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Can the ACWS attract new fans to the sport? A new fan's perspectiv

ACWS Announcing AC34 TV

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#1 stephenrjking

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:48 PM

I found this board today while researching competitive sailing and the AC in particular. I've seen a lot of talk about "attracting new fans." As a person who has occasionally watched an America's Cup race in the past but barely understands the sport, has almost never sailed, and didn't hear about AC33 until months after the fact (I looked it up on wikipedia recently, and my first thought was, "Oh, right, the USA boat was a trimaran") I feel like I'm the kind of "new, casual fan" that Ellison has in mind.

For the record, I read Katie Baker's write-up on Grantland a couple of weeks ago. Then, Sunday afternoon while preparing for church and for my vacation the next day, I remembered that she wrote that the race would be on NBC on Sunday, so I flipped it on.

I was enthralled. The racing was fast and exciting; the races themselves were quick, easily accessible affairs that differed quite a bit from the long, dull downwind legs I remember from my younger years. And they were racing on multi-hulls, which always made sense to me--if multi-hulls were demonstrably the best technology 25 years ago when Dennis Conner was winning with them, why not use them today?

Since then I've located and watched full replays on the Youtube channel and begun to dig into information on other America's Cups. I've finally seen highlights from 2010. I'm an avid sports-watcher and my interests eclectically range from typical American Football to hockey to cycling and beyond, so I know my way around. Some thoughts:

The "New" Format and Rules

I like all of it and I hope it succeeds. As I understand it, the America's Cup is supposed to be about rich people building spectacular boats and racing them; why not use the best technology available? The Cats look and feel advanced, and the wing-sail technology is fascinating. Honestly, having fewer sails to deal with makes it seem a bit more accessible to a non-sailer like me who doesn't know the name of every sail. And the fact that the boats are tough to sail is a big plus--the idea that seasoned professionals occasionally make mistakes and don't have everything under control makes things more accessible.

The bayside stadium format is good, too. If nothing else, it provides a good sense of speed to see the boats moving against a solid background. The AC45s just *looked* blazing fast in that venue. It's a good mental reference point, too. Watching old AC highlights is almost humorous, with announcers saying "Welcome to Valencia!" against a backdrop of open water that could be anywhere. San Francisco is one of the most visually distinct cities in the world; having a race there is a fantastic move.

The Television Production
I am grateful to see some commentary on this board about this, because I took a dislike to the tv commentary almost immediately. The lead announcer (Jotson?) was unlistenable. As I tried to discern how close things were, and could usually tell with the helpful graphics, and felt that the race was at an exciting moment, he would either utter something completely unrelated to the action or flatly announce a tack in a tone that suggested that he was calling the last minutes of a Division 2 football game that was being won 50-10.

I don't want to be pandered to by announcers. Explaining things is good, but nothing makes me more attracted to a new sport than announcers who are excited to be watching it and aren't afraid to talk about its history as if I know something about it. I watched some of the youtube video of race 7 of the '07 cup and the difference in announcer enthusiasm was startling. Honestly, I think I could do a better job.

The rest of the TV production was pretty good. The onscreen graphics are tremendously helpful, and while the producers occasionally didn't show the best views at the best time (took a while to show that Coutts start crash, for example) in general I found it well put together. I hear that the SF race rating dropped to a .6, which sounds bad compared to golf or football but actually is still pretty good for a niche sport. I follow college hockey, and fans of that sport would kill for a .6 or a .8 and it gets national primetime broadcasts on ESPN every year. I don't think LE is worried about turning a profit--if he were he wouldn't have been funding AC teams for ten years.

The Future
I'm hooked. Can't wait for the LVC or the AC, and I will be watching the next ACWS events. I'm a newbie to the sport, but if you're interested in casual fans at least one is getting roped in. I hope whoever wins in '13 keeps this up for another sequence; ACWS races are a nice appetizer for the big event.

Remember, you have to keep at it and produce a good product to attract casual fans, and over time a fan base can be built. I'm a big cycling fan, but I started watching in the most casual of ways, tuning in to see Lance Armstrong climb a hill. The announcers were excited and knowledgeable, the action was good, and I watched again next year. My interest grew, and now I watch year-round even now that Armstrong is disgraced--and so do millions of others, if we are to judge from NBC Sports faithful dedication to a sport that was once totally inaccessible. The America's Cup can do the same thing.

For what it's worth, there's an affordable sailing club here in Duluth that I never heard of before this week. I'm awfully tempted to try sailing next year. Watching the big boys do it makes me want to try. That's the goal, right?

I apologize for the length of this; I'm not a rookie to message boards, and I know how annoying it can be for newbies to start posting like they own the place. I only really posted here because a lot of fans appear concerned about the "casual viewer," and I thought I could provide some insight.

#2 yar

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:10 PM

Stephen - great post!! Please keep 'em coming!

I'm not a newbie ... I've been teaching sailing almost my entire life and I do try to look at this sport through others eyes every time I start a new student or class... especially those such as yourself who may have only heard rumors about how boring sailing can be. ... or how boat ownership and certainly the AC is often characterized as being limited primarily to those fortunate enough or wealthy enough. You've absolutely nailed it with regards to the basic issues we face. If, after you watch the ACWS next month or take a sailing class in the land of a thousand lakes, you still find yourself wanting to tell your friends ... well ... do tell.

Eric

#3 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:18 PM

I found this board today while researching competitive sailing and the AC in particular. I've seen a lot of talk about "attracting new fans." As a person who has occasionally watched an America's Cup race in the past but barely understands the sport, has almost never sailed, and didn't hear about AC33 until months after the fact (I looked it up on wikipedia recently, and my first thought was, "Oh, right, the USA boat was a trimaran") I feel like I'm the kind of "new, casual fan" that Ellison has in mind.

For the record, I read Katie Baker's write-up on Grantland a couple of weeks ago. Then, Sunday afternoon while preparing for church and for my vacation the next day, I remembered that she wrote that the race would be on NBC on Sunday, so I flipped it on.

I was enthralled. The racing was fast and exciting; the races themselves were quick, easily accessible affairs that differed quite a bit from the long, dull downwind legs I remember from my younger years. And they were racing on multi-hulls, which always made sense to me--if multi-hulls were demonstrably the best technology 25 years ago when Dennis Conner was winning with them, why not use them today?

Since then I've located and watched full replays on the Youtube channel and begun to dig into information on other America's Cups. I've finally seen highlights from 2010. I'm an avid sports-watcher and my interests eclectically range from typical American Football to hockey to cycling and beyond, so I know my way around. Some thoughts:

The "New" Format and Rules

I like all of it and I hope it succeeds. As I understand it, the America's Cup is supposed to be about rich people building spectacular boats and racing them; why not use the best technology available? The Cats look and feel advanced, and the wing-sail technology is fascinating. Honestly, having fewer sails to deal with makes it seem a bit more accessible to a non-sailer like me who doesn't know the name of every sail. And the fact that the boats are tough to sail is a big plus--the idea that seasoned professionals occasionally make mistakes and don't have everything under control makes things more accessible.

The bayside stadium format is good, too. If nothing else, it provides a good sense of speed to see the boats moving against a solid background. The AC45s just *looked* blazing fast in that venue. It's a good mental reference point, too. Watching old AC highlights is almost humorous, with announcers saying "Welcome to Valencia!" against a backdrop of open water that could be anywhere. San Francisco is one of the most visually distinct cities in the world; having a race there is a fantastic move.

The Television Production
I am grateful to see some commentary on this board about this, because I took a dislike to the tv commentary almost immediately. The lead announcer (Jotson?) was unlistenable. As I tried to discern how close things were, and could usually tell with the helpful graphics, and felt that the race was at an exciting moment, he would either utter something completely unrelated to the action or flatly announce a tack in a tone that suggested that he was calling the last minutes of a Division 2 football game that was being won 50-10.

I don't want to be pandered to by announcers. Explaining things is good, but nothing makes me more attracted to a new sport than announcers who are excited to be watching it and aren't afraid to talk about its history as if I know something about it. I watched some of the youtube video of race 7 of the '07 cup and the difference in announcer enthusiasm was startling. Honestly, I think I could do a better job.

The rest of the TV production was pretty good. The onscreen graphics are tremendously helpful, and while the producers occasionally didn't show the best views at the best time (took a while to show that Coutts start crash, for example) in general I found it well put together. I hear that the SF race rating dropped to a .6, which sounds bad compared to golf or football but actually is still pretty good for a niche sport. I follow college hockey, and fans of that sport would kill for a .6 or a .8 and it gets national primetime broadcasts on ESPN every year. I don't think LE is worried about turning a profit--if he were he wouldn't have been funding AC teams for ten years.

The Future
I'm hooked. Can't wait for the LVC or the AC, and I will be watching the next ACWS events. I'm a newbie to the sport, but if you're interested in casual fans at least one is getting roped in. I hope whoever wins in '13 keeps this up for another sequence; ACWS races are a nice appetizer for the big event.

Remember, you have to keep at it and produce a good product to attract casual fans, and over time a fan base can be built. I'm a big cycling fan, but I started watching in the most casual of ways, tuning in to see Lance Armstrong climb a hill. The announcers were excited and knowledgeable, the action was good, and I watched again next year. My interest grew, and now I watch year-round even now that Armstrong is disgraced--and so do millions of others, if we are to judge from NBC Sports faithful dedication to a sport that was once totally inaccessible. The America's Cup can do the same thing.

For what it's worth, there's an affordable sailing club here in Duluth that I never heard of before this week. I'm awfully tempted to try sailing next year. Watching the big boys do it makes me want to try. That's the goal, right?

I apologize for the length of this; I'm not a rookie to message boards, and I know how annoying it can be for newbies to start posting like they own the place. I only really posted here because a lot of fans appear concerned about the "casual viewer," and I thought I could provide some insight.


You the same guy here, Stephen? http://twitter.com/stephenrjking

#4 stephenrjking

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:00 AM

That's me. My middle initials are distinctive, I guess.

Notice I put an "e" at the end of "distinctive."

#5 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:31 AM

I like it. I'm going to see if our esteemed Editor will run this on the front page.

#6 KiwiJoker

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:56 AM

For what it's worth, there's an affordable sailing club here in Duluth that I never heard of before this week. I'm awfully tempted to try sailing next year. Watching the big boys do it makes me want to try. That's the goal, right?

I apologize for the length of this; I'm not a rookie to message boards, and I know how annoying it can be for newbies to start posting like they own the place. I only really posted here because a lot of fans appear concerned about the "casual viewer," and I thought I could provide some insight.


Good to hear from a newcomer to sailing who gets it. I've been following the AC since 1967 and Your comments re TV coverage mirror mine although I'm far more critical. I want on-air talent that obviously works as a team, guys and gals who can trade off insights and commentary that informs. Not some dullard who tells us that Boat A is rounding the mark when we can see it for ourselves.

Here's an idea for you. Don't wait until next year to try sailing. Get down to the docks this weekend. Looks like nice fall weather. Ask a few questions at the sailing club you mentioned. This one looks promising for two or three hours of introductory sailing. http://www.sailingforall.org/

I'd like to offer a slightly different take on your thought that the AC is about rich folks building spectacular boats. The first race in 1851 that kicked off the America's Cup was about showcasing technology. Of course if you want to come up with the best that technology has to offer you'll need rich folks to finance 'em and they'll be spectacular, but the driver is technology and not bags of cash.

#7 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:02 AM

The first race in 1851 that kicked off the America's Cup was about showcasing technology.


I'll qualify that a bit: The first race was about bragging rights between important members of two Yacht Clubs over who had the fastest boat. So...technology in a way, but that was never the driver. Ego always was.

Notice I put an "e" at the end of "distinctive."


I don't get it. I'm all out of horror jokes too.

#8 KiwiJoker

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:08 AM


The first race in 1851 that kicked off the America's Cup was about showcasing technology.


I'll qualify that a bit: The first race was about bragging rights between important members of two Yacht Clubs over who had the fastest boat. So...technology in a way, but that was never the driver. Ego always was.


Gee, and I always bought the company line that Schuyler and Co headed off to Britain in the year of the Prince Consort's Great Exhibition to showcase their superior technology. Plenty of ego there of course. But looking for a match race they could find no takers among the home boys.

#9 stephenrjking

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:15 AM

My "e" comment is referencing the thread title, which I neglected to proofread before posting.

Thanks for the pointers, Kiwi. I might poke around the sailing club if I have time, though autumn is busy in my line of work and snow will be flying here within six weeks. Lake Superior moderates temperatures somewhat this late in the season, though.

In my limited experience and limited research, it strikes me as a great tragedy that two of the most revolutionary and talked about ACs were the DOG matches that are as known for their controversy as for the incredible boats that were produced. The lack of predictable buildup also hurt, at least in the case of 2010; I likely would have at least heard about the Cup in 2010 prior to its launching and perhaps checked it out if there had been a standard LVC with actual television coverage. As it was, two of the most incredible vehicles ever built in any non-flight category were buried underneath story lines of legal challenges and acrimony.

It makes me think that an AC challenge should just be unlimited every 10-15 years, just to see what people come up with.

This year, at least, things are a bit more modern. That seems to be the way it should be, to me.

#10 maxmini

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:37 AM

There is no question that the circus will attract new fans to the sport. The real question is will the new fans come close to making up for the number of long time sailors that are being turned off by the " change ". If you go by what you read here things look peachy but if you venture out into the real world things are not as rosy. Of the two clubs I frequent , one big and one small and one less than a hour away from the Newport regatta I can hardly even get anyone to talk about the AC much less want to attend an event . Weather or not the newbies stick around to actually become involved with the sailing or to continue following the AC in the future is an unknown quantity just as are those from the past that are now lost to the present . Larry and the guys have bent over back wards to tailor things for the all powerful god TV and it appears that TV could care less and viewership is shrinking with each event.

Here is another's viewpoint just so after the rest of my fellow forum members get done flaming me you can see that there were at least two of us with these thoughts :)



HOW WILL HISTORY JUDGE THE 34TH AMERICA'S CUP?
Australian Will Baillieu was on the handles in 1983 when Australia II won
the America's Cup, breaking the longest-running winning streak in the
history of sport (132 years). What Will remembers is what the event was,
and has concerns about what the event is now. Read on...
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A quote in Scuttlebutt 3666 from professional snowboarder Travis Rice:
"We're living in a world where it's hard to do dumb s---. What's amazing to
me about sailing is how boundless it is. You're not protected by this
safety net of stoplights and safety features. You're truly at the mercy of
your own decisions, and if you're an idiot you're going to get smacked."

Like...wow! The real value of "Cross Promotion" has never been more
apparent. Travis has enlightened us with this account of his experience
aboard an AC45. I am sure we are all grateful that the event got his
attention at all. Travis assures us that this style of racing will take
sailing "...from this frumpy old man's sport to something that people are
way more interested in watching." Like...even people of his generation
might be interested in it!

Well, why stop there Travis?

Why not include a Vegas Pool Party leg in the next AC event? At least on
the AC45s there is room on deck for Prince Harry, a snooker table and a few
naked ladies. Or, possibly tequila shots and laybacks during the downwind
legs? Anything to make this event more watchable for Gen Y.

We don't want their attention to stray, and we certainly don't want any of
those frumpy old men to have anything to do with it.

Maybe we could introduce an element of Big Brother to America's Cup; put a
crew of complete strangers on each boat and just see what happens as they
race the AC series. How about "Survivor - America's Cup"? We could lay
mines on the course. Exploding boats would make great television; audience
numbers would be huge.

What Travis seems to have overlooked is that America's Cup is a match race,
with a very long history; the very pinnacle of sailing.

Boat on boat, tactical racing, involving rapid and complicated decision
making, much of it subtle. It is about high performance, low tolerance, up
close racing, between two boats. AC boats have been traditionally sailed by
very fit, young athletes with marvelous skills. "Frumpy old men" are
required to fund them, as they still are now.

The history of the event and the subtleties of match racing may be lost on
Travis Rice and others of his demographic, but surely not to just about
anyone else.

Does the event really need to compete for audiences with tacky TV reality
shows? Does it really need these Christmas Cracker boats? Fast boats might
add an extra element in the potential for catastrophic failure, but they
make for poor match racing. The last AC Deed of Gift "match" was surely
testament to that.

The lack of challenger syndicates for the 34th AC is a worrying sign, but
it's not for any lack of bells and whistles.

The dressing up of the America's Cup for uninformed TV audiences with
notoriously low attention spans, has cheapened the event and turned it into
just another reality TV spectacle. This is a genre that has been almost
done to death already. Inevitably it will be consigned to the TV
wastebasket, when people get bored and change channels.

And where will that leave America's Cup?

Source:
http://forum.sailing...ost=14437#14437


#11 GauchoGreg

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:38 AM

My "e" comment is referencing the thread title, which I neglected to proofread before posting.

Thanks for the pointers, Kiwi. I might poke around the sailing club if I have time, though autumn is busy in my line of work and snow will be flying here within six weeks. Lake Superior moderates temperatures somewhat this late in the season, though.

In my limited experience and limited research, it strikes me as a great tragedy that two of the most revolutionary and talked about ACs were the DOG matches that are as known for their controversy as for the incredible boats that were produced. The lack of predictable buildup also hurt, at least in the case of 2010; I likely would have at least heard about the Cup in 2010 prior to its launching and perhaps checked it out if there had been a standard LVC with actual television coverage. As it was, two of the most incredible vehicles ever built in any non-flight category were buried underneath story lines of legal challenges and acrimony.

It makes me think that an AC challenge should just be unlimited every 10-15 years, just to see what people come up with.

This year, at least, things are a bit more modern. That seems to be the way it should be, to me.


I like your last points.

By the way, don't you think it is pathetic that the organizers missed the chance to do some promotion, advertising during the Tour de France? Same network, likely a great target audience, plenty of off days were the ad spots would not be overly expensive, etc. etc. etc. I Love the Tour, and kept thinking, all along, that would be a great place to get the AC some interest.

#12 Indio

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:16 AM

..
By the way, don't you think it is pathetic that the organizers missed the chance to do some promotion, advertising during the Tour de France? Same network, likely a great target audience, plenty of off days were the ad spots would not be overly expensive, etc. etc. etc. I Love the Tour, and kept thinking, all along, that would be a great place to get the AC some interest.


I doubt anyone in ACEA/ACRM or Oracle wanted to go anywhere near the Tour de France with that doping cheat Lance Armstrong so prominent in the news at the time.

#13 maxmini

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:39 AM


..
By the way, don't you think it is pathetic that the organizers missed the chance to do some promotion, advertising during the Tour de France? Same network, likely a great target audience, plenty of off days were the ad spots would not be overly expensive, etc. etc. etc. I Love the Tour, and kept thinking, all along, that would be a great place to get the AC some interest.


I doubt anyone in ACEA/ACRM or Oracle wanted to go anywhere near the Tour de France with that doping cheat Lance Armstrong so prominent in the news at the time.


That race has been the Tour De Dope , forever . An ex rider would not have been as much of an issue as the current ones they were tossing .

#14 DickDastardly

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:25 AM

I found this board today while researching competitive sailing and the AC in particular. I've seen a lot of talk about "attracting new fans." As a person who has occasionally watched an America's Cup race in the past but barely understands the sport, has almost never sailed, and didn't hear about AC33 until months after the fact (I looked it up on wikipedia recently, and my first thought was, "Oh, right, the USA boat was a trimaran") I feel like I'm the kind of "new, casual fan" that Ellison has in mind.

For the record, I read Katie Baker's write-up on Grantland a couple of weeks ago. Then, Sunday afternoon while preparing for church and for my vacation the next day, I remembered that she wrote that the race would be on NBC on Sunday, so I flipped it on.

I was enthralled. The racing was fast and exciting; the races themselves were quick, easily accessible affairs that differed quite a bit from the long, dull downwind legs I remember from my younger years. And they were racing on multi-hulls, which always made sense to me--if multi-hulls were demonstrably the best technology 25 years ago when Dennis Conner was winning with them, why not use them today?

Since then I've located and watched full replays on the Youtube channel and begun to dig into information on other America's Cups. I've finally seen highlights from 2010. I'm an avid sports-watcher and my interests eclectically range from typical American Football to hockey to cycling and beyond, so I know my way around. Some thoughts:

The "New" Format and Rules

I like all of it and I hope it succeeds. As I understand it, the America's Cup is supposed to be about rich people building spectacular boats and racing them; why not use the best technology available? The Cats look and feel advanced, and the wing-sail technology is fascinating. Honestly, having fewer sails to deal with makes it seem a bit more accessible to a non-sailer like me who doesn't know the name of every sail. And the fact that the boats are tough to sail is a big plus--the idea that seasoned professionals occasionally make mistakes and don't have everything under control makes things more accessible.

The bayside stadium format is good, too. If nothing else, it provides a good sense of speed to see the boats moving against a solid background. The AC45s just *looked* blazing fast in that venue. It's a good mental reference point, too. Watching old AC highlights is almost humorous, with announcers saying "Welcome to Valencia!" against a backdrop of open water that could be anywhere. San Francisco is one of the most visually distinct cities in the world; having a race there is a fantastic move.

The Television Production
I am grateful to see some commentary on this board about this, because I took a dislike to the tv commentary almost immediately. The lead announcer (Jotson?) was unlistenable. As I tried to discern how close things were, and could usually tell with the helpful graphics, and felt that the race was at an exciting moment, he would either utter something completely unrelated to the action or flatly announce a tack in a tone that suggested that he was calling the last minutes of a Division 2 football game that was being won 50-10.

I don't want to be pandered to by announcers. Explaining things is good, but nothing makes me more attracted to a new sport than announcers who are excited to be watching it and aren't afraid to talk about its history as if I know something about it. I watched some of the youtube video of race 7 of the '07 cup and the difference in announcer enthusiasm was startling. Honestly, I think I could do a better job.

The rest of the TV production was pretty good. The onscreen graphics are tremendously helpful, and while the producers occasionally didn't show the best views at the best time (took a while to show that Coutts start crash, for example) in general I found it well put together. I hear that the SF race rating dropped to a .6, which sounds bad compared to golf or football but actually is still pretty good for a niche sport. I follow college hockey, and fans of that sport would kill for a .6 or a .8 and it gets national primetime broadcasts on ESPN every year. I don't think LE is worried about turning a profit--if he were he wouldn't have been funding AC teams for ten years.

The Future
I'm hooked. Can't wait for the LVC or the AC, and I will be watching the next ACWS events. I'm a newbie to the sport, but if you're interested in casual fans at least one is getting roped in. I hope whoever wins in '13 keeps this up for another sequence; ACWS races are a nice appetizer for the big event.

Remember, you have to keep at it and produce a good product to attract casual fans, and over time a fan base can be built. I'm a big cycling fan, but I started watching in the most casual of ways, tuning in to see Lance Armstrong climb a hill. The announcers were excited and knowledgeable, the action was good, and I watched again next year. My interest grew, and now I watch year-round even now that Armstrong is disgraced--and so do millions of others, if we are to judge from NBC Sports faithful dedication to a sport that was once totally inaccessible. The America's Cup can do the same thing.

For what it's worth, there's an affordable sailing club here in Duluth that I never heard of before this week. I'm awfully tempted to try sailing next year. Watching the big boys do it makes me want to try. That's the goal, right?

I apologize for the length of this; I'm not a rookie to message boards, and I know how annoying it can be for newbies to start posting like they own the place. I only really posted here because a lot of fans appear concerned about the "casual viewer," and I thought I could provide some insight.

Great thoughtful post. But where are your girlfriends tits?

I'd be interested to get your views on AC32 - have you watched any or the 2007 Dinosaur Dog Fights from Valencia? Slow boats for sure but the action and closeness were spellbinding to a sailor - how do they now look to a non-sailor who has immersed a bit in AC?

#15 hoom

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:29 AM

Explaining things is good, but nothing makes me more attracted to a new sport than announcers who are excited to be watching it and aren't afraid to talk about its history as if I know something about it.

This.
Watch any other sport & you have commentators who talk about as if the viewer is a fan who knows what they are seeing.
I watched a bunch of Olympics coverage & was in no way turned off by technical terms for fans of the various sports I'd never seen before.
Watch Sailing: Wow, so they tacked, <legendary sailor doing guest commentating> explain to the folks back home what a tack is.

Its the equivalent of the Superbowl, Soccer World Cup or Rugby World Cup finals & having the term 'pass' explained.

Its ludicrous.
People want to hear enthusiasts talking about what is going on in the racing not douches babytalking.

#16 JackGriffin

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:19 AM

I love this thread.

Thanks, stephenrjking (srjk) for starting it.

maxmini, I wonder if the AC will lose the sailing audience and fail to keep the newcomers. Could happen, but I bet experienced sailors will follow it more once we get to the AC72s in SF. Do you think the sailors you know are not interested because of the boats and format or because:
- it's being dumbed down too much
- they dislike touches like the checkered flag (one of my personal strong dislikes)

DickDastardly - I'd love to hear srjk's reaction to watching some of AC32. Deadly boring or fascinating in its own way?

KiwiJoker: Your advice to srjk to go sailing now is my favorite.

The audience is smart. They can figure stuff out if it's well presented. No need to dumb it down, but there is a need for clear, intelligent explanations.

Everybody will start learning from whatever level they start: sailing newby to experienced racer. Some people will get hooked on the history, some on the egos and personalities, some on the technology, some on the tactics of racing fast boats on short courses, and some just on the eye candy. Sailing, in any kind of boats, has to be one of the most photogenic sports in the world.

It is so cool to have newbies interested enough to pipe up - keep it coming, srjk.
BTW, let's get Kahlessa into this thread.

#17 basildog

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:15 AM

Hi Stephan,

Good to hear from someone who's a non sailor. I too watch the Tour de' France every year. When it comes down to it, it's just a bunch of cyclists pounding the road. But the commentators manage to contribute ongoing commentary to is both interesting and informative for hour after hour. Pity Gary Jobson cant contribute the same enthusiasm. Boot him for Christs sake!!! The guy ----? Booth is excellent, informative and precise - he desrves a pay rise.

Bas

ps sorry about the grammar - onto my 4th Shiraz

#18 JackGriffin

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:11 PM

This seems like a great place to ask for some feedback on the free eBook I just put up on my site. I'm trying to address everyone from newbies to racing sailors. Let me know if I am close to being on target, or what to improve.

Posted Image

Comments, questions, suggestions, criticisms all welcome!

#19 GauchoGreg

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:17 PM


..
By the way, don't you think it is pathetic that the organizers missed the chance to do some promotion, advertising during the Tour de France? Same network, likely a great target audience, plenty of off days were the ad spots would not be overly expensive, etc. etc. etc. I Love the Tour, and kept thinking, all along, that would be a great place to get the AC some interest.


I doubt anyone in ACEA/ACRM or Oracle wanted to go anywhere near the Tour de France with that doping cheat Lance Armstrong so prominent in the news at the time.


Give me a break. The doping thing has not materially impacted the following of the sport, with the coverage healthy now, relying a great deal on secondary media. Sure, there may not be the total following that was there when Lance was dominating, but it is self-sustaining on a level that gives us GREAT ability to follow it.

The TdF is a great model for the AC. Many-day event. Most days on secondary media/channels, with only the big days covered by major media/channels. Stunning scenery attracting those who may not be entirely focused on the sport, multi-chopper coverage along with a great deal of logistics to handle. Quasi-national teams with athletes not just from that nation, dominated by sponsors. Non-American dominated, yet decent American following. While cycling is done by all demographics, the competitive cyclists are typically from well-off families. Combination of technology and athleticism.

#20 Guitar

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:32 PM

Jack, very nice site and a good read on your book. I'll have it bookmarked for Oct. to send to friends who we want to take down to the races. Nice to meet you at the Balboa.

Rick

#21 luminary

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:16 PM

Hi Stephan,

Good to hear from someone who's a non sailor. I too watch the Tour de' France every year. When it comes down to it, it's just a bunch of cyclists pounding the road. But the commentators manage to contribute ongoing commentary to is both interesting and informative for hour after hour. Pity Gary Jobson cant contribute the same enthusiasm. Boot him for Christs sake!!! The guy ----? Booth is excellent, informative and precise - he desrves a pay rise.

Bas

ps sorry about the grammar - onto my 4th Shiraz


I'd also add that I dont believe that creating a viewership translates into creating sailors. Some here think that it is necessary that interest in the AC corresponds with or leads to participation in sailing and visa-versa, that participation in sailing requires interest in the AC. I think the promotion of the AC will raise awareness and through that spin off some new sailors but only as a secondary effect. The viewership is what translates into commercial viability, and commercial viability is what will attract sponsors, teams, circuits etc. But the viewership are not sailors.

So, just as SRJK was not an active cyclist(initially?), I did not sense that he felt he needed to become an active sailor, or footballer to enjoy watching those sports. Hence I think we can relax about the idea that the AC needs to be connected to sailing participation. It is a spectacle. Lets enjoy it.

#22 stephenrjking

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:21 PM

I watched some video of AC32. I actually saw some lead up, probably the LVC, when it was occurring (Oracle was involved, so I know it wasn't the final). I have what you might call "fresh eyes" this time through and I found the action to be good. My first thought, of course, was, "Wow, those monohulls turn fast." The formula seemed to produce great action, but it is nice to have some balance with the desire to use the most advanced technology. One of the things I like about the AC45s is that they are evenly matched, but still quite advanced. And they're fast--the monohulls weren't slow, per se, but more speed at these levels really does look spectacular.

Someone asked if advertising would have been helpful during the TdF: Absolutely, and I believe previous incarnations of the AC and LVC have been plugged on previous incarnations of NBC Sports network. And that may have been what drew me to see pieces of it in the past, which helped me get intrigued by the Baker article. TdF advertising is becoming expensive, in part because most buyers are paying for three weeks, but it is a strategic market. The people who watch cycling are already used to watching non-mainstream sports, so they will be more open to new things. I think that would be a good idea for next year and I expect to see ads, preferably with shots of Russell Coutts plunging through a wingsail.

I agree that the TdF is a good model for the AC, but what the AC reminds me of most is sports car racing, particularly the 24 hours of Le Mans and the American Le Mans series. The ALMS uses its tie-in to Le Mans for the purpose of adapting rules and (hopefully) drawing competitors. It time-buys network tv time and has a small but loyal niche audience. And it has, of late, struggled with rules issues that make it hard to draw an attractive field. The 24 hours itself continues to be popular no matter what the rules are, but some rules sets make for more interesting competition than others. The analogies to the AC and the ACWS are pretty striking to me. Particularly the fact that the 24 hours and the AC itself will always merit some attention no matter what, but building a series and a fan base around the sport can be tricky.

One note about the "pregame" show they attached to the video stream on Saturday: Good thing it wasn't on television. It's good to try to explain and hype up a sport, but the risk there is that you'll look contrived and that casual fans will think that nobody is actually interested in what you're saying. Not good.

I appreciate the kind thoughts, and of course it's always fun to get front-paged. And FWIW, hearing a skeptic about the new stuff, who has been sailing and watching sailing for years, is just as valid as the view of some new guy.

Jack, I've downloaded the book, it is helpful.

#23 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:28 PM

No one watched cycling here until Lance came to power other than a little bump of interest when Greg LeMond won the TdF and then got shot. I was cycling then, and high level riding was almost nonexistent in the late 80s.

#24 redmond

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:30 PM

As someone who races several times a week during the spring through fall sailing season, I find watching the AC45 events interesting and exciting. However, would this be as interesting to the general public who is not familiar with the sport or what it takes to make a boat go?

Our sport of sailing is under stress in many ways. In our part of the country, affordable moorage is a big issue and publically owned marinas are key in providing this. For a municipality to justify spending resources on such marinas, the public would have to feel that this would be worthwhile to spend money on.

I believe these AC events are actually a public relation nightmare for the sailing community. It introduces the general public to sailing done by highly paid professionals who spend hundreds of million of dollars on boats that will be used for a single short-term event and that are useless for any other purpose. How can the general public come to the conclusion that sailing is a sport that should have the financial support of a community?

#25 JackGriffin

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:32 PM

I agree that the TdF is a good model for the AC, but what the AC reminds me of most is sports car racing, particularly the 24 hours of Le Mans and the American Le Mans series.

Jack, I've downloaded the book, it is helpful.


Glad you liked the book.

Great analogy with the 24 hours of Le Mans! An iconic but esoteric event where the battle among the engineers is even more important than the battle among the racers.

Speaking of iconic events, I think many people are interested in the AC the way I'm interested in the Kentucky Derby. I've never been on a horse in my life, but when the Derby is on I read about it and can even name some famous race horses. If it traveled and came to a city near me, I'd probably attend, just to see the show. Nothing wrong with getting that kind of audience to increase audience numbers and sponsorship value.

All that being said, I think the best sponsor ROI can be had from the engaged fans, and intelligently presented education is a good way to engage the fans. IMHO.

#26 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:34 PM

FWIW, hearing a skeptic about the new stuff, who has been sailing and watching sailing for years, is just as valid as the view of some new guy.


It's usually more valid, but we've already done enough expert opinion. I thought your take was particularly relevant though, considering Ellison's stated goal of building a fan base with an eye towards creating a commercially sustainable event. You probably don't know this yet, but many people inside both the AC organization and the teams are daily readers of the front page, and some influential folks get deep into the forums as well.

#27 Rennmaus

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:39 PM

It's usually more valid, but we've already done enough expert opinion. I thought your take was particularly relevant though, considering Ellison's stated goal of building a fan base with an eye towards creating a commercially sustainable event. You probably don't know this yet, but many people inside both the AC organization and the teams are daily readers of the front page, and some influential folks get deep into the forums as well.

The what? ;)

#28 Soley

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:48 PM

Bring back Geordie Shafer..... well a subdued version of him....

#29 Soley

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:57 PM

You probably don't know this yet, but many people inside both the AC organization and the teams are daily readers of the front page, and some influential folks get deep into the forums as well.


I would have been shocked if these people were not paying attention to one of few sites that offers an insight to what targeted consumer really want.

#30 GauchoGreg

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:58 PM

No one watched cycling here until Lance came to power other than a little bump of interest when Greg LeMond won the TdF and then got shot. I was cycling then, and high level riding was almost nonexistent in the late 80s.


Absolutely. But even without Lance, now, it has a sustainable following. I believe it is because it offers a similar combination that works for the Olympics, and could work for the AC (and the ACWS).

Men like to watch sports. PERIOD. When there is something that otherwise non-sports-watching women will watch also, we will watch it. Hell, gymnastics and figure skating will be watched by men during the Olympics for that sole reason. With the TdF, many women (and I will admit I am even into it) like it because of the stunning scenery, and the idea you are seeing places you might want to go visit. My wife loves having the TdF on even though she couldn't hardly care less about the cycling. She is actually into sports, particularly tennis, so it is not like she is anti-sports, but she likes the TdF for the ancillary stuff.

I showed my wife the ACWS footage from Newport and SFO on TV, and she really liked it. We are not yet up to doing our TV through the Net, other than Netflix, so the other ACWS stuff is purely on my computer, and she could not get interested in the events in Cascais, Plymouth, San Diego, or Italy due to the small screen, otherwise I'm sure she would have liked them, too. I believe there are a lot of people like my wife, like people who watch the TdF, who simply have no clue about the ACWs, or the AC, for that matter, who would watch these events if they knew about them. How the hell are they supposed to know about them, though, when the total TV promotion is "Surprise, We're On Now"?

#31 yar

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 04:35 PM


It's usually more valid, but we've already done enough expert opinion. I thought your take was particularly relevant though, considering Ellison's stated goal of building a fan base with an eye towards creating a commercially sustainable event. You probably don't know this yet, but many people inside both the AC organization and the teams are daily readers of the front page, and some influential folks get deep into the forums as well.

The what? ;)

The Front Page of this website ... I presume

#32 Rennmaus

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:02 PM



It's usually more valid, but we've already done enough expert opinion. I thought your take was particularly relevant though, considering Ellison's stated goal of building a fan base with an eye towards creating a commercially sustainable event. You probably don't know this yet, but many people inside both the AC organization and the teams are daily readers of the front page, and some influential folks get deep into the forums as well.

The what? ;)

The Front Page of this website ... I presume


The cutest reply ever posted in this forum!

(FYI, asking for the location or meaning of the FP is an old joke hereabouts, because many posters never go there and rely solely on the forums for entertainment.)

#33 Dixie

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:55 PM

Off topic, but following along on Clean's comments about insiders reading the FP and digging into the forums...I met a fairly high profile reporter who found SA after wondering if the AC party line was the only line. It wasn't till he came here that he realized there were critics, problems, and controversy, which informed his questions and story.

#34 GauchoGreg

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:00 PM

Off topic, but following along on Clean's comments about insiders reading the FP and digging into the forums...I met a fairly high profile reporter who found SA after wondering if the AC party line was the only line. It wasn't till he came here that he realized there were critics, problems, and controversy, which informed his questions and story.


I hope he did not make any questions based on the Scalper's delusions.

#35 Asymptote

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:03 PM

As someone who races several times a week during the spring through fall sailing season, I find watching the AC45 events interesting and exciting. However, would this be as interesting to the general public who is not familiar with the sport or what it takes to make a boat go?

Our sport of sailing is under stress in many ways. In our part of the country, affordable moorage is a big issue and publically owned marinas are key in providing this. For a municipality to justify spending resources on such marinas, the public would have to feel that this would be worthwhile to spend money on.

I believe these AC events are actually a public relation nightmare for the sailing community. It introduces the general public to sailing done by highly paid professionals who spend hundreds of million of dollars on boats that will be used for a single short-term event and that are useless for any other purpose. How can the general public come to the conclusion that sailing is a sport that should have the financial support of a community?



Just the same way that more people jump on their bikes when the Tour de France is on, or my pick-up basketball game gets crowded during the NCAA tournament and NBA finals. Interest breed curiosity.

#36 DMM

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:03 PM

Mr King: If you would like to give yacht racing a try in Duluth, just show up at our pre-race meeting at 5:15 next Wednesday at Harbor Cove Marina (11th St and Minnesota Avenue on Park Point). You will be welcome to ride along on ARBITRAGE.

#37 GauchoGreg

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:08 PM

Mr King: If you would like to give yacht racing a try in Duluth, just show up at our pre-race meeting at 5:15 next Wednesday at Harbor Cove Marina (11th St and Minnesota Avenue on Park Point). You will be welcome to ride along on ARBITRAGE.


Love, er, Sail Connection.

#38 JackGriffin

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:26 PM

Arbitrage, can I come , too?

Seriously, your post is a 10. I hope srjk takes you up on it. His report would be another FP must read.

Seriously.

#39 stephenrjking

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:45 PM


Hi Stephan,

Good to hear from someone who's a non sailor. I too watch the Tour de' France every year. When it comes down to it, it's just a bunch of cyclists pounding the road. But the commentators manage to contribute ongoing commentary to is both interesting and informative for hour after hour. Pity Gary Jobson cant contribute the same enthusiasm. Boot him for Christs sake!!! The guy ----? Booth is excellent, informative and precise - he desrves a pay rise.

Bas

ps sorry about the grammar - onto my 4th Shiraz


I'd also add that I dont believe that creating a viewership translates into creating sailors. Some here think that it is necessary that interest in the AC corresponds with or leads to participation in sailing and visa-versa, that participation in sailing requires interest in the AC. I think the promotion of the AC will raise awareness and through that spin off some new sailors but only as a secondary effect. The viewership is what translates into commercial viability, and commercial viability is what will attract sponsors, teams, circuits etc. But the viewership are not sailors.

So, just as SRJK was not an active cyclist(initially?), I did not sense that he felt he needed to become an active sailor, or footballer to enjoy watching those sports. Hence I think we can relax about the idea that the AC needs to be connected to sailing participation. It is a spectacle. Lets enjoy it.


I pretty much agree. I did get drawn into being a regular cyclist from being a fan of the sport, and out of a need to find a regular form of exercise. It does help to understand a sport when you participate yourself and you know how difficult it is--everyone knows how hard it is for NBA players to dunk, because we've all tried vainly just to touch the rim of a basket without success. However, it is not necessary for people to participate to enjoy a sport, and it is not necessary to watch it if you play. I know a lot of people who ride bikes that never watch cycling on tv, and of course I watch football despite never having played a down of tackle football in my life.

#40 stephenrjking

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:04 PM

Mr King: If you would like to give yacht racing a try in Duluth, just show up at our pre-race meeting at 5:15 next Wednesday at Harbor Cove Marina (11th St and Minnesota Avenue on Park Point). You will be welcome to ride along on ARBITRAGE.


Thank you for the incredibly generous offer. I wish I could take you up on it, but Wednesday nights are not workable for me due to work/ministry commitments. I spent some time last Wednesday watching the fleet from the Skyline, though, much to the good-natured annoyance of my wife. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the invitation. Fair warning, though: while I am a cyclist, I am what they call a "Clydesale" and would be a larger-than-normal helping of ballast.

#41 Kahlessa

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:32 PM

I love this thread.

It is so cool to have newbies interested enough to pipe up - keep it coming, srjk.
BTW, let's get Kahlessa into this thread.


Yo!

Just wondering...how do various newbies end up watching the ACWS? Did you come across an ad or media article? Or did you find the ACWS because you looked for it?

#42 Kahlessa

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:34 PM

This seems like a great place to ask for some feedback on the free eBook I just put up on my site. I'm trying to address everyone from newbies to racing sailors. Let me know if I am close to being on target, or what to improve.

Posted Image

Comments, questions, suggestions, criticisms all welcome!


Jack,

I used to be a writing teacher. You may be sorry you asked! <_<

#43 PeterHuston

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:06 PM

Arbitrage, can I come , too?

Seriously, your post is a 10. I hope srjk takes you up on it. His report would be another FP must read.

Seriously.


What Coutts ought to do is pick up the phone and invite him for a ride on a 45 in the ACWS next month.

#44 eric e

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:02 PM

^ once all the sponsors have had their fill of the ac45 guest seat

they should auction a couple race rides off to charity

and also few rides given away at an

on-the-day lottery for people in the bleaches

but i would hate to have to write the legal disclaimer that would need to be signed..,

#45 Trov„o

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:32 AM

wow. one of the best newbie's first post i've ever read here.

thanks for airing your opinion, mr king.

#46 Chris 249

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:11 AM

Interesting to see that Mr King is also a fan of cycling because of "tuning in to see Lance Armstrong climb a hill" in the TdF. In other words, the vision that got him hooked on cycling was a person moving at around 10 knots/20kmh on a piece of sporting equipment that is restricted by rules that make it 35% slower than unrestricted gear, and also suitable for Joe Averages like King himself to use.

Since Mr King gets just as hooked on watching slow highly-restricted gear suitable for weekend warriors as he does watching fast loosely-restricted gear available only to heavily-supported pros, is this piece really major evidence that the gear chosen for this AC will do anything for sailing that earlier gear didn't?

When King watched Lance he could wander down to his local bike shop and buy a bike like Lance's and ride it. If he wanders down to the local sailing club he will not find an AC cat nor would he be able to sail it if he could. So top-level cycling ensures that the Stephen Kings of the world can do pretty much what the legends do (at a lower level) and top-level sailing ensures that they can't. No wonder cycling is booming and sailing is struggling in many places.

#47 PeterHuston

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:29 AM

Interesting to see that Mr King is also a fan of cycling because of "tuning in to see Lance Armstrong climb a hill" in the TdF. In other words, the vision that got him hooked on cycling was a person moving at around 10 knots/20kmh on a piece of sporting equipment that is restricted by rules that make it 35% slower than unrestricted gear, and also suitable for Joe Average to use.

Since Mr King gets just as hooked on watching slow highly-restricted gear suitable for weekend warriors as he does watching fast loosely-restricted gear available only to heavily-supported pros, and he does not actually do either sport, why in the world is this piece seen as evidence that this AC will do anything for sailing?


Because a new pair of eyeballs found the sport and his paying attention. It is that attention which sponsors seek. Sponsors spend money on sailing, if you haven't noticed.

People participate in a sport in alot of different ways - some as active participants, some as passive spectators.

The guy also said he'd like to give sailing a try. So potentially add one more participant.

So, yes, his piece was helpful.

#48 Chris 249

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:47 AM

I didn't say it wasn't a helpful piece; however it can be helpful because King's example of Armstrong illustrates that creating a fan (and creating an active participant) does not require the ultimate in performance gear.

Even if King only watches the AC because of the changes it is basically irrelevant. King is just one pair of eyeballs in a planet of billions. It's great if people like him like the current AC, but then some people liked New Coke and the Ford Edsel too*. I know several other pairs of eyeballs that have been turned off the AC by the fact that it has turned its back on the mainstream of the sport that created it, and some of those eyeballs belong to existing sailors of high performance craft including multis, so there is no bigotry involved.

It's not surprising that the AC is getting some new fans in the country it has returned to, given the vast sums put into it and the technology now available as well as time zones etc. The issue is that one letter does not prove that the AC is doing things in the optimum way, especially when that same letter uses as a positive example a sport that is arguably doing much better by taking the opposite route. The new AC will not work by not getting one fan, but getting lots of new fans, and so far we seem to have seen lots of hype about that but no proof. The sponsors seem unconvinced in general; yep there is a recession in lots of places but that was also the case during earlier ACs and yet I think this is the smallest non-DOG one (in terms of entries) for many, many decades. The Australia II challenge, for example, occurred in a recession and yet it attracted 9 or 10 entries.

Yes, I have noticed sponsors in sailing, and have been on some spectacular sponsored craft. Significantly, none of the spectacular sponsored boats were in strong classes (in fact, most of the classes are dead or struggling) which could illustrate the difference between getting sponsorship and creating a stronger sport.


* this isn't meant to be an analogy about the quality of the product, it's just evidence that you will always get some people to like a product no matter what others may think of it, therefore one fan does not a success make.

#49 Chris 249

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:33 AM

As someone who races several times a week during the spring through fall sailing season, I find watching the AC45 events interesting and exciting. However, would this be as interesting to the general public who is not familiar with the sport or what it takes to make a boat go?

Our sport of sailing is under stress in many ways. In our part of the country, affordable moorage is a big issue and publically owned marinas are key in providing this. For a municipality to justify spending resources on such marinas, the public would have to feel that this would be worthwhile to spend money on.

I believe these AC events are actually a public relation nightmare for the sailing community. It introduces the general public to sailing done by highly paid professionals who spend hundreds of million of dollars on boats that will be used for a single short-term event and that are useless for any other purpose. How can the general public come to the conclusion that sailing is a sport that should have the financial support of a community?


+100,000.

#50 Albatros

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:26 AM

Jack, the very fact that you need to explain is one of the major problems, you don't really need to explain Formula 1, do you ? If you need to explain then it's probably an illusion that you can attract and keep vast masses of people.

And from a sailor's point of view : a typical 5 knot shitbox sailor like me could relate to the old leadmines, but not really to the freak machines they are building now. Does that mean I don't enjoy it ? like hell, I find it fascinating and fun ... as a freakshow. As such the analogy with F1 is better than cycling, but they are also getting pretty close to World Wrestling Federation freakyness and that is scary B)

#51 ~Stingray~

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:44 PM

A podcast from Wired Magazine, based on an earlier article. 30 minutes, fun listen: http://www.wired.com...d: Top Stories)

#52 bluelaser

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:02 PM

When King watched Lance he could wander down to his local bike shop and buy a bike like Lance's and ride it. If he wanders down to the local sailing club he will not find an AC cat nor would he be able to sail it if he could. So top-level cycling ensures that the Stephen Kings of the world can do pretty much what the legends do (at a lower level) and top-level sailing ensures that they can't. No wonder cycling is booming and sailing is struggling in many places.


However he could wander down to a local sailing beach and find an old hobie with an owner willing to give a ride, and with enough wind he could have a hell of a lot of fun. Sure it's not the same, but being 18" off the water in a blow on a 16 or 18 is a pretty exciting experience. Bonus points for doing the wild thing on a kite rigged boat.

#53 Rennmaus

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:03 PM

Has this been already posted? May fit in here. Fun read?


"Why I Didn't Watch the America's Cup World Series

August 27, 2012 by Stuart Streuli

Last night, between putting the kids to bed and doing the same for myself, I had a few hours to kill.I thought about trying to catch up on a few of the TV series I have on the DVR, but I just wasn’t sure I had the focus for anything with a complicated plot line.

I half-watched some pre-season football while eating dinner. Normally I wouldn’t bother, but with my fantasy football draft around the corner it seemed like a good time to do a little research. Plus the New York Jets were playing and, as a New England Patriots fan, I do like watching them struggle (which they did).

When I’d tired of that, I consulted my DVR, which had recorded two sporting programs from earlier that day: the final day of the America’s Cup World Series from San Francisco and the final stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge from Colorado.

As you might suspect—otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this column—I picked the latter.

(continued)"

#54 Mariner

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:14 PM

Interesting to see that Mr King is also a fan of cycling because of "tuning in to see Lance Armstrong climb a hill" in the TdF. In other words, the vision that got him hooked on cycling was a person moving at around 10 knots/20kmh on a piece of sporting equipment that is restricted by rules that make it 35% slower than unrestricted gear, and also suitable for Joe Averages like King himself to use.

Since Mr King gets just as hooked on watching slow highly-restricted gear suitable for weekend warriors as he does watching fast loosely-restricted gear available only to heavily-supported pros, is this piece really major evidence that the gear chosen for this AC will do anything for sailing that earlier gear didn't?

When King watched Lance he could wander down to his local bike shop and buy a bike like Lance's and ride it. If he wanders down to the local sailing club he will not find an AC cat nor would he be able to sail it if he could. So top-level cycling ensures that the Stephen Kings of the world can do pretty much what the legends do (at a lower level) and top-level sailing ensures that they can't. No wonder cycling is booming and sailing is struggling in many places.


is there anti doping language in the protocol?

#55 Chris 249

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 09:00 AM


When King watched Lance he could wander down to his local bike shop and buy a bike like Lance's and ride it. If he wanders down to the local sailing club he will not find an AC cat nor would he be able to sail it if he could. So top-level cycling ensures that the Stephen Kings of the world can do pretty much what the legends do (at a lower level) and top-level sailing ensures that they can't. No wonder cycling is booming and sailing is struggling in many places.


However he could wander down to a local sailing beach and find an old hobie with an owner willing to give a ride, and with enough wind he could have a hell of a lot of fun. Sure it's not the same, but being 18" off the water in a blow on a 16 or 18 is a pretty exciting experience. Bonus points for doing the wild thing on a kite rigged boat.


Sure, but the evidence points to the fact that if a person is shown an elitist image of a sport then they are less likely to actually go down and try it. And if someone does get hooked on images of mega multis are they actually going to think that an old Hobie is "real" sailing?

The "watch it and they will do it" stuff has been studied fairly intensively because one of the justifications for spending vast sums to hold Olympic Games etc is that doing so will spur physical activity and therefore save health bills. But most of the studies across many countries and many mega events show that this does NOT occur; while some people go out and run around/ride around etc just as many or more stay on the couch.

In a related (IMHO) factor, studies like the recent major survey by Yachting Australia and the older one by Laser/Sunfish/North showed that non-sailors do NOT stay away from sailing because they think it is boring; they stay away from it because they think it is difficult, expensive and elitist. Since mega events do not create participation and sailing's elitism turns people off, it is very hard to see that there will be a net benefit to participation in the sport if people watch the AC.

Yes, there may be more spectators to this AC (completely unproven AFAIK and even then perhaps simply due to changes in media) but why does that translate into anything that really helps the wider sport?

Yes, King and others did get into cycling, but many writers claim out that cycling's obsession with racing harms its wider image and acceptance in many Anglo countries. And to repeat the point, King and others got into cycling by watching an ACCESSIBLE vision of that sport in which even legends (or former legends) use gear that is tightly and specifically restricted so that it can be used by noobs. That is very different from the AC, which is far more removed from the mainstream of the sport than earlier challenges (apart from two DoG matches).

#56 PeterHuston

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:08 PM



When King watched Lance he could wander down to his local bike shop and buy a bike like Lance's and ride it. If he wanders down to the local sailing club he will not find an AC cat nor would he be able to sail it if he could. So top-level cycling ensures that the Stephen Kings of the world can do pretty much what the legends do (at a lower level) and top-level sailing ensures that they can't. No wonder cycling is booming and sailing is struggling in many places.


However he could wander down to a local sailing beach and find an old hobie with an owner willing to give a ride, and with enough wind he could have a hell of a lot of fun. Sure it's not the same, but being 18" off the water in a blow on a 16 or 18 is a pretty exciting experience. Bonus points for doing the wild thing on a kite rigged boat.


Sure, but the evidence points to the fact that if a person is shown an elitist image of a sport then they are less likely to actually go down and try it. And if someone does get hooked on images of mega multis are they actually going to think that an old Hobie is "real" sailing?

The "watch it and they will do it" stuff has been studied fairly intensively because one of the justifications for spending vast sums to hold Olympic Games etc is that doing so will spur physical activity and therefore save health bills. But most of the studies across many countries and many mega events show that this does NOT occur; while some people go out and run around/ride around etc just as many or more stay on the couch.

In a related (IMHO) factor, studies like the recent major survey by Yachting Australia and the older one by Laser/Sunfish/North showed that non-sailors do NOT stay away from sailing because they think it is boring; they stay away from it because they think it is difficult, expensive and elitist. Since mega events do not create participation and sailing's elitism turns people off, it is very hard to see that there will be a net benefit to participation in the sport if people watch the AC.

Yes, there may be more spectators to this AC (completely unproven AFAIK and even then perhaps simply due to changes in media) but why does that translate into anything that really helps the wider sport?

Yes, King and others did get into cycling, but many writers claim out that cycling's obsession with racing harms its wider image and acceptance in many Anglo countries. And to repeat the point, King and others got into cycling by watching an ACCESSIBLE vision of that sport in which even legends (or former legends) use gear that is tightly and specifically restricted so that it can be used by noobs. That is very different from the AC, which is far more removed from the mainstream of the sport than earlier challenges (apart from two DoG matches).


The title of this thread related to the creation of fans. You have changed the topic of the creation of participants. These are two very different things.

The point that Steven was making is about the fan experience, for a newbie. And while you think this is just one example, I look at his viewpoint as rather being reflective of what the general market is saying.

There is nothing about the AC that is required to put more people on the starting line in casual racing. That is a nice by-product for which to strive, and while I have been critical of many things ACEA has done, I do not see it as their obligation to get more people sailing. That is far too big a task requiring resources that they do not have, nor can they be expected to have.

The goal of the AC is simple: design a really fast boat and win, then defend and win again.

All the changes we see to the race course are for the purpose of trying to help capture and retain the attention of newbies to the sport, so that sponsorship/ad money can supplant the private money it has historically taken to win the Cup.

If you have an idea and plan as to how to leverage the Cup so more people go sailing or racing and how you will pay for it all, then ring up Coutts and present it to him.

#57 SW Sailor

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:37 PM


Interesting to see that Mr King is also a fan of cycling because of "tuning in to see Lance Armstrong climb a hill" in the TdF. In other words, the vision that got him hooked on cycling was a person moving at around 10 knots/20kmh on a piece of sporting equipment that is restricted by rules that make it 35% slower than unrestricted gear, and also suitable for Joe Averages like King himself to use.

Since Mr King gets just as hooked on watching slow highly-restricted gear suitable for weekend warriors as he does watching fast loosely-restricted gear available only to heavily-supported pros, is this piece really major evidence that the gear chosen for this AC will do anything for sailing that earlier gear didn't?

When King watched Lance he could wander down to his local bike shop and buy a bike like Lance's and ride it. If he wanders down to the local sailing club he will not find an AC cat nor would he be able to sail it if he could. So top-level cycling ensures that the Stephen Kings of the world can do pretty much what the legends do (at a lower level) and top-level sailing ensures that they can't. No wonder cycling is booming and sailing is struggling in many places.


is there anti doping language in the protocol?


Yes

#58 Chris 249

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 03:26 AM




When King watched Lance he could wander down to his local bike shop and buy a bike like Lance's and ride it. If he wanders down to the local sailing club he will not find an AC cat nor would he be able to sail it if he could. So top-level cycling ensures that the Stephen Kings of the world can do pretty much what the legends do (at a lower level) and top-level sailing ensures that they can't. No wonder cycling is booming and sailing is struggling in many places.


However he could wander down to a local sailing beach and find an old hobie with an owner willing to give a ride, and with enough wind he could have a hell of a lot of fun. Sure it's not the same, but being 18" off the water in a blow on a 16 or 18 is a pretty exciting experience. Bonus points for doing the wild thing on a kite rigged boat.


Sure, but the evidence points to the fact that if a person is shown an elitist image of a sport then they are less likely to actually go down and try it. And if someone does get hooked on images of mega multis are they actually going to think that an old Hobie is "real" sailing?

The "watch it and they will do it" stuff has been studied fairly intensively because one of the justifications for spending vast sums to hold Olympic Games etc is that doing so will spur physical activity and therefore save health bills. But most of the studies across many countries and many mega events show that this does NOT occur; while some people go out and run around/ride around etc just as many or more stay on the couch.

In a related (IMHO) factor, studies like the recent major survey by Yachting Australia and the older one by Laser/Sunfish/North showed that non-sailors do NOT stay away from sailing because they think it is boring; they stay away from it because they think it is difficult, expensive and elitist. Since mega events do not create participation and sailing's elitism turns people off, it is very hard to see that there will be a net benefit to participation in the sport if people watch the AC.

Yes, there may be more spectators to this AC (completely unproven AFAIK and even then perhaps simply due to changes in media) but why does that translate into anything that really helps the wider sport?

Yes, King and others did get into cycling, but many writers claim out that cycling's obsession with racing harms its wider image and acceptance in many Anglo countries. And to repeat the point, King and others got into cycling by watching an ACCESSIBLE vision of that sport in which even legends (or former legends) use gear that is tightly and specifically restricted so that it can be used by noobs. That is very different from the AC, which is far more removed from the mainstream of the sport than earlier challenges (apart from two DoG matches).


The title of this thread related to the creation of fans. You have changed the topic of the creation of participants. These are two very different things.

The point that Steven was making is about the fan experience, for a newbie. And while you think this is just one example, I look at his viewpoint as rather being reflective of what the general market is saying.

There is nothing about the AC that is required to put more people on the starting line in casual racing. That is a nice by-product for which to strive, and while I have been critical of many things ACEA has done, I do not see it as their obligation to get more people sailing. That is far too big a task requiring resources that they do not have, nor can they be expected to have.

The goal of the AC is simple: design a really fast boat and win, then defend and win again.

All the changes we see to the race course are for the purpose of trying to help capture and retain the attention of newbies to the sport, so that sponsorship/ad money can supplant the private money it has historically taken to win the Cup.

If you have an idea and plan as to how to leverage the Cup so more people go sailing or racing and how you will pay for it all, then ring up Coutts and present it to him.


No, I didn't introduce the topic of participants. The very first reply introduced it and the topic was taken up by replies 6, 9, 21, 22, 35, 36, 39, 40 etc before I got into this thread.

The AC has often claimed to have much higher motives for changes than merely bringing in commercial money to support itself. Many people have claimed that the new AC will increase participation. If the AC is merely self-interested then that can be seen as an issue in itself. Personally I'd have hoped that the pros would have some moral obligation to the sport that taught them how to sail, developed them from kids to stars and created the event and evolved the equipment they use.

I find the last line a bit silly in some ways; do you refuse to discuss politics unless you call the White House? I'm having some time off from being involved in running part of the sport while I complete a study on participation levels and technology. Surely I do not have to talk to Coutts to get the right to join an existing topic on SA, and point out that there are very real question about whether this AC will improve participation or perhaps harm it.

Yes, if I was holding the Cup I would have run a different event in order to get more people sailing and racing. The bodies that create the equipment rules for the Tour (the other 'equipment' sport Stephen brought up) to exactly that by (for example) having rules that ensure that the pros use gear that can be used by the weekend warriors. Many other sports do the same thing.

#59 PeterHuston

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 03:52 AM

No, I didn't introduce the topic of participants. The very first reply introduced it and the topic was taken up by replies 6, 9, 21, 22, 35, 36, 39, 40 etc before I got into this thread.

The AC has often claimed to have much higher motives for changes than merely bringing in commercial money to support itself. Many people have claimed that the new AC will increase participation. If the AC is merely self-interested then that can be seen as an issue in itself. Personally I'd have hoped that the pros would have some moral obligation to the sport that taught them how to sail, developed them from kids to stars and created the event and evolved the equipment they use.

I find the last line a bit silly in some ways; do you refuse to discuss politics unless you call the White House? I'm having some time off from being involved in running part of the sport while I complete a study on participation levels and technology. Surely I do not have to talk to Coutts to get the right to join an existing topic on SA, and point out that there are very real question about whether this AC will improve participation or perhaps harm it.

Yes, if I was holding the Cup I would have run a different event in order to get more people sailing and racing. The bodies that create the equipment rules for the Tour (the other 'equipment' sport Stephen brought up) to exactly that by (for example) having rules that ensure that the pros use gear that can be used by the weekend warriors. Many other sports do the same thing.


You took the time to research the posts that talked about the topic change? Yikes....alot of free time on your hands, or what?

Feel free to debate all you want here, and hold your breath while nothing of substance changes.

Or actually ask Coutts do what you want.

Your choice.

#60 Chris 249

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:41 AM

Lots of free time? Nope - four kids, wife overseas at a conference atm, just finished a state title in one sport and went to an AGM in another the next day, rebuilding and sailing boats on the weekends, part-time PhD of relevance to this topic, a couple of national title wins over the past few years and good results in other classes, and full time professional job. That takes up my time; It's just that I can read without moving my lips, so these replies don't take very long.

I am working on a longer-term project related to technology and participation in sailing and have taken my points of view to the AGM of my NA before today as well as running a national class etc and beating a government proposal to impose laws that would harm one of my sailing disciplines, so any snide comments about me wasting time here are pointless - especially since I am rarely here these days and spend much less time than you do.

I don't think RC will change his plans in response to a post from me, but I would like to be a part of a change that would make sailing's direction driven by evidence rather than abuse and hate and hype. YMMV.

#61 PeterHuston

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 01:22 PM

Lots of free time? Nope - four kids, wife overseas at a conference atm, just finished a state title in one sport and went to an AGM in another the next day, rebuilding and sailing boats on the weekends, part-time PhD of relevance to this topic, a couple of national title wins over the past few years and good results in other classes, and full time professional job. That takes up my time; It's just that I can read without moving my lips, so these replies don't take very long.

I am working on a longer-term project related to technology and participation in sailing and have taken my points of view to the AGM of my NA before today as well as running a national class etc and beating a government proposal to impose laws that would harm one of my sailing disciplines, so any snide comments about me wasting time here are pointless - especially since I am rarely here these days and spend much less time than you do.

I don't think RC will change his plans in response to a post from me, but I would like to be a part of a change that would make sailing's direction driven by evidence rather than abuse and hate and hype. YMMV.


I'll bet most people here have pretty full lives, I know I do too.

So now you are talking about "sailing" and not the America's Cup vis a vis a change of direction "driven by evidence rather than abuse hate hype".

There is nothing wrong with sailing's "Direction". It is what it is. If you want to be specific about the direction of racing, and the steps to put more people in boats on the starting line, that's wonderful, and good luck.

To me, the formula is simple - promote and enable access to fun.

This is a very different discussion about the "moral" requirement of the AC to do something to get more people into boats, particularly when the thread started with the notion about how a newbie is turned off to aspects of the viewing experience and hence wonders about building a fan base.

Good luck with your project.

#62 KiwiJoker

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:19 PM





However he could wander down to a local sailing beach and find an old hobie with an owner willing to give a ride, and with enough wind he could have a hell of a lot of fun. Sure it's not the same, but being 18" off the water in a blow on a 16 or 18 is a pretty exciting experience. Bonus points for doing the wild thing on a kite rigged boat.


Sure, but the evidence points to the fact that if a person is shown an elitist image of a sport then they are less likely to actually go down and try it. And if someone does get hooked on images of mega multis are they actually going to think that an old Hobie is "real" sailing?

The "watch it and they will do it" stuff has been studied fairly intensively because one of the justifications for spending vast sums to hold Olympic Games etc is that doing so will spur physical activity and therefore save health bills. But most of the studies across many countries and many mega events show that this does NOT occur; while some people go out and run around/ride around etc just as many or more stay on the couch.

In a related (IMHO) factor, studies like the recent major survey by Yachting Australia and the older one by Laser/Sunfish/North showed that non-sailors do NOT stay away from sailing because they think it is boring; they stay away from it because they think it is difficult, expensive and elitist. Since mega events do not create participation and sailing's elitism turns people off, it is very hard to see that there will be a net benefit to participation in the sport if people watch the AC.

Yes, there may be more spectators to this AC (completely unproven AFAIK and even then perhaps simply due to changes in media) but why does that translate into anything that really helps the wider sport?

Yes, King and others did get into cycling, but many writers claim out that cycling's obsession with racing harms its wider image and acceptance in many Anglo countries. And to repeat the point, King and others got into cycling by watching an ACCESSIBLE vision of that sport in which even legends (or former legends) use gear that is tightly and specifically restricted so that it can be used by noobs. That is very different from the AC, which is far more removed from the mainstream of the sport than earlier challenges (apart from two DoG matches).


The title of this thread related to the creation of fans. You have changed the topic of the creation of participants. These are two very different things.

The point that Steven was making is about the fan experience, for a newbie. And while you think this is just one example, I look at his viewpoint as rather being reflective of what the general market is saying.

There is nothing about the AC that is required to put more people on the starting line in casual racing. That is a nice by-product for which to strive, and while I have been critical of many things ACEA has done, I do not see it as their obligation to get more people sailing. That is far too big a task requiring resources that they do not have, nor can they be expected to have.

The goal of the AC is simple: design a really fast boat and win, then defend and win again.

All the changes we see to the race course are for the purpose of trying to help capture and retain the attention of newbies to the sport, so that sponsorship/ad money can supplant the private money it has historically taken to win the Cup.

If you have an idea and plan as to how to leverage the Cup so more people go sailing or racing and how you will pay for it all, then ring up Coutts and present it to him.


No, I didn't introduce the topic of participants. The very first reply introduced it and the topic was taken up by replies 6, 9, 21, 22, 35, 36, 39, 40 etc before I got into this thread.

The AC has often claimed to have much higher motives for changes than merely bringing in commercial money to support itself. Many people have claimed that the new AC will increase participation. If the AC is merely self-interested then that can be seen as an issue in itself. Personally I'd have hoped that the pros would have some moral obligation to the sport that taught them how to sail, developed them from kids to stars and created the event and evolved the equipment they use.

I find the last line a bit silly in some ways; do you refuse to discuss politics unless you call the White House? I'm having some time off from being involved in running part of the sport while I complete a study on participation levels and technology. Surely I do not have to talk to Coutts to get the right to join an existing topic on SA, and point out that there are very real question about whether this AC will improve participation or perhaps harm it.

Yes, if I was holding the Cup I would have run a different event in order to get more people sailing and racing. The bodies that create the equipment rules for the Tour (the other 'equipment' sport Stephen brought up) to exactly that by (for example) having rules that ensure that the pros use gear that can be used by the weekend warriors. Many other sports do the same thing.



As the author of Post #6 I take exception to your gross generalization that I took up the theme of participation. Yes, I did encourage the Stephen, original poster to try sailing but in no way, shape or form did I link his personal interest to the question of the broader effect of the AC on the growth of sailing. Let me remind you what I said.



Good to hear from a newcomer to sailing who gets it. I've been following the AC since 1967 and Your comments re TV coverage mirror mine although I'm far more critical. I want on-air talent that obviously works as a team, guys and gals who can trade off insights and commentary that informs. Not some dullard who tells us that Boat A is rounding the mark when we can see it for ourselves.

Here's an idea for you. Don't wait until next year to try sailing. Get down to the docks this weekend. Looks like nice fall weather. Ask a few questions at the sailing club you mentioned. This one looks promising for two or three hours of introductory sailing. http://www.sailingforall.org/

I'd like to offer a slightly different take on your thought that the AC is about rich folks building spectacular boats. The first race in 1851 that kicked off the America's Cup was about showcasing technology. Of course if you want to come up with the best that technology has to offer you'll need rich folks to finance 'em and they'll be spectacular, but the driver is technology and not bags of cash.



If this is an example of your research methodology perhaps you should concentrate on repairing old boats.

Like you I try to limit my time here so I'm not bothering to check the accuracy of your assertions re replies 9, 21, 22, 35, 36, 39, 40 etc.

#63 Chris 249

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 01:12 AM

It gets down to interpretation, I suppose - in a thread that started with a particular non-sailor's experience, saying to that non-sailor that they should participate ("get down to the docks this weekend") can surely be reasonably read as an example of a reference to participation.

I may also have made a mistake with the number of another post. I apologise for these grevious errors in an internet thread (which I brought up in reply to a clearly incorrect claim that I raised the topic) but don't know if they are worth the remarks in your reply.

#64 Chris 249

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 01:26 AM


Lots of free time? Nope - four kids, wife overseas at a conference atm, just finished a state title in one sport and went to an AGM in another the next day, rebuilding and sailing boats on the weekends, part-time PhD of relevance to this topic, a couple of national title wins over the past few years and good results in other classes, and full time professional job. That takes up my time; It's just that I can read without moving my lips, so these replies don't take very long.

I am working on a longer-term project related to technology and participation in sailing and have taken my points of view to the AGM of my NA before today as well as running a national class etc and beating a government proposal to impose laws that would harm one of my sailing disciplines, so any snide comments about me wasting time here are pointless - especially since I am rarely here these days and spend much less time than you do.

I don't think RC will change his plans in response to a post from me, but I would like to be a part of a change that would make sailing's direction driven by evidence rather than abuse and hate and hype. YMMV.


I'll bet most people here have pretty full lives, I know I do too.

So now you are talking about "sailing" and not the America's Cup vis a vis a change of direction "driven by evidence rather than abuse hate hype".

There is nothing wrong with sailing's "Direction". It is what it is. If you want to be specific about the direction of racing, and the steps to put more people in boats on the starting line, that's wonderful, and good luck.

To me, the formula is simple - promote and enable access to fun.

This is a very different discussion about the "moral" requirement of the AC to do something to get more people into boats, particularly when the thread started with the notion about how a newbie is turned off to aspects of the viewing experience and hence wonders about building a fan base.

Good luck with your project.


I have been specific about the direction of racing. The specific point is that there is a good case that if the marquee event of racing concentrates on promoting and organising itself in a way that makes the sport appear to be less accessible, in the hope that it will attract new spectators, then the sport will suffer in participation terms as a result.

That's not saying that the AC should have any particular direction, but surely the wider possible wider effects of the means used to attract a new fan should not be ignored in a discussion like this. As you say, the formula is simple, but there can be problems with enabling access to fun if the sport is presented as something that only a tiny number of people have access to.

#65 SW Sailor

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:38 AM



I'll bet most people here have pretty full lives, I know I do too.

So now you are talking about "sailing" and not the America's Cup vis a vis a change of direction "driven by evidence rather than abuse hate hype".

There is nothing wrong with sailing's "Direction". It is what it is. If you want to be specific about the direction of racing, and the steps to put more people in boats on the starting line, that's wonderful, and good luck.

To me, the formula is simple - promote and enable access to fun.

This is a very different discussion about the "moral" requirement of the AC to do something to get more people into boats, particularly when the thread started with the notion about how a newbie is turned off to aspects of the viewing experience and hence wonders about building a fan base.

Good luck with your project.


I have been specific about the direction of racing. The specific point is that there is a good case that if the marquee event of racing concentrates on promoting and organising itself in a way that makes the sport appear to be less accessible, in the hope that it will attract new spectators, then the sport will suffer in participation terms as a result.

That's not saying that the AC should have any particular direction, but surely the wider possible wider effects of the means used to attract a new fan should not be ignored in a discussion like this. As you say, the formula is simple, but there can be problems with enabling access to fun if the sport is presented as something that only a tiny number of people have access to.


Seems like they're putting forth a fairly concerted effort to do the exact opposite of what you state. Have you watched any of the spectator interviews from the SF ACWS event ? It doesn't appear you're paying attention to what's happening.

TV, streaming You-tube video, racing in spectator friendly venues, Liveline graphics, AC Youth Cup, etc.

I suppose they could drag people from their homes and stick them on Optis, or hold sailing classes for beginners across the nation.

I wonder what you would think if they fell back to tradition and held the races miles offshore with only a handful of spectator boats that charged a few hundred dollars a head to view.

#66 KiwiJoker

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:56 PM



I'll bet most people here have pretty full lives, I know I do too.

So now you are talking about "sailing" and not the America's Cup vis a vis a change of direction "driven by evidence rather than abuse hate hype".

There is nothing wrong with sailing's "Direction". It is what it is. If you want to be specific about the direction of racing, and the steps to put more people in boats on the starting line, that's wonderful, and good luck.

To me, the formula is simple - promote and enable access to fun.

This is a very different discussion about the "moral" requirement of the AC to do something to get more people into boats, particularly when the thread started with the notion about how a newbie is turned off to aspects of the viewing experience and hence wonders about building a fan base.

Good luck with your project.


I have been specific about the direction of racing. The specific point is that there is a good case that if the marquee event of racing concentrates on promoting and organising itself in a way that makes the sport appear to be less accessible, in the hope that it will attract new spectators, then the sport will suffer in participation terms as a result.

That's not saying that the AC should have any particular direction, but surely the wider possible wider effects of the means used to attract a new fan should not be ignored in a discussion like this. As you say, the formula is simple, but there can be problems with enabling access to fun if the sport is presented as something that only a tiny number of people have access to.


Seems like they're putting forth a fairly concerted effort to do the exact opposite of what you state. Have you watched any of the spectator interviews from the SF ACWS event ? It doesn't appear you're paying attention to what's happening.

TV, streaming You-tube video, racing in spectator friendly venues, Liveline graphics, AC Youth Cup, etc.

I suppose they could drag people from their homes and stick them on Optis, or hold sailing classes for beginners across the nation.

I wonder what you would think if they fell back to tradition and held the races miles offshore with only a handful of spectator boats that charged a few hundred dollars a head to view.


Agreed. The current Cup holders have mounted an unprecedented promotion and PR effort to build and involve new Cup fans. Good for them! It's a natural extension that some of those fans, or their kids, will want to try sailing when they understand how much power can be harnessed from the wind. The avenues for getting your bum wet for the first time exist and aren't hard to find. If those newbies stick with the sport it's a win-win but it's a long way from the primary role of defending the Cup.

Now comes Chris249 with the remarkable statement that: "The specific point is that there is a good case that if the marquee event of racing concentrates on promoting and organising itself in a way that makes the sport appear to be less accessible, in the hope that it will attract new spectators, then the sport will suffer in participation terms as a result."

Driving a Formula 1 car or owning a team is demonstrably beyond my reach but that hasn't stopped me from becoming a fan. Racing a Mini-Cooper or a Suzuki Sprint isn't in my future either. But I can and do go down to the local go-cart track, strap on a helmet, and hit the throttle. Show jumping is beyond my skills, physical prowess or wallet but I can amble around a vineyard on a swayback nag. I could go on but my point is that accessibility be damned, top-class competition in any sport will generate interest and that interest will translate in some degree to participation on the part of those who get it.

#67 ~Stingray~

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:17 PM

New article, 'Anchors'
http://www.csncalifo...875&feedID=8306

#68 Hank Chinaski

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:51 AM

New article, 'Anchors'
http://www.csncalifo...875&feedID=8306


China's in and Sweden is not... this guy must have an inside track.

#69 maxmini

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:10 AM


New article, 'Anchors'
http://www.csncalifo...875&#38;feedID=8306


China's in and Sweden is not... this guy must have an inside track.


He's a personal friend and one time team mate of PC yet he doesn't list Artemis among the contenders ? Very strange oversight if that's what it was .

#70 klaxon

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 03:06 AM

Yeah, possibly just an information loss due to noise.





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