Varan

How about a The Ocean Race thread?

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On 7/7/2019 at 1:51 AM, smackdaddy said:

Honestly - they should nuke the stopovers and just turn this into a balls-out RTW.

On really old and slow "race"boats.... Wait, already done, darn!

- Stumbling

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Probably silly to note but with Tinpots Dutch AC challenge up in smoke must be a favourite to put together a serious IMOCA boat.

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1 hour ago, stumblingthunder said:

On really old and slow "race"boats.... Wait, already done, darn!

- Stumbling

No - I think they should focus on the IMOCA direction and work really hard to improve the foiling. With crewed IMOCA boats they have the opportunity to see if they can really make these boats fly offshore.

Though I think the new AC75 direction is stupid - it will yield some technological advances that could prove useful to offshore foiling with monos (if monos are really here to stay).

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I read that Paul Meilhat has signed up for the race but not sure exactly what that really means.  There was a burst of publicity on Twitter and Instagram yesterday on the subject.  Does it involve paying a deposit?  I don't know.

He is however still looking for sponsorship for this race and the VG, and the publicity is clearly aimed in that direction.  That he has no VG ride is just plain crazy given his track record and abilities vs those of some of the likely VG starters.

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As much of a sponsorship/coalition building game as it is about sailing. 

Easier to build a Corinthians/VG 1.5 campaign than to be recognized as a top former then boxed in getting a new competitive boat or no boat. 

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The RO caught out with no new news pump out another Team German vid.. not to be confused with Herrman the Germans team. 

 

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55 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Certainly won't be on a 65 after the bucketing he gave them.

He can probably pickup a second hand boat somewhere after the VG. Would fit their program's MO. With reduced crew on the 60s however, not sure how Scallywag is going to compose a competitive team if they're more used to big boat division of labor/expertise/knowledge-skillgap. 

Can you see Witty mixing epoxy?

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Yes Miff the multi-skillset is one of necessities for this class and how good that is will be an important point of difference between teams. One of its attractions actualy.

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On 7/10/2019 at 5:37 PM, jack_sparrow said:

The RO caught out with no new news pump out another Team German vid.. not to be confused with Herrman the Germans team. 

 

A nice one for the lovers of refits anf "franken boats".

Hull is the old ESP 8 "Acciona" designed by Owen Clarke. Did not do particulary spectacular in the VG 2012-013, and capsized on day 84.

She has had a new deck, "interior", etc. glued on the old hull by the current team. Foils will be added once the final route of the OR is announced.

Interestingly, as Acciona she was the first IMOCA without a diesel onboard, beating Conrad Coleman to it.

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11 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Someone may correct me but they were the first guaranteed 65 entry last year?? Old news being recycled?

You could be right. I can’t say I have had enough enthusiasm to keep track. Which is a worry. If a fanboy like me is bored with progress, it doesn’t bode well for engaging a wider audience. 

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How about a bit of porn to get some excitement back...

(Old news, I know, but you seemed to need some cheering up.)

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7 hours ago, Varan said:

How about a bit of porn to get some excitement back...

(Old news, I know, but you seemed to need some cheering up.)

great looking brand new IMOCA designed specifically for the VG and solo.  It might make it to the TOR in someones hands but not built for a more upwind course with crew.

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2 hours ago, jb5 said:

great looking brand new IMOCA designed specifically for the VG and solo.  It might make it to the TOR in someones hands but not built for a more upwind course with crew.


If the TOR course is anything like the last one, with the expected crew/weight, ban on modern autopilots - I'd say a non-foiling boat like SMA/current BP won't be necessarily a bad choice. So I'm guessing TOR will ban non-foiling IMOCAs too.

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21 minutes ago, Miffy said:


If the TOR course is anything like the last one, with the expected crew/weight, ban on modern autopilots - I'd say a non-foiling boat like SMA/current BP won't be necessarily a bad choice. So I'm guessing TOR will ban non-foiling IMOCAs too.

That made me laugh.  I tend to agree with you.  Macif/SMA/BP would probably be a better choice for that type of course.  A non-foiling ban would just make this whole thing even more ridiculous so therefore will probably happen.

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5 hours ago, Miffy said:

. So I'm guessing TOR will ban non-foiling IMOCAs too.

 

5 hours ago, jb5 said:

A non-foiling ban would just make this whole thing even more ridiculous so therefore will probably happen.

Foils are mandatory. 

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15 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

 

Foils are mandatory. 

so ridiculous it is then.  normal service continues.

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46 minutes ago, jb5 said:

so ridiculous it is then.  normal service continues.

Gets more rediculous...word is Hong Kong as a stopover is still alive (other China stopovers are long dead) and the only thing delaying announcement since last month (now due in a couple of weeks) of the TOR course is HK based Team Scallywag committing to a foiling 60 or not and their host city demands.

Fuck of Witty this race was half way fucked already on camel jockeys doing exactly the same host city/team demand thing years ago and boats ending up on freighters and once they got the silverware they disappeared in a heartbeat. Exactly what you are trying to do now... channeling Ian Walker.

So fuck off Scallywag you are the only thing keeping a track including Asia alive and to add insult to injury you are not that good a team by record.

This is a RTW race not a fucking host city sponsor, 4 fuckin  equator crossing tour any more if it is to survive.

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I'd use Formula 1 as an example because otherwise it'll be too much on the nose. There are some good circuits, and some really bad circuits that continuously get bad races.

Russia GP & French GP (the former in Sochi & the latter in Paul Ricard) - both were locations picked to give a nice deal to very insular number of special interested parties (e.g. Bernie Ecclestone owns the investment company that bought Paul Ricard). Sochi, like all the construction & buildup for the Winter Olympics, gave a huge economic opportunity for connected construction companies & politically favored hosts. Both hurt the sport. French GP is still a problem today. 

Coming back into sailing, if VIPs of a certain age are going to get in exclusive areas and want booze and rub shoulders (which is most of their exp anyway) - why not a place that offers lots of nice vacation and sailing opportunities? 

I think the Portuguese coast offers lots of nice vacation and sailing opportunities. Cape Town can be a bit more challenging, but it is geographically situated appropriately along the traditional clipper route (thus not interfering the weather windows) and has the infrastructure to support the boats and event. I hope the Aussies will forgive me that Auckland has the infrastructure and is a natural location for refit before sailing off to round Cape Horn. 
 

In this day and age where people of certain means can travel, (if you factor the cost of F1 tickets or someone who actually owns a boat) flying isn't even a huge expense. I'd understand watching your home yacht club/primary residence being a mandatory stopover if you were actually racing. If I were from Monaco or Brasil, I'd imagine it'll be pretty special to be have that opportunity to race before your own home fans. But it shouldn't come at the expense of the sport. 

And I think you have to be a really disconnected, callous rich old fucker to say "well if these sailors have to be mucked around with course changes to accomodate an arrival window for VIP reception after 20 days at sea" or routing them thru a dangerous weather/shipping environment (oh well innocent person dead who cares?), then I really don't understand this kind of sailing culture anymore, and it is no wonder so few young unconnected people (without big names or personal connections) are coming into this side of the scene and the French scene somehow seems so healthy in contrast. 

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13 hours ago, Miffy said:

I hope the Aussies will forgive me that Auckland has the infrastructure and is a natural location for refit before sailing off to round Cape Horn. ..

...to accomodate an arrival window for VIP reception after 20 days at sea" 

Aust and NZ virtually mandatory otherwise post Cape Town leg distance/timing when hitting the Tasman will blow the delta's out, particularly in a 2 class race for narrowing "arrival window" you mention and to limit total stopover duration/costs. 

I would say a return to days of old is only option being CT, Fremantle, Auckland, Sth America, USA (preferably not Newport) and a short Euro finish leg (2 Euro hosts where Ireland makes a lot of sence).

China just blows everything up, where its economic size and muscle simply can't compensate for that loss/impost on the race and just as the Abu Dhabi experience has already showed.

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7 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Aust and NZ virtually mandatory otherwise post Cape Town leg distance/timing when hitting the Tasman will blow the delta's out, particularly in a 2 class race for narrowing "arrival window" you mention and to limit total stopover duration/costs. 

I would say a return to days of old is only option being CT, Fremantle, Auckland, Sth America, USA (preferably not Newport) and a short Euro finish leg (2 Euro hosts where Ireland makes a lot of sence).

China just blows everything up, where its economic size and muscle simply can't compensate for that loss/impost on the race and just as the Abu Dhabi experience has already showed.

One time I think they stopped in India as well.  Maybe on the first trip to the middle east. Then trying to race in the straits of Malacca. Total BS racing route.  Now throw in the foiling IMOCAs  most if not all of which will be designed only for a solo/VG course.  Why even bother.

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On 7/21/2019 at 7:37 AM, jack_sparrow said:

Someone may correct me but they were the first guaranteed 65 entry last year?? Old news being recycled?

You are correct.

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Another RO filler yet again...my mail "is", or maybe I think "was", now seeing this vid, where the revised course announcement with 80% of stopovers signed up, was supposedly only a week away.

If no course announcement by the end of this month, this race has now moved to being on "life support."

 

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On 8/2/2019 at 1:36 AM, jack_sparrow said:

Another RO filler yet again...my mail "is", or maybe I think "was", now seeing this vid, where the revised course announcement with 80% of stopovers signed up, was supposedly only a week away.

If no course announcement by the end of this month, this race has now moved to being on "life support."

 

Yes, this was sad to watch, actually; Liz Wardley narrating a video of she, Chris Nicholson, Nicholas delivering the Azko Nobel Volvo 65 to Germany. "Here's what we're doing instead of racing."

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On 8/2/2019 at 7:36 PM, jack_sparrow said:

If no course announcement by the end of this month, this race has now moved to being on "life support."

One week left.

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7 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

One week left.

Until they turn off the machine?  Figured it already was off.  Motivation failure or something.

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On 7/24/2019 at 4:01 PM, jack_sparrow said:

Aust and NZ virtually mandatory otherwise post Cape Town leg distance/timing when hitting the Tasman will blow the delta's out, particularly in a 2 class race for narrowing "arrival window" you mention and to limit total stopover duration/costs. 

I would say a return to days of old is only option being CT, Fremantle, Auckland, Sth America, USA (preferably not Newport) and a short Euro finish leg (2 Euro hosts where Ireland makes a lot of sence).

China just blows everything up, where its economic size and muscle simply can't compensate for that loss/impost on the race and just as the Abu Dhabi experience has already showed.

Bump an old post.

The TOR are now pushing a wheelbarrow up a hill with no wheel.

First their grande plan of IMOCA synergy, which is now suspiciously looking like a SH/VG/IMOCA stitch up to clear the paddock of races competing for diminishing sponsorship dollars. 

Remember Alex Thompson who over a year ago as an IMOCA Director championed this multi boat concept and so this shotgun marriage was consummated with a VOR Swede buyout crew with little cash but a Volvo funding carry forward. The TOR then came out saying that HB were virtually a starter and high end teams will follow. Well let's start with what Alex has done since then?

For the VG AT has come up with a deck sweeping boom and enclosed capsule thing thus burying any design synergy between crewed and SH 60's. Designed for only 2 equator crossings and maxing out the Cape Town to Cape Horn run. Going diesel free so will freeze in SO and be a Finnish sauna either side of 2 equator crossings with uphill work, sail changes, more trimming etc. 4 crossings fucking forget it.

Secondly if the above doesn't kill an Asian tour by top teams, this does.

Whilst @shanghaisailor will hate to admit it, the only stopover there was going to be Hong Kong. Unfortunately now at the cusp of the TOR RO making a decision now about the race course, particularly with regard to Asian sponsorship, maybe even a Team this HK shit has just blown up.

No international sponsor is going to touch HK with a barge pole pending a response from Beijing to this HK situation which could be anything from a 1989 Tiananmen Square style crack down and up. No one knows.

The crewed RTW race community can probably thank these HK dissaffected for rioting and saving a crewed RTW race going to shit with 4 equator crossings.

The question now is what is going to be the RO's response?? By their own self imposed timeline the race course was supposed to be signed off this month?

My view is they are going to have to go back to square one and start again if they are serious...or continue the V65 charade for another edition.

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images - 2019-08-25T192943.529.jpeg

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And fuck our race course anouncement timetable is going to shit..what do we do now guys??

How about another filler video...hopefully that will shut up the online chattering class who indirectly pay our bills.

 

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Not to mention the looming global recession (if to be believed).  Tightening wallets etc.

Looking like a squandered opportunity.

What was that Oz commercial way back with the tag “When you’re on a good thing, stick to it”?

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@jack_sparrow a healthy sport can't rely on totalitarian regimes or interested parties whose desire is to see a winter Olympics in a summer resort. Same problem with the ocean race. "I love the sport but only if you'll do a costly stopover because even tho I'm so rich I can vacation anywhere, I'd rather you stop in dirty water."

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My 2c

The IMOCA solo/VG focused rate of development has accelerated beyond expectations.  This more than anything except perhaps the endless TOR procrastination has undone the initial intentions.

New boat designs will tend to maximize the rule they focus upon, currently 100% solo VG.  If anyone ever builds a TOR rule focused IMOCA it won't be as suitable for the VG as a new VG focused build.

So, the TOR either gathers enough support to get its own IMOCA fleet together or it runs hand-me-downs from previous generations that can be made to work and looks more and more like the Barcelona World Race mark 2 just starting from a different Spanish city.

Given where its at currently a BWR mk2 seems the most likely outcome.

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While it would be great to return to the 'good old days of a 4 leg blast around the planet, race one went nowhere near Auckland or the USA. Southampton - Capetown - Sydney - Rio - Southampton. 2nd Race went to Auckland but the USA didn't become one of the "good old days" until the 5th race in 1989-90.(Also their 2nd visit to Oz - Freemantle)

Even in that first race it wasn't all adventurers, Ramon Carlin. the eventual winner with Sayula 2 shipped pro sailor Butch Dalrymple Smith as part of the crew (he did the whole race).

It is all well and good dreaming of a similar full on - miss out Asia and the US type of a race but the problem is money.

As we all know it is now a professional race sailed by some of the best offshore racers on the planet - they need paid commensurate to their skill - they will want to be on, at least, a somewhat competitive boat with the correct level of on-shore backup at stopovers. If the race can find 7-10 wealthy people willing to fork out the high side of USD10m while not being good enough to race on the boat themselves then fine, go back to the good old 4 leg original.

However as the race appears to find it difficult enough to find corporate bodies to fork out the money (the race has not hit double figures in entries this century) then fat chance of finding those private individuals. Are they that poor as salespeople?

Trouble is that corporations usually prefer to see a positive Return on Investment (ROI) - very few fund sporting endeavours out of altruistic motivations - and as China is the world's 2nd largest economy with the USA being the first, those two stopovers are quite likely to be attractive to sponsors, and whether we sailors like it or not the number one priority of any professional sporting event (if it is going to survive) is to attract sponsors.

If you look back at the last three editions of the VOR virtually every sponsor had interests in the China market and I am sure there are some potential sponsors awaiting the routing decision from TOR. Go on, Google them, you will see I am correct.

Whether TOR is smart enough to mould their product (the race route and stops) to suit the greatest number of potential customers (sponsors) or not remains to be seen

For the race were to visit Hong Kong right now would be lunacy, and with the unrest no one knows how the land will lie when the race arrives.

I was there 3 weeks ago and although I am no coward, I felt threatened - peaceful? Not really - but that's enough of politics.

Certainly any potential visitors from the mainland will be put off by what is happening (Chinese have long memories) and a Chinese Mainland stopover would make clear financial sense for the B2B opportunities many sponsors exercise during a stopover. (Hong Kong 9m people as a market, China 1.4Bn, it doesn't take an abacus to work it out.)

Sometimes the actual city can even have an influence. 4 editions ago we had a corporation that had even had the graphics on the boat designed, the stopover base roughed out and when Shanghai dropped off the map the top went back on the pen. Last edition? No Guangzhou, probably no Dongfeng!

1 working week to go and in reality nobody knows the route except those in TOR and the actual cities involved. They say a week is a long time in politics ;-), it is also along time when it comes to finalising a route.

The fat lady hasn't stopped singing yet, in fact she is still in the dressing room, clearing her throat, I just hope TOR doesn't screw it up like the VOR did in 2010 when they were finalising the 2011-12 race.

How Jack "knows" the only stopover is going to be HK and nothing in China I am unsure and if it is so be it, it wont curb my enthusiasm for the race but it does make the route a harder sell to sponsors.

One final comment on the "VO65 Charade"! It produced the closest finish to the race in 45 years. Boats finishing hours or even days apart does not produce clicks, views, column inches or minutes on prime time and that is something the race organisers need to be aware of. We sailors may wish to see boats that are 'out there' and understand that races are won by large margins but the targeted audience of any such event goes (has to go) way beyond the sailing enthusiast whether we like it or not - that old dreaded R O I again!

We will know in a week.

SS

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Vendée globe seems to do a lot better, probably because it's more of a race than a sponsor village world tour, with a few boats following it around to put some kind of 'extreme' story behind it. Stop selling the race to sponsors and start selling it to people again. 

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5 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

While it would be great to return to the 'good old days of a 4 leg blast around the planet, race one went nowhere near Auckland or the USA. Southampton - Capetown - Sydney - Rio - Southampton. 2nd Race went to Auckland but the USA didn't become one of the "good old days" until the 5th race in 1989-90.(Also their 2nd visit to Oz - Freemantle)

Even in that first race it wasn't all adventurers, Ramon Carlin. the eventual winner with Sayula 2 shipped pro sailor Butch Dalrymple Smith as part of the crew (he did the whole race).

It is all well and good dreaming of a similar full on - miss out Asia and the US type of a race but the problem is money.

As we all know it is now a professional race sailed by some of the best offshore racers on the planet - they need paid commensurate to their skill - they will want to be on, at least, a somewhat competitive boat with the correct level of on-shore backup at stopovers. If the race can find 7-10 wealthy people willing to fork out the high side of USD10m while not being good enough to race on the boat themselves then fine, go back to the good old 4 leg original.

However as the race appears to find it difficult enough to find corporate bodies to fork out the money (the race has not hit double figures in entries this century) then fat chance of finding those private individuals. Are they that poor as salespeople?

Trouble is that corporations usually prefer to see a positive Return on Investment (ROI) - very few fund sporting endeavours out of altruistic motivations - and as China is the world's 2nd largest economy with the USA being the first, those two stopovers are quite likely to be attractive to sponsors, and whether we sailors like it or not the number one priority of any professional sporting event (if it is going to survive) is to attract sponsors.

If you look back at the last three editions of the VOR virtually every sponsor had interests in the China market and I am sure there are some potential sponsors awaiting the routing decision from TOR. Go on, Google them, you will see I am correct.

Whether TOR is smart enough to mould their product (the race route and stops) to suit the greatest number of potential customers (sponsors) or not remains to be seen

For the race were to visit Hong Kong right now would be lunacy, and with the unrest no one knows how the land will lie when the race arrives.

I was there 3 weeks ago and although I am no coward, I felt threatened - peaceful? Not really - but that's enough of politics.

Certainly any potential visitors from the mainland will be put off by what is happening (Chinese have long memories) and a Chinese Mainland stopover would make clear financial sense for the B2B opportunities many sponsors exercise during a stopover. (Hong Kong 9m people as a market, China 1.4Bn, it doesn't take an abacus to work it out.)

Sometimes the actual city can even have an influence. 4 editions ago we had a corporation that had even had the graphics on the boat designed, the stopover base roughed out and when Shanghai dropped off the map the top went back on the pen. Last edition? No Guangzhou, probably no Dongfeng!

1 working week to go and in reality nobody knows the route except those in TOR and the actual cities involved. They say a week is a long time in politics ;-), it is also along time when it comes to finalising a route.

The fat lady hasn't stopped singing yet, in fact she is still in the dressing room, clearing her throat, I just hope TOR doesn't screw it up like the VOR did in 2010 when they were finalising the 2011-12 race.

How Jack "knows" the only stopover is going to be HK and nothing in China I am unsure and if it is so be it, it wont curb my enthusiasm for the race but it does make the route a harder sell to sponsors.

One final comment on the "VO65 Charade"! It produced the closest finish to the race in 45 years. Boats finishing hours or even days apart does not produce clicks, views, column inches or minutes on prime time and that is something the race organisers need to be aware of. We sailors may wish to see boats that are 'out there' and understand that races are won by large margins but the targeted audience of any such event goes (has to go) way beyond the sailing enthusiast whether we like it or not - that old dreaded R O I again!

We will know in a week.

SS

Good post SS, you just missed out the bit about the boats and intended class!  It’s not going to be an in a Hugo Boss style boat, that’s now a huge problem for them. 

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VG is also a fraction of the cost because of the lack of stopovers and travelling circus.

 The two races use to be sufficiently different to each deserve a space in the sponsors pool. Not so much anymore in my view. Take out the allowance to have tobacco or alcohol sponsors and the main sponsorship pool has virtually disappeared for the Whitbread.

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14 minutes ago, Chimp too said:

VG is also a fraction of the cost because of the lack of stopovers and travelling circus.

 The two races use to be sufficiently different to each deserve a space in the sponsors pool. Not so much anymore in my view. Take out the allowance to have tobacco or alcohol sponsors and the main sponsorship pool has virtually disappeared for the Whitbread.

They had plenty of warning about the tobacco and alcohol ban in the media, all the sports did. F1, tennis, football, you name it? They all adapted. 

They need a better excuse than that. 

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9 hours ago, mad said:

They had plenty of warning about the tobacco and alcohol ban in the media, all the sports did. F1, tennis, football, you name it? They all adapted. 

They need a better excuse than that. 

The rot for the RTW race started with the move to OD, IMO. 

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The OD fleet was only created as the race was already in so much trouble. The rot started back in the late 1990s and then the very specific direction that Volvo pushed it in with corporate entertainment being the sole focus was where the rot really got hold. If it hadn’t been for the OD decision then the 2011-12 race would likely have been the last. 

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I think you're both correct.  The Volvo corp ent. with course built to suit focus pushed the race into a direction it never had been and it lost a lot of its race focus and the OD thing although a life saver for a couple of races in terms of keeping it going was only going to be short term.  It is surprising its lasted through these changes.

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7 hours ago, Sailbydate said:

The rot for the RTW race started with the move to OD, IMO.

The rot started with the appointment of Glen Burke as CEO who started the race course mystery tour in response to being blackmailed by participants demanding corporate stopovers that the RO embraced then fertilised. It then went from a race to corporate entertainment and by doing so lost a rusted on multi generation fan base. Complete fuckup.

When the GFC came it was already dead in the water and OD as a response just prolonged the agony.

Where are we now? Frankenfurterboats and 3 times OD leftovers.

Euthenase it and start again.

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7 hours ago, Sailbydate said:

The rot for the RTW race started with the move to OD, IMO. 

Started WAY before that, there hasn't been a race this century with entries in double figures,1997-8,only 9 completed,  so the 'ROT' started 9 editions ago which is WAY before the VO65 One Design. The Whitbread 60 and VOR 70 were box rules not one design and before that were the Maxis and they were considered too expensive because of crew numbers and resulting salaries.

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I can assure you all that I am as enthused as the rest of the forum at the idea of perhaps just half a dozen boats charging round the globe, whatever the route and however many stops there are and that, of course, is not at all.

I have been quite vocal that the number one priority for the race, indeed for any major sporting event which is expensive to run is the attraction of sponsors.

How one balances the sailor's desire (us) to see a race like the 'good old days' (if they were that good) balanced with the B2B and media coverage that is required to make up sufficient ROI to attract sponsors is not an easy fix.

It is easy to say the French do it very well with regard to the IMOCA 60s and the Vendee Globe but is also has to be remembered that the sponsor usually gets more than one race for their money with the IMOCA circuit, VG, TJV, RDR and so on and a short handed class (which doesn't even have to be latest generation) with races that generally have no stopover logistics to fund and far fewer salaries is way cheaper than even a bare bones VOR or TOR campaign. 

I have said it before - maybe they are just crap sales people.

Before I came to China I was a development and training manager for one of the UK's top Life Companies with 450 or so sales people on my  'patch'. They were taught properly how to sell. The old way  - Features - Advantages - Benefits! I am sure there are those on this forum that would recognise that.

I just wonder sometimes if the VOR guys even get past 'Features' because how they cannot sell to a multi national the benefits of 8-10 unique B2B opportunities (even if you plant your boat on a reef - Vestas were clearly happy enough with the ROI to comeback for another crack) along with an 80 foot high billboard with a dedicated media man running around under it shooting dramatic video and stills as it is transported round the world through spectacular seascapes over 9 months of media activation for JUST Euro 10m - BARGAIN!

OR is their script "Give us E10m and we will let you know what you get for that later on".

I know it's not easy, I don't mean to say it is, in fact having been involved with teams and stopovers I know it isn't - but the money's out there. The race doesn't need sailors on the phones telling corporate bean counters how exciting it is, it needs sales people with a defined script telling those same bean counters how good the race can be for their bottom line - that is all they are interested in unless they (the sales people) hit lucky and call a bean counter whose kids sail Oppies.

Apologies for the rant but how they cannot find more Fortune 500 companies willing to get involved (and every country has its own 500) truly escapes me when those same companies will spend the equivalent of a Volvo budget on a soft drinks add with Beyoncé and friends in a Roman gladiator setting or David Beckham in a fake cowboy bar both of which were forgotten within weeks of being shown. Or is the cult of celebrity so much more compelling that several months exciting action on the water?

EDIT: Maybe that's the VG's secret - the French do make their sailors celebrities.

Of course taking a year to announce the course doesn't help :-(

That'll be me off their Christmas Card list now

SS

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4 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

The rot started with the appointment of Glen Burke as CEO who started the race course mystery tour in response to being blackmailed by participants demanding corporate stopovers that the RO embraced then fertilised. It then went from a race to corporate entertainment and by doing so lost a rusted on multi generation fan base. Complete fuckup.

When the GFC came it was already dead in the water and OD as a response just prolonged the agony.

Where are we now? Frankenfurterboats and 3 times OD leftovers.

Euthenase it and start again.

I spent a lot of time with Glenn and co in the lead up to the 2005-6 race and I can assure you that the myth of teams being tied to stopovers was just that, a myth. Glenn asked stopovers to bring in a team, but it was a cheeky request rather than a requirement.

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6 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Started WAY before that, there hasn't been a race this century with entries in double figures,1997-8,only 9 completed,  so the 'ROT' started 9 editions ago which is WAY before the VO65 One Design. The Whitbread 60 and VOR 70 were box rules not one design and before that were the Maxis and they were considered too expensive because of crew numbers and resulting salaries.

Maybe, SS. But you eliminate a shit-load of interest and influence, when you take out virtually a whole industry, especially design. The IMOCA circus is as much about a design competition as it is about an epic RTW yachting challenge, IMO.

And there's plenty of room inside a box rule, as long as the OD spectre stays the hell clear.

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7 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

(Snip)

Euthanise it and start again.

Kindest response possible.

Otherwise there'll be some fucker running around screaming, "It's alive, it's ALIVE ...all over again!

Unknown.jpeg

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5 hours ago, Sailbydate said:

Maybe, SS. But you eliminate a shit-load of interest and influence, when you take out virtually a whole industry, especially design. The IMOCA circus is as much about a design competition as it is about an epic RTW yachting challenge, IMO.

And there's plenty of room inside a box rule, as long as the OD spectre stays the hell clear.

Well you can easily avoid the 'elimination of design influence' by having a design competition for a One Design- that is not a huge problem, you just move the design competition up one stage. Obtaining a sponsor is clearly hard enough without having to sell them they could be spending their $10m+ on a dog.

You are right though there is plenty of room inside a box rule, sometimes too much room.

In the 2011-12 Race Abu Dhabi purchased a training yacht from the previous race then with the new Azzam (Bruce Farr) broke the Fastnet record if I remember correctly racing against some of the other entrants of the 2011 VOR). Team manager met the boat in Plymouth with a delighted 'bloody well done' to basically be told by Skipper, Ian Walker "Jamie, we have a problem". Sure the boat was fast but not in the correct wind directions that would be expected in the VOR.

He was right - Azzam finished 5th of 6 entries only beating the previous generation Team Sanya, skippered by Mike Sanderson.

It is also worthy of note that the race that year went to Abu Dhabi because they were a race sponsor as well as a team sponsor and to Sanya because they were a Team sponsor AND a stopover sponsor. Without them it could have been a "good old days" blast round the planet FOR 4 BOATS!

The following race Ian Walker is on record as saying it would have been extremely unlikely for Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority to return as a sponsor had the race NOT been in a One Design Class and given the performance of the Box Rule Team Sanya (6th of 6) it would have been a much harder sell to get Dongfeng along for the ride.

Now, considering they made up 2/3 of the podium, and had been lying neck and neck on points until 250Nm from Cape Horn what a loss for the race that would have been.

One design brings a much more level playing field and gives the racers no place to hide, it, as evidenced by the last race being a much closer overall race where had one of the racers had a   breakage, or lost a leg protest or DFRT had not decided on the inshore route in Gothenburg, or the wind had not shut down in Newport there could have been an entirely different outsome BUT all these possibilities are "on the race course" possibilities NOT "on the drawing board" possibilities.

If one boat proved to be much quicker by design, the viewing public would switch off, the ROI would disappear (along with future sponsors) and the race would then be truly dead and buried.

As I have said before No Sponsor = no money = no race AND no alternative for a very long time.

As an example, who remembers "Challenge Business", a round the world race against the prevailing wind, developed by Chay Blyth. Basically a Clipper for Toughies.

It went bust!

Has anyone even considered trying the same thing again? It died and has been forgotten.

Not a perfect analogy perhaps but if the Whitbread/Volvo or its 'descendant' dies don't expect a virgin birth replacement any time soon.

Not being argumentative, just concerned.

SS

 

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Agreeing with you here SS. Sorry SailB.

OD/Salesmanship etc.

Wonder how much the whole fishing boat debacle plays into the sell?

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If the TOR is still a premier sailing event (questionable) then i really don't think OD has a place in it.  Technical development and innovation at the top levels is very important in mechanical sports and goes hand in hand with the racing (F1, MotoGP, Cycling...), .  People who think the fans don't understand the technical parts and therefore they are unimportant should look at huge followings those sports have around the world and how many sponsors they attract.  The fans may not all go into all the technical details but that doesn't mean they don't appreciate it and I'm sure it helps the likes of MB, Honda, Specialized, etc sell more units.

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12 hours ago, southerncross said:

Agreeing with you here SS. Sorry Sail Bull.

Fify, just guessing. ;)

 

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Much of this is treading ground that has been covered many times. There really doesn't seem to be a right answer.

Comparing TOR with F1 racing is not a great start if you have been following the current woes in F1. Everyone is waiting with bated breath for the 2021 rules to drop in the next few weeks. They are intended to be the saviour of a formula that pretty much everyone agrees is in deep trouble. Only 2.5 teams at the top end of the pack, a pile of struggling mid-fielders that consider a single podium finish as a major achievement for the season, and the strugglers, who could wink out of existence. Massive barriers to entry for new teams, and massive barriers to success for all of the teams not in the top 2.5. Worse, the racing is universally considered to be terrible. It is very hard to get enthused about, or support teams or drivers that simply have no chance, so you are left with Hamilton, Verstappen and Vettel - and watching their number 2 drivers mop up the minor placings.

The idea that F1 is a hotbed of technical innovation is somewhat misleading. The level of one-design or highly restricted design is huge. The new rules will almost certainly constrain the design even further. Teams are forced to optimise in very narrow bands of aerodynamics, with restrictions on testing time, wind-tunnel use, and even the scale of models that may be built. Significant parts of the car are once design, and the race stewards peruse every bit of data gathered in the car and deliver stiff penalties for technical infractions.

Repeating something that was observed in one of the last iterations of this discussion. TOR has no teams. They have entries that come together for a round of the race, and wink out of existence as soon as the race is done. Whether any of these entries manifests itself for the next race is something of speculation for ages after. Sometimes a new entry, badged with the same team logo, appears, often with little in common with the last time the logo appeared on a boat, and the professionals that inhabit the race are often left dangling looking for a ride until ridiculously close to the starting gun. Sometimes they don't get one. Sometimes there is an urgent call to arms as a last minute team is manifested out of thin air to make up the numbers. As has been noted - this isn't a way to make the race a success. But any race that only runs once every 3 or 4 years but demands at least 18 months commitment to be successful is going to have problems.

All the hand wringing about OD or stopovers or the like, is subservient to the need to address the various elephants crashing about in the room.

Sadly nothing has changed since this conversation last came around. Well we had grandiose plans for a fully crewed RTW series with boats and continuity, but the numbers didn't exactly close on that one. So we are worse than we were before the last race.  OTOH, there may really be enough teams and interest to make the next one work. But the silence is not good. For once no news is not good news.

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Disagree on F1.  F1's perceived woes are insignificant compared to most other sports.  Huge budgets, huge crowds, global TV coverage, sponsors from all over, a record number of races next year, new venues and forget OD, car development is taking place everywhere you look all the time within the rule, which the new rule in 2021 isn't going to change.

TOR?  You're right, no comparison to F1.  But isn't it supposed to be a leading sailing event along with the AC, RDR, VG?  If it ever was, it certainly isn't anymore.

You're also right on the team element, little to no carry over between races and not helped by nothing significant happening between races for the boats/crews anyway along with funding being tied to one race only.  IMOCA projects are typically 4+ years, a full cycle of the IMOCA circuit, VG, TJV, RDR, etc.

Going forward if the TOR is going to make the IMOCA work the course must be very similar to what the VG IMOCA are designed for and the crew rules and other factors also taken into consideration to not end up with two different IMOCA classes.  Building a IMOCA for one TOR doesn't make sense.  Building an IMOCA for the current IMOCA circuit can make sense.

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18 hours ago, jb5 said:

TOR?  You're right, no comparison to F1.  

You're also right on the team element, little to no carry over between races and not helped by nothing significant happening between races for the boats/crews anyway along with funding being tied to one race only.  IMOCA projects are typically 4+ years, a full cycle of the IMOCA circuit, VG, TJV, RDR, etc.

 

I agree jb5.

F1 & TOR have a different level of people who can relate to the event almost without thinking. Almost everyone, certainly in the 1st world knows how to drive a car so there is a huge number with the basic understanding of the abilities required to make a car go, stop, turn etc and that the skill level has to go up a huge amount as the speed does. So the point I am making is there can be a basic understanding and people will tune in, see the sponsors' names and - there you go - ROI.

We, as sailors are most certainly a minority. Most people have no idea how a sailing boat works (some sailors don't even fully understand :-)) so there is not a natural link between huge amounts of people and the dangers, thrills and risks of an ocean race.

So on natural potential audience jb5 is 100% correct in my view. If people don't understand it, they wont watch it. Just one of the challenges of the race perhaps.

Also 100% spot on with the lack of carry over between races. It is kind of like 45 years of individual races and thank goodness for the threads holding it together like Blake, Dalton, Bekking etc giving it some sort of continuity.

When Mark Turner was "eased out" sadly in some ways the baby went out with the bathwater as one of the initiatives under his leadership was to have regional events in between "The Big Ones". A European Tour and/or An Asian Tour using the Vo65s was certainly under discussion during his tenure. I know this is a fact as I was on the side-lines of these discussions, particularly when the Asian Tour was being discussed. 

These would have been excellent for so many reasons, keeping the interest going, the teams alive, sponsors with the opportunities to try the game at a much lower cost and perhaps being retained for the round the world gig, keeping the event in the public eye, certainly more so than a bunch of Anarchists punching away at our keyboards.

Anyway we cannot re-write history and now just wait a few days to see which route round the world has been decided (or not).

Some will go great, some will say 'Oh no!', some sponsors will reach for their pen and some will inevitably say 'no, sorry, your not going anywhere near our markets'. Right now, it's all speculation.

As I said in Seahorse around a year ago "The clock is ticking - Tick Tock!' and right now nothing has yet changed.

SS

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Just in by TOR:

"Aarhus confirmed as Host City for The Ocean Race 2021-22

The city – one of Europe's top sailing hotspots – will become the first ever Danish Host City in 2022...

The Ocean Race will come to Aarhus, Denmark during the spring of 2022, following a popular ‘Fly-By’ of the city during the final leg of the 2017-18 edition of the Race.

The success of the Fly-By, where the fleet raced into the inner harbour of Aarhus port and around a turning mark in front of tens of thousands of fans, cemented the popularity of The Ocean Race in Denmark and made Aarhus a natural choice as the first ever Danish Host City for the next race.

Richard Brisius and Johan Salén, co-owners of The Ocean Race, see long-term opportunities for all stakeholders with the selection of Aarhus as a Host City.

“The Ocean Race has long had significant ties to Denmark, with sailors, race and team partners and sponsors and of course, the successful Fly-By in the last race,” said Richard Brisius. “We now have an opportunity to strengthen those bonds even further going forward. The passion of the people of Aarhus, combined with the city’s experience of organising international events, will create the perfect atmosphere for the best sailors in the world.

“Aarhus is a modern, innovative city, with strong historical ties to the ocean and to sailing – as we saw when this same facility hosted the Sailing World Championships last year. Through the talent of great young sailors like Nicolai Sehested and Jena Mai Hansen, who competed in the last edition of the Race, plus veterans such as Jens Dolmer and Stig Westergaard, Denmark has long played an important role in the Race.”

“As the partnership with The Ocean Race demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt, Aarhus has achieved an absolutely unique position as a world-class arena for international sailing events,” said Jacob Bundsgaard, the Mayor of Aarhus. “When The Ocean Race docks in Aarhus in 2022, we can look forward to an epic sporting event for maritime Denmark and a fantastic celebration on the waterfront in Aarhus for everyone.”

The Mayor of Sports, Culture and Citizens’ Services, Rabih Azad-Ahmad, said: “It is absolutely amazing that The Ocean Race is coming to Aarhus. It is an event that is followed worldwide and is a great opportunity to showcase our beautiful city and bay. I am sure that The Ocean Race in Aarhus will set the stage for a huge maritime celebration with exciting experiences for the city's citizens and guests. We will use the opportunity to focus on sustainability and increase awareness of this important matter.”

Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, the national sporting event organisation that partners with major events across Denmark, added: “Aarhus has marked itself as Denmark's leading Host City for major international sailing events. Last summer, the very successful World Sailing Championships for all Olympic classes were held here, and now we look forward to The Ocean Race in 2021-22, where we will continue to focus on sustainability.”

For The Ocean Race, sustainability has long been a core value and has become an even bigger focus for the event looking forward. In 2017-18, the Race helped to spark a global movement against plastic waste, and a comprehensive sustainability initiative aims to educate and inspire millions around the world to make positive changes.

“In the last edition of the Race, our groundbreaking and award-winning Sustainability Programme set new standards for how a sporting event can engage its fans and stakeholders in attacking the problem of plastic pollution and restoring ocean health,” said The Ocean Race’s Johan Salén.

“I believe that by working in partnership with our Host Cities like Aarhus, as well as all of our stakeholders, we will be able to raise the bar even higher to ensure that our sport retains a leadership role in this critical area.”

Aarhus joins the Start Port of Alicante, Spain as confirmed Host Cities of The Ocean Race 2021-22, with more announcements expected in the coming weeks."
 

 

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53 minutes ago, Rennmaus said:

Aarhus joins the Start Port of Alicante, Spain as confirmed Host Cities of The Ocean Race 2021-22, with more announcements expected in the coming weeks."

Groan. That is a pretty wishy washy release. "more announcements expected in the coming weeks". Lordy, "expected"? Seriously? This seems to be an admission that they are well behind. I'm sure there are negotiations ongoing, but it really doesn't sound good.

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7 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

That cements Sweden is out and a Dutch Finish. Watch for Ireland as a smokey for Atlantic leg finish.

The Gothenburg - Den Haag leg last race was already short, Aarhaus was around the halfway point so a Denmark to Holland could even be a day sail and an even further dumbing down that so many people are shouting about unless they did a double lap of the North Sea first.

Having said that Den Haag provided quite a circus for the Volvo Ocean Race, kilometres outside the city they had signs to the 'Volvo Ocean Race Car Park' and it appeared the whole city knew about the race and turned out in so many thousands that it took 15 minutes+ just to get from one side of the race village to the other. Even the waiters in restaurant knew about it, and not just a passing knowledge. When we walked into one to join some of our Chinese friends who had done the Legends Race (at some time after midnight) with our DFRT gear on they put on Queen's 'We Are the Champions'  at full volume. (I can't quite recall when we left but it was approaching dawn)

Regarding Ireland, it would be one hell of a party with the reported visitor numbers of over 1/2 a million (although how they fitted them all in goodness knows) when Green Dragon was an entrant in 2008-9 with many, including Puma's Ken Read stating it was the best stopover they had been involved with. One thing is for sure, the Celts know how to party.

The Irish & the Dutch have provided excellent stops in the past and both would, in my opinion would be good choices for the next edition. It is a shame though that, having invented the damn thing, once again that would mean no involvement from GBR.

SS

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Damn SS, you make a strong argument with some fine historical points. Thank you.

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9 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

That cements Sweden is out and a Dutch Finish. Watch for Ireland as a smokey for Atlantic leg finish.

It was already said somewhere that The Hague would not get the finish, and a stopover would depend on a Brunel, Akzo, or AbnAmro sponsored team, I suppose.

Ireland would be a lot of fun, but quite honestly I think France will need to get the Atlantic finish, as to please all the French Imoca entrants (if any ;) ).

Does the deal with Aarhus mean that Vestas will be back, maybe with Nicholson and Sehested again? Anyone seen or heard something? Vestas' new CEO came from Hempel Paints, so one can expect a yachting friendly continuation there. And also the environmental card is being played big time again, very important for them.

We'll see sooner or later, PR still seems to be the TOR's weak point.

 

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16 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

We, as sailors are most certainly a minority. Most people have no idea how a sailing boat works (some sailors don't even fully understand :-)) so there is not a natural link between huge amounts of people and the dangers, thrills and risks of an ocean race.

Not such a problem in Auckland, Portsmouth and Les Sables-d'Olonne, or any other notable stop-over or 'sailing city', apparently, SS. 

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Looks like Vestas is on board again, on the left the new CEO of Vestas, Henrik Andersen (I believe...)

I wouldn't be surprised if Vestas is going to be the principal sponsor, you heard it first here on SA...

69655539_10158569856907437_4422432742705201152_o.thumb.jpg.2e7a90722ff7e3d768fd4315bd87d855.jpg

Good to see Nicolai there, and is that Brisius with a beard and less hair, and an older Mirpuri too? 

https://m.facebook.com/theoceanrace/

 

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Brisius is second from the left. No beard. Mirpuri is not there. 

 

I really hope Nicholai can put the funding together. 

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On 8/26/2019 at 9:47 AM, shanghaisailor said:

While it would be great to return to the 'good old days of a 4 leg blast around the planet, race one went nowhere near Auckland or the USA. Southampton - Capetown - Sydney - Rio - Southampton. 2nd Race went to Auckland but the USA didn't become one of the "good old days" until the 5th race in 1989-90.(Also their 2nd visit to Oz - Freemantle)

.......

One final comment on the "VO65 Charade"! It produced the closest finish to the race in 45 years. Boats finishing hours or even days apart does not produce clicks, views, column inches or minutes on prime time and that is something the race organisers need to be aware of. We sailors may wish to see boats that are 'out there' and understand that races are won by large margins but the targeted audience of any such event goes (has to go) way beyond the sailing enthusiast whether we like it or not - that old dreaded R O I again!

We will know in a week.

SS

This is a great post.  Wealthy sailors will spend money to participate, but thats few and far between.  Companies will sponsor if they can leverage the investment into PR with stopovers.  My wife and I were able to sail on the Donfeng VOR vessel in 2015.  We love sailing (for me it started at 8YO with a sunfish on the gulf coast, for her it was as an adult with me), but crewing in Newport sealed the deal.  F1 is a spectator sport.  Seeing "your" team/driver race, touch the car/boat, walk pit row/pier is what hooks fans and gets them and sponsors to fork over the big buck.  Until spectator vessels are following the boats around the globe, stopovers are needed.  

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On 8/28/2019 at 12:36 AM, shanghaisailor said:

It is easy to say the French do it very well with regard to the IMOCA 60s and the Vendee Globe but is also has to be remembered that the sponsor usually gets more than one race for their money with the IMOCA circuit, VG, TJV, RDR and so on and a short handed class (which doesn't even have to be latest generation) 

This is why i still think they should return to something similar to a V70 box rule. A boat class that can do TOR and also be competitive in the major ocean races. In the non-TOR years, run a "grand prix circuit" where the boats do the major ocean races, regattas and perhaps create some "sprint" races to give sponsors more bang for their bucks. Keeping the rules consistent also allows to "budget" teams racing with older generation boats, keeping the numbers up.

 

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21 hours ago, Sailbydate said:

Not such a problem in Auckland, Portsmouth and Les Sables-d'Olonne, or any other notable stop-over or 'sailing city', apparently, SS. 

Agreed regarding Auckland Sailbydate but Southampton as the home of the start & finish of the race for many 'Whitbread' editions would be hard to beat. It looked at times as if the whole of the Solent boat population was on the water seeing them off in sights that even made the Boxing Day Sydney Hobart crowds seems sparse.

Portsmouth Harbour, while being the UK's primary Naval base would not be a terrific site for a race start with the associated spectator fleet as the entrance is narrow which can have quite a nasty sea state with the wind and tide in the wrong relative directions. (I've sailed it) 

Les Sable d- Olonne is really a fishing village in the Vendee Region (but you knew that) and the huge visitor numbers are just that - visitors which shows more to the strength of following for short handed sailing in France than the venue.

The actual town (hardly a city) has a population of under 50,000 which just proves the attraction of the Vendee Globe as that means around 1.4m over the 3 weeks leading up to the start actually travel there to see the event - who'd be a traffic cop there at that time in the cycle. Perhaps the TOR could examine what the Vendee Region does or perhaps what the VG Race does to try and tap into this level of popularity. 

True fans will go out of their way to see their chosen sport. I extended a trip to our then head office in Bournemouth to be in Ocean Village to witness Steinlager2's triumphant return and more recently a friend of mine drove from Bournemouth to Cardiff for the stopover there.

SS

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The VG and RDR have managed to tap into something very powerful in parts of the French culture very successfully.  The solo adventurer is really strong.  It seems to allow people to focus on the individual and not some more anonymous crew group doing sprints between stops.  Not so sure the town/city matters as much as the event and those connections and the popularity seems to extend well beyond sailors.  I suspect those going to the VOR/TOR race ports tend to be sailors and sailors significant others almost exclusively.  This is what I saw when I've attended and it really limits the appeal even to sailors.  Its hard to drag non sailors along. I doubt most of the non-sailing population even knows the race exists in most locations.  Without rich individual backers (like the AC) or a more country focused team basis (like the Olympics, but even harder to fund because sailing is seen as a rich persons sport like it or not) the TOR will likely remain very hard to fund and just limp along.

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6 hours ago, jb5 said:

The VG and RDR have managed to tap into something very powerful in parts of the French culture very successfully.  The solo adventurer is really strong.  It seems to allow people to focus on the individual and not some more anonymous crew group doing sprints between stops.  Not so sure the town/city matters as much as the event and those connections and the popularity seems to extend well beyond sailors.  I suspect those going to the VOR/TOR race ports tend to be sailors and sailors significant others almost exclusively.  This is what I saw when I've attended and it really limits the appeal even to sailors.  Its hard to drag non sailors along. I doubt most of the non-sailing population even knows the race exists in most locations.  Without rich individual backers (like the AC) or a more country focused team basis (like the Olympics, but even harder to fund because sailing is seen as a rich persons sport like it or not) the TOR will likely remain very hard to fund and just limp along.

Maybe, jb5. I think maybe 'personality cult' is what drives a lot of the popular following in more of the successful sailing cities. That and a large dose of 'Nationalism', too I suspect.

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13 hours ago, jb5 said:

The VG and RDR have managed to tap into something very powerful in parts of the French culture very successfully.  The solo adventurer is really strong.  It seems to allow people to focus on the individual and not some more anonymous crew group doing sprints between stops.  Not so sure the town/city matters as much as the event and those connections and the popularity seems to extend well beyond sailors.  I suspect those going to the VOR/TOR race ports tend to be sailors and sailors significant others almost exclusively.  This is what I saw when I've attended and it really limits the appeal even to sailors.  Its hard to drag non sailors along. I doubt most of the non-sailing population even knows the race exists in most locations.  Without rich individual backers (like the AC) or a more country focused team basis (like the Olympics, but even harder to fund because sailing is seen as a rich persons sport like it or not) the TOR will likely remain very hard to fund and just limp along.

Completely agreejb5.

This was something that DFRT did quite successfully, primarily in China but it is worth noting that Charles Caudrelier in a non- French event was voted French Sailor of the Year on the back of his VOR success as skipper. And rightly deserved I would say as he took a multi cultural and language crew to 2 podiums in the Volvo, perhaps even a more consistent performance than the victory itself.

And here in China Horace and Black became celebrities during the race and at Guangzhou were mobbed and in Hong Kong what appeared to be hundreds wearing Horace t-shirts turned up and China is still a non sailing nation.

In China they love when Chinese are doing well or doing things not considered 'normal'. This is evidenced by the Chinese media figures surpassing every other country in the VOR except the hotbed of sailing that is GBR and in the current SailGP China is, I am reliably informed, right up there in the numbers of followers of the event.

The boat is important for the sponsor as it is that which is most visible, even from a distance and shows off their corporate logo but I think those teams that have (or make) celebrities from amongst their crews have (or miss) a great opportunity both for their team and the race as a whole. Witty was much maligned but his shoot from the hip comments raised the events profile. We all remember Blakey and Dalts - well those of old enough do and the younger ones read about their exploits, Tracy and her determination that brought about the first all women crew, Magnus, perhaps the greatest character of them all, the never give up man -Bowwe, or relatively young gun Charlie Enright, on camera stating his commitment to being an 'ocean racer'.

The race needs them and I am sure non would begrudge the race  'wheeling them out' as characters that have helped build the legend that is The Race because theirs are real HUMAN stories that underpin whatever the race is viewed as.

In some ways the building of those stories is more important than whether the race does 10 miles or 10,000 miles in the Southern Ocean or whether it goes to Asia or not - at least to the general NON-sailing public. Some wouldn't know the sharp end from the blunt end but easily recognise Ian Walker's bloodshot eyes as stress or 10 days growth and an unkempt look as someone who has been through the wringer. And how many women would relate to Tracy Edwards comments in Freemantle - and I quote "From when you are knee high to a grasshopper if you are a woman you are told you have to look like this, be like that, you have to use this, use that, you are told to do this, wear that.....you go into the Southern Ocean and for 28 days you don't have to wash, you don't have to dress properly, you don't have to do your hair - it was great"

She was enabling women WAY before any of these so called campaigns.

The race needs characters, in fact it needs AND SHOULD use every avenue to build interest in what we, as sailors, know is probably the toughest, and certainly the longest sporting event in the world (OK for the purists the toughest team sporting event) BUT even after 45 years it is still relatively unknown - are so bad at promoting our sport? Certainly less than double figures this century in the VOR would suggest that.

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On 9/1/2019 at 12:31 PM, shanghaisailor said:

Agreed regarding Auckland Sailbydate but Southampton as the home of the start & finish of the race for many 'Whitbread' editions would be hard to beat. It looked at times as if the whole of the Solent boat population was on the water seeing them off in sights that even made the Boxing Day Sydney Hobart crowds seems sparse.

Shang the perennial problem with English stopovers has been local authorities reluctance to put up the cash.

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4 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Shang the perennial problem with English stopovers has been local authorities reluctance to put up the cash.

I wouldn't disagree there Jack. Perhaps they were not sold the benefits properly. Certainly for almost the first 2/3 of its history they seemed OK with that. If I remember correctly the race started in the UK all the way up to 2005.  The Welsh however were not so tight fisted last time round. :-)

Funny that with all the up thread comments about going to Asia or Middle East no-one has mentioned that for the last few editions it started in the Med.

Money talks right enough.

And to follow through with your comment, what if a stopover IS willing to put up the cash? Should they be castigated because it means more Equator crossings? 

Just being devil's advocate ;-)

SS

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If the folks on the boats can be on their merry way to cape horn in February instead of March, and not sailing in a tight OD pressure rushing towards a in shore finish at night when no one can see anything anyway - no one would complain about visiting Hainan. 

The solutions to the problems have been there all along, but old fart directors who have been on the hard for too long brush aside legit concerns under some nonsense "pros can and should handle it"

No one complains about Alicante because it is a nice place to visit, and Alicante to Lisbon or Alicante to Cape Town adds maybe 4 days. 

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They'd better sort out the new boats quickly.

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2 hours ago, mad said:

They'd better sort out the new boats quickly.

Agree.  They stand a  very big risk in my view of ending up with IMOCAs that are not competitive in IMOCA races and back where they started with one event every fours years and little to no retained value in the boats.

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12 hours ago, Miffy said:

If the folks on the boats can be on their merry way to cape horn in February instead of March, and not sailing in a tight OD pressure rushing towards a in shore finish at night when no one can see anything anyway - no one would complain about visiting Hainan. 

The solutions to the problems have been there all along, but old fart directors who have been on the hard for too long brush aside legit concerns under some nonsense "pros can and should handle it"

No-one on Dongfeng complained about approaching Hainan in the dark two races ago(well they were hours ahead of the fleet having led almost all the way from Abu Dhabi).

When news of the lead boat approaching the finish, the media 'fleet' roared off south east into the night - all except one that is, the Hainan TV RIB. The helm was our PRO at an event we have run in China and I managed to convince him to head due south so when the others were searching in the murk we had the happy situation of having Dongfeng all to ourselves as she was clearly "rushing towards an inshore finish at night" at Sanya "Hainan". Isn't it incredible how effective that retro-reflective paint is.

IMG_0520.JPG

DFRT_Appears_out_of_the_pre-dawn.JPG

Dongfeng_heads_for_the_rising_sun.JPG

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wasn't the course supposed to have been published by now even after all the delays?

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14 hours ago, jb5 said:

wasn't the course supposed to have been published by now even after all the delays?

That's what they originally said, but at the Aarhus announcement last week they said: "Aarhus joins the Start Port of Alicante, Spain as confirmed Host Cities of The Ocean Race 2021-22, with more announcements expected in the coming weeks."

I suppose the Hong Kong troubles are a major stumble bloc, and other negotiations are probably being conducted in the "Swedish way", as was nicely illustrated by Hoppy a few of years ago.

 

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22 hours ago, JonRowe said:

So 11th Hour Racing is supported by some form of sustainability or environmental group with some sort of family trust fund behind it? I couldn't figure it out properly from their site or maybe it's just too hard to find.  What I have trouble with is what appears to be yet another environmental responsibility based sailing sponsorship. Sailing, sailboats, any boat and any transport in general is not really environmentally friendly.  Wouldn't that money be better spent saving the environment?  Bit like those "eco" cruises to Antarctica that are anything but good for the environment they are exploiting.  Its a bit sad that these races seem to have trouble attracting major corps to sponsor them and have to rely on dubious messages. Anyway good for them i guess someone needs to have deep pockets.

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11th Hour Racing is one arm of their (the Schmidts?) "philanthropy", its the ... education arm? 

Quote

11th Hour Racing embraces sponsorships, grantees, and ambassadors who integrate sustainability into their values and operations while educating, innovating and inspiring people with the critical message of ocean stewardship.

But then they also seem to have bits that actually do shit for the world too http://www.schmidtmarine.org/ https://schmidtocean.org/ http://www.11thhourproject.org/

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