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post #41 of 77 Old 09-08-2013
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Re: America's Cup opening races

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I don't agree. While one may not know the rules, seeing someone run around the bases and score at home plate or catch a pass and run toward the goal line is learned in seconds, just by watching. This also can repeat over and over again. I'm not suggesting one would enjoy it, just that they would get the basic idea. Watching the AC34, one wouldn't even know where the finish line is, let alone who is winning most of the time.
From the shoreside, the boats come from the left, they head over to the right, they go round a mark then they come back and on the left side they go around another mark and they come back and then they round the last mark and head for the finish line. Rules aside, that's not really complicated. If as a spectator one doesn't know which side the finish line is then it's probably best that one watches grid-iron.

Oh, and the boat in front is generally the one that's winning.

On TV (and the big screens on the shoreside) the graphic overlays could not be better. They start with a full description of the course, where the boats have to go and then following the boats, they show the real-time distance between the boats, which one is in front, where the next mark is, the boundaries, they're reasonably idiot proof. You get none of that when watching baseball or grid-iron. For the uninitiated, to know what VMG is is like me knowing why the fellow crouching behind the batter points two or three fingers at his three-piece-suite.

Seriously, the sport of sailing is technical - if you don't have the interest then it's gonna be confusing - you only need to watch a game of Union rugby to understand how confusing it can get. I think the AC organisers have gone more than one extra mile to make it enjoyable for the non-sailor.


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post #42 of 77 Old 09-08-2013
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Re: America's Cup opening races

I do think the broadcasts are well done.. The technical issues are addressed nicely, certainly the 'buzz' of speed is evident, the level of engineering and skill needed here is at a whole other level.

But for me, in the monohull days we could watch, dream, and see the relevance of what the racers are doing to what we mere mortals were doing in our own boats. Even if that relevance wasn't really there, things 'looked' similar enough that we could totally relate. And I get that non sailors probably would never get hooked on that venue, whereas they might now with this new generation.

But what happens if someone gets all wound up to get into sailing and then finds out the real deal for most of us is NOTHING like what they watched on TV...

The short prestart, lack of sail handling and sail changes are key things that I think sailors will miss with these big cats.

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post #43 of 77 Old 09-08-2013
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Re: America's Cup opening races

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The short prestart, lack of sail handling and sail changes are key things that I think sailors will miss with these big cats.
Yep, have to agree with that. One of the commentators on TV called them "slave boats" - the only three people who have anything intelligent to contribute are the helmsman, the mainsail trimmer and the tactician - the rest of the crew are just grunts providing hydraulic pressure to the control systems.

Or so it appears, they'll probably be offended by that statement.

But going around that top mark and accelerating from 18 to 40 knots in three seconds or so must be something to experience.
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post #44 of 77 Old 09-09-2013
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Re: America's Cup opening races

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I do think the broadcasts are well done.. The technical issues are addressed nicely, certainly the 'buzz' of speed is evident, the level of engineering and skill needed here is at a whole other level.

But for me, in the monohull days we could watch, dream, and see the relevance of what the racers are doing to what we mere mortals were doing in our own boats. Even if that relevance wasn't really there, things 'looked' similar enough that we could totally relate. And I get that non sailors probably would never get hooked on that venue, whereas they might now with this new generation.

But what happens if someone gets all wound up to get into sailing and then finds out the real deal for most of us is NOTHING like what they watched on TV...

The short prestart, lack of sail handling and sail changes are key things that I think sailors will miss with these big cats.
Excellent points.

After reading this thread last night, I swore I would have nothing to do with watching it. Ended up watching it anyway.

While speeds of 40 knots are breath taking; and the excitement was there. The sailors who I know (even the racers) don't need crash helmets. As you suggested, we can all "relate" to what was done with the mono hulls, even if it was beyond our budget.

I also wonder how non-sailors find the TV coverage? My wife and I both sail, so we had a general understanding of what was happening. However, we are cruisers and didn't always "get" the racing terms. Wonder how non-sailors found that?

I don't particularly care who wins. Team Oracle would be a US fan favourite. However, if the Kiwis win, we all know that the cup will be going where it is hugely appreciated.

Meanwhile, many thanks for a fun thread.

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post #45 of 77 Old 09-09-2013
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Enjoy, but could be better.

I must say, while I did watch the older AC on the TV, frankly, I thought they were "boring" from a casual observer view point. Way off shore, minimal "fans", some tech, but ho hum unless you were really into it.

While I not a big fan of the "cats", the speed and acceleration is awesome. The close proximity to fans is very cool. The tech on TV is great.

My major complaint is the races are too short (time). I think that only one upwind leg (at least in races 1 and 2) is bad. Also a "down wind" start is a bad decision IMO. Hopefully they mix it up a little for the latter races (upwind start, upwind finish, two upwind legs, etc). They also should either add length to the legs, or have them do additional legs. Races should be in the 40-45 minute range. Time between races should be 15-20 min, not 1/2 h. Enough time for the guys to rehydrate, add some calories, do some quick repairs/adjustments, strategize, physically recover.

Understanding that TV needs commercials, have most of them , and the longer ones between races, along with post-race quick review. During race, commercial free from 2-min before start till 2 minute after start, then 30 sec commercial, show rounding at each mark, commercial free for upwind leg. (time the up wind leg, so it takes no longer than 12 min) Commercial after windward gate cleared by both boats, through a few 30 second commercials during downwind legs, etc.

I do miss the sail changes. If there was a way to get the speed, "longer" spectator friendly races, with sail changes, that would be the best of both worlds. Even if the boats were much slower, but still quick (15-20 kt range), I think fans would still go for it.
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post #46 of 77 Old 09-09-2013
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Re: America's Cup opening races

Wherever one might be on the whole issue, it's hard to say the fourth race wasn't exciting. FINALLY, Oracle was in the race. And any landlubber watching had to know it was close all the way. But those same people had to be wondering why Oracle still needs one more win to get to ZERO.
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post #47 of 77 Old 09-09-2013
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Re: America's Cup opening races

I've been watching the coverage after the fact on the AC Youtube channel and I have to say it's really nice watching without commercials. The graphics and display is very well done and I find it's pretty straightforward as long as you watch the pre-race summary.

These first four races have been infinitely more exciting than the LV series. I also really enjoyed watching the Red Bull youth teams zipping around with far more boats on the course.

I'm up in Canada and there has been no news coverage of this event. My Dad had a hard time finding it live yesterday and he has a full sports package on satellite here. For all that their banking on increasing viewership I have a feeling this is a non-event everywhere other than in the US, NZ, Aus, and UK, where the sailing culture is stronger.

I have to say that I am impressed that the Prada Italy team stuck around for 2 weeks after the LV series to 'play' with NZ. Good sportsmanship on their part and good training for everyone.
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post #48 of 77 Old 09-09-2013
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Re: America's Cup opening races

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The sailors who I know (even the racers) don't need crash helmets.
Right - and how many of the racers you know need to carry mini SCUBA tanks - lol

If I was forty years younger and in a condition to crew one of those machines, I'd want everything those guys are wearing / carrying and more!

Fun stuff.

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post #49 of 77 Old 09-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: America's Cup opening races

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......The graphics and display is very well done and I find it's pretty straightforward as long as you watch the pre-race summary.....
I admit that I didn't watch the full pre-race summary for race 1, as I was messing with getting it streaming, while out at anchor. By the time I got going, it must have passed.

I did see it for races 3-4. Well done.

However, I stand by thinking that non-sailors would still have a very tough time following during the race. When one team tacks or jibes and the other doesn't, it must look like two different races. Then at the gates, they make different turns. Its also difficult to visualize where they actually are on the course, unlike most sports. Whether football, baseball, soccer, etc, you can take it all in. Even race car driving is simpler, as the leaders don't head off in different directions. The graphics that show their actual separation down the course are very good, but still must be confusing to many.

I'm not suggesting it needs to make sense. However, I thought they were going for a wider audience and doubt it's worked. I hope we hear one way or the other.


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post #50 of 77 Old 09-09-2013
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Re: America's Cup opening races

If you are watching the races on the internet instead of a 60 inch HD TV, you really can't appreciate how far advanced these boats have become!

I was watching the LV races online, but last nite, I watched the ACs that I DVR'ed on my TV. Wow!
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