely to blame for what is happening, and expecting to negotiate a "bargain" cup is just plain unrealistic.

 

"Bargain Cup", oh for heavens sake, look at the amounts that were spent on AC34 and the budgets for AC35. They are similar to or higher than what was spent at the tail end of the IACC era and allowing for inflation, are much, much higher than the budgets of the 70s/80s, which was the era of the rich men with big egos you want to see and was the high-point of sailor and public interest in the Cup. What we have now are teams paid for by commercial sponsors, hard to come by with a flawed model, or one of a number of sailing-obsessed multi-$Bs, who can be counted on the fingers of one hand and are mostly growing old. What does the fact that nobody in the USA will fund a candidate defender except LE and (allegedly) a nuisance lawsuit filer tell you?

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The notion that the Cup is going to be more marketable in Bermuda than SFO, a better "commercial" place is utter bullshit on Russell's part.

 

That's not what "commercial" means. It means LE doesn't have to subsidise the venue. And before you put words into my mouth, I think AC35 should be in SF.

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Clearly, Sir Russell is a fine sailor and nobody has a better winning record in the AC.

 

However, the vision he apparently shares with LE, to turn the AC into a sustainable, commercial event is flawed, IMO. Rather than strengthening the 'product', ACWS has created an unnecessary distraction and simply added more cost.

 

The more the AC (defender and challenger series) is bastardise, the less sustainable it will become I think.

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There was an incredible amount of bitching and hand wringing before the last cycle and most of it from the same braying jackasses.

 

Things turned out rather well, so carry on.

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There was an incredible amount of bitching and hand wringing before the last cycle and most of it from the same braying jackasses.

 

Things turned out rather well, so carry on.

 

So true, another CoR bites the dust.

Likely to have no more than 3 challengers and still no date or no venue.

Carry on.

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An event that featured the smallest number of players for decades, one death, lots of "races" that were walkovers, a class that only lasted one AC, and completely failed to achieve the claimed economic benefits is not something that everyone would describe as something that turned out rather well.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim to "“open the door to other teams from elsewhere in sailing who have never contemplated the America's Cup before”? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of ensuring that races were sailed on time for TV purposes? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of attracting a large superyacht fleet? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of having onboard cameramen? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated launch dates for AC72s? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of reducing costs? No, it did not.

 

When an event fails to meet so many of the goals it sets itself it sets itself up for bitching.

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^

 

Did the the last AC venue very much want the event back? No, it does not.

 

Did it attract new teams from outside the circle of usual suspects, with the wherewithal to build AC72s, which was a stated objective? No it did not.

 

Did it actually attract a substantial TV audience, which was pretty much the whole bloody point? No it did not.

 

Did it generate a profit to return to teams, as AC32 did and as the AC34 protocol envisaged? No it did not.

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But Scott's advice comes from his experience running the WMRT, and he gave up on that.

 

Think about that sailing series: it's neat enough in a narrow way but: Outside of a very few dozen people, absolutely nobody cares to follow it. Nobody ever hears about it, nobody cares. It's as boring as batshit. That they race in monohulls can't save it, and so the argument for a return to monohulls based on that event falls flat.

 

The monohull match racing circuit claims well over 100,000 spectators attend the Swedish round alone. The German round claims 40,000. It's simply wrong to say that no one cares; if those figures are correct, I think those two WMRT rounds alone attract more individuals than the AC.

 

 

By the way, do you know why Scott gave up on running the WMRT? Have you checked out whether he felt maybe he'd done it long enough, and that he may have received a very good offer for the rights?

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or one of a number of sailing-obsessed multi-$Bs, who can be counted on the fingers of one hand and are mostly growing old

 

These seem to be going from strength to strength. ?2? more in build? There are owners out there. They just have no interest in the AC.

 

359825_530x.jpg

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/\/\/\ Funny you should post those photos.

 

Vanderbilt dominated J class racing and the AC from 1930 to 1937.

 

They were glory days for the millionaire (billionaire?)

 

Larry wants to be that man in the 21st century. He is even building the most extraordinary mansion in Rhode Island right next door to the Vanderbilt Mansion; that takes real money!!

 

Coutts will know that this type of domination of the AC is Larry's dream.

 

The question will be for Coutts and LE: what is sporting and gentlemanly and what are deliberate hurdles put in the way of challengers.

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or one of a number of sailing-obsessed multi-$Bs, who can be counted on the fingers of one hand and are mostly growing old

 

These seem to be going from strength to strength. ?2? more in build? There are owners out there. They just have no interest in the AC.

 

359825_530x.jpg

 

Not AC-type money though is it? An old ad but indicative. http://www.boatinternational.com/2011/08/26/1-5-million-price-cut-on-j-class-superyacht-ranger-now-for-sale-at-edmiston/ is 2004 J-class replica, asking price $16M.

 

So you spend, what, $20-25M and you have a saleable asset that will last for decades. Versus $100M on a 3-4 year cycle and assets you can't give away at the end.

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/\

The costs of the modern Js seem to be in the region of a historic AC campaign according to the figures I can find. The great AC campaigns of the past had much smaller budgets than modern ones, adjusted for inflation.

 

America's complete purchase and campaign costs were $655,000 US in 2014 values, but they made a profit after wagers etc are calculated.

 

Lipton's first challenge cost about $ 10 mill US in 2014 values.

 

The Reliance campaign cost about $ 10 mill US

 

Ranger's campaign was around $ 8.6 mill US. Just to underline how wrong it is to imply that the AC has always been about unlimited budgets, Vanderbilt used some second and third hand gear on the boat.

 

Intrepid's 1967 campaign budget was $5 million US (although they did have to go for top-up funding when the $700,000 budget of the time fell short).

 

The British challenge in 1987 had a budget of $ 26 million US for a two boat campaign.

 

The NYYC's challenge in 1987 had a $ 42 million US budget for a four? boat campaign.

 

Those who are saying "history says that if you have to ask you can't afford it" are ignoring the fact that current budgets are miles above what they were in the eras that made the AC what it is today.

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/\

 

The costs of the modern Js seem to be in the region of a historic AC campaign according to the figures I can find. The great AC campaigns of the past had much smaller budgets than modern ones, adjusted for inflation.

 

Salaries 60% of costs was a recent figure iirc.

 

Historically, most crew were on a fisherman's wage for the couple of months of the campaign or in the 60/70s, many were preppy college boys probably being paid nothing. Certainly nobody was supporting dozens to hundred of staff paid for 3-4 years.

 

We've DC to thank for the never-ending campaign. Ironically, he exited the game when he could no longer raise the inflated $$$,

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An event that featured the smallest number of players for decades, one death, lots of "races" that were walkovers, a class that only lasted one AC, and completely failed to achieve the claimed economic benefits is not something that everyone would describe as something that turned out rather well.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim to "“open the door to other teams from elsewhere in sailing who have never contemplated the America's Cup before”? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of ensuring that races were sailed on time for TV purposes? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of attracting a large superyacht fleet? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of having onboard cameramen? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated launch dates for AC72s? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of reducing costs? No, it did not.

 

When an event fails to meet so many of the goals it sets itself it sets itself up for bitching.

It must have been a terrible mental burden to be worrying about all those travesties while glued to your chair, watching the 19 mesmerizing races of the greatest AC of all time and the most historic sporting comeback ever.

 

Poor Chris.

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[...]

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of ensuring that races were sailed on time for TV purposes? No, it did not.

 

[...]

 

This requirement to me still remains the greatest travesty of the last AC. Seeing the original Race 13 called because of some arbitrary time limit imposed by TV was embarrassing and showed how far removed from reality the last AC was. I watched that race with some non-sailing friends who were intrigued by the boats and enjoyed the spectacle, but their response when the race was called was "WTF?! What kind of sport is this? No thanks."

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An event that featured the smallest number of players for decades, one death, lots of "races" that were walkovers, a class that only lasted one AC, and completely failed to achieve the claimed economic benefits is not something that everyone would describe as something that turned out rather well.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim to "“open the door to other teams from elsewhere in sailing who have never contemplated the America's Cup before”? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of ensuring that races were sailed on time for TV purposes? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of attracting a large superyacht fleet? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of having onboard cameramen? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated launch dates for AC72s? No, it did not.

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of reducing costs? No, it did not.

 

When an event fails to meet so many of the goals it sets itself it sets itself up for bitching.

It must have been a terrible mental burden to be worrying about all those travesties while glued to your chair, watching the 19 mesmerizing races of the greatest AC of all time and the most historic sporting comeback ever.

 

Poor Chris.

 

I hear a lecture coming on...

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To me, RC is a key figure in many of the traits I dislike in the AC of the past decade of so

 

How about NZ dominance being THE key driver in grand prix sailboat racing over the last 20 years? Shouldn't "they" get the credit and the blame for the state of the Americas Cup? Coutts is one of many, right?

 

I say if you don't like it then go slap a kiwi.

 

Koukel

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What does MacLeod mean by, "Use a platform type that is used by and available to a wider group, (owners, sailors, designers, builders, etc."

 

Sounds like he's suggesting something completely cheap, pedestrian and boring.

You might get a bunch of low level teams to enter but who would give a fuck?

That's not special. Its not the AC.

 

I agree. Maybe if we had 50 foot foiling moths with 6 guys on traps it would be amusing, but old slow mono slugs? Nope.

 

But the fact that Scott is speaking out against Russell's plan at all is huge. Scott has done a ton of business in Bermuda sailing, and he basically just told them they are going to get screwed. There is no question Scott knows the Bermuda sailing sponsorship market better than anyone. He's had his finger on the pulse of spo

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[...]

 

Did the last AC achieve the stated aim of ensuring that races were sailed on time for TV purposes? No, it did not.

 

[...]

 

This requirement to me still remains the greatest travesty of the last AC. Seeing the original Race 13 called because of some arbitrary time limit imposed by TV was embarrassing and showed how far removed from reality the last AC was. I watched that race with some non-sailing friends who were intrigued by the boats and enjoyed the spectacle, but their response when the race was called was "WTF?! What kind of sport is this? No thanks."

 

Did you feel that way when AII lost a 5 minute lead over Liberty due to the time limit running-out? TV was not a factor back then.

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^No, because if I remember correctly (and my memory is bad a the best of times, so excuse me if I'm wrong) that race was abandoned due to the winds becoming lighter as the race went on to the point that it was a drift-a-thon. In Race 13 the conditions didn't change significantly and if anything actually improved as the race wore on. The boats had decent speed (albeit not great angles at times) and ETNZ was maybe 2-3 minutes from finishing with no issues. Truth be told, equally to blame was the poorly thought out rule changes that hamstrung the RC and meant that they had to set a course which they probably suspected couldn't be completed within the time window but had no way to adjust during the race because of their inability to move the marks.

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^No, because if I remember correctly (and my memory is bad a the best of times, so excuse me if I'm wrong) that race was abandoned due to the winds becoming lighter as the race went on to the point that it was a drift-a-thon. In Race 13 the conditions didn't change significantly and if anything actually improved as the race wore on. The boats had decent speed (albeit not great angles at times) and ETNZ was maybe 2-3 minutes from finishing with no issues. Truth be told, equally to blame was the poorly thought out rule changes that hamstrung the RC and meant that they had to set a course which they probably suspected couldn't be completed within the time window but had no way to adjust during the race because of their inability to move the marks.

Regardless of all the sour grapes, the rules, time limits and course were known to all parties at the start of the regatta.

 

If you can't win within the rules, you don't win, simple as that!

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Well, I'm actually American so no real sour grapes on my part. And which rules are you talking about? The ones that were in place when the teams designed their boat, or the ones that were arbitrarily changed in the name of "safety"?

 

Sorry, sorry, I know I'm digging up dead bodies here so I'll stop now. I just don't like the holier-than-thou shit that some of my countrymen have been spouting recently.

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