Even smaller spectator numbers for olympic sailing

Few things would benefit our sport more.
Meaningless comment.

There are plenty of things that could benefit our sport. Being dropped from the Olympics is NOT one of them.

Those of us in the front line of promoting sailing, trying to run regattas and raise sponsorship know the value of the Olympics. Although they are fun to watch, the reality is that the trickle down from events like the Americas Cup etc do not really help us organize or run local regattas. The Olympics creates an aspiration for the really talented youth sailors to remain in small boat sailing.  It allows us to show sponsors that we are relate to an Olympic sport that the sponsor recognizes. Although no fan of World sailing, they provide rules and  they are (thankfully) primarily funded through IOC.

 
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sunseeker

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Meaningless comment.

There are plenty of things that could benefit our sport. Being dropped from the Olympics is NOT one of them.

Those of us in the front line of promoting sailing, trying to run regattas and raise sponsorship know the value of the Olympics. Although they are fun to watch, the reality is that the trickle down from events like the Americas Cup etc do not really help us organize or run local regattas. The Olympics creates an aspiration for the really talented youth sailors to remain in small boat sailing.  It allows us to show sponsors that we are relate to an Olympic sport that the sponsor recognizes. Although no fan of World sailing, they provide rules and  they are (thankfully) primarily funded through IOC.
Walk into just about any club in America and ask people at the bar to name the Olympic classes, and recent medal winners. The response is always underwhelming. 

 
Walk into just about any club in America and ask people at the bar to name the Olympic classes, and recent medal winners. The response is always underwhelming. 
If you walk into any yacht club where they still race small sail boats rather than provide a dining service for the power squadron......and you ask the people who volunteer to run the junior sailing program, organize race committee, raise sponsorship for the regional regatta, promote team racing, call around the fleet on Thursday evening to make sure everyone gets to the line on saturday morning ......ask them if it would help them if sailing was dropped from Olympics!

Yeah I'm sure that old Joe and his drinking buddies slumped in the chairs by the bar couldnt give a damn .

You are right, I don't know the names of the recent Olympic medal winners....I really dont.......but if a member of the US Olympic team attends a youth regatta to spend an hour talking about sailing, it is standing room only.  When I call the local car dealer to ask for a little support for an upcoming regatta, I can remind them that our future Olympians are made right here.   

Americans still dig a gold medal.  We had a guy from the 1980 US Olympic hockey squad passing through on business and I was introduced to him at the bar, I was honored to meet him.I admire dedication and sporting success. If Paul Foerster (3 Olympic medals in sailing!!) walked into our yacht club bar, we would line up to shake him by the hand.  

 

$&@

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Sailboat racing any kind makes for irrelevant, awkward, boring viewing for the majority of the population. It’s difficult to manage logistically - far from shore, need for sea room, etc. - hard to create a visceral sense of engagement or drama for the average viewer,  and low viewership numbers. For the people to whom media is a business, it’s a low payoff, ho-hum proposition.

Just think of that scene from ‘The Office’ where Andy is watching a regatta and everyone else is completely lost...

Its like watching a chess match with wind. 

 

10thTonner

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Sailboat racing any kind makes for irrelevant, awkward, boring viewing for the majority of the population. It’s difficult to manage logistically - far from shore, need for sea room, etc. - hard to create a visceral sense of engagement or drama for the average viewer,  and low viewership numbers. For the people to whom media is a business, it’s a low payoff, ho-hum proposition.

Just think of that scene from ‘The Office’ where Andy is watching a regatta and everyone else is completely lost...

Its like watching a chess match with wind. 
But its the Olympics! Every strange geek sport like synchronised swimming, sabre fencing, or hop-step-and-jump gets its 15 minutes in the Olympics! Of course it is irrelevant, awkward, and boring - but that's exactly the point!

 
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$&@

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Hey man, I geek out at all the esoteric stuff - summer and winter - too. Even the equestrian events and pole vaulting. 

But shit like that doesn’t pay the bills and the fact that fewer cities are lining up to host these circuses because there’s no way to make their money back is proof that the death spiral has begun.

Besides, newer generation find no relevance in these things. My guess is the olympics will soon be replaced by giant video gaming competitions...

 

Svanen

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Those of us in the front line of promoting sailing, trying to run regattas and raise sponsorship know the value of the Olympics....

Ask the people who volunteer to run the junior sailing program, organize race committee, raise sponsorship for the regional regatta, promote team racing, call around the fleet on Thursday evening to make sure everyone gets to the line on Saturday morning ......ask them if it would help them if sailing was dropped from Olympics!
You're perfectly entitled to your opinion; but please spare me the sanctimonious nonsense about being on "the front line" and purporting to speak for other people. 

I've done quite enough race management, jury and committee work to be entitled my own opinion. Although it's obviously different from yours, that doesn't automatically make it a minority viewpoint, let alone a wrongheaded one.

It allows us to show sponsors that we are relate to an Olympic sport that the sponsor recognizes.
Some of us believe that sponsorship is a terrible thing for sailing.

 
'I've done quite enough race management, jury and committee work to be entitled my own opinion.

Some of us believe that sponsorship is a terrible thing for sailing.


Few things would benefit our sport more.
I dont want to join the shit slinging above. You are entitled to your opinion. But count me curious as to why

1) Why you believe the sponsorship we get at regattas is a terrible thing for sailing.  Schweppes were generous sponsors of our World Champs in Perth.  It allowed the regatta participants to have a fantastic party at the Freemantle Maritime Museum halfway through the regatta and it helped keep regatta entry fees reasonable so that anyone fro WA could afford to participate. Aspen Insurance, the Bermuda Tourist Board and Goslings sponsored our 2016 Worlds in Bermuda.  The sponsors included $1,000 towards transportation costs for every competitor. Honestly I cant see what is so terrible about that. And until you have had Goslings rum punch served out of a top loading washing machine, you havent lived

2) Also why you think being dropped from the Olympics will increase participation and the quality of sailing.  I will admit I may be a bit biased. Ever since I was a kid I loved the Olympic spectacle and watching it on TV. When I finally had a bit of coin, I went as a spectator to the Atlanta Olympics and got a kick out of that. I also went to London and Weymouth in 2012 and really enjoyed it. I think the UK hosted a great Olympics. 

 
Sailing gets almost no airtime in North America (partially because of the NBC monopoly and the gushing over the hot swimmers and the cute gymnastics girls) since it's a niche market. I don't know what the case is in Europe or Oceania. 

The problem is with WS, not the IOC. WS has positioned themselves as the sole arbiter of the future of the sport, the wishes of the sailors be damned. When that happens to help fill the coffers of WS Execs, more the better as far as they care. They view it as "aqua-NASCAR", thus the big push for foiling and skiffs and anything with a high "crash n' burn" potential. If they can get the average viewer to watch even a few minutes of it, they can sell ad space, and they can make money.

What really drives me up the wall is boiling the sport down to the lowest common denominator. You CANNOT explain the RRS, a starting sequence, tacks and gybes, and the differences in boats in a 20-something minute Medal Race. It's too complicated, and it loses viewer interest. People love watching swimming and track because it's obvious- that guy crossed the line first, so he wins the medal.

So many great human interest stories get lost in just trying to get the average (dull) American up to speed with what the hell is going on. Santi Lange losing a lung to cancer and then winning Gold. Caleb living out of a truck for years to pay for his campaign. Paige Railey flipping over the handlebars of her bike and breaking her spine. Giles playing second fiddle to Ainslie and finally getting his shot.

The simplest answer is don't bother. There are great sailing announcers and people within the sport who can advocate for keeping sailing for sailors, spectators and media rights be damned.

 

sunseeker

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America is not the entire world. 
And just because a small fraction of the world cares about Olympic sailing, the entirety of the sport is supposed to be burdened with the rules and regulations that serve a couple of thousand people in an effort to be paid from Olympic sailing? Fine, have all your Olympic bullshit, just leave the rest of us out of it.

 

sunseeker

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Exactly which rules and regulations do you find to be burdensome to the sport?
It’s not so much the right of way racing rules as it is the regulations and all sorts of other schemes that default to power/control by WS without any real sort of checks and balances by recreational racing sailors. The way rule 69 is now written is just an invitation to abuse, witness the filing against Witt in the Volvo. That’s just one example. There’s way too much that is imposed on the rest of the sport just because of the Olympics.

 
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