Jody - no doubt I don't have a clue about racing. But I do know something about entertainment. We all do really. To me, there are a myriad of problems with the racing side of the sport - many of which you allude to (expense, complicated rules, etc.).
For example, George you bring up a good point on the "come see the crashes" angle to get people out. Sounds great until you realize it's a tiny skiff that just kind of plops over in the water - or maybe it's even a bigger boat that broaches under spin and "leans over real far". Again, for a spectator, that's not a "crash". No explosions, no tires hurled over the wall, no ambulances, etc. It ain't no Nascar crash. So why try to market it that way?
Then you have the ratings issue which created the scenario that no spectator REALLY new who was actually winning the race. Kind of like watching a horse race with thoroughbreds, mules, shetland ponies, and pound dogs on the track at the same time (though now that I think about it - that would be more fun).
So, you guys are right that there are many strikes against sailing being adopted on a wider scale. But to me, again, one of the main issues is that there is no "Big Show" for sailing.
Obviously, it used to be the AC. But that's become a complete joke at this point. Furthermore, the "elitist" air that always surrounded it (fed by the old school Yacht Club mentality and the legal crap that's been going on with it) - make it a complete anachronism for today's audiences. Who gives a damn what these rich, whiney guys do?
On the other hand, you have the Vendee and VOR. Very simple rules - same types of boats (like Nascar) - first one around the world wins. And by the way - you'll be sailing through some really nasty crap that will beat the hell out of you. Broken boats, broken bones, rescues, etc. Now we're getting closer to Nascar.
I honestly don't think it's the expense that's holding it back. Think about the cost of Nascar. And again, the direct goal is NOT to get more people into club sailing - it's to increase the public's awareness of and appreciation for racing. From that you get the trickle down.
So if sailing had a "Big Show" that was freakin' scary and awe inspiring (like an Everest Expedition or, to the audience that likes that kind of thing, The Daytona 500) - and if it were covered to bring those personal stories and that danger and adventure to life - wouldn't it work to push the sport up a few notches?
And if this were the case, wouldn't it serve to feed the club races, etc. just like Tiger Woods helped fuel the hunger for Golf, and Sig Hanson helped fuel the desire in young kids to be a chain-smoking, coffee swilling, foul-mouthed captain of a crab boat?
What do you think 39? I'm thinkin' hell yeah!
Last edited by smackdaddy; 04-24-2009 at 12:02 PM.