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Super foilers for sale

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Page 19 of the aust financial review this morning has in interesting ad

high speed hydrofoil raceboats and IP for sale

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Link??

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10 minutes ago, sunseeker said:

Looks like that didn’t escalate quickly enough

Honestly, we probably need Teaky to ask if it’s cool or homo?

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Another datapoint to support the contention that "fast is fun for sailors, sailor geeks and the marine industry but as a commercial proposition it doesn't cut it".  

  1. There's a limited gene pool of sailors who can operate these types of complex boats in a way that makes racing exciting. 
  2. And Larry can pay them more.
  3. The speed isn't exciting enough to a non-sailor to make it a spectacle worth paying for
  4. The speed makes the racing boring: 
    1. bang the boundaries, avoid tacks and gybes and the risk of falling off the foils, 
    2. keep it flying in straight lines better than the other guy is what you focus on first and foremost. 
    3. Tactics is a poor second, and close quarters crosses and manoeuvres at high speeds are too dangerous to indulge in when you have a multi-event series to play for (not to mention the risk to humans and their lives and careers of a collision)
  5. Sailing fast boats requires a big racecourse which puts the spectators a long, long way from the action.
  6. Fast boats create all sorts of expensive safety considerations for event organisers and the authorities in areas where they stage events.  Big barriers.  
  7. So watch it on TV instead, but then the sense of speed is lost in the closeups that capture the crew in action.
  8. So as a close-up, it's no more exciting than watching 12 metres, arguably less so as there are way less moving parts and there's hardly any close-quarters boat on boat action.
  9. Plus, slow motion boat racing gives commentators time to explain complex things like tactics, hooks, rule traps etc. to (non-sailor and sailor) audiences in ways that can be interesting (and they happen more, anyway).
  10. The AC is different!  the tech may trickle down but the concept doesn't
  11. This type of sailing just isn't a spectator sport.  Get over it.

You listening, Larry?

All that said, it's brave to take something like this on, major respect to Bill McCartney for all the hard work and having big cojones but it didn't work the first time around with the 18s, why would it now?

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16 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

but it didn't work the first time around with the 18s

I wouldn't say that, the Grand Prix Sailing was a great series. Phil Barnett told me he got in a taxi once the the bloke knew nothing about sailing but recognised him.

It went tits up when they moved from the lunch break in the cricket to I think Channel 10 and then tried to replicate it with 49's

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Gee you would pay big bucks for the IP wouldn't you...

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2 hours ago, Mr Bo_Tangles said:

'If it looks ugly, it will fly the same'- Kelly Johnson

Yup, Kelly was The Man, funny how much that often applies to boats as well!

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so I guess these weren't the "People's Foiler"?

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6 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

So as a close-up, it's no more exciting than watching 12 metres, arguably less so

You've got to be kidding me...

You do make some valid points though. Specifically 1, 4, 9

The rest of it, pure unmitigated nonsense.

Sailing will always struggle to get the rush and feeling onboard to come through television. There's too much that doesn't come through. The feel of the rig, the rush of the water, the feel of the helm, etc. That goes for anything, 4ksb or SuperFoilers, but don't tell me the SuperFoilers aren't more entertaining to watch. That's not due to the fact that they're foiling, its because they're fast. Same reason I enjoy watching the 18 footers. If its the Wednesday night races, I'm only going to watch the start hoping to see chaos unfold and then I'm off to the bar.

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SF was fantastic to me. It matched, and surpassed the excitement of the 18f skiffs of the Grand Prix era.

When I talk with sailors here in Miami -- olympic circuit, 4ksb captains, mothies -- everyone's watched them, similar extent to AC. At a recent stop at a sailing club bar, SF + SailGP + AC +Bangin' the Corners videos were on an endless loop on big monitors.

Perhaps they didn't break through with the mainstream? Whatever agreement that put the old GP in the cricket break in Oz was missing here? 

It's a shame really, because if the series are staggered, SF, SailGP and AC could all be taking turns to keep the audiences engaged through the year.

Also, why is Randy Cunningham (of Bangin' the Corners) not hosting any of these? Call that a contributing factor to SF's bankrupcy: didn't hire Randy.

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Watching lead slugs race = slightly more interesting than golf or grass growing/paint drying.  If sailing is to ever be a viable spectator sport the boats have to be fast.

Being OTW watching Kiwis vs Oracle? awesome. 

 

 

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13 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

Another datapoint to support the contention that "fast is fun for sailors, sailor geeks and the marine industry but as a commercial proposition it doesn't cut it". 

That would be one way to woefully misinterpret the statistics

I'd say it's a datapoint that supports the contention that "A terrible design isn't a great foundation to build a sporting series on."

here's another "Passion for something can make one blind to reality."

 

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14 minutes ago, martin.langhoff said:

SF was fantastic to me. It matched, and surpassed the excitement of the 18f skiffs of the Grand Prix era.

When I talk with sailors here in Miami -- olympic circuit, 4ksb captains, mothies -- everyone's watched them, similar extent to AC. At a recent stop at a sailing club bar, SF + SailGP + AC +Bangin' the Corners videos were on an endless loop on big monitors.

Perhaps they didn't break through with the mainstream? Whatever agreement that put the old GP in the cricket break in Oz was missing here? 

It's a shame really, because if the series are staggered, SF, SailGP and AC could all be taking turns to keep the audiences engaged through the year.

Also, why is Randy Cunningham (of Bangin' the Corners) not hosting any of these? Call that a contributing factor to SF's bankrupcy: didn't hire Randy.

They blew all their money trying to get the boats sailable, and never did.  I'm sure they would have hired a great commentary team if they had any money left, but it wouldn't have mattered.  It takes a good production at least a couple of years to make any inroads with the public, and Jack clearly didn't have anything like the money to sustain it.

My gut tells me they finally realized that the whole thing was over their heads, and they are getting out before anyone gets killed on one of those cheese graters

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2 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

 I'm sure they would have hired a great commentary  comedy team if they had any money left, but it wouldn't have mattered.

Fixed it. Those beasts had to be the most frustrating boats ever to try and race. Sort of like unicycle racing.

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19 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

Fixed it. Those beasts had to be the most frustrating boats ever to try and race. Sort of like unicycle racing.

Hmmm?! All foilers are unicycles. Watch any moth regatta, even the top guys and gals struggle to keep the boats right side up. 

 

24 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

They blew all their money trying to get the boats sailable, and never did.

Why do you say 'never did'? Yeah, there were some breakages, but the boats all sailed their courses, and the top teams closed the gap with Euroflex, showing it was doable.

26 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

It takes a good production at least a couple of years to make any inroads with the public, and Jack clearly didn't have anything like the money to sustain it.

Complete agreement. The 18 footers took ages to become an 'overnight success', as most overnight successes do. 

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Watch any moth regatta, even the top guys and gals struggle to keep the boats right side up.

Not any real regatta unless it's 20+ or exceptionally choppy.  Wands just don't work above a certain size chop.  Usually the top 30% of the fleet is pretty smooth at any major regatta.  I've seen entire days where the top guys don't come off the foils except to rest between races.  

Quote

Why do you say 'never did'? Yeah, there were some breakages, but the boats all sailed their courses, and the top teams closed the gap with Euroflex,

We must have been watching different regattas then.  Some teams improved in moderate winds, but most were still completely hopeless and the gaps were insane.  Even Euroflex couldn't control the boat a large part of the races that I watched.  Then again I may have fast forwarded to the fun bits...

 

Quote

The 18 footers took ages to become an 'overnight success', as most overnight successes do.

The success of the 18 is a historical accident and would be long gone were it not for some amazing volunteers, some amazing donors, and the betting ferries. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, d'ranger said:

Watching lead slugs race = slightly more interesting than golf or grass growing/paint drying.  If sailing is to ever be a viable spectator sport the boats have to be fast.

Being OTW watching Kiwis vs Oracle? awesome. 

 

 

I plan to be OTW in Auckland Cheering On My Fav Team 

TNZ be there a Kalifornia team lined up to chalange

Been there, Only watched Bermuda for the Carnage to ORACLE and the Proper Yer-ASS on a Plate served by TNZ

The CUP will now be held Closer than the GGYC defence/loss and should be cheeper to attend than when in Frisco

May the CUP stay in NZL forever ... we're Not worthy !!!!

 

 

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Those stubby amas didn’t seem help.

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16 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

Another datapoint to support the contention that "fast is fun for sailors, sailor geeks and the marine industry but as a commercial proposition it doesn't cut it".  

  1. There's a limited gene pool of sailors who can operate these types of complex boats in a way that makes racing exciting. 
  2. And Larry can pay them more.
  3. The speed isn't exciting enough to a non-sailor to make it a spectacle worth paying for
  4. The speed makes the racing boring: 
    1. bang the boundaries, avoid tacks and gybes and the risk of falling off the foils, 
    2. keep it flying in straight lines better than the other guy is what you focus on first and foremost. 
    3. Tactics is a poor second, and close quarters crosses and manoeuvres at high speeds are too dangerous to indulge in when you have a multi-event series to play for (not to mention the risk to humans and their lives and careers of a collision)
  5. Sailing fast boats requires a big racecourse which puts the spectators a long, long way from the action.
  6. Fast boats create all sorts of expensive safety considerations for event organisers and the authorities in areas where they stage events.  Big barriers.  
  7. So watch it on TV instead, but then the sense of speed is lost in the closeups that capture the crew in action.
  8. So as a close-up, it's no more exciting than watching 12 metres, arguably less so as there are way less moving parts and there's hardly any close-quarters boat on boat action.
  9. Plus, slow motion boat racing gives commentators time to explain complex things like tactics, hooks, rule traps etc. to (non-sailor and sailor) audiences in ways that can be interesting (and they happen more, anyway).
  10. The AC is different!  the tech may trickle down but the concept doesn't
  11. This type of sailing just isn't a spectator sport.  Get over it.

You listening, Larry?

All that said, it's brave to take something like this on, major respect to Bill McCartney for all the hard work and having big cojones but it didn't work the first time around with the 18s, why would it now?

There's also point 13; People have been trying this idea since the 1980s (with PYRA, the Ultimate Yacht Race, and Formula 40) so no one can even honestly claim it's a new approach.

 

 

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3 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

That would be one way to woefully misinterpret the statistics

I'd say it's a datapoint that supports the contention that "A terrible design isn't a great foundation to build a sporting series on."

here's another "Passion for something can make one blind to reality."

 

So what's the better way to interpret the statistics that have seen this sort of sailing collapse so often for so long?

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18 hours ago, Bill E Goat said:

I wouldn't say that, the Grand Prix Sailing was a great series. Phil Barnett told me he got in a taxi once the the bloke knew nothing about sailing but recognised him.

It went tits up when they moved from the lunch break in the cricket to I think Channel 10 and then tried to replicate it with 49's

It can't have been a great series (in terms of its objectives, that is) - if it were it would have endured.  It died.

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5 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

SF was fantastic to me. It matched, and surpassed the excitement of the 18f skiffs of the Grand Prix era.

When I talk with sailors here in Miami -- olympic circuit, 4ksb captains, mothies -- everyone's watched them, similar extent to AC. At a recent stop at a sailing club bar, SF + SailGP + AC +Bangin' the Corners videos were on an endless loop on big monitors.

Perhaps they didn't break through with the mainstream? Whatever agreement that put the old GP in the cricket break in Oz was missing here? 

It's a shame really, because if the series are staggered, SF, SailGP and AC could all be taking turns to keep the audiences engaged through the year.

Also, why is Randy Cunningham (of Bangin' the Corners) not hosting any of these? Call that a contributing factor to SF's bankrupcy: didn't hire Randy.

You support my point - it wa sdesigned as a mainstream proposition, there are ay number of sailing gearheads in yacht club bars and behind their PCs aroudn the world who were enthralled, including me, but the outcome suggests it wasn't a mainstream proposition.  And, Bill was out to turn sailing into a mainstream proposition, this time and last time alike.  2 out of 2 failed, sadly.

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5 hours ago, d'ranger said:

Watching lead slugs race = slightly more interesting than golf or grass growing/paint drying.  If sailing is to ever be a viable spectator sport the boats have to be fast.

Being OTW watching Kiwis vs Oracle? awesome. 

 

 

To many a sailor, yes.  Not this one though.  I was in Valencia for AC32, it was utterly captivating watching lead slugs in close combat.  And thousands of non-sailors were captivated watching it on big screens in the waterfront beer barns alongside me.  It worked.

My whole point is about non-sailors and how they see the racing.  What sailors think isn't relevant for the most part - on the basis that the SF objective was mainstream success.

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5 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

They blew all their money trying to get the boats sailable, and never did.  I'm sure they would have hired a great commentary team if they had any money left, but it wouldn't have mattered.  It takes a good production at least a couple of years to make any inroads with the public, and Jack clearly didn't have anything like the money to sustain it.

My gut tells me they finally realized that the whole thing was over their heads, and they are getting out before anyone gets killed on one of those cheese graters

I've no doubt that was a factor - the design issues were certainly a huge complexity and cost driver, but given Bill's going-in assumption that "fast and extreme will make it a compelling mainstream proposition"  those complexities were a given part of the whole business model.  The alternative might have been to use an existing high performance class, mono or multi, but these have all been tried anyhow.  M32 failed, 18 footer failed, 49er failed ...   The business model probably didn't die due to excess costs, though of course they don't help.  It probably died (as 99% do) through a lack of revenues.

I maintain that the real  showstopper was that going-in assmption.  

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4 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

We must have been watching different regattas then.  Some teams improved in moderate winds, but most were still completely hopeless and the gaps were insane.  Even Euroflex couldn't control the boat a large part of the races that I watched.  Then again I may have fast forwarded to the fun bits...

The success of the 18 is a historical accident and would be long gone were it not for some amazing volunteers, some amazing donors, and the betting ferries. 

 

 

Clean I think you're proving my argument...

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2 hours ago, Curious said:

There's also point 13; People have been trying this idea since the 1980s (with PYRA, the Ultimate Yacht Race, and Formula 40) so no one can even honestly claim it's a new approach.

You're dead right.  Over and over it's the same thing.  Over the decades any number of marine industry insiders have attempted to get some version of a commercial proposition working.  I guess in part to bypass the whole industry's reliance on rich guys and their whims, in another part in envy of the hugh pots of gold that commercial sporting propositions can access.  Realty is that so far some of the best brains in the world haven't cracked this one. 

The holy grail isn't getting obviously closer.

The definition of insanity is...

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52 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

It can't have been a great series (in terms of its objectives, that is) - if it were it would have endured.  It died.

It was a success as it ran for over 10 years, was on Prime Time Television and attracted big name sponsors.  It hosted regattas in every capital city.

It died when Bill sold it and the new owners tried to move it to 49's which didn't have the same impact as the 18's.

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5 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Not any real regatta unless it's 20+ or exceptionally choppy.  Wands just don't work above a certain size chop.  Usually the top 30% of the fleet is pretty smooth at any major regatta.  I've seen entire days where the top guys don't come off the foils except to rest between races.  

We must have been watching different regattas then.  Some teams improved in moderate winds, but most were still completely hopeless and the gaps were insane.  Even Euroflex couldn't control the boat a large part of the races that I watched.  Then again I may have fast forwarded to the fun bits...

I suspect you must be watching Moth regatta edits :-) where everyone looks cool all the time.

I'm a weekend warrior on two "easy" foilers (Whisper cat & UFO) and what I saw in SF were... powered up foilers. Similar quirks and gotchas to what my cat has, just significantly cranked up.

- The foil ventilation/stall issues you saw were identical to foil ventilation issues Flying Phantoms have (or had, I'm told the foils were tweaked to improve it).

- The boats are a bit underbuilt (ie: abuse on a transom from tangling with a mark ended up in a broken boat). About par for the course on boats where weight is critical to flight in light winds.

The large gaps are also common in foiling. They were abundant in AC as well. Everyone -- even the pros -- are getting the hang of foiling in general, and of the particular boat/class at hand.

I don't think there's factual basis to say SF were significantly more problematic than other foilers. And towards the end of the season, the top crews had them pretty much dialled in IMO.

 

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7 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

Fixed it. Those beasts had to be the most frustrating boats ever to try and race. Sort of like unicycle racing.

 

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3 hours ago, Bill E Goat said:

It was a success as it ran for over 10 years, was on Prime Time Television and attracted big name sponsors.  It hosted regattas in every capital city.

It died when Bill sold it and the new owners tried to move it to 49's which didn't have the same impact as the 18's.

Maybe so,  but with the 18s operating in parallel the 49er model was always a poor cousin, plus complicated by its Olympic status I'd guess.   So eithe rway it dies about 20 years ago and nothing has since risen to fill the void.  I'd suggest that's because there wasn't a void to fill. 

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3 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

Maybe so,  but with the 18s operating in parallel the 49er model was always a poor cousin, plus complicated by its Olympic status I'd guess.   So eithe rway it dies about 20 years ago and nothing has since risen to fill the void.  I'd suggest that's because there wasn't a void to fill. 

That the 18GP model fell over had little to do with the product but more to do with 49ers arriving in the lead up to 2000 and greedy hands wanting a slice of limited airtime. Ratings through the channel 9 cricket lead in era were more than worth sponsor outlay. It got tougher when moved to channel 7/Fox but still had traction. Then a 49er comes along and has promoters and would be promoters fighting to sign them up, poaching/confusing sponsors with hollow promises and the lot dies due to greed.

Rob Brown tried to reignite it on channel 10 on a shoestring but it just didn’t seem to get across the line with recycled older boats and a few big name sponsors missing that kept it prominent for a number of years. 

18s were always the right mix with the right amount of action, spills and competitiveness to keep viewers interested for 22minutes of footage. That Bill and Jack overlooked the product may have been what cost them, though this could have been to not wanting to reignite old wars with the League and take away from the great work Woody and co have done to keep the class going.

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Maybe the 18s prove that a series can work for a while IF it uses comparatively cheap boats that have developed a following and name recognition over decades (from the era of Yendys through to the KB/Colour 7 era) and have an established feeder structure.
 

But I have never seen any first hand evidence that the ratings were amazing (and it's not disrespecting anyone to ask for first hand evidence of claims that are made) and surely it is reasonable to ask, as DD does, why no one followed the model if it worked so well. The collapse of the first round with the unrestricted boats seems to indicate that it's a delicate balancing act. Perhaps it's harder these days since a class that doesn't foil doesn't have the same cache of being a top-line performer, yet foilers bring with them a lot more expense and other significant problems?

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15 hours ago, southerncross said:

Those stubby amas didn’t seem help.

Ditto.

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If speed was everything then how comes snooker, golf and bowls have so many followers? Sport isn’t just about speed.

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17 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

I suspect you must be watching Moth regatta edits :-) where everyone looks cool all the time.

I'm a weekend warrior on two "easy" foilers (Whisper cat & UFO) and what I saw in SF were... powered up foilers. Similar quirks and gotchas to what my cat has, just significantly cranked up.

- The foil ventilation/stall issues you saw were identical to foil ventilation issues Flying Phantoms have (or had, I'm told the foils were tweaked to improve it).

- The boats are a bit underbuilt (ie: abuse on a transom from tangling with a mark ended up in a broken boat). About par for the course on boats where weight is critical to flight in light winds.

The large gaps are also common in foiling. They were abundant in AC as well. Everyone -- even the pros -- are getting the hang of foiling in general, and of the particular boat/class at hand.

I don't think there's factual basis to say SF were significantly more problematic than other foilers. And towards the end of the season, the top crews had them pretty much dialled in IMO.

 

I'm the one who produced the edits and the live coverage of 5 of the last 8 moth worlds, so yeah I know how it goes, and if you think the top crews had the superfoilers dialed in, I urge you to go back and watch the sailing. 

Shit show, period.  Too powerful and not efficient enough.  Maybe they would have figured it out, but the sailors I spoke to did not think so, and most of them were more scared of the SF than any other boat they'd ever sailed.  

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21 hours ago, Curious said:

So what's the better way to interpret the statistics that have seen this sort of sailing collapse so often for so long?

Occam's razor.  Lack of viewers means a shitty product. Having worked pretty much every job in sailing media, I can promise you that nearly every sailing production is a shitty product.  The few that have been good productions have not been sustainable for the 3 or 4 years it takes to build an audience, or like the AC, it's there and then it's gone for 4 years, which doesn't work either.  SailGP could work if they had a marketing budget and plan, but they don't.  As usual, in sailing, the people running things ask 'how much will it cost to produce?' and never ask 'how much will it cost to activate?'

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19 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

 I've no doubt that was a factor - the design issues were certainly a huge complexity and cost driver, but given Bill's going-in assumption that "fast and extreme will make it a compelling mainstream proposition"  those complexities were a given part of the whole business model.  The alternative might have been to use an existing high performance class, mono or multi, but these have all been tried anyhow.  M32 failed, 18 footer failed, 49er failed ...   The business model probably didn't die due to excess costs, though of course they don't help.  It probably died (as 99% do) through a lack of revenues.

I maintain that the real  showstopper was that going-in assmption.  

100% correct. 

 

There is only one assumption that works for this kind of thing: "Compelling racing will make compelling mainstream proposition if we can stay at it for long enough."

M32 had spectacular numbers at the end of the million-dollar year, but the owner's wife divorced him and the money was gone one day.  18 footer failed because of poor control of the product and escalating costs. 49er never got going and was a shoestring thing.  If we still had something like the Worrell 1000, we might have a million-viewer show.

There's one truly successful global sailboat race that spans languages, nations, and the sailor/lubber divide, and that doesn't require unsustainable subsidization: The Vendee Globe.  The Volvo was OK for a while, but it's turned into a shit show too.

 

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15 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

Maybe so,  but with the 18s operating in parallel the 49er model was always a poor cousin, plus complicated by its Olympic status I'd guess.   So eithe rway it dies about 20 years ago and nothing has since risen to fill the void.  I'd suggest that's because there wasn't a void to fill. 

You are operating under a completely broken assumption: That the free market somehow magically creates products to fill voids

 

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1 hour ago, MR.CLEAN said:

You are operating under a completely broken assumption: That the free market somehow magically creates products to fill voids

 

The term "void" here is shorthand for "profitable market opportunity".  The free market (i.e. entrepreneurs of various sorts) does create products to satisfy profitable market opportunities.  That's its main game.

What it doesn't do is maintain unprofitable ventures endlessly in the hope that one day they will turn around.  Sure that does happen, but when it does it is generally through subsidisation by either philanthropists (i.e. rich guys not feeling the weight of shareholder return expectations pursuing vanity or other obsessions) or Governments based on political or broader economic criteria - e.g. State subsidisation of various large sporting events such as Olympics and F1 races around the world on the basis that they bring tourist $ and spin-off economic benefit to offset the up front losses.  Or in come cases through the vanity of politicians seeking adoration or political capital from the masses.

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4 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Occam's razor.  Lack of viewers means a shitty product. Having worked pretty much every job in sailing media, I can promise you that nearly every sailing production is a shitty product.  The few that have been good productions have not been sustainable for the 3 or 4 years it takes to build an audience, or like the AC, it's there and then it's gone for 4 years, which doesn't work either.  SailGP could work if they had a marketing budget and plan, but they don't.  As usual, in sailing, the people running things ask 'how much will it cost to produce?' and never ask 'how much will it cost to activate?'

Dunno. It seems that you are saying "televised pro sailing"+"shitty media production" = "small audience" = "failure".  If we took the minimalist Occam's razor approach (which is of course logical) why not just say "televised pro sailing" = "small audience" = "failure", or even just "televised pro sailing" = "failure".

I've worked in the media at some of the world's biggest pro sailing events, as well as being a competitor in pro sailing events. Yes, the production is often pretty poor, but perhaps televised sports work best when the audience can relate to the sport because of personal experience, as they can with ball games or cycling. Even in F1, most of us have driven at 40-50% the speed of the cars and have felt some G forces and traction loss around corners, and of course car racing has vast quantities of money for production and promotion.  Many of the televised pro sailing series are not just about a sport that most of the audience have never done, but about a tiny part of the sport that even most sailors cannot really relate to. That could be a recipe for failure most of the time no matter how good the production is.

Even if it is possible to make them a success, spending years throwing enough cash to achieve good production in order to possibly achieve some sort of reasonable return doesn't seem like a great model. Surely after 40 years of failure it's time to be flexible enough to admit it doesn't work and to just move on. Hell, even the enormous ratings generated from the Tour de France aren't enough to make pro cycling into a sound commercial proposition; what hope do we have with a tiny minority sport with much more expensive equipment?

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Curios, you make a fair point about the audience not relating to the sport. Take golf for example, to me its a fucking boring sport to watch on TV, but I can relate when I see a good shot because I have picked up a golf club so I will tend to watch it for 10 minutes or so and appreciate how shit I really am at golf.

Same with any sport that is relatively cheap and easy to get into. Any Joe Public can pick up a golf club, tennis racquet, kick a football, ride a bike, go swimming, surfing, hit a ball with a bat etc and have some idea and appreciate what the pro's are doing on TV. I'm sure most people here have tried all of those sports at some stage in their life so they can relate to it and understand what it takes to be at that pro level.

But Joe Public can't relate to sailing at all because most will have never set foot on a boat in their lives. Even those who sail regularly struggle to relate to anything foiling because its not even close to anything they experience on a Saturday afternoon. There are no sails going up and down, no close boat on boat racing, no rounding marks 3 or 4 deep or carnage at the gybe mark etc. Sure they may appreciate the raw speed and the skill it takes to stay on foils, but thats about it. My parents who have been around boats for 60+ years watched one of the Super Foiler races live in the flesh and they both commented how boring it was, banging corners, fall off the foils and they were fucked, no close racing, no close mark roundings, absolute daylight between the next boat on the track etc.

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From the SF website:

SuperFoiler Grand Prix has postponed the events tentatively scheduled for the first half of 2019. Circumstances, including feedback from our many and valuable stakeholders and other partners, dictate that we re-work our format and schedule. Our next event will now be held in the second half of the year and will be preceded by an on-going schedule of promotional, media and related activities in a number of markets around the world. Various delays and tightening schedules limited our ability to deliver the best possible SuperFoiler experience last summer and we will not make the same mistake twice. We will announce our new format and schedule shortly. 

 

Does “rework our format and schedule” = sell the series?

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The number of movies made every year is a LARGE number.

The number of good movies each year is a SMALL number.

The difference between good and bad is not ONLY based on any one factor, or even a small number of factors. There is a small number of people who can consistently pull off profitable movies.

The number of sports is a LARGE number.

The number of sports that generate a lot of money is a VERY SMALL number.

So the obvious fact that there are very few sailing events that generate sustainable cash flow, is not an indictment of anything mentioned, its just that the RIGHT entertainment company has not yet emerged in this one entertainment space.

Note that there is one NBA, and very many other basketball leagues on Earth. So its not just the sport.

We simply need an Arnon Milchan and the entire international entertainment industry apparatus. And that can happen. It just has not. Nothing about sailing prevents that from happening.

I don’t blame the boats or the producer or the sailors or, ... It will take all of those things, but an awful lot more than that. France’s fascination on sailing was triggered by Taberley and Moitesier who really struck a chord with french society. It was the time, the geopolitics, the economics, and so many other things. The boats framed Taberley and Moitessier, but the story was the men, and the dreams that inspired the audience.

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On 3/13/2019 at 5:38 AM, DickDastardly said:

there's something strangely compelling about unicycle racing

Or this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaM_mGHSfb0

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17 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

 The free market (i.e. entrepreneurs of various sorts) does create products to satisfy profitable market opportunities.  

market forces can help people and companies create products that can satisfy market opportunities. 

 

Sometimes.  Sometimes not.   That something successful hasn't popped up cannot be evidence that there is no opportunity to fill.  It can simply be evidence that doing electronic shit on water is too much of a pain in the ass.

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Curious said:

Surely after 40 years of failure it's time to be flexible enough to admit it doesn't work and to just move on. 

You're missing what I think is the biggest point: The industry of producing live sailing coverage is literally about 10 years old.  Yes, people tried it before, but the financial and personnel requirements  of operating on salt water basically kept anything remotely good from developing.   

I believe I may have been first or one of the first to broadcast sailing live on the internet.  That was in 2008.  '40 years of failure' never actually happened.  It was '40 years of crap'.

Compare to sportscar racing for instance.  F1 has its hundreds of millions of viewers, but sportscar racing - which is fucking older than F1 - has a horrible time paying for good production outside of Lemans.  Like sailing, they do the bare minimum to keep a few sponsors happy.

Meanwhile F1 continues to have hundreds of millions of fans, and it has precisely nothing to do with 'people can relate to it.'  It's all about the personalities, the stories, and the drama.   

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14 hours ago, Oscar Whitbread said:

 

Same with any sport that is relatively cheap and easy to get into. Any Joe Public can pick up a golf club, tennis racquet, kick a football, ride a bike, go swimming, surfing, hit a ball with a bat etc and have some idea and appreciate what the pro's are doing on TV. I'm sure most people here have tried all of those sports at some stage in their life so they can relate to it and understand what it takes to be at that pro level.

 

So why do so many kids from landlocked places watch the world surfing league and extreme snowboard videos?

 

 

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10 hours ago, WLIS Jibing said:

Does “rework our format and schedule” = sell the series?

That was posted to the website well before the sale was listed, obviously tried what they could to save it but probably came to the conclusion it was better to get some money back instead of burning more of it.

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Just who would bother to buy this?  Isn't it just another failed experiment.

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3 hours ago, Steve Clark said:

anyone know $how.much?

SHC

Five dolla.

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Steve,

you might be one of a very few people who could make something out of these boats. They might make reasonable day sailing trimarans with new amas. The foils might be suitable for souping up something bigger. Not sure that the foils and boats will ever work together again without the control systems and very skilled sailors.

I have seen them up close. The main hulls beams and rigs do look pretty well done but of course there is no provison for rudder or centreboard on the centre hull. The Amas just look wrong.

The design concept was never good enough but the real cost of these media based projects is not the boats but the shore and sailing crews, freight plus media and production costs. Not enough backing from team and event sponsors again this time, just like so many others before. 

But there are 6 complete boats plus bits to make maybe another 2. One might be fun to play with but you will need 7 other interested players. Lots of $ spent, liquidator will probably take a very small %. No idea how much, not my league or interst. A few investors have blown their money for sure, I know one who has written off his $.

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On 3/13/2019 at 9:30 PM, Oscar Whitbread said:

Curios, you make a fair point about the audience not relating to the sport. Take golf for example, to me its a fucking boring sport to watch on TV, but I can relate when I see a good shot because I have picked up a golf club so I will tend to watch it for 10 minutes or so and appreciate how shit I really am at golf.

Same with any sport that is relatively cheap and easy to get into. Any Joe Public can pick up a golf club, tennis racquet, kick a football, ride a bike, go swimming, surfing, hit a ball with a bat etc and have some idea and appreciate what the pro's are doing on TV. I'm sure most people here have tried all of those sports at some stage in their life so they can relate to it and understand what it takes to be at that pro level.

But Joe Public can't relate to sailing at all because most will have never set foot on a boat in their lives. Even those who sail regularly struggle to relate to anything foiling because its not even close to anything they experience on a Saturday afternoon. There are no sails going up and down, no close boat on boat racing, no rounding marks 3 or 4 deep or carnage at the gybe mark etc. Sure they may appreciate the raw speed and the skill it takes to stay on foils, but thats about it. My parents who have been around boats for 60+ years watched one of the Super Foiler races live in the flesh and they both commented how boring it was, banging corners, fall off the foils and they were fucked, no close racing, no close mark roundings, absolute daylight between the next boat on the track etc.

I'm grateful that FINALLY, comments like these are coming out of the woodwork. Thank you sir. 

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On 3/15/2019 at 10:19 PM, Phil S said:

Steve,I have seen them up close. The main hulls beams and rigs do look pretty well done but of course there is no provison for rudder or centreboard on the centre hull. The Amas just look wrong.

The design concept was never good enough but the real cost of these media based projects is not the boats but the shore and sailing crews, freight plus media and production costs. Not enough backing from team and event sponsors again this time, just like so many others before. 

But there are 6 complete boats plus bits to make maybe another 2. One might be fun to play with but you will need 7 other interested players. Lots of $ spent, liquidator will probably take a very small %. No idea how much, not my league or interst. A few investors have blown their money for sure, I know one who has written off his $.

They're simply not designed for conversion to displacement hulled boats, having seen them up close too.  A matched fleet (and IIRC there were one or two more under construction at Innovation Composites a few months back) is really only useful for some sort of regatta or match racing project but for all the reasons above this hasn't proven commercially viable so what do you do ... ?  A foiling training academy maybe?  But the boats are way too edgy to be sailed by novices...

At least you can convert many lead mines to cruising boats once the racing is done.

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59 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

They're simply not designed for conversion to displacement hulled boats, having seen them up close too.  A matched fleet (and IIRC there were one or two more under construction at Innovation Composites a few months back) is really only useful for some sort of regatta or match racing project but for all the reasons above this hasn't proven commercially viable so what do you do ... ?  A foiling training academy maybe?  But the boats are way too edgy to be sailed by novices...

At least you can convert many lead mines to cruising boats once the racing is done.

I think the Superfoilers would be fully viable for a wider range of sailing skill sets and coexist very nicely with the AC and SailGP series with the following (admittedly quite drastic) mods:

1) Lose the ama rudders, add a gantry to the center hull, and have a single deep T-rudder with either a flap or complete rake control mechanism

2) Lose the inboard facing J foils, and go to outward canted T-foils, also with flaps.

3) Connect the whole mess to a simple electronic auto ride height control.

This would essentially mimic the new AC boats and be far more stable and predictable at speed than the current configuration, while the low speed /take-off issues would be mitigated by the existing mini amas and by scale - unlike the big boats, the crew weight would provide low speed rm.

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6 hours ago, surfsailor said:

I think the Superfoilers would be fully viable for a wider range of sailing skill sets and coexist very nicely with the AC and SailGP series with the following (admittedly quite drastic) mods:

1) Lose the ama rudders, add a gantry to the center hull, and have a single deep T-rudder with either a flap or complete rake control mechanism

2) Lose the inboard facing J foils, and go to outward canted T-foils, also with flaps.

3) Connect the whole mess to a simple electronic auto ride height control.

This would essentially mimic the new AC boats and be far more stable and predictable at speed than the current configuration, while the low speed /take-off issues would be mitigated by the existing mini amas and by scale - unlike the big boats, the crew weight would provide low speed rm.

They might not be able to cope (structurally) with the higher loads that would result, though. (assuming there would now be down-force from the windward foil)

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On 3/14/2019 at 10:35 AM, MR.CLEAN said:

Meanwhile F1 continues to have hundreds of millions of fans, and it has precisely nothing to do with 'people can relate to it.'  It's all about the personalities, the stories, and the drama.   

The personalities, stories and drama are what make it a big earner and keep people watching, but with F1 there is a significant factor of people relating to it to start them watching in the first place. Most people have cars, in the UK people talk about F1 because everyone has an opinion about what's going on. 99% of the opinions are wrong, which drives the conversation, but the common experience of owning (and working on) a car gets it started.

I have had similar discussions about foiling sailboats but only when most of the people in the conversation had done at least some sailing. Hobby aerodynamics gurus :) who can give long(and not totally inaccurate) explanations of F1 downforce  will remain silent about sails, or boat foils. Not because they know less about them, but because  they have never sailed and so think they know less.

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7 hours ago, Doug Halsey said:

They might not be able to cope (structurally) with the higher loads that would result, though. (assuming there would now be down-force from the windward foil)

No downforce necessary on WW foil - the crew weight on the ama functionally replaces the ballast on the AC75 arm. In fact, it's a superior solution (no matching ballast on leeward side) made possible by the smaller scale, and should result in earlier take off. 

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6 hours ago, JohnMB said:

The personalities, stories and drama are what make it a big earner and keep people watching, but with F1 there is a significant factor of people relating to it to start them watching in the first place. Most people have cars, in the UK people talk about F1 because everyone has an opinion about what's going on. 99% of the opinions are wrong, which drives the conversation, but the common experience of owning (and working on) a car gets it started.

I have had similar discussions about foiling sailboats but only when most of the people in the conversation had done at least some sailing. Hobby aerodynamics gurus :) who can give long(and not totally inaccurate) explanations of F1 downforce  will remain silent about sails, or boat foils. Not because they know less about them, but because  they have never sailed and so think they know less.

As someone who works in the surf industry - where foiling is already strong in kiting and windsurfing, and exploding in surfing, SUP, and soon (IMO) wakeboarding  - I can tell you there is a tremendous amount of interest in foiling sailboats. That demographic is obviously not F1 big, but it's not small either. I think that if they tweak the boats and get the format/marketing package correct, the SF is totally viable.

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On 3/15/2019 at 2:35 AM, MR.CLEAN said:

 

Meanwhile F1 continues to have hundreds of millions of fans, and it has precisely nothing to do with 'people can relate to it.'  It's all about the personalities, the stories, and the drama.   

I totally agree with this comment 100000%

the problem with most sailing events is that we as humans have very short attention spans  so events / races that take to long we loose interest in 

As a sailing community we do not put enough energy into building a sailors profile or a back story /drama in the lead up to the actual events 

its all about the boat ...this is wrong .we should be selling our athletes just like basketball .soccer .football .etc do 

we need our kids to want to be a Outteridge or a Slingsby or a Riou or a Kirby or a burling etc etc etc 

sell shirts with there name on the back .sure we have cool boats but not every sailor can make them work ...that’s were these athletes come into it .celebrate the fact that they are the top of our game .build profiles ,build drama ,build excitement ,then once we have wet the appetite then give them some short sharp high octane sailing ...we need to educate not only non sailors but in a lot of cases the general sailing community on how these new foiling machines work ...

its a new world and sometimes people don’t like change but that is either from ignorance or being uneducated ...

foiling is not the future ...foiling is the now 

there is nothing more exciting then watching moths ,windfoilers,kite boards .superfoilers ,SailGP .amercias cup 

sure the “old style “ of sailing does and will forever be around as foiling isn’t for everyone on a daily basis but when you talk to those who have jumped into any type of foiling the general theme is excitement and isn’t that after all what we all want ....

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, tbm said:

the problem with most sailing events is that we as humans have very short attention spans  so events / races that take to long we loose interest in 

 

Really you think F1 fans have a short attention span? Maybe its a UK thing but If people will sit and watch cricket or F1 (or snooker for that matter), and then spout about it at length,  I don't buy the idea that its the length of the race that is an issue.

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3 minutes ago, JohnMB said:

Really you think F1 fans have a short attention span? Maybe its a UK thing but If people will sit and watch cricket or F1 (or snooker for that matter), and then spout about it at length,  I don't buy the idea that its the length of the race that is an issue.

Read my comment again  .....I mentioned problem with sailing events .....never mentioned F1 

if you had 2 sailing races  going on 2 different tvs and one went for 2 hours or the other went for 20 mins which one do you think MOST people would dial into 

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19 hours ago, JohnMB said:

Most people have cars, in the UK people talk about F1 because everyone has an opinion about what's going on.

Everyone? F1 is still a pretty minority interest. Of, I don't know, 1000 people I know, I am aware of 3 or 4 following F1.

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4 hours ago, dogwatch said:

Everyone? F1 is still a pretty minority interest. Of, I don't know, 1000 people I know, I am aware of 3 or 4 following F1.

Fair,

I probably hung around with the wrong crowd, included a lot of motorsport geeks. Still in the UK viewership of F1 is still pretty high.

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15 hours ago, tbm said:

Read my comment again  .....I mentioned problem with sailing events .....never mentioned F1 

if you had 2 sailing races  going on 2 different tvs and one went for 2 hours or the other went for 20 mins which one do you think MOST people would dial into 

They would watch the one they care about most. If they don't really care about either they will probably watch the 20 minute race ....... once.

My comment related to the accuracy of your claim that the length of the races was a significant issue, the examples I provided were to show that when people are invested in something they will watch fairly tedious sports for significant periods of time.

Notwithstanding DW's comment about F1 being a minority interest, it remains financially viable because enough people care enough to watch 90 minute of racing plus several hours of persiflage.

I would argue that holding someones passing interest in a 20minute race is the wrong test if you want to build up a group who make time in their lives to watch the sport.

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11 hours ago, dogwatch said:

Everyone? F1 is still a pretty minority interest. Of, I don't know, 1000 people I know, I am aware of 3 or 4 following F1.

You know a 1000 people that you know about there preference on sports viewing!! 

Are you Zuckerberg? 

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OK from a sailors persepective, and one with a foiliing bias. I found the superfoiler racing pretty boring. It was all stop/start, like a group of back of fleet moth sailors. And we know it was not the people because many were front of the fleet moth sailors. I never watched a session right through, got bored. The boats and teh wind did not do the crews justice.

I watched a bit more of the SailGP in Sydney but again the racing was boring. Nothing close. Much more expensive boats but not much better viewing. The racing was not even very fast. They occasionally screened speed figures and on the saturday their numbers were only about 4kts faster that my moth numbers sailing elsewhere in Sydney. And I bet I spent less time with the hull in the water. My club has clearer winds and maybe a knot ot two more that day.

These events get put into places where this type of sailing just suffers too much from dodgy unstable winds. And prescheduling is just asking for the weather gods to be un co-operative.

The most impressive bit of sailing I saw was one of the SailGP practice days when Nathan and Tom did sail pasts in a decent 15kt wind and I saw the boats up past the 45kt mark. Speed, spray and noise. I got 30sec of what it should be.

That will be rare unless they get away from the land and into clear winds. Maybe San Fran will be different.

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2 hours ago, Phil S said:

OK from a sailors persepective, and one with a foiliing bias. I found the superfoiler racing pretty boring. It was all stop/start, like a group of back of fleet moth sailors. And we know it was not the people because many were front of the fleet moth sailors. I never watched a session right through, got bored. The boats and teh wind did not do the crews justice.

These events get put into places where this type of sailing just suffers too much from dodgy unstable winds. And prescheduling is just asking for the weather gods to be un co-operative.

The most impressive bit of sailing I saw was one of the SailGP practice days when Nathan and Tom did sail pasts in a decent 15kt wind and I saw the boats up past the 45kt mark. Speed, spray and noise. I got 30sec of what it should be.

That will be rare unless they get away from the land and into clear winds. Maybe San Fran will be different.

But they need to stage the racing close to shore so spectators can see it, clear wind means distance and limited spectator opportunity.  And even from a couple of hundred metres away the full sensation of speed is lost as you can't see the crew in any detail or hear the noise.  All you see is a fast moving blur, sorta like F1.  

Dodgy unstable winds are certainly an issue for these missiles, they turn the racing into a lottery much more than for slower classes as the deltas between foiling and not are so huge.  Leadmines just roll on through unstable wind.

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Thats the dilema, F1 do not have the crowd very close either, its too dangerous, but the noise goes a long way. Big screens help. Maybe they need to concentrate on making it a TV show and forget about public viewing.

 

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17 hours ago, JohnMB said:

Fair,

I probably hung around with the wrong crowd, included a lot of motorsport geeks. Still in the UK viewership of F1 is still pretty high.

Seems to me that the sports with big viewing figures grew them at a time when sport was all that was on TV over the weekend and there where only 3 channels to watch.

It's way way harder to find a general audience now.

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10 hours ago, mad said:

You know a 1000 people that you know about there preference on sports viewing!! 

Are you Zuckerberg? 

My carefully phrased post precisely did not say I knew how many were interested in F1.

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Other weather dependant spectator sports like surfing and skiing also have more flexible scheduling so they can move things around a day or two or even to a different venue when the weather/wind/waves/snow are unsuitable. While they never move the date/time/place of races, even the F1 cars stop racing if the rain gets too heavy.

 

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5 hours ago, rgeek said:

Seems to me that the sports with big viewing figures grew them at a time when sport was all that was on TV over the weekend and there where only 3 channels to watch.

It's way way harder to find a general audience now.

Yup, this is probably a big part of it, I remember days when you had to choose between horse racing, wrestling and snooker...... and being the UK it was generally pissing down outside.

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9 hours ago, Phil S said:

Other weather dependant spectator sports like surfing and skiing also have more flexible scheduling so they can move things around a day or two or even to a different venue when the weather/wind/waves/snow are unsuitable. While they never move the date/time/place of races, even the F1 cars stop racing if the rain gets too heavy.

 

I think the WSL model is very good - but sailing is obviously exponentially more diverse than surfing, which has just a few pro tours (men, women, longboard, big wave) plus the QS and Junior Pro. Having said that, I still think something similar would work - a single global sailing site with live streaming etc of every top tier event as it happens, with the depth of coverage etc matched to the level of the event. In the case of established international events that already have a real web presence like the AC, ex Volvo, Vendee Globe etc etc, you would have a dashboard that linked to them, similar to how the WSL has event sites. 

Of course WS would need to seriously get their act together for this to happen.

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On 3/19/2019 at 5:01 AM, dogwatch said:

Everyone? F1 is still a pretty minority interest. Of, I don't know, 1000 people I know, I am aware of 3 or 4 following F1.

The science is strong with this one

 

 

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On 3/18/2019 at 2:32 AM, surfsailor said:

I think the Superfoilers would be fully viable for a wider range of sailing skill sets and coexist very nicely with the AC and SailGP series with the following (admittedly quite drastic) mods:

 1) Lose the ama rudders, add a gantry to the center hull, and have a single deep T-rudder with either a flap or complete rake control mechanism

2) Lose the inboard facing J foils, and go to outward canted T-foils, also with flaps.

3) Connect the whole mess to a simple electronic auto ride height control.

This would essentially mimic the new AC boats and be far more stable and predictable at speed than the current configuration, while the low speed /take-off issues would be mitigated by the existing mini amas and by scale - unlike the big boats, the crew weight would provide low speed rm.

In other words: "I think the Superfoilers would be fully viable..." if someone spends $100k on each boat to turn them into completely different boats.

 

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12 hours ago, rgeek said:

Seems to me that the sports with big viewing figures grew them at a time when sport was all that was on TV 

Except for those that didn't.  UFC's most-viewed events all after 2008.

 

It's rare for a sport to get popular, it takes a compelling product, perseverence, time, luck and a great plan.  Sailing ain't got it.  It has zero to di with how hard it is to 'find' an audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 4.13.36 PM.png

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23 hours ago, Phil S said:

OK from a sailors persepective, and one with a foiliing bias. I found the superfoiler racing pretty boring. It was all stop/start, like a group of back of fleet moth sailors. And we know it was not the people because many were front of the fleet moth sailors. I never watched a session right through, got bored. The boats and teh wind did not do the crews justice.

I watched a bit more of the SailGP in Sydney but again the racing was boring. Nothing close. Much more expensive boats but not much better viewing. The racing was not even very fast. They occasionally screened speed figures and on the saturday their numbers were only about 4kts faster that my moth numbers sailing elsewhere in Sydney. And I bet I spent less time with the hull in the water. My club has clearer winds and maybe a knot ot two more that day.

These events get put into places where this type of sailing just suffers too much from dodgy unstable winds. And prescheduling is just asking for the weather gods to be un co-operative.

The most impressive bit of sailing I saw was one of the SailGP practice days when Nathan and Tom did sail pasts in a decent 15kt wind and I saw the boats up past the 45kt mark. Speed, spray and noise. I got 30sec of what it should be.

That will be rare unless they get away from the land and into clear winds. Maybe San Fran will be different.

San Fran might be different, in that the boats will all be destroyed. I know, I know it’s windy in other places, but there’s something about the city front, the ebb chop and ferry wake that eats performance boats up until they have a chance to strengthen, and strengthen again. 

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On 3/18/2019 at 9:41 AM, JohnMB said:

The personalities, stories and drama are what make it a big earner and keep people watching, but with F1 there is a significant factor of people relating to it to start them watching in the first place.

there's no relationship between the amount of people who own cars and the popularity of F1 or America would have the biggest F1 spectator base in the world.

It's all about the stories. The stars who have made up F1, the deaths, the locations, the parties,, and most importantly a single, cohesive plan hatched by a dictatorial leader, over a significant period of time, have created a sport that 350M people watched last year.

 

 

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UFC is impressive for pay per view no doubt. Nearly horse racing levels... in the UK. Or Indoor Bowls!

But they don't really compare much to F1 at 350 million. Superbowl, 114 million. For event there's UK only Rugby Union at 8.9 million tuning into England v Wales of the 6 Nations this year. Even the Masters got 14 million. 7.6 million watched the Oxford and Cambridge boat race for gods sake ... 4.8 the womens race.

...

F1 is the methadone of sports consumption. Watch the start, fall into a coma, come round 2hrs latter with the vague feeling that something good might of happened.

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16 minutes ago, rgeek said:

UFC is impressive for pay per view no doubt. Nearly horse racing levels... in the UK. Or Indoor Bowls!

But they don't really compare much to F1 at 350 million. Superbowl, 114 million. For event there's UK only Rugby Union at 8.9 million tuning into England v Wales of the 6 Nations this year. Even the Masters got 14 million. 7.6 million watched the Oxford and Cambridge boat race for gods sake ... 4.8 the womens race.

...

F1 is the methadone of sports consumption. Watch the start, fall into a coma, come round 2hrs latter with the vague feeling that something good might of happened.

I'm not sure what you are arguing about, but I think you may not understand how viewership works.  

I quoted PPV numbers that tend to disprove your thesis that "sports with big viewing figures grew them at a time when sport was all that was on TV over the weekend and there where only 3 channels to watch...It's way way harder to find a general audience now."  You just compared PPV numbers to regular ratings. WTF?

My point is simply that sports CAN grow their audience, some astronomically.  The UFC has been around since '93 but not really.  It didn't have any money behind it until 2005.   No sport in history has grown from nothing to a $4B league property with over 100M annual viewers in anything like that length of time. 

How?  Stories.  Drama.  Stunts.  Blood.  The internet.  Their biggest problem is that the vast majority of viewers are under 35, and too many of them know how easy (and legal) it is to watch illegally streamed fights.  Estimates of illegal streams of the last McGregor fight are in the 3-5M range...

Let's not even talk about ONE...from nothing to a massive fighting league in a few years...all in Asia, and all thanks to marketing via the web.

 

 

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

there's no relationship between the amount of people who own cars and the popularity of F1 or America would have the biggest F1 spectator base in the world.

It's all about the stories. The stars who have made up F1, the deaths, the locations, the parties,, and most importantly a single, cohesive plan hatched by a dictatorial leader, over a significant period of time, have created a sport that 350M people watched last year.

 

 

The stories grow it, and improve the product, but there is some initial familiarity there. as for the first comment, in the US people who care about car racing care about NASCAR.

My main point was that people have to care about who wins and why. The familiarity with the subject makes it easier to care about the result.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, JohnMB said:

The stories grow it, and improve the product, but there is some initial familiarity there. as for the first comment, in the us people who care about car racing care about NASCAR.

My main point was that people have to care about who wins and why.

 

 

I agree with your last point, my point is merely that the 'relatableness' thing is generally an excuse used by poor producers, like the 'but people have so many choices!' canard.

I fell in love with F1 before I even fell in love with cars. For me it was beceause I happened to be in France at the tender age of 13 and shared the first name of a pretty famous world champ.  When I rebuilt an old Solex scooter, including removing the governor so it would hoon around all over Normandy, they started calling me 'petit prost' and naturally, I started watching F1 on France3 (yeah, they only had about 3 channels there too).

Over there, all the young boys in my extended 'family' were into F1, yet none of them were really into cars.  Prost was simply a hero, and the same romantic French imagery that made the Vendee successful around the same time applied well to F1 drivers.

Wow, I'm rambling now.  Have a nice day all!

 

Oh, and NASCAR's numbers are falling in the US while F1s are growing...must be those damn immigrants

 

 

 

 

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