jack_sparrow

VOR AUCTION - OPPORTUNITIES LOST & STILL THERE?

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37 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

I actually have no real objection to the concept of Cardiff as a stopover and I'm willing to accept low turnout numbers 

Gee that's a fucking relief, I bet plenty people can breath again now.

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9 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Well he is lucky..Alinguist never woke up.

Oops.

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Re the "article" by Magnus Wheatley...

I am very happy that I do not have to live his miserable, sad and depressing life, and that I am able to find excitement and fun, together with most of you hereabouts, in things that are offered to me. If not, I can always look away and search for something better.
VOR gives us, the spectator, lots of entertainment. We can take it or leave it, no force applied.
What a grumpy chap.

I bet, he wants his money back... oh, wait a minute... 

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we shouldn't dismiss Wheatley's article and call him miserable, etc... he makes valid points: 

- the race is unsustainable: Volvo has been subsidising the whole thing (sure, and also gaining a lot of brand traction through it)

- the race struggles to find teams. One boat was available for this race and has stayed home. 

- it is difficult to relate to the brands involved (but this also happens in other sports). 

- some sailors are boring... sure... like in life. But TG we have Witty this time around to at least have one that truly looks real and doesn't follow corporate orders. 

- the moment the race went to Abu Dhabi, India & China, it lost its soul (too many dull doldrums crossings for an "extreme" race & the sponsor owner not the history dictated the course).  

- the current race village with the standard team bases and with Volvo as the only large pavilion is indeed quite dull. 

The sale was a good move to shake things up. Bye bye OD (yes!), boatyard and standard services for all.  The election to use IMOCAs (which apparently is almost decided) is probably the only way forward to ensure we have a race in 3 years with attractive boats. Interesting to see if and how a IMOCA can be sail competitivly with 5-6 crew

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Just now, JeronimoII said:

we shouldn't dismiss Wheatley's article and call him miserable, etc... he makes valid points: 

Name one solution or alternative he put up other than let it die?

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16 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Name one solution or alternative he put up other than let it die?

sure. In my opinion the sale was a good move to fight against death. Without Volvo's backing, Brisius et all have to go back to at least a development class, shorter route and less stopovers. Let's hope they are successful. If not, the next race could be the last one... 

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7 minutes ago, JeronimoII said:

sure. In my opinion the sale was a good move to fight against death. Without Volvo's backing, Brisius et all have to go back to at least a development class, shorter route and less stopovers. Let's hope they are successful. If not, the next race could be the last one... 


Cross pollination will be a good thing. IMOCA relies on individuals to structure their media campaigns - Hugo Boss did a great job with an iPhone & $20,000 in media uploads. VOR currently has some extra expertise with OBR/drone footage/tracker/media content - can ditch the stopover scheme that ultimately uses more cash flow than it brings in.

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Whilst the IMOCA route is interesting,  I still don't see it as a magic pill. 5 crew, with associated food and safety gear, is as heavy as one crew on the VG, in just 2.5 weeks. So on a long leg, pushing hard, I can see the current crop of foiling IMOCA finishing about 30% of the legs.

So then we end up with new builds; which means finding the money in time to design and build a new boat. 

There is an argument that the latest boats are going to have bigger foils, and therefore more structure. So you could save a bit of time and money by buying a new design, but you are still going to need to build a new boat...because you can't be certain of buying a VG one.

All of that said, I suppose as a late team you could gamble on post VG purchase.

What I am trying to say is that at a time where sponsorship is hard to come by, we are entering a world of serious uncertainty. 

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The gap between the haves and have nots certainly is getting wider. 

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Game over?

I read with interest an article by British sailing journalist Magnus Wheatley. He had a pretty acerbic take on the state of the current Volvo Ocean Race and I have to say  that agree with him. His article starts, “Like the drunken uncle that refuses to leave the coming-of-age party, the Volvo Ocean Race staggers on.”  That should give you a pretty good idea of his opinion of where the event now stands on the offshore sailing calendar. His article continues, “But just like the uncle, its glory days are way in the distant past and the cool, relevant ones desperately want it to go home, tuck itself quietly to bed, and get on with the proper party.” 

Hmmm, pretty tough talk, but I think it’s time for some tough talk when it comes to the Volvo Ocean Race.  Up to this point I have been the lone voice out there lamenting the demise of what was once a magnificent international sporting event.


While I may have been taking a hard line on the state of the race, I am not criticizing. I fully recognize the difficulty that race management has faced over the last decade and it starts with one simple premise; you can’t have a race if you don’t have any competitors. The balance between reeling in costs while at the same time  knowing that innovation is what’s really needed has resulted an incongruous dance that has led to the death of the event, in my humble opinion. 

There are not enough boats to make it an exciting race, the boats themselves are boring dinosaurs, and there are no characters among the sailors that can bring the race to life with their charisma. There are no Eric Tabarlys or Peter Blakes or even for that matter the Flying Dutchman, Conny van Rietschoten. Conny might not have been the most interesting sailor but he did have swagger and he twice convincingly won the race.


I don’t want to be the skunk at a garden party here and I appreciate the effort that it takes to sail one of those boats around the world, but to me the event has lost its soul. I came to this realization a few years back when I attended a Volvo Legends event in Alicante. There were a number of the old boats there and plenty of washed up, worn out sailors but looking around the room I saw characters. There were adventurers, misfits and professional sailors and the room oozed with personality. 

Outside the room the current crop of Volvo Ocean Race sailors were strutting around in sponsor garb with an air of self-importance. As Wheatley noted, “most of the sailors today are duller than a winter in Gothenburg.” The boats looked like  Farr 40’s on steroids and were colorful, resplendent in sponsors livery, but something was missing. Perhaps, again as Wheatley pointed out, who can get excited about boats named Mapfre, Brunel or Dongfeng?

The reason to go One-Design was forced as a way to cut costs as was the reason to go for a smaller boat from the Volvo 70 to the Volvo 65, but in doing so it tore at the fabric of the event. The Volvo Ocean Race calls itself the pre-eminent offshore sailing event, but it seems to pale against the Vendée Globe or the excitement that is generated by those massive French trimarans that are raced all over the world. Now that’s sexy and big and impressive and how the Volvo should look and feel. Look at Hugo Boss and how the boat is branded. Video of Alex Thomson careening along, foiling at high speeds is something that I can watch over and over again. Not so much the footage from this current VOR. It just does not look as exciting.

Going forward the Volvo Ocean Race will be under new management. Volvo has agreed to remain involved and to fund the next race but the details of how it’s all going to work are pretty sketchy. Unless there is some kind of miracle and money pours in, the next race is going to sailed in the same tired old boats that are currently being used. 

Unless money pours in there is not going to be any innovation in the fleet and no big change in direction, something that would have the public saying “now that’s what the pre-eminent around-the-world yacht race should look like.” Unless money pours in the next race is going to look like the one just finishing up and frankly I lost interest in this race before the fleet departed Alicante. Wheatley has an even bleaker view of the future of the race. He writes, “Can it, under new ownership, come back from the dead? No, is the short answer. The dead horse has been flogged. The life support machine must be switched off. The world has moved on. It’s a pointless charade of a format and it’s time to admit that it’s “Game Over.”

– Brian Hancock

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2 hours ago, Potter said:

Whilst the IMOCA route is interesting,  I still don't see it as a magic pill. 5 crew, with associated food and safety gear, is as heavy as one crew on the VG, in just 2.5 weeks. So on a long leg, pushing hard, I can see the current crop of foiling IMOCA finishing about 30% of the legs.

So then we end up with new builds; which means finding the money in time to design and build a new boat. 

There is an argument that the latest boats are going to have bigger foils, and therefore more structure. So you could save a bit of time and money by buying a new design, but you are still going to need to build a new boat...because you can't be certain of buying a VG one.

All of that said, I suppose as a late team you could gamble on post VG purchase.

What I am trying to say is that at a time where sponsorship is hard to come by, we are entering a world of serious uncertainty. 

Agree Mr. Potter,

Foils and a full crew seem like a deadly recipe. And IMOCAS, for all the aforesaid reasons are not the boat.

At this juncture, more than ever, the race needs something jaw dropping.  Something that pulls off a 600 mile day with ease.

New build/design.  

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Well there we are, a good description of Handoncock, the drunken uncle that refuses to leave. The has been (if he ever was) who is just longing for the world to go backwards to when he thought he mattered and was important.

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The Gitana fly by was a remarkable moment. Like it or not it sure put an explanation mark on the “dinosaur” remark. The look of envy and misery on the  VO65 crew was on full display.

Edit: Curious place for a 100’ French Tri to be sporting around.  What if RO was signaling the future of the race?

 

Nah.

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29 minutes ago, southerncross said:

The Gitana fly by was a remarkable moment. Like it or not it sure put an explanation mark on the “dinosaur” remark. The look of envy and misery on the  VO65 crew was on full display.

 

FFS, the whole "Dinosaur" angle is complete bullshit.  The IOR clunkers that raced around the globe in the "glory days" were dinosaurs, even back then. 

Of course a bunch of pro sailors are going to get hard-ons when a kick-ass foiling tri flies past their VOR65 (except Nina, who probably got a wide-on...) but this race would not be one iota more interesting to sponsors or the non-sailing public if it were contested in foiling trimarans.  The legs might be 30% shorter in duration, logistics thus more time critical and expensive as bases get flown around the globe, the number of stopover ports that could accommodate the fleet in an area with easy public access would be further restricted, and even if OD the operating costs would be massively higher.  How do we imagine a fleet of foiling tris would fare in a tight in-port race in say Sydney Harbour where they'd be tacking every 30 seconds?  Chances are the local authorities would mandate a pursuit start on safety grounds.  Compelling, not.

The foiling fastboat fanboys need to get their minds around the idea that the race isn't conducted for the amusement and excitement of a bunch of pro sailors or breathless wannabe RTW racers sitting behind screens.  Once upon it time it largely was as commercial support didn't matter much but the world has changed.  While I certainly agree with much of what Handoncock says (but only this time around) he needs to get over the hardware fixation.  The "innovation" requirement needs to be about way more than sailing hardware.  Innovation in business models, spectator engagement, sponsor value propositions, media engagement, political engagement are all far more important to the race's survival than innovation in hardware.   And, hardware innovation needs to best be about reliability, operating costs and trickle-down potential.

Pro sailors will sail what makes them a living and the benefit of the VOR65 Dinosaur in terms of operating cost and reliability, plus OD competitiveness is what's kept the race alive for the last couple of editions.  Get over it.

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Building 100ft trimarans to go on a VOR? Better make sure it is a downwind course and every leg is timed to leave so they're not going against trades or in rough late season conditions in southern ocean. 

We can all go oh la la at foiling multihulls, but if it is a class rule, your 100ft trimaran vs my 100ft trimaran. 

You'll have the most boring footage available. Oh look I'm sitting here in my cockpit adjusting my sail. Hey we only have three sails on the boat. 

Oh look we crashed and capsized so my competitor wins by default. And there's only two teams. Worst than AC for lack of competition. 

Even worse imagine if the box rule was broad enough that one team shows up and basically you know by Cape Town it is over. The slow boat keeps going anyway - because the fast boat might have a disaster. 

Either way - you have boring dominance or winner by slow turtle. 

Notice the most vocal pros in this event talking about diff class? Older. French. Not active IMOCA. They need the employment and want the newest greatest toys while preventing the generation of monohull sailors coming out of France every four years from replacing them. 

The Huisman, Tuke, Burling and Kyle guys who foiled at 35+ and experienced AC don't seem to run out of things to play with on the 65s to learn and get faster. 

I suspect there's prob personality differences. Some ppl think it is fun to sail a OD class and keep working at the craft and learn. Others want the new toy, get good enough then move on. 

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"I read with interest an article by British sailing journalist Magnus Wheatley. He had a pretty acerbic take on the state of the current Volvo Ocean Race and I have to say that I agree with him. ......It’s a pointless charade of a format and it’s time to admit that it’s “Game Over.”

Brian Hancock

 

Dear Brian

Wouldn't it have been more time efficient to simply just write, "I agree and like Mr Wheatley I'm neither interested in and nor do I have a solution"?

You silly old bugger you now have to go out and buy more oxygen for that life support system. Not to mention getting all that ink off your fingers from flipping through that thesaurus to come up with different words to simply repeat what Wheatley is saying. You know the one which has words like 21st Century, Crewed Race, 600 miles, Money, Viability, Internet, and Sponsors etc all blacked out.

Brian it really is is a shame you haven't felt compelled to draw upon your extensive RTW RO experience and given us all an insight into what is required to get this race back on track. What did you call yours, the Portimão Global Ocean Race was it??? How did that all work out as I must have missed it.

Anyway maybe you're saving that up for the next instalment. I can't wait.

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2 hours ago, southerncross said:

At this juncture, more than ever, the race needs something jaw dropping.  Something that pulls off a 600 mile day with ease

mmmmm.. let me think :-)

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3 hours ago, southerncross said:

At this juncture, more than ever, the race needs something jaw dropping.  Something that pulls off a 600 mile day with ease.  

Why?  How will that make it more interesting to a non-sailing public or bolster the race's commercial prospects?

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8 hours ago, JeronimoII said:

- the race is unsustainable: Volvo has been subsidising the whole thing (sure, and also gaining a lot of brand traction through it)

- the race struggles to find teams. One boat was available for this race and has stayed home. 

- it is difficult to relate to the brands involved (but this also happens in other sports). 

The word subsidise infers Volvo have not got a return for a portion of their investment. The amount of that subsidy in simplistic terms is (Total Cost + Equivalent Cost of same Global Marketing) less Total Income. I suspect the answer is positive not negative. 

The reasons behind Volvo exiting I suspect has nothing to do with dollars to date, but one of two disparite owners with different ideas for the future marketing of their respective products, that happen to have the same name.

If a home is to be found in this race for the word "subsidy", it has been major team sponsors etfectively subsidising Volvo's marketing campaign.

That is one of the many reasons why sponsors are hard to find for this race and the ones that do front up are not mainstream and include not for profit/environmental organisations.

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3 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

FFS, the whole "Dinosaur" angle is complete bullshit.  The IOR clunkers that raced around the globe in the "glory days" were dinosaurs, even back then

All the same I was pretty impressed with Stienlarger II's 24 hour run of 340 mile in 1989. 

However if Akzo was around then and that 24 hr run was midnight to midnight, Akzo would have blasted past them in the early afternoon.

That would have kept the lads talking for a while.

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22 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

All the same I was pretty impressed with Stienlarger II's 24 hour run of 340 mile in 1989. 

However if Akzo was around then and that 24 hr run was midnight to midnight, Akzo would have blasted past them in the early afternoon.

That would have kept the lads talking for a while.

The difference between surface planing and dragging a fucking big hole in the ocean around with you.

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3 hours ago, Miffy said:

Building 100ft trimarans to go on a VOR?

Don't think I've ever suggested building a 100' tri in this entire thread.

Otherwise, agree with all you said about it.  Has always been my stated position.

Still, a dramatic affect.

 

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37 minutes ago, Sailbydate said:

The difference between surface planing and dragging a fucking big hole in the ocean around with you.

Sail maybe the extension of that LOA/DIsp v 24 hr Record converse movement over time is that on the horizon are crewed and keeless 40 footers holding the race 24 hr record?

Finding bodies to drive them will obviously be a challenge so maybe our future sailing hero's will be convicts?

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1 hour ago, DickDastardly said:

Why?  How will that make it more interesting to a non-sailing public or bolster the race's commercial prospects?

The non sailing public and public in general responds to drama, spectacle, story and character.  Where there is a market, commercial prospects will follow.

4 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

The "innovation" requirement needs to be about way more than sailing hardware.  Innovation in business models, spectator engagement, sponsor value propositions, media engagement, political engagement are all far more important to the race's survival than innovation in hardware.   And, hardware innovation needs to best be about reliability, operating costs and trickle-down potential.

The financial difficulties facing The Race today and in the recent past are symptomatic of what has been forfeited, as Jack previously summarized, by the B2B/Volvo branded event.  Trying to peddle a package that isn't that interesting or compelling is the cart before the horse.  All the innovation in business models, mock spectator engagement, media engagement etc becomes desperation.  It's hype. Like a movie studio heavily marketing a flop to recoup costs before it's release.  

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7 minutes ago, southerncross said:

The non sailing public and public in general responds to drama, spectacle, story and character.  Where there is a market, commercial prospects will follow.

The financial difficulties facing The Race today and in the recent past are symptomatic of what has been forfeited, as Jack previously summarized, by the B2B/Volvo branded event.  Trying to peddle a package that isn't that interesting or compelling is the cart before the horse.  All the innovation in business models, mock spectator engagement, media engagement etc becomes desperation.  It's hype. Like a movie studio heavily marketing a flop to recoup costs before it's release.  

Not hype at all.  "Innovation in business models etc...." simply means creating something that's marketable, that someone will pay to watch or in some other way participate in.  That's all.   No doubt VOR has had pretty mixed success in this regard but lack of innovation in sailboat hardware isn't the root cause, or I'd argue isn't even a minor factor.

I completely agree with you on what engages the public and as sailboat races go this one has had plenty of drama, spectacle, story and character.  It's just not that compelling compared to other sporting and entertainment offerings the public has before them.

 

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

All the same I was pretty impressed with Stienlarger II's 24 hour run of 340 mile in 1989. 

However if Akzo was around then and that 24 hr run was midnight to midnight, Akzo would have blasted past them in the early afternoon.

That would have kept the lads talking for a while.

Sure, would have kept "the lads" talking, but they're not a target or even profitable audience for a commercially focused event.

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2 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

" simply means creating something that's marketable, that someone will pay to watch or in some oter way participate in

Exactly. And what does the current model entail?  Or what is the marketable event for the future that someone (spectator/sponsor/city/sailor) will want to participate in?

My point is, it all starts here, the "marketable event".  The blockbuster.  The rest (all you mentioned and equally as important) follows.

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15 minutes ago, southerncross said:

The non sailing public and public in general responds to drama, spectacle, story and character.  Where there is a market, commercial prospects will follow.

You're right.  So clearly a boat that does 600 miles and up a day will make no difference at all on that basis.

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5 minutes ago, southerncross said:

Exactly. And what does the current model entail?  Or what is the marketable event for the future that someone (spectator/sponsor/city/sailor) will want to participate in?

My point is, it all starts here, the "marketable event".  The blockbuster.  The rest (all you mentioned and equally as important) follows.

Then you agree with me that innovation  in the "offering" is what's needed, not the boats.

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20 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

Sure, would have kept "the lads" talking, but they're not a target or even profitable audience for a commercially focused event.

Dick in 1989 they were the only audience until the video tape got to the next stopover, then put on a plane to Wapping studios for editing by a guy with a pencil thin moustache, then post production and then finally aired on the BBC just in time for the start of the next race edition :-)

Hypothetical I know as I'm told Stienlarger bought all the copies and burnt them.

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1 minute ago, jack_sparrow said:

Dick in 1989 they were the only audience until the video tape got to the next stopover, then put on a plane to Wapping studios for editing by a guy with a pencil thin moustache, then post production and then finally aired on the BBC just in time for the start of the next race edition :-)

Indeed ... and there was a much more limited global sport consumer market back then.

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6 hours ago, southerncross said:

The Gitana fly by was a remarkable moment. Like it or not it sure put an explanation mark on the “dinosaur” remark. The look of envy and misery on the  VO65 crew was on full display.

Edit: Curious place for a 100’ French Tri to be sporting around.  What if RO was signaling the future of the race?

 

Nah.

I bet Pistol Pete got a little more excited then he let on. Maybe he even had fond memories of cyclors wearing lycra. 

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2 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

It's just not that compelling compared to other sporting and entertainment offerings the public has before them.

True as many sports require more than basic knowledge beyond the score particularly some football variants. NFL (which is essentially a game played by African Americans for a white audience) and the Rugby variants (Union & League, fast following their US cousins where key player stocks are sourced from Pacific Islander genes) are far more technical than say Soccer to the part time follower. 

Watching a F1 race or a Tour de France with good commentary is very quickly picked up by the uninitiated.

I would rank long distance offshore sailing near the top of the list in the complexity department, but which I have to say the RO does a pretty good job of trying to circumvent when having a global audience. This compares to say just a French audience where many are long term rusted on sailing fans and also ones that worship their hero's (another foundation to the French/SH centric thing).

All is not lost though remembering Curling gets a big audience every Winter Olympics and where many are educated afresh every edition.

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7 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

FFS, the whole "Dinosaur" angle is complete bullshit.  The IOR clunkers that raced around the globe in the "glory days" were dinosaurs, even back then. 

Of course a bunch of pro sailors are going to get hard-ons when a kick-ass foiling tri flies past their VOR65 (except Nina, who probably got a wide-on...) This is an unnecessary and misogynist comment, Dick... but this race would not be one iota more interesting to sponsors or the non-sailing public if it were contested in foiling trimarans.  The legs might be 30% shorter in duration, logistics thus more time critical and expensive as bases get flown around the globe, the number of stopover ports that could accommodate the fleet in an area with easy public access would be further restricted, and even if OD the operating costs would be massively higher.  How do we imagine a fleet of foiling tris would fare in a tight in-port race in say Sydney Harbour where they'd be tacking every 30 seconds?  Chances are the local authorities would mandate a pursuit start on safety grounds.  Compelling, not.

The foiling fastboat fanboys need to get their minds around the idea that the race isn't conducted for the amusement and excitement of a bunch of pro sailors or breathless wannabe RTW racers sitting behind screens.  Once upon it time it largely was as commercial support didn't matter much but the world has changed.  While I certainly agree with much of what Handoncock says (but only this time around) he needs to get over the hardware fixation.  The "innovation" requirement needs to be about way more than sailing hardware.  Innovation in business models, spectator engagement, sponsor value propositions, media engagement, political engagement are all far more important to the race's survival than innovation in hardware.   And, hardware innovation needs to best be about reliability, operating costs and trickle-down potential.

Pro sailors will sail what makes them a living and the benefit of the VOR65 Dinosaur in terms of operating cost and reliability, plus OD competitiveness is what's kept the race alive for the last couple of editions.  Get over it.

Except for my comment inserted above, I agree with what Dick has said. 

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34 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

True as many sports require more than basic knowledge beyond the score particularly some football variants. NFL (which is essentially a game played by African Americans for a white audience) While it is a fact that a majority of NFL players are African American (approx 70%) why is this gratuitous comment of yours even remotely relevant?  I disagree also that American football is complicated. and the Rugby variants (Union & League, fast following their US cousins where key player stocks are sourced from Pacific Islander genes) are far more technical than say Soccer to the part time follower. Now, rugby in my opinion does require explanation. My niece played in college and I needed my brother to explain what was going on. Same with field hockey, which another niece played and neither he nor I ever really understood it. 

Watching a F1 race or a Tour de France with good commentary is very quickly picked up by the uninitiated.  The interest in the TDF (which is much more popular in Europe, was growing in the US until the doping became widespread and Lance fell from grace) and in fact most televised road races, benefit from superb commentary by very knowledgeable, experienced and entertaining commentators. The events are well publicized. I have attended a few, including the Tour of California and the former San Francisco race, and there were tens of thousands of fans lining the route, to see someone go by for maybe a second.  But, yes, the uninitiated quickly pick up the concepts of drafting, teamwork, etc. 

I would rank long distance offshore sailing near the top of the list in the complexity department, but which I have to say the RO does a pretty good job of trying to circumvent ? Not sure what you mean by this: "circumvent"? when having a global audience. I think the VOR has done a good job, particularly with its Daily Show, its Race Blogs, and of course there is this forum and threads, to explain some of the key aspects of sailing, in general and offshore racing, if the viewer of fan is interested. This compares to say just a French audience where many are long term rusted on sailing fans and also ones that worship their hero's (another foundation to the French/SH centric thing).

All is not lost though remembering Curling gets a big audience every Winter Olympics and where many are educated afresh every edition. Very true. 

 

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11 hours ago, Potter said:

Whilst the IMOCA route is interesting,  I still don't see it as a magic pill. 5 crew, with associated food and safety gear, is as heavy as one crew on the VG, in just 2.5 weeks. So on a long leg, pushing hard, I can see the current crop of foiling IMOCA finishing about 30% of the legs.

So then we end up with new builds; which means finding the money in time to design and build a new boat. 

There is an argument that the latest boats are going to have bigger foils, and therefore more structure. So you could save a bit of time and money by buying a new design, but you are still going to need to build a new boat...because you can't be certain of buying a VG one.

All of that said, I suppose as a late team you could gamble on post VG purchase.

What I am trying to say is that at a time where sponsorship is hard to come by, we are entering a world of serious uncertainty. 

very interesting, Potter. If new builds are required, the 2021 edition is going to be extremely light in teams indeed. 

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46 minutes ago, despacio avenue said:

Except for my comment inserted above, I agree with what Dick has said. 

How is that mysoginist?  How is it any more or less insulting than the hardon reference.  It was an equal opportunity call...

I've no doubt Nina (I've sailed with her quite a bit BTW) was as viscerally impressed by the flying tri as Burling, and I'm sure she expressed that differently given her different underwater configuration (which I can only claim general knowledge of). 

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59 minutes ago, despacio avenue said:
1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

True as many sports require more than basic knowledge beyond the score particularly some football variants. NFL (which is essentially a game played by African Americans for a white audience) and the Rugby variants (Union & League, fast following their US cousins where key player stocks are sourced from Pacific Islander genes) are far more technical than say Soccer to the part time follower. 

Watching a F1 race or a Tour de France with good commentary is very quickly picked up by the uninitiated.

I would rank long distance offshore sailing near the top of the list in the complexity department, but which I have to say the RO does a pretty good job of trying to circumvent when having a global audience. This compares to say just a French audience where many are long term rusted on sailing fans and also ones that worship their hero's (another foundation to the French/SH centric thing).

All is not lost though remembering Curling gets a big audience every Winter Olympics and where many are educated afresh every edition.

I don't think it's an issue of complexity, there are lots of complex sports out there and many get an audience.

It's probably multiple issues:

  1. Most of the audience have never participated in the sport themselves and hence really can't relate to it.  And while that's arguably also true for Curling, many people have played similar styles of games - various sorts of bowling, bocce, quoits etc. so Curling makes sense to most people.  So do sports with pretty much any type of bat or ball, so do sports with wheeled vehicles chasing each other or racing against the clock.
  2. Personality or lack of aside, the participants just aren't household names in most geographies - especially those away from the sea.  I say most geographies, certainly in France and NZ that's less the case but they're exceptions, and largely focused just on their domestic champions.
  3. The skill and capability of the participants isn't immediately visible to a relatively uninformed viewer.  Nor is the danger or risk. 
  4. It's an elitist sport.  Sure, many other are too, and sure, many participants aren't elite or elitist, but Sailing is up there with Polo to many people. 
  5. The event goes for 9 months and on any given day not much happens to the unititiated, or someone not deeply passionate about the detail of the competition.  Most other technically complex sports are done and dusted in a hour or two and pack all their drama and passion into that narrow window.  Audiences like instant gratification.
  6. There's limited live media, and while packaged media can condense the action to capture plenty of interest in a short and interesting presentation there's a delay until the next installment, so no immediacy, ditto instant gratification.
  7. It's repetitive.  How many drone videos have we seen of boat-x carving it up in ocean-y, or monster waves rolling over the deck etc.?  They all look the same to a non-sailor and while that's not a huge issue in a 1 hour event, (F1 cars flying past a camera also all look the same) over many months it's unlikely to remain compelling.
  8. Who knows what else...

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36 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

How is that mysoginist?  How is it any more or less insulting than the hardon reference.  It was an equal opportunity call...

I've no doubt Nina (I've sailed with her quite a bit BTW) was as viscerally impressed by the flying tri as Burling, and I'm sure she expressed that differently given her different underwater configuration (which I can only claim general knowledge of). 

Why mention it at all? Either one actually. And really, ^^^^is just too much information. 

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59 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

I don't think it's an issue of complexity, there are lots of complex sports out there and many get an audience.

Well maybe a list of the Top 25 most popular sports in world is maybe a start (sailing doesn't make the cut) ranked by these 13 criteria is a guide to audience popularity and complexity.

1. Global base & audience

2. TV  Viewership numbers

3. Number Professional leagues around the world

4 TV rights deals

5. Endorsement & Sponsorship deals

6. Average athlete salary in top league

7. Biggest competition & (number of countries represented)

8. Social media presence

9. Prominence in sports headlines on media outlets (websites, tv)

10. Relevancy through the year

11. Regional dominance

12.Gender equality

13. Accessible to general public worldwide

Of the list where Soccer is #1 and Horseracing #25 you could probably only rank these as having any complexity for the initiated and akin to sailing. They are Rugby and Ice Hockey. Some people may obviously pick some others.

So it would appear on face value that complexity does have an impact on audience.

https://www.totalsportek.com/most-popular-sports/

BTW I recall reading the fastest growing sports in the US are Rugby (# 6 most popular list) and Lacrosse (not listed).

I think Bullriding ranked highly in the growth race where a USD$1million purse per tournament is not uncommon. In fact I think a major world series one just occured in your town Dick?

 

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1 hour ago, despacio avenue said:

Why mention it at all? Either one actually. And really, ^^^^is just too much information. 

Get over it.  Both are metaphors for arousal.

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45 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Well maybe a list of the Top 25 most popular sports in world is maybe a start (sailing doesn't make the cut) ranked by these 13 criteria is a guide to audience popularity and complexity.

1. Global base & audience

2. TV  Viewership numbers

3. Number Professional leagues around the world

4 TV rights deals

5. Endorsement & Sponsorship deals

6. Average athlete salary in top league

7. Biggest competition & (number of countries represented)

8. Social media presence

9. Prominence in sports headlines on media outlets (websites, tv)

10. Relevancy through the year

11. Regional dominance

12.Gender equality

13. Accessible to general public worldwide

Of the list where Soccer is #1 and Horseracing #25 you could probably only rank these as having any complexity for the initiated and akin to sailing. They are Rugby and Ice Hockey. Some people may obviously pick some others.

So it would appear on face value that complexity does have an impact on audience.

https://www.totalsportek.com/most-popular-sports/

BTW I recall reading the fastest growing sports in the US are Rugby (# 6 most popular list) and Lacrosse (not listed).

I think Bullriding ranked highly in the growth race where a USD$1million purse per tournament is not uncommon. In fact I think a major world series one just occured in your town Dick?

 

Bullriding?  Sydney? No shit?  Didn't show up on my radar screen.  Cat Power and Mazzy Star did.

F1 is extreme in complexity - way more than sailing.  The laws of Rugby are byzantine, but the basic premise is simple and is essentially the same as any other form of football - "Score points by getting the ball into zone x".  Hard to say without understanding the algorithm used but what is only included as the last of the 13 critera is the extent of amateur "accessability" to those sports (but seemingly not actual participation).  It's a huge factor in as much as it allows the audience to relate to the capability of the players and envision themselves in the game more.  The first half dozen on te hlist are all sports kids participate in at school in geographies all around the world.  That has to count for something.

 

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2 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

F1 is extreme in complexity - way more than sailing.  The laws of Rugby are byzantine, but the basic premise is simple and is essentially the same as any other form of football - "Score points by getting the ball into zone x"

It is not just the score but "how" they got there or "how" they did despite a setback that promotes discussion and interest.

To help the "how" the commentary on F1 is so good that the Receptionist can hang around the water cooler at work on Monday morning and chime in and say she was "absolutely shattered when Ricciardo's  MGU-K Unit went up in smoke at Monaco and how he coaxed power out of the dying bull amazed her," before going back to her desk.

The lads look on dumbfounded not even knowing what a fuckin MGU-K unit is or does. I wonder how many people now understand what a "gybe" is in extreme conditions courtesy of Leg 3 of this race ie Akzo and Mapfre?

Women are the untapped audience in a lot of traditionaly male dominated sports. The irony is they don't need female participation to propogate their interest, only some education. That used to be the domain of the male family member or partner. Now switched on event organisers are helping them out if not replacing their traditional source of advice.

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3 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

Bullriding?  Sydney? No shit?  Didn't show up on my radar screen. 

Mate you need to get out more...VOR life on the extreme? They are all into the quick grab like this quote.

"If you try and muscle your way through a ride, the bull will rip your arm off".

https://www.pbr.com/en/global-cup.aspx

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/poetry-in-motion-pbr-champ-explains-the-art-of-the-perfect-bull-ride-20180609-p4zkhs.html

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9 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

Then you agree with me that innovation  in the "offering" is what's needed, not the boats.

Not exactly.  I've always maintained that it is about the boat.  The boat will make or break the race.  Start the next Edition in an IMOCA, for example, that is overburdened with crew weight and stressed to breaking and The Race will be pretty much over.  No one will have any patience for snapped foils, sticks and cargo ships.

All top end races start with the boat.  The AC (new concept).  The Olympics (which class?).  The Vendee (IMOCA).  The Every OD and club racer (Fast 40's, TP52's).  It's the boat that gets the pros excited about the race.  Beastly/challenging boats draw the elite sailors, the top end.  With the elite comes the enthusiasm, the fans, the crowds, the media, the sponsors and the cities - all scrambling to get a piece of the most exciting race to hit the water since ...

Or, start with a mediocre proposition and try to carpet bag it around the world and hope to draw teams and sponsors and cities and devise clever ways to penny pinch and hype it's failure into success.

  

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2 minutes ago, southerncross said:

I've always maintained that it is about the boat.  The boat will make or break the race. 

Southern that theory is flawed very simply because the greater audience who support and then effectively underwite the race don't care about the boat/platform providing it fulfills a few basic criteria, starting with "it floats". We are the micro minority audience and that is a fact.

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1 minute ago, jack_sparrow said:

Southern that theory is flawed very simply because the greater audience who support and then effectively underwite the race don't care about the boat/platform providing it fulfills a few basic criteria, starting with "it floats". We are the micro minority audience and that is a fact.

More the reason why the boat needs to stand out and why the boat needs to be one that gets the pros wet, so to speak.  It's through the sailors enthusiasm that a non sailing audience can identify. 

But we're talking about the survivability of The Race.  Look at the impact the OD VO65 had.  Changed everything.  The next boat choice is critical.

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How did America's Cup in San Francisco and Bermuda go?

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10 minutes ago, Miffy said:

How did America's Cup in San Francisco and Bermuda go?

However it went, the money is still pouring in.

Quote

It started with a beer and ended with a $153 million investment aimed at finally breaking Britain’s America’s Cup duck. After experiencing “the worst feeling of my career” a year ago last week, when his Land Rover BAR was knocked out of the 2017 Cup in Bermuda, Ben Ainslie had promised himself he would never experience that same sensation again.

Motivated by that failure, and after being introduced by a mutual friend, four-time Olympic champion Ainslie went for a beer with Jim Ratcliffe — who is the head of petrochemical company Ineos and was last month revealed as Britain’s richest man with an estimated wealth of $28 billion.
A $153m deal happened at lightning speed. Ainslie, who will lead a newly-branded Ineos Team UK team, told CNN: “I realized he’d been successful in business but, at the time of meeting, I wasn’t quite aware he was Britain’s richest man at that point!

http://sailinganarchy.com/2018/06/12/must-be-the-money-3/

 

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It definitely wasn't pouring in at the San Francisco or Bermuda cycle. Whatever Grant Dalton is doing is drawing the sponsors in.

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8 hours ago, southerncross said:

Not exactly.  I've always maintained that it is about the boat.  The boat will make or break the race.  Start the next Edition in an IMOCA, for example, that is overburdened with crew weight and stressed to breaking and The Race will be pretty much over.  No one will have any patience for snapped foils, sticks and cargo ships.

All top end races start with the boat.  The AC (new concept).  The Olympics (which class?).  The Vendee (IMOCA).  The Every OD and club racer (Fast 40's, TP52's).  It's the boat that gets the pros excited about the race.  Beastly/challenging boats draw the elite sailors, the top end.  With the elite comes the enthusiasm, the fans, the crowds, the media, the sponsors and the cities - all scrambling to get a piece of the most exciting race to hit the water since ...

Or, start with a mediocre proposition and try to carpet bag it around the world and hope to draw teams and sponsors and cities and devise clever ways to penny pinch and hype it's failure into success.

  

A coupld of big assumprions you're making.

1) Pros won't turn up if they don't like the boat.  Do you really bellieve that?  They need to earn a living so if they were asked to sail Swan 65s around the world in fully pro mode they probably would.  They're doing it for the money as much as the challenge, except perhaps for the virgins who are doing it to tick a box off and build their resume.  The virgins probably want a boat that is safe, not too physically demanding and least likely to get them in trouble.  Read Nico's article last week - he reckons the VOR65 is a great platform, and he's done a few laps already.

2) Sailor enthusiasm is what draws fans.  See point 1 as to sailor motivation.  Consider to what extent the average Ocean Racer has any public profile or brand recognition in consumer markets.  Colour, movement, danger and excitement is what draws fans, you said that yourself.  Surely you've seen videos of the French jocks blasting around on their foiling Ulrime tris.  Do they look any more animated than VOR65 crews?  Nope.  Less so in fact, sitting up high in their cuddy surveying the scene an dfocusing very hard and calmly on extracting the most from a twotcy platform.  From those on board videos, do the boats look like they're moving at twice the speed of a VOR65?  Nope.

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9 hours ago, southerncross said:

More the reason why the boat needs to stand out and why the boat needs to be one that gets the pros wet, so to speak.  It's through the sailors enthusiasm that a non sailing audience can identify. 

But we're talking about the survivability of The Race.  Look at the impact the OD VO65 had.  Changed everything.  The next boat choice is critical.

On Jack's logic, if they can plan the perfect race and use the clipper race boats and the event will be an outstanding success. LOL

I agree, you want the sailors excited to be sailing on the boat, singing it's praises to build up the public excitement and enthusiasm for the race. Just imagine the impact on the event of an interview with Witty explaining how he advised Seng Huang Lee to save his money because the race will no longer be the pinnacle of ocean racing for sailors because the new boat is a slow dog or just not interesting and that he's better off concentrating on his maxi, multihull racing or throwing his support behind a IMOCA skipper. 

 

BTW I assume Jack is still saying that Seng Huang Lee is an aberration and because private team owners have been rare in the past, no one will be interested in putting a team together in the future.... 

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24 minutes ago, hoppy said:

On Jack's logic, if they can plan the perfect race and use the clipper race boats and the event will be an outstanding success. LOL

Chop away with the nonsense axe. You have a lot in common with Magnus Wheatley and Brian Hancock...your next idea will be your first.

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1 minute ago, jack_sparrow said:

Chop away with the nonsense axe. You have a lot in common with Magnus Wheatley and Brian Hancock...your next idea will be your first.

keep it up Jack, Random will be along soon enough to sort you out.

article-2525602-1A2B2A3600000578-553_634

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10 hours ago, southerncross said:

More the reason why the boat needs to stand out and why the boat needs to be one that gets the pros wet, so to speak.  It's through the sailors enthusiasm that a non sailing audience can identify. 

But we're talking about the survivability of The Race.  Look at the impact the OD VO65 had.  Changed everything.  The next boat choice is critical.

Southern you could put the last 3 generations of boats from this race going back 3 decades W60/V70/65 on the starting line, you can be assured the greater audience that financialy underwite the race could not tell the difference between them. The jockeys who ride them will largely ride anything that is reasonable providing it pays and advances their career. The V65 is probably the benchmark of what is minimum reasonable.

The 3 biggest lies about this race are;

1. The boat/platform is the handbrake or the saviour of this race.

I respect that is something you subscribe to, however it is horse and cart stuff as outlined above. Without a viable and sustainable event the plans for anything no matter what they will never get off the drawing board.

2. The introduction of the OD V65  for the 2014/15 edition was a financial imperitive post the GFC and has saved the race.

This is a Volvo smokescreen. The GFC started prior to the 2008/09 edition and peaked prior to the 2011/12 edition. The financial imperitive was diminishing participants because over a decade they have been driven away by underwriting a Volvo branded race. The remedy was not to remove the Volvo brand but reduce and cap the necessary expediture to participate with the "rent a boat" concept. After that all that is left is find the exit...and so guess what occured.

The bastard child from that exercise is OD which interestingly has more supporters now after this edition. However there is no water left in the well for the "rent a boat" concept without the RO recieving substantial financial backing beyond using existing boats. The rub then is the prospect of that financial backing coming without the handcuffs of "naming rights" is low.

3. This Race is Inferior to the VG in terms of sponsorship and marketing.

The simple fact is this race has a proven global audience and the VG is largely French centric. With any collaboration between the two classes,  IMOCA will bolster its audience and for this crewed race it brings greater opportunity to build and sustain teams between RTW races. How that collaboration evolves in concert with the platform to be used in this race beyond the V65 will be some time coming I suspect.

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1 hour ago, hoppy said:

On Jack's logic, if they can plan the perfect race and use the clipper race boats and the event will be an outstanding success. LOL

When all else fails play the strawman card.

1 hour ago, hoppy said:

keep it up Jack, Random will be along soon enough to sort you out.

When strawman fails play the funny picture card and beg Randumb for help.

Let me guess ..you aren't a debating coach.

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

The 3 biggest lies about this race are;

2. The introduction of the OD V65  for the 2014/15 edition was a financial imperitive post the GFC and has saved the race.

This is a Volvo smokescreen. The GFC started prior to the 2008/09 edition and peaked prior to the 2011/12 edition. The financial imperitive was diminishing participants because over a decade they have been driven away by underwriting a Volvo branded race. The remedy was not to remove the Volvo brand but reduce and cap the necessary expediture to participate with the "rent a boat" concept. After that all that is left is find the exit...and so guess what occured.

The bastard child from that exercise is OD which interestingly has more supporters now after this edition. However there is no water left in the well for the "rent a boat" concept without the RO recieving substantial financial backing beyond using existing boats. The rub then is the prospect of that financial backing coming without the handcuffs of "naming rights" is low.

Do we know that reticence at underwriting Volvo marketing was the real driver?  Previously participants underwrote a Whitbred branded race for free.  We do know from many sources that VOR70 budgets were huge, and a significant obstacle, especially given the reliability issues.  OD addressed both budget and reliability, and on top of that changed the competitive dynamics.

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39 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

Do we know that reticence at underwriting Volvo marketing was the real driver?  Previously participants underwrote a Whitbred branded race for free.  We do know from many sources that VOR70 budgets were huge, and a significant obstacle, especially given the reliability issues.  OD addressed both budget and reliability, and on top of that changed the competitive dynamics.

Unfortunately we don't because it has been branded Volvo for nearly 20 years and prior to that Whitbread. However that was in name only with little or no effort to leverage that on account it wasn't a global brand. That may explain something behind high sponsor interest of that era bearing in mind it was also an era where advertising was restricted outside pro races and tobbaco products still had a label.

So it has never been really tested leaving only comparison with other blue ribbon events that don't have naming rights. However the new RO has acknowledged this is an issue with some sponsors. 

The only other possible measure of this premise is that a decade after the GFC and with a 2 edition platform that has addressed both budget and reliability, plus introduced a competiton dynamic, how is it that sponsor interest is still diminishing in real terms??

In fact without two not-for-profits (who are less concerned about the commercial dynamic of a branded event), and where one is a race partner (11 Hour), there would only be 5 boats in the North Sea today.

The question is, if it is not sponsor reluctance to subsidising the marketing of the RO's brand, what then is the key driver behind them keeping their cheque books closed?

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

The only other possible measure of this premise is that a decade after the GFC and with a 2 edition platform that has addressed both budget and reliability, plus introduced a competiton dynamic, how is it that sponsor interest is still diminishing in real terms??

The question is, if it is not sponsor reluctance to subsidising the marketing of the RO's brand, what then is the key driver behind them keeping their cheque books closed?

As we've been canvassing in other posts, I'd simply argue that the event just isn't that bankable compared to other options for potential sponsors. 

Over a few editions sponsors have had an opportunity to assess a crewed RTW race as a commercial proposition and it's come up wanting.  IIRC none of the team sponsors from the earlier editions of the Volvo branded concept are still on board, and based on the optics of their decisions to back at the race, try it out for an edition or two then invest marketing spend elsewhere, potential sponsors are keeping their hands in their pockets.  

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Just let the French IMOCA guys take over the race.  Let them add a couple of crew, call it the Round The World Race and you pay to play.  

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7 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

When all else fails play the strawman card.

When strawman fails play the funny picture card and beg Randumb for help.

Let me guess ..you aren't a debating coach.

What's the point of trying to debate you ?

You stick your head in the sand at the nearest mention of private teams and the type of boats that they would probably be interested in spending money on. You refuse to acknowledge that the rich are getting richer and want leisure activities that they are happy to pay professionals to participate in on their behalf so they can get a trophy. 

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6 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

The only other possible measure of this premise (a "Commercialy Branded" RTW Race stiffles Team Sponsorship) is that a decade after the GFC and with a 2 edition platform that has addressed both budget and reliability, plus introduced a competiton dynamic, how is it that sponsor interest is still diminishing in real terms??

In fact without two not-for-profits (who are less concerned about the commercial dynamic of a branded event), and where one is a race partner (11 Hour), there would only be 5 boats in the North Sea today.

The question is, if it is not sponsor reluctance to subsidising the marketing of the RO's brand, what then is the key driver behind them keeping their cheque books closed?

 

5 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

As we've been canvassing in other posts, I'd simply argue that the event just isn't that bankable compared to other options for potential sponsors. 

Over a few editions sponsors have had an opportunity to assess a crewed RTW race as a commercial proposition and it's come up wanting.  

Dick first you are spot on and that is a crewed RTW race as a commercial proposition does come up wanting. However the question remains is why?

Firstly the cheap and lazy answer to that is for the last two decades there has only been one event for a sponsor to put there money down on and that is only the VOR!!! So doesn't that make the answer being one of drilling down into "one race" and "one race only" every 3/4 years centric? 

However, I will park that because the realities of selling sponsorship from personel experience at the pointy end going back over two decades are challenging. My experience includes being the first offshore racer to utilise on board reporting via satelite 25 years ago.

For instance one of the first questions asked by a potential sponsor of significance is that race aside, show me how popular this "offshore sailing" thing is? The direct and only supportable answer I have always cobbled together is one being where does "just sailing" rank in popularity because no one has drilled down into the "offshore only" aspect other than individual enterprises that support it like Rolex and alike.

So in that regard today I could hypotheticaly say to that potential sponsor Sailing ranks #43 in the World in terms of popularity (see link below) and behind that Top 25 I posted upthread. I would then say as a comparison Bullriding coming in at #64 in world wide popularity just had a world tournement in Sydney with a $1 million purse. That is the equivalent of say sponsor support enabling the handing out cheques to totalling that in the Hague next week amoungst Xabi, Charles, Bouwe and Co. The money is out there providing the platform is attractive, no matter how attractive it may seem at first blush.

http://www.biggestglobalsports.com

I would then border on heresy and say to that potential sponsor; "actual sport participation and hence popularity numbers are bullshit if you are concerned about your sponsorship message relying on that. The secret is how that message is delivered, how wide that is and how compelling it is." BTW I rank the VOR for doing that at the top of the tree in all world sports.

As a drift VOR's platform was largely propogated by my hero Stan Honey in sailing tracker/graphics delivery and the only person on planet earth that allows me to download today weather gribs and emails via HF/SSB so I keep Inmarsat poor. He is also not a half bad navigator.

So back to my heresy message of sport participation/popularity can largely be irelevant to that potential sponsor who is saying to himself this is an elitist sport (aka the USA) or the buggers don't sail (aka say China). Very simply this is the 21st century and it is not going away despite what the Hancock's of the world may think that the past is the future of this race.

Here is an extract of an opinion piece written by Roger McMillan, editor of My Sailing late last year about a decision by World Sailing to encourage "eSailing", that could see a huge reduction in the number of people participating in traditional forms of sailing and where he references the VOR.

"The eSailing World Championship release conjured up some depressing thoughts for this writer. I imagined a family in Melbourne who owns a club racer, let's say. Dad says to the son or daughter, “Do you want to come out and watch the Volvo boats arrive?”

“No,” replies the child. “I'm busy now. There could be a sail change needed in my Virtual Volvo race and I don't want Tommy at school to beat me.”

Or perhaps an even worse scenario could take place, where the child is dragged out on to the boat and as some of the world's best sailors match race up Port Phillip Bay at 20 knots on exciting 65ft keel boats, the child is glued to a phone screen or tablet, missing all the action and excitement.

Surely we should be encouraging our kids to get out there and experience the thrill of real sailing? To enjoy the camaraderie and banter on the rigging lawn and in the clubhouse, making friends for life. To build their character bobbing around in the hot sun or cold rain, waiting for a fair course to be set. To handle the joys of winning and the pain of losing, to learn to read the weather, to feel the wind and to make their little boat fly."

http://www.mysailing.com.au/opinion/is-world-sailing-risking-our-sport-s-future

Now the irony of that is that a potential sponsor really doesn't give two hoots about participation and growth of the sport of "offshore sailing", their only interest is it being a means to their own commercial ends which has a limited horizon.

The best exponents of that to date is Volvo and where are they now off to? Where is the space for a potential sponsor? Kids who want to ring up Vestas and buy a Wind Farm or buy a Chinese truck? The only sponsors in this race getting a true ROI are the Not-for-Profits/Eco's where they are selling nothing other than contributing to saving mother earth.

So to rewind back to my original question being; "if it is not sponsor reluctance to subsidising the marketing of the RO's brand, what then is the key driver behind them keeping their cheque books closed"?

Well in my mind the answer is simple. No one in two decades to my knowledge has ever asked that Question!!

Firstly starting with the VOR's first CEO, Glen Bourke, a wonderful pond sailor and then questionable administrator with zero marketing nous, followed by Knut with both RTW cred and marketing expertise post 2008/09 (Bourkes legacy edition) and then followed by Turner, a sailing marketing guru. Would any thinking person expect them collecting a Volvo pay cheque every week to ask that question why a Volvo named event?

Secondly, would those responsible for marketing budgets in AB Volvo and Volvo Cars (Ford up until 2011/12 edition then Chinese private) ask that question unless collectively they first saw a deficit to value and then their only question was we need to be out of here, nothing else.

Finally as for the sponsors. Potentials won't bother picking up the phone if they regard their outlay subsidising Volvo's marketing agenda. Existing sponsors are committed so their issues range between an RO prosecuting the selection of finish lines to an equitable result to being gouged financialy to pitstops like Guangzhou that favour no one other than the RO and one entrant who somehow think Hong Kong is not part of China.

So where is that question of  "naming rights" being a roadblock to sponsorship of this RTW Race going to come from? My guess is only places like this.

PS. Dick by the way and which is probably unecessary, I appreciate both your sailing interlect (and other posters here) and your willingness to participate in this debate.

I just hope I'm not wearing you all out :-)

If humans don't do that, or trivialise it, then like in all things in life the outcome is what we deserve. 

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1 hour ago, hoppy said:

What's the point of trying to debate you ?

You stick your head in the sand at the nearest mention of private teams and the type of boats that they would probably be interested in spending money on. You refuse to acknowledge that the rich are getting richer and want leisure activities that they are happy to pay professionals to participate in on their behalf so they can get a trophy. 

Mate a tip...you only get one go at using your selective, unrelated and nonsensical "strawman" approach to debate..keep doing it by all means but you look like a bigger idiot every time you do it. Your are better off not bothering unless you are just a troll.

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

 

Dick first you are spot on and that is a crewed RTW race as a commercial proposition does come up wanting. However the question remains is why?

Firstly the cheap and lazy answer to that is for the last two decades there has only been one event for a sponsor to put there money down on and that is only the VOR!!! So doesn't that make the answer being one of drilling down into "one race" and "one race only" every 3/4 years centric? 

However, I will park that because the realities of selling sponsorship from personel experience at the pointy end going back over two decades are challenging. My experience includes being the first offshore racer to utilise on board reporting via satelite 25 years ago.

For instance one of the first questions asked by a potential sponsor of significance is that race aside, show me how popular this "offshore sailing" thing is? The direct and only supportable answer I have always cobbled together is one being where does "just sailing" rank in popularity because no one has drilled down into the "offshore only" aspect other than individual enterprises that support it like Rolex and alike.

So in that regard today I could hypotheticaly say to that potential sponsor Sailing ranks #43 in the World in terms of popularity (see link below) and behind that Top 25 I posted upthread. I would then say as a comparison Bullriding coming in at #64 in world wide popularity just had a world tournement in Sydney with a $1 million purse. That is the equivalent of say sponsor support enabling the handing out cheques to totalling that in the Hague next week amoungst Xabi, Charles, Bouwe and Co. The money is out there providing the platform is attractive, no matter how attractive it may seem at first blush.

http://www.biggestglobalsports.com

I would then border on heresy and say to that potential sponsor; "actual sport participation and hence popularity numbers are bullshit if you are concerned about your sponsorship message relying on that. The secret is how that message is delivered, how wide that is and how compelling it is." BTW I rank the VOR for doing that at the top of the tree in all world sports.

As a drift VOR's platform was largely propogated by my hero Stan Honey in sailing tracker/graphics delivery and the only person on planet earth that allows me to download today weather gribs and emails via HF/SSB so I keep Inmarsat poor. He is also not a half bad navigator.

So back to my heresy message of sport participation/popularity can largely be irelevant to that potential sponsor who is saying to himself this is an elitist sport (aka the USA) or the buggers don't sail (aka say China). Very simply this is the 21st century and it is not going away despite what the Hancock's of the world may think that the past is the future of this race.

Here is an extract of an opinion piece written by Roger McMillan, editor of My Sailing late last year about a decision by World Sailing to encourage "eSailing", that could see a huge reduction in the number of people participating in traditional forms of sailing and where he references the VOR.

"The eSailing World Championship release conjured up some depressing thoughts for this writer. I imagined a family in Melbourne who owns a club racer, let's say. Dad says to the son or daughter, “Do you want to come out and watch the Volvo boats arrive?”

“No,” replies the child. “I'm busy now. There could be a sail change needed in my Virtual Volvo race and I don't want Tommy at school to beat me.”

Or perhaps an even worse scenario could take place, where the child is dragged out on to the boat and as some of the world's best sailors match race up Port Phillip Bay at 20 knots on exciting 65ft keel boats, the child is glued to a phone screen or tablet, missing all the action and excitement.

Surely we should be encouraging our kids to get out there and experience the thrill of real sailing? To enjoy the camaraderie and banter on the rigging lawn and in the clubhouse, making friends for life. To build their character bobbing around in the hot sun or cold rain, waiting for a fair course to be set. To handle the joys of winning and the pain of losing, to learn to read the weather, to feel the wind and to make their little boat fly."

http://www.mysailing.com.au/opinion/is-world-sailing-risking-our-sport-s-future

Now the irony of that is that a potential sponsor really doesn't give two hoots about participation and growth of the sport of "offshore sailing", their only interest is it being a means to their own commercial ends which has a limited horizon.

The best exponents of that to date is Volvo and where are they now off to? Where is the space for a potential sponsor? Kids who want to ring up Vestas and buy a Wind Farm or buy a Chinese truck? The only sponsors in this race getting a true ROI are the Not-for-Profits/Eco's where they are selling nothing other than contributing to saving mother earth.

So to rewind back to my original question being; "if it is not sponsor reluctance to subsidising the marketing of the RO's brand, what then is the key driver behind them keeping their cheque books closed"?

Well in my mind the answer is simple. No one in two decades to my knowledge has ever asked that Question!!

Firstly starting with the VOR's first CEO, Glen Bourke, a wonderful pond sailor and then questionable administrator with zero marketing nous, followed by Knut with both RTW cred and marketing expertise post 2008/09 (Bourkes legacy edition) and then followed by Turner, a sailing marketing guru. Would any thinking person expect them collecting a Volvo pay cheque every week to ask that question why a Volvo named event?

Secondly, would those responsible for marketing budgets in AB Volvo and Volvo Cars (Ford up until 2011/12 edition then Chinese private) ask that question unless collectively they first saw a deficit to value and then their only question was we need to be out of here, nothing else.

Finally as for the sponsors. Potentials won't bother picking up the phone if they regard their outlay subsidising Volvo's marketing agenda. Existing sponsors are committed so their issues range between an RO prosecuting the selection of finish lines to an equitable result to being gouged financialy to pitstops like Guangzhou that favour no one other than the RO and one entrant who somehow think Hong Kong is not part of China.

So where is that question of  "naming rights" being a roadblock to sponsorship of this RTW Race going to come from? My guess is only places like this.

PS. Dick by the way and which is probably unecessary, I appreciate both your sailing interlect (and other posters here) and your willingness to participate in this debate.

I just hope I'm not wearing you all out :-)

If humans don't do that, or trivialise it, then like in all things in life the outcome is what we deserve. 

Noice!  Thanks for the wrap!    Important to debate this stuff, the sailing industry as a whole is so backward from a marketing and business strategy perspective outside its traditional "find a rich guy and get him to spend a lot on toys for us to play with" operating model - which it is just great at.  Problems with that model are scalability and potentially sustainability, and an ability to compete on a level playing field with sports which have a consumer franchise.  For us non or semi-pro sailors who are passionate about the sport trickle down matters, as does a pinnacle event or three to dream about.

The sailing audience, as evidenced here any number of times is eternally fixated on the wonders of sailing hardware (I certainly am) and for the most part assumes non sailors feel it too (I don't).  The non-sailing fraternity doesn't get it.  How would they if they haven't ever had, and never will have the chance to "feel the wind and to make their little boat fly". And, this hardware-solves-everything fixation persists across the marine industry as much as the sailing fraternity.  TPart naivete part self interest I'd say.  It holds the sport back.  ruth be told, the current VOR leg would be no less compelling in Volvo 60s, 70s or 65s yet the choice of platform has been a major focus for decades.

OT, but I for one think virtual sailing could do a lot to boost the sport.  The way it integrates non-sailors to the real action is pretty compelling.  Soon there will be a large cohort of people in remote locatins all over the world who know all about polars, GRIBS, sail changes etc. having never sailed a boat.  Fertile ground to develop participation at grass roots level IMHO.

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1 hour ago, DickDastardly said:

OT, but I for one think virtual sailing could do a lot to boost the sport.  The way it integrates non-sailors to the real action is pretty compelling.  Soon there will be a large cohort of people in remote locatins all over the world who know all about polars, GRIBS, sail changes etc. having never sailed a boat.  Fertile ground to develop participation at grass roots level IMHO.

Dick much as it is totally alien to my introduction to the sport at the age of 6 where a soft day was <25k and we only sunk once and I  was lucky enough to take it right through to the big end and see the world I think you are right. Roger McMillan in that opinion piece above BV about eSailing is not so much wrong but being idealistic and missing an opportunity. That opportunity exists in undeveloped markets that range between the US where the elitist tag of sailing is a handbrake to places like China.

If nothing else many things have been tried with mixed success and so that eSailing approach in conjunction with ease of actual entry via Club/School etc is worth a shot.

The irony is it is right up the alley of a savey RO and potential sponsors who understand that modern dynamic. My guess is a quick straw poll of posters to VOR legs would reveal a higher percentage than one thinks who are learning and getting an understanding of offshore sailing solely by that electronic medium. Hoppy certainly is :-)

Kids are the future consumers, in fact looking back at mine they were the consumer, I just observed and paid for it.

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10 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Kids are the future consumers,

Fuck hey ... I knew they were good for something to the Ankles Brigade.

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19 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

2) Sailor enthusiasm is what draws fans.  See point 1 as to sailor motivation.  Consider to what extent the average Ocean Racer has any public profile or brand recognition in consumer markets.  Colour, movement, danger and excitement is what draws fans, you said that yourself.  Surely you've seen videos of the French jocks blasting around on their foiling Ulrime tris.  Do they look any more animated than VOR65 crews?  Nope.  Less so in fact, sitting up high in their cuddy surveying the scene an dfocusing very hard and calmly on extracting the most from a twotcy platform.  From those on board videos, do the boats look like they're moving at twice the speed of a VOR65?  Nope.

Again, I never advocated for a multi in The Race in this thread or an other.  In fact, I started a whole thread earlier in this Edition in reaction to the criticism of all to the all the water coming over the boats and the need to maintain an open cockpit.  Missed that one?  Maybe it's you making big assumptions?

19 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

1) Pros won't turn up if they don't like the boat.  Do you really bellieve that?  They need to earn a living so if they were asked to sail Swan 65s around the world in fully pro mode they probably would.  They're doing it for the money as much as the challenge, except perhaps for the virgins who are doing it to tick a box off and build their resume.  The virgins probably want a boat that is safe, not too physically demanding and least likely to get them in trouble.  Read Nico's article last week - he reckons the VOR65 is a great platform, and he's done a few laps already.

Two of the crew that were on Gitana doing the fly by were former Brunel crew members of this Edition.  Stu Ballantine had previous racing engagements in the Med, Mexico and elsewhere and skipped out mid Edition (came back).  There were others and no doubt there were many other elite sailors (Frank Camas sailed one Leg) that could have done the race but had other options and commitments.  The VOR isn't the only game in town and probably not the highest paying.  Two plus years is a big commitment and forfeits a lot of other opportunities for sailors in demand.  

If The Race going forward isn't a compelling option for Elite sailors, I doubt they will be as eager to commit two years to sail just anything when the could get a ride on a maxi tri for example.  It may still be a bucket list race and a race for newbs to cut their teeth on and to add to the resume and a race for the older pros.  

The boat matters.

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10 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

The sailing audience, as evidenced here any number of times is eternally fixated on the wonders of sailing hardware (I certainly am) and for the most part assumes non sailors feel it too (I don't).  The non-sailing fraternity doesn't get it.  How would they if they haven't ever had, and never will have the chance to "feel the wind and to make their little boat fly". And, this hardware-solves-everything fixation persists across the marine industry as much as the sailing fraternity.  TPart naivete part self interest I'd say.  It holds the sport back.  ruth be told, the current VOR leg would be no less compelling in Volvo 60s, 70s or 65s yet the choice of platform has been a major focus for decades.

To exclude hardware from the equation is wrong and would be a case of treating the non-sailing audience as ignorant fools. It's like saying that Liberty media could get away with putting the Formula One drivers into formula Fords and making that the new F1 world championship and it still being a success. Probably 99.9% of the F1 audience have never been in a race car but will know that it has become a substandard competition.

Sure you can fool non-sailor at the stopover destinations with big impressive looking colourful boats but most of them are not following the event. My girlfriend liked visiting the race village (aside from issues with plastics ban discussed elsewhere) and she and her friend loved it when we watched the start and followed the fleet for a few miles. She has never shown any interest in the race since and has a very limited interest when I have mentioned and race news since they left.

I don't know any non-sailors who have any interest in the race, but I can imagine that they would be like my Grandfather. He did not sail however, he would buy Yachting World every month and study it closely. He would have read articles about the Whitbread races and interviews with the skippers and editorials about the race. As a kid, I always read his magazines and we'd spend hours talking about the yachts "dreaming". We were "knowledgable" about sailing from what we read.

I would expect that non-sailors who follow the RTW race would have been like us, but instead of reading sailing magazines, their knowledge comes from the race site, sailing forums and race threads, bloggers, following team/sailor facebook and instagram pages and so on. If sailors or bloggers are critical of the current boat, future plans and if sailors decide against doing the next event because the boat does not interest them, then that will impact on the race followers and viewer numbers.

You are right that it is not a case of "hardware-solves-everything", but the hardware is an important part of the equation when you are at the elite end of the sport.

True, pro sailors need their pay day, but racing the VOR must entail a lot of sacrifices, a lot more than being the pro crew on a racing super yacht, TP52, Maxi etc... Money isn't everything.

Ignore hardware at your peril.

 

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45 minutes ago, hoppy said:

To exclude hardware from the equation is wrong and would be a case of treating the non-sailing audience as ignorant fools. It's like saying that Liberty media could get away with putting the Formula One drivers into formula Fords and making that the new F1 world championship and it still being a success. Probably 99.9% of the F1 audience have never been in a race car but will know that it has become a substandard competition.

I don't believe hardware is irelevant at all.  I just don't believe the fanboy argument that absolute boat performance a major determinant in the success of the race, at least on the upside.  On the flip side I do believe the wrong hardware choice could kill the race for any number o freasons - for example, the looming IMOCA call is full of compromises, and risks related to issues in IMOCA world, well outside RO control.  Alternately, a platform that fails spectacularly in remote places with loss of many lives would be fatal for more than just the people involved.  Further, I concur that a platform that was demonstrably marginal on safety would deter pro sailors.  And, massive design and hardware budgets are clearly no longer sustainable in this event.

Sure you can fool non-sailor at the stopover destinations with big impressive looking colourful boats but most of them are not following the event. My girlfriend liked visiting the race village (aside from issues with plastics ban discussed elsewhere) and she and her friend loved it when we watched the start and followed the fleet for a few miles. She has never shown any interest in the race since and has a very limited interest when I have mentioned and race news since they left.

I don't know any non-sailors who have any interest in the race, but I can imagine that they would be like my Grandfather. He did not sail however, he would buy Yachting World every month and study it closely. He would have read articles about the Whitbread races and interviews with the skippers and editorials about the race. As a kid, I always read his magazines and we'd spend hours talking about the yachts "dreaming". We were "knowledgable" about sailing from what we read.

Case proven m'lud.  I'm sure you know more non-sailors than sailors, as we all do, it's just that based on what you're saying, the race doesn't hold  any interest for them as they have plenty of more compelling distractions.  So given that, how does choice of hardware make one iota of difference?  Will those non-watching non-sailors suddenly bcome enthralled because the race switches to a foiling tri that does 800 mile days regularly?  Most of them don't know what a mile is anyhow.  Given that, faster, more spectacular hardware will do little or nothing to make the race more viable.

Nostalgia's a wonderful thing.  The world has changed.  The magazine industry is on life support.  Grandads watch TV and Skype their grandkids these days. And sure, kids still get captivated by adventure and challenge but it's as likely to be fictional.  If you're going to dream of something out of reach, it may as well be something that's not even real.  Go play Fortnite.

I would expect that non-sailors who follow the RTW race would have been like us, but instead of reading sailing magazines, their knowledge comes from the race site, sailing forums and race threads, bloggers, following team/sailor facebook and instagram pages and so on. If sailors or bloggers are critical of the current boat, future plans and if sailors decide against doing the next event because the boat does not interest them, then that will impact on the race followers and viewer numbers.

The obvious flaw in your argument is that the non-sailors you speak of are going to make an effort to even look at the race site, sailng forums etc. in the first place.

You are right that it is not a case of "hardware-solves-everything", but the hardware is an important part of the equation when you are at the elite end of the sport.

True, pro sailors need their pay day, but racing the VOR must entail a lot of sacrifices, a lot more than being the pro crew on a racing super yacht, TP52, Maxi etc... Money isn't everything.

I'm not aware of any pro sailors who have turned down a VOR ride out of lack of interest in the  boat.  It's usually lack of interest in the beating they're in for, or for others a better offer.  However, when the AC moved to 5 a side, three of which were actually cyclists the market for pro sailors in that competition evaporated.  Supply of pro sailors exceeds demand in general and teams choose carefully.

Ignore hardware at your peril.

I think the leg just finished is a great testament to the hardware they're using.  It matters, but not for the reasons many believe.

 

 

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Hoppy--in my experience, hardware has BEEN the peril.

Back in the 70s we raced handicap on the local summer dinghy circuit, and never really enjoyed that. Wins were decided o conditions and hardware.

So, we all agreed one-design was the way to go, and it worked. There was hassle over which boat, with each club naturally promoting their own favourite fleet. Best we ever did was with the 470 fleet, then the HARDWARE folks promoted Lasers. Then when that market was saturated, Hobies, then sailboards (Mistral Superlight). Then C+C 35s. Then Martin 242s.

And with every shift by the dealers, the community was fractured again, and again, and again.

Most of us now are in cruisers, and occasionally race, but dream of when we could race OD.

HARDWARE is the problem for the sailors,, not the solution.

 

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5 hours ago, southerncross said:

If The Race going forward isn't a compelling option for Elite sailors, I doubt they will be as eager to commit two years to sail just anything when the could get a ride on a maxi tri for example.  It may still be a bucket list race and a race for newbs to cut their teeth on and to add to the resume and a race for the older pros.  

The boat matters.

Not sure RKJ agrees with you.

He reakons this crewed RTW Race to be the pinnacle in the sport has to be the toughest (he didn't say fastest) and for that it has to include the Southern Ocean. He talks of it in terms of "the spark" in anyones life.

If he is correct then given the choice of walking past the crewed RTW boat or a Maxi Tri, then anyone after that "one spark" will chose the former while they have the opportunity to do so.

Go to 57 minute mark.

FB linky courtesy of stief

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12 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

The non-sailing fraternity doesn't get it.  How would they if they haven't ever had, and never will have the chance to "feel the wind and to make their little boat fly".

 

25 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

The obvious flaw in your argument is that the non-sailors you speak of are going to make an effort to even look at the race site, sailng forums etc. in the first place.

Why do you care if the non-sailors are "get" or don't "get" the fixation on hardware if you think they are not going to show interest in the event? If they are not interested, then they are going to "switch off" if the race is mentioned in the news and not watch any sports programs containing the race. So their value to team and race sponsors is $0

Given that a leg of the RTW race is not run and finished in a couple of hours like a football game or F1 race, so if you have interest, you will, go online. How and why non-sailor get into following the race will vary. If you are to believe the viewer/click numbers in places like China, then clearly a lot of non-sailors follow the race.

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A lot of money and people follow boxing but almost no one boxes.

I think for an event to have gravitas it has to be "a" or "the" pinnacle of it's genre. In many ways this race is that already it just need refining.

 

The Volvo name needs to sit back with the other sponsors.

The boat needs to be one design in some form.

The emphasis needs to be on the crew/team not the boat or the sail maker/designer/hardware supplier etc. Who cares who made the balls or grew the pitches in the World Cup.

Take FI, yes it's important who made the engine/chassis but people get passionate about the team or driver.

Have a look at the who's who of this race, it's a virtual cream of the crop of a big swag of people serious about ocean sailing, minus the short handed crew. Why would someone like Cayard , Burling, Tuke, Peyron or Conner feel a need to put themselves through this?

I dont think it's that broken, we have all just seen that. The vision coming of the boats in this race are extraordinary. I post VOR vids to Facebook and friends who have never sailed "get" it, it grabs their attention and appreciation immediately.

Every major sport I know limits a weapons war, think about it. Full suits in swimming, Aluminium bats, shoes in running, boxing gloves, golf clubs, any Olympic event equipment, gloves in ball sports of all kinds.

Sailing is a great sport but it means most when it's not just someones cheque book that decides the result, ocean racing in particular.

Some one in the race thread suggested a synergy for the next race might be Team NZ/Brunel. I know it's not new but longer term relationships might be the go. Work out symmetries.

All that said, I'd hate to see this race become a media circus. We already have one commentator we can't stand and he is just the beginning, imagine Fox News coverage.

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Not sure RKJ agrees with you.

He reakons this crewed RTW Race to be the pinnacle in the sport has to be the toughest (he didn't say fastest) and for that it has to include the Southern Ocean. He talks of it in terms of "the spark" in anyones life.

If he is correct then given the choice of walking past the crewed RTW boat or a Maxi Tri, then anyone after that "one spark" will chose the former while they have the opportunity to do so.

Go to 57 minute mark.

FB linky courtesy of stief

Now a standalone UTuber.

 

 

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I have never met more sailors disinterested in  boats.  

Jack, getting a lot of use out of that RKJ post?  I read it in the Cardiff thread after Stief posted it.  I agree with everything he says. The Race should be the pinnacle of offshore racing.  Said that in my first post on this thread.  When this thread began there was a lot uncertainty about where the race was headed and the current Edition was still a mixed bag - not the mesmerizing event it is now.  Hats off to the teams and the close racing for reviving The Race.  

This Edition is finishing out on a high note after previous disasters and uncertainty.  We hope the new crop will capitalize on its success and springboard forward with something that, at the very least, builds on this momentum.  

The Teams have gotten every ounce out of the 65’s there is.  If they are to be used again, I suspect the racing will be that much closer.

If they are to be retired, the new boat needs to be one that will take the new Edition into a new era.

One design is now a proven concept (sorry Hop).  The economics are too compelling.  Close racing is far more marketable and interesting.  The Boatyard under Nick Bice is a saving grace.  

But I’ll always maintain that the new boat needs to be something thrilling.  Thrilling for those sailing it and thrilling to watch.

All the best to all and their ideas.  Let’s hope.

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19 minutes ago, southerncross said:

I have never met more sailors disinterested in  boats.  

Jack, getting a lot of use out of that RKJ post?  I read it in the Cardiff thread after Stief posted it.  I agree with everything he says. The Race should be the pinnacle of offshore racing.  Said that in my first post on this thread.  When this thread began there was a lot uncertainty about where the race was headed and the current Edition was still a mixed bag - not the mesmerizing event it is now.  Hats off to the teams and the close racing for reviving The Race.  

This Edition is finishing out on a high note after previous disasters and uncertainty.  We hope the new crop will capitalize on its success and springboard forward with something that, at the very least, builds on this momentum.  

The Teams have gotten every ounce out of the 65’s there is.  If they are to be used again, I suspect the racing will be that much closer.

If they are to be retired, the new boat needs to be one that will take the new Edition into a new era.

One design is now a proven concept (sorry Hop).  The economics are too compelling.  Close racing is far more marketable and interesting.  The Boatyard under Nick Bice is a saving grace.  

But I’ll always maintain that the new boat needs to be something thrilling.  Thrilling for those sailing it and thrilling to watch.

All the best to all and their ideas.  Let’s hope.

I agree that the VOR cannot go backwards. OD has proved itself and is the way of the future. Sailing fans like OD. Sponsors like OD.

If the next edition of the VOR comprises two fleets where one fleet is One Design and a second fleet is not (IMOCA or otherwise) then 3 things will happen:

1. The real race and the most exciting race to watch will be the one -design fleet.

2. The first boat into each port will not be the one design. By their very nature, the custom boats will push the design envelope. They may not all finish but they will be fast.

3. Audience and sponsors will be distracted by trying to decide which is the real race. Both fleets will be diminished in stature.   Who really won the VOR?   Sponsors will face uncertainty as to ROI.  What was once transparent will become opaque and the race will wither and die. 

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1 hour ago, southerncross said:

When this thread began there was a lot uncertainty about where the race was headed and the current Edition was still a mixed bag - not the mesmerizing event it is now.  Hats off to the teams and the close racing for reviving The Race

This Edition is finishing out on a high note after previous disasters and uncertainty.

Helen Fretter at Sail World agrees (cred Andy Green's tweet for the find)

The whole article is a good read, and will be a useful intro to anyone wondering what all the fuss is about. 

Her conclusion:

Quote

This edition of the Volvo has had its problems, and the event has its share of critics, but as the competition reaches its denouement yesterday’s live broadcasts definitively proved that offshore racing can be a gripping spectator sport. I’ve had to wait up for plenty of ocean race finishes (the first rule of offshores being they usually finish in the middle of the night!); this one I couldn’t tear myself away from. If you weren’t watching, go and take a peek at what you missed at www.volvooceanrace.com

http://www.yachtingworld.com/races/volvo-ocean-race/comment-the-volvo-ocean-race-has-finally-made-offshore-sailing-a-spectacle-115158

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7 hours ago, southerncross said:

One design is now a proven concept (sorry Hop).  The economics are too compelling.  Close racing is far more marketable and interesting.  The Boatyard under Nick Bice is a saving grace.  

You traitor :angry:

 

7 hours ago, southerncross said:

The Race should be the pinnacle of offshore racing.  

Let the bean counters design the boat and it will fade into non-existance.

If they go the crewed IMOCA route, then the IMOCA rtw non-stop solo race will be the pinnacle (of mono) ocean racing.

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6 hours ago, hoppy said:

Let the bean counters design the boat and it will fade into non-existance.

Well they let the marine industry design the VO70 and the race very nearly died, so obviously sailors can't do it and if the bea