Larry's AC50 Circus

rh3000

Super Anarchist
3,693
1,725
Auckland, New Zealand
For the life of me I don't understand why so many people are actively dismissive of this effort. 

In theory, everyone here on this anachronistic site loves sailing. In theory, everyone here should support any effort that is good for sailing. Sailing, as a sport and as a pastime, has serious challenges. Here in my part of the world, for example, I had a great afternoon at the beach with the kids on Sunday. Stunning day. SW breeze about 10-12 steady. It was the perfect day for sailing, and yet what was moving across my view? Floating RVs and JetSkis one after another, broken up by the occasional Cigarette doing 60. Only a few craft powered by the wind.

Sailing is not a zero-sum game. Boating may be, or may not be, but let me pose some questions: what if there were some circus of high-performance boats traveling the world to show themselves off in races against each other? What if the local JetSki contingent decided it would be cool to do that themselves? What if some local dude who made a mint selling blinking blue lights to police departments decided to underwrite the beginning of a fleet because he thought it would be cool?  Would not the world be a better place in the opinion of every stinking soul on this site? Or what if the circus only lasts a few years, is not the world a better place for having had more boats, more teams, more races?

Last question to those of you dismissive of an LE-funded series that might or might not materialize with sailors you might or might not have heard of on teams that might or might not have any national identity in boats that might or might not have been used in the last AC: why the f*#k would you say anything other than "good on Larry" and then get back to predicting how much time the JC75 will spend on foils?
Why not direct this energy into legitimising the F50 by starting a thread in MH anarchy or something, so that it can be more than a festering issue in AC anarchy? Right now it's continued and exclusive presence as a thread in ACA only demonstrates that its primary reason for existence is rich man ego stroking and as tool of spite. Move it somewhere else and this problem goes away. If it continues to live on only here, then it's hard to complain about those here who scoff.

 
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doghouse

Super Anarchist
For the life of me I don't understand why so many people are actively dismissive of this effort. 

In theory, everyone here on this anachronistic site loves sailing. In theory, everyone here should support any effort that is good for sailing. Sailing, as a sport and as a pastime, has serious challenges. Here in my part of the world, for example, I had a great afternoon at the beach with the kids on Sunday. Stunning day. SW breeze about 10-12 steady. It was the perfect day for sailing, and yet what was moving across my view? Floating RVs and JetSkis one after another, broken up by the occasional Cigarette doing 60. Only a few craft powered by the wind.

Sailing is not a zero-sum game. Boating may be, or may not be, but let me pose some questions: what if there were some circus of high-performance boats traveling the world to show themselves off in races against each other? What if the local JetSki contingent decided it would be cool to do that themselves? What if some local dude who made a mint selling blinking blue lights to police departments decided to underwrite the beginning of a fleet because he thought it would be cool?  Would not the world be a better place in the opinion of every stinking soul on this site? Or what if the circus only lasts a few years, is not the world a better place for having had more boats, more teams, more races?

Last question to those of you dismissive of an LE-funded series that might or might not materialize with sailors you might or might not have heard of on teams that might or might not have any national identity in boats that might or might not have been used in the last AC: why the f*#k would you say anything other than "good on Larry" and then get back to predicting how much time the JC75 will spend on foils?
Most lucid post in the history of this forum.

 

Forourselves

Super Anarchist
9,953
2,361
New Zealand
For the life of me I don't understand why so many people are actively dismissive of this effort. 

In theory, everyone here on this anachronistic site loves sailing. In theory, everyone here should support any effort that is good for sailing. Sailing, as a sport and as a pastime, has serious challenges. Here in my part of the world, for example, I had a great afternoon at the beach with the kids on Sunday. Stunning day. SW breeze about 10-12 steady. It was the perfect day for sailing, and yet what was moving across my view? Floating RVs and JetSkis one after another, broken up by the occasional Cigarette doing 60. Only a few craft powered by the wind.

Sailing is not a zero-sum game. Boating may be, or may not be, but let me pose some questions: what if there were some circus of high-performance boats traveling the world to show themselves off in races against each other? What if the local JetSki contingent decided it would be cool to do that themselves? What if some local dude who made a mint selling blinking blue lights to police departments decided to underwrite the beginning of a fleet because he thought it would be cool?  Would not the world be a better place in the opinion of every stinking soul on this site? Or what if the circus only lasts a few years, is not the world a better place for having had more boats, more teams, more races?

Last question to those of you dismissive of an LE-funded series that might or might not materialize with sailors you might or might not have heard of on teams that might or might not have any national identity in boats that might or might not have been used in the last AC: why the f*#k would you say anything other than "good on Larry" and then get back to predicting how much time the JC75 will spend on foils?
You're absolutely correct. We all love sailing. In every sport there is the social aspect, and then there is the flipside which is the competitive side. Now, in competition, there is always the sportsmanship side of things. You win some, you lose some, thats life, you move on or you go back and win it again. The reason a team enters the Americas Cup is to do what they want with it (according to the DoG) should they win it. When you win it, you set the rules, you decide the next class of boat. If you don't win it, you don't get to decide those things, but if you have a preference regarding a type of boat that you think should be used, you enter, and you win, then you decide, and you get to do what you want.

What you don't do, is take your ball and go home, and start something new just because you lost and now don't like the class of boat. That would amount to bad sportsmanship, or being a bad loser. No one likes a sore loser, and no one wants to see bad sportsmanship in sailing, or in sport in general. We should not need to, and should not have to, and should not be expected to say "Good on Larry" for being a sore loser, or showing bad sportsmanship. Unfortunately, he has a history of bad sportsmanship and ruthless business practices.

It wouldn't have been that big of a subject if Larry had've moved on to say the Extreme Sailing Series, or the GC32 Series, as they are established regatta's. That would've been great for sailing if he had've poured money and resources into those series, both original concepts and the first of their kind. this would've, or may have, ensured continued sustainability, and more exposure into bigger markets (namely the US market) thats whats good for sailing. Instead this series has the potential to split viewing audiences, test allegiances and team loyalties and damage other series, as well as the Americas Cup. This is not good for any sport. Infact it is totally the opposite. Make no mistake, Larry isn't doing this because its good for sailing, he's doing it to thumb his nose to Grant Dalton and say "I don't need to win the AC to do what I want, I'm a billionaire, and if I want these boats, I'll get them" If he wanted to do something good for sailing, he would enter already established regattas, like Alinghi did. They've been great for the Extreme Sailing Series, they've brought an X factor of an Americas Cup team to the series, something the ESS needed. They've done something good for sailing. Starting a new circuit just because you can is not a reason for people/ fans to say "Good on you Larry".

 

Curious

Anarchist
798
383
For the life of me I don't understand why so many people are actively dismissive of this effort. 

In theory, everyone here on this anachronistic site loves sailing. In theory, everyone here should support any effort that is good for sailing. Sailing, as a sport and as a pastime, has serious challenges. Here in my part of the world, for example, I had a great afternoon at the beach with the kids on Sunday. Stunning day. SW breeze about 10-12 steady. It was the perfect day for sailing, and yet what was moving across my view? Floating RVs and JetSkis one after another, broken up by the occasional Cigarette doing 60. Only a few craft powered by the wind.

Sailing is not a zero-sum game. Boating may be, or may not be, but let me pose some questions: what if there were some circus of high-performance boats traveling the world to show themselves off in races against each other? What if the local JetSki contingent decided it would be cool to do that themselves? What if some local dude who made a mint selling blinking blue lights to police departments decided to underwrite the beginning of a fleet because he thought it would be cool?  Would not the world be a better place in the opinion of every stinking soul on this site? Or what if the circus only lasts a few years, is not the world a better place for having had more boats, more teams, more races?

Last question to those of you dismissive of an LE-funded series that might or might not materialize with sailors you might or might not have heard of on teams that might or might not have any national identity in boats that might or might not have been used in the last AC: why the f*#k would you say anything other than "good on Larry" and then get back to predicting how much time the JC75 will spend on foils?
It's more complicated than simply a matter of "the more regattas the better"; having events that send the wrong message can hurt a sport. Independent studies in three countries have shown that sailing is thought to be expensive, scary and complicated. Having yet another circuit highlighting scary, expensive and complicated boats could make that worse. Expensive, scary events aren't always good for sports - even the head of the British motorsport association, among others, has said that Formula One is actually a problem for the sport in the UK because it makes the general public and sponsors think that car racing is always enormously expensive and dangerous. Windsurfing went down the same path of promoting an "extreme" pro circuit and that helped to destroy its image as an accessible, popular sport and played a significant part in the loss of 90% of participants.

A few years back, lots of people were claiming that the new AC would bring in more teams and make sailing more popular. Remember the bullshit about how the first AC in cats would have about 17 teams? That was simplistic thinking that ignored the reality and complexity of sports event administration. We should learn that lesson and realise that there's a lot of other factors that are involved in whether an event will help a sport or perhaps hurt it. People as far afield as French and Australian academics, North Sails USA and the British Parliament have been involved at looking into these sorts of issues, and the evidence they come up with shows that there are perfectly good reasons to ask questions about this effort.  

The view you saw at your local beach may have been an example of the issues. There have been "circuses of high-performance boats traveling the world to show themselves off in races against each other" since the 1980s, and yet it clearly has not worked in making sailing popular where you are. There have been no major televised jet ski or floating RV racing circuits, yet there were lots of them within your view. If having a circus of fast boats is important, why is sailing (which has had plenty of attempts to do just that) small and "floating RVs" so popular? The "circus of high performance boats" approach has failed to grow the sport for almost 40 years and failed to grow the AC for almost a decade, so clearly it's reasonable to question Larry's Flying Circus.

 
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Horn Rock

Super Anarchist
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Byron Bay
This F50 series is starting to look like the Super Foiler series which took place here last summer - utterly contrived. The sailors are cherry picked using a dubious nontransparent criteria, then paid to sail with absolutely nothing at stake. The commentary will be replete with "worlds best sailors", "high tech catamarans" , and so and so with "Americas cup experience", but ultimately I see it falling flat just as the Super Foilers did. Larry's cash will see that the coverage is better, but yes it is a circus, with paid performers, and after seeing it a couple of times the general public will drift off. No one goes to the same circus twice, leaving only a small number of dedicated sailors who will watch then argue its relevance.

 

Horn Rock

Super Anarchist
2,990
1,566
Byron Bay
For the life of me I don't understand why so many people are actively dismissive of this effort. 

In theory, everyone here on this anachronistic site loves sailing. In theory, everyone here should support any effort that is good for sailing. Sailing, as a sport and as a pastime, has serious challenges.

Sailing is not a zero-sum game.  Would not the world be a better place in the opinion of every stinking soul on this site? Or what if the circus only lasts a few years, is not the world a better place for having had more boats, more teams, more races?
I had similar thoughts going into the SuperFoiler series - not much sailing on TV, this has to better than nothing. Well it was, sort of. I watched most of the events, but in the end it just wasn't that compelling. By the last two events the racing was closer, but even with bursts of speed the spectacle just wasn't that "spectacular." Speed alone doesn't make for a great event - the novelty wears off. It was fleet racing, but the separation between the boats was huge, with boats being spread over up to three legs, and it was often difficult to know who was going where relative to other boats. Unless Larry gives the crews significant time in the boats before racing, I can see similar things happening - one or two crews always winning with the rest making up the numbers. 

 

barfy

Super Anarchist
4,877
1,262
It sounds like they will be spending quite a bit of time doing tuneups based out of Port Whangarei before the whole circus packs up and heads to Sydney. If thats the case Bream Bay could be a great place to go and watch some high speed fleet racing. 
There's an ocean out in front of the port, and it's shallow, narrow, and ocean bay concrete uses the channel inside.

Ya, it'll be interesting to see the cats in a half meter swell.

 
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I had similar thoughts going into the SuperFoiler series - not much sailing on TV, this has to better than nothing. Well it was, sort of. I watched most of the events, but in the end it just wasn't that compelling. By the last two events the racing was closer, but even with bursts of speed the spectacle just wasn't that "spectacular." Speed alone doesn't make for a great event - the novelty wears off. It was fleet racing, but the separation between the boats was huge, with boats being spread over up to three legs, and it was often difficult to know who was going where relative to other boats. Unless Larry gives the crews significant time in the boats before racing, I can see similar things happening - one or two crews always winning with the rest making up the numbers. 
Actually this highlights one of the strong points about AC35, the quality of the broadcast production was way superior to any other sailing event I've seen. Without good graphics and virtual information sailing is an awful TV sport (I remember one Olympics when the experts did not even know who won the gold until 10 minutes after the finish.) in Ac36 we had fantastic graphic, good (Swedish) experts on site that actually know our than I did. Matchracing is also easier to visualize than fleet racing.

 

dogwatch

Super Anarchist
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South Coast, UK
 The "circus of high performance boats" approach has failed to grow the sport for almost 40 years and failed to grow the AC for almost a decade, so clearly it's reasonable to question Larry's Flying Circus.
If you define the purposes of  Larry's Flying Circus as a means to promote the growth grass roots sailing, then yes it is possible to question it. I see no reason at all to believe LE has any interest in any such thing. If he had, he could have made a significant difference with the budget of an AC campaign for a week, yet he has not done so. Hey, it's his money, his choice.

 

Forourselves

Super Anarchist
9,953
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New Zealand


Great interview by Steve Hayles and Freddie Carr to start the show, comparing the AC50's to the AC75's. This is the difference between sailing a boat, and "grinding hydraulics and watching computer screens" 

 
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Curious

Anarchist
798
383
If you define the purposes of  Larry's Flying Circus as a means to promote the growth grass roots sailing, then yes it is possible to question it. I see no reason at all to believe LE has any interest in any such thing. If he had, he could have made a significant difference with the budget of an AC campaign for a week, yet he has not done so. Hey, it's his money, his choice.
Sure, but the issue under discussion was 2Newts' post and his claims that the series would be a positive thing and there was no reason not to support it. LE's motivation was not the issue.

 

shanghaisailor

Super Anarchist
3,078
1,252
Shanghai, China
You're absolutely correct. We all love sailing. In every sport there is the social aspect, and then there is the flipside which is the competitive side. Now, in competition, there is always the sportsmanship side of things. You win some, you lose some, thats life, you move on or you go back and win it again. The reason a team enters the Americas Cup is to do what they want with it (according to the DoG) should they win it. When you win it, you set the rules, you decide the next class of boat. If you don't win it, you don't get to decide those things, but if you have a preference regarding a type of boat that you think should be used, you enter, and you win, then you decide, and you get to do what you want.

What you don't do, is take your ball and go home, and start something new just because you lost and now don't like the class of boat. That would amount to bad sportsmanship, or being a bad loser. No one likes a sore loser, and no one wants to see bad sportsmanship in sailing, or in sport in general. We should not need to, and should not have to, and should not be expected to say "Good on Larry" for being a sore loser, or showing bad sportsmanship. Unfortunately, he has a history of bad sportsmanship and ruthless business practices.

It wouldn't have been that big of a subject if Larry had've moved on to say the Extreme Sailing Series, or the GC32 Series, as they are established regatta's. That would've been great for sailing if he had've poured money and resources into those series, both original concepts and the first of their kind. this would've, or may have, ensured continued sustainability, and more exposure into bigger markets (namely the US market) thats whats good for sailing. Instead this series has the potential to split viewing audiences, test allegiances and team loyalties and damage other series, as well as the Americas Cup. This is not good for any sport. Infact it is totally the opposite. Make no mistake, Larry isn't doing this because its good for sailing, he's doing it to thumb his nose to Grant Dalton and say "I don't need to win the AC to do what I want, I'm a billionaire, and if I want these boats, I'll get them" If he wanted to do something good for sailing, he would enter already established regattas, like Alinghi did. They've been great for the Extreme Sailing Series, they've brought an X factor of an Americas Cup team to the series, something the ESS needed. They've done something good for sailing. Starting a new circuit just because you can is not a reason for people/ fans to say "Good on you Larry".
You do a lot of mind reading in your piece mfluder. Larry Ellison has half a dozen boats sitting there and he has/hasn't decided to do something with them. What he decides is surely his business. As nothing has been announced about any series he will/won't be funding then the low entry numbers for the next America's Cup can hardly be blamed on any series he will or won't be backing. Suggesting that he is suffering from 'bat and ball syndrome' is a huge presumption and if the next AC is going to be anything like as exciting as the pre-event rhetoric claims then they should have nothing to worry about.

But 3 challengers? That gives a bit of a clue how the top end of our sport or potential sponsors think about the upcoming format, protocol etc.

Given the high number of Kiwis involved in the last couple of America's Cups the nationality qualifications in the next AC would never be seen to be weighting things in the current defender's favour now would they - if you were a Kiwi that is.

Or is it OK for one party to do things in their own interest and not someone else to do the same.

Just stirring the pot :)

SS

 

Horn Rock

Super Anarchist
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Byron Bay
Actually this highlights one of the strong points about AC35, the quality of the broadcast production was way superior to any other sailing event I've seen. Without good graphics and virtual information sailing is an awful TV sport (I remember one Olympics when the experts did not even know who won the gold until 10 minutes after the finish.) in Ac36 we had fantastic graphic, good (Swedish) experts on site that actually know our than I did. Matchracing is also easier to visualize than fleet racing.
I agree the coverage technically was excellent, and it wouldn't have been cheap. Two choppers, at least one drone, may be more than one, plus those sleek power cats with purpose built pod mounted cameras and all those cameras on the race boats, made for great coverage. They had some audio issues early on with the guest commentator on the water, but that got sorted as the event progressed. Audio feeds from the Committee boat as well, although not used much. Mics on the race boats as well as prompt interviews with the skippers post race, all point to the coverage being well resourced and well thought out. Having a rugby guy as one of the principal commentators wasn't the best choice, although he  didn't do too bad. Ken Read was excellent, although some of the talking points could have been developed further and given more depth if they'd had another guy with appropriate knowledge.

Unfortunately going from Bermuda to the Super Foilers where the coverage didn't have anywhere near the resources was quite a big let down. Bermuda set the standard and the Super Foiler coverage nowhere matched it. I have no doubt that Larry's event will be well covered, I think we can take that for granted. However for me, that's not a guarantee that it will be a compelling event. Will I watch it? Sure why not, but I'm an easy sell. Others may not be. 

NB: Has anyone noticed that SA seems be under attack by bots or something else? I'm seeing lots of garbage threads in here and elsewhere.

 

Horn Rock

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But 3 challengers? That gives a bit of a clue how the top end of our sport or potential sponsors think about the upcoming format, protocol etc.

Given the high number of Kiwis involved in the last couple of America's Cups the nationality qualifications in the next AC would never be seen to be weighting things in the current defender's favour now would they - if you were a Kiwi that is.

Or is it OK for one party to do things in their own interest and not someone else to do the same.

Just stirring the pot :)

SS
The Kiwis have set the bar high, no doubt about that, and it has wiped out a couple of potential challenges - Slingsby's Aussie one, and Artemis. The bar should be set high though, it's a pinnacle event. It shouldn't be a protocol that subscribes to a multitude of challenges for the sake of mass participation. It's not a beach regatta.

As for your point on Nationality, it doesn't seem to have stopped Jimmy going to Italy, or Deano and other Kiwis going to the US. The small number of teams would seem to be a greater impediment to employment.

 

Tornado-Cat

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For some fans it was important for OR to have many challengers, the same now tell the contrary,... and will tell it again if they have more than 4.

At least they are predictable :)

 
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WetHog

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Annapolis, MD USA
“Yet we hear how C-Tech, a premium composites manufacturer in New Zealand, is building multiple sets of identical foils which are understood to be for the boats used in Bermuda.”

WetHog   :ph34r:

 

Forourselves

Super Anarchist
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New Zealand
For some fans it was important for OR to have many challengers, the same now tell the contrary,... and will tell it again if they have more than 4.

At least they are predictable :)
It was important for Oracle back then, because they dragged the event through court for years, excluding all other challengers from competing after an extremely successful event in Valencia. The Americas Cup was going through somewhat of a renaissance, with multiple teams competing, while still upholding the premise of a "Nationally contested event" off the success of 2 Auckland events as well as the successful Valencia event. Oracle put an abrupt halt to all of the success the Americas Cup had been experiencing by dragging the AC through court, effectively excluding all other challengers and returning the Americas Cup to an event won in court. Sure, the 90 foot monsters were fun to watch, but those teams who were excluded had to find something else to do, while trying to retain key team members through a very uncertain time. Oracle claimed to be "Fighting the good fight for the good of all challengers, as well as the future of the event" yet after winning what turned out to be a lop sided 33rd event, the event went downhill, and is now suffering damage to its image and reputation due in large part to Larry and Russell. Oracle needed multiple challengers because that's what they promised after damaging the reputation of the event. The Kiwi's did it the right way. They won the Cup on the water, and off the water, and chose the next class of boat and they wrote a protocol which they thought was fair. They are well within their rights to do that, and they did it without dragging the event through court. Thats the difference.

 

Tornado-Cat

Super Anarchist
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It was important for Oracle back then, because they dragged the event through court for years, excluding all other challengers from competing after an extremely successful event in Valencia. The Americas Cup was going through somewhat of a renaissance, with multiple teams competing, while still upholding the premise of a "Nationally contested event" off the success of 2 Auckland events as well as the successful Valencia event. Oracle put an abrupt halt to all of the success the Americas Cup had been experiencing by dragging the AC through court, effectively excluding all other challengers and returning the Americas Cup to an event won in court. Sure, the 90 foot monsters were fun to watch, but those teams who were excluded had to find something else to do, while trying to retain key team members through a very uncertain time. Oracle claimed to be "Fighting the good fight for the good of all challengers, as well as the future of the event" yet after winning what turned out to be a lop sided 33rd event, the event went downhill, and is now suffering damage to its image and reputation due in large part to Larry and Russell. Oracle needed multiple challengers because that's what they promised after damaging the reputation of the event. The Kiwi's did it the right way. They won the Cup on the water, and off the water, and chose the next class of boat and they wrote a protocol which they thought was fair. They are well within their rights to do that, and they did it without dragging the event through court. Thats the difference.
Yeh right, yanks did it wrong and needed many challengers, Kiwis did it right and need one. :lol:

 

A Class Sailor

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On the water
To those who say the F50 event will be full of nobody's, I have been told of some of the team leaders for the series and that makes it a strong series. Those team leaders are Tom Slingsby, Nathan Outeridge, Ian Percy, Franck Cammas and Chris Draper. All are experienced America's Cup sailors with lots of F50 experience and a whole host of Olympic medals as well. There's a pretty good case to be made that this is as an impressive group as we are seeing with the AC.

I also heard that the teams are being called by their countries, although I don't know how that will work because Percy (British) is with Artemis (Swedish) and Outeridge is managing a non Australian team. I guess its like ETNZ having an Australian skipper, the Italians having Jimmy Spithill and Ineos having an Australian CEO and a NZ head designer and NZ sailing team manager.

 

shanghaisailor

Super Anarchist
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Shanghai, China
The Kiwis have set the bar high, no doubt about that, and it has wiped out a couple of potential challenges - Slingsby's Aussie one, and Artemis. The bar should be set high though, it's a pinnacle event. It shouldn't be a protocol that subscribes to a multitude of challenges for the sake of mass participation. It's not a beach regatta.

As for your point on Nationality, it doesn't seem to have stopped Jimmy going to Italy, or Deano and other Kiwis going to the US. The small number of teams would seem to be a greater impediment to employment.
Read the protocol, residency time is important. Sailors taking up residency or citizenship is not at all new. Charlie Barr, who defended the Auld Mug 3 times for the USA was born in  Gourock, Scotland and his early career was as a fisherman in Scotland before helping his brother deliver a yacht to America. Even Wikipedia bills him as an "American yacht racer" - bloody cheek. You can take a Scot out of Scotland but you cannot take Scotland out of the Scot".

Altering residency/nationality rules to suit themselves does not necessarily 'set the bar high', it just skews the bar in their favour.

I do agree it is a pinnacle event but a very expensive pinnacle event with GBP110m budget for the Brits while Dalts is claiming you can be competitive for Euro 40m. One of them has got it wrong.

To put the INEOS budget in true perspective that is around 12 Volvo Ocean Race campaigns. Even Dalton's cost estimate is enough to send 3 Volvo teams around the world in a VO65. In an IMOCA? perhaps 1.5-2 teams.

If you don't believe me - check yourself.

Just sayin'

SS

 
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