Sacrilege - Somebody's Gotta Do It - Page 11 - SailNet Community
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post #101 of 125 Old 08-26-2009
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post #102 of 125 Old 08-26-2009 Thread Starter
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Hey porc - good to see you posting!

I think you're right on the money with this statement...

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...so there is not a decline there just an undeveloped possibility.
BUT - I do think the two are inextricably linked. In other words, BECAUSE sailing has never really been a spectator sport, it's been at a serious disadvantage to grabbing the wider public's imagination. And until that imagination is thoroughly grabbed - you won't see significant growth, much less Little League sailing.

Again, thinking about golf, even with Tiger Woods, if the new generation of golfers he created had been unable to watch him do what he does there would have been far less a groundswell. Yes, his celebrity drives a lot, but that celebrity itself is driven by the spectators - not the ones on the course - the millions on TV around the world - WATCHING that prowess and WANTING to give it a go.

So - agreed, 2 different things. But I don't think you'll ever have the latter without the former to any significant degree.


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post #103 of 125 Old 08-26-2009
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"Sailing was never really a spectator sport,"
How curious, that's what I say about national franchise football and soccer. It's like cheering for Coke versus Pepsi, and somehow, they convince the fans to PAY for the ability to do so.
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post #104 of 125 Old 08-28-2009
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post #105 of 125 Old 08-28-2009 Thread Starter
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The key is making it fun, affordable, and accessible.
Yeah - maybe it's overstating a bit. And I totally agree with your statement above. That is the key to participation.

BUT - do both...and fuggedaboudit!!!


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post #106 of 125 Old 10-30-2009
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Justa quicknote. I think the America's cup shananegans have had a pretty bad impact on our sport. PeopleKNOW about the America's cup,so they must be seriously putoff when all they hear about are court cases and lawyers. It's a crying shame.

Sailing can be a good spectator sport. We need: High camera angles, head cameras, mast top cameras, GPS tracking systems, knowledgable commentators and interesting boats. Look at the "awesome aussie skiffs" series several years ago. That was hugely popular.

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post #107 of 125 Old 10-30-2009 Thread Starter
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Yeah Ryan, the AC stuff has been ridiculous...to the point where people don't really give a damn anymore. I think the VOR is the kind of racing that will draw people - and the Vendee.

The AC has become just a blue blazer legal-fest with goofballs like Ellison and Bertarelli trying to sound reasonable.

I'd rather see a fistfight.


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post #108 of 125 Old 10-30-2009
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I watched a sailing special on ESPN. I enjoyed it because I could just watch videos of boats sailing all day, but it was horribly done. They covered the entire regatta, 9 races, in an hour and you couldn't tell what the hell was going on. They'd show footage of a boat and you had no idea where they were in the fleet or how close they were to a mark or a finish. It was all just random. I can't imagine a non-sailor becoming interested in the sport from that kind of thing.

Now, the VOR specials were excellent. I think they showed those on public television. Very well produced, excellent content, and they clearly communicated what was occurring in the race. Good enough to Tivo.

The last America's Cup coverage on Versus was a step in the right direction, but still just OK.

All of this is to say that there will never be widespread interest in the sport without better production of the events. You can get people involved in the Volvo and Vendee because the action is easier to follow and you can tell the human side of the story and show the sailors' families missing them and the obstacles they've overcome, blah blah blah. But watching a round-the-buoys race is pretty far from being interesting on TV, in my opinion.
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post #109 of 125 Old 10-30-2009
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Back when the AC bozos were still sailing instead of sueing, I thought the ESPN coverage of the Louis Vuitton and Cup series was pretty good. Watching the starts always got my heart rate up. - once the race devolved into a distant chase there wasn't a lot of interest though I could still appreciate the frequently brilliant mark roundings, spinnaker sets and douses.

But to a non-sailor I don't think there's ever going to be a mass appeal - if you don't understand the situation there's not much to look at. The skiff series referred to above was great too, and well done but only played on the fringe "Extreme" network for us..

We sailors simply aren't a big enough demographic to win this one, and current AC nonsense surely doesn't help.

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post #110 of 125 Old 10-30-2009
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I think the VOR and Vendee races have potential for mass appeal. The concept is pretty simple: go from Point A to Point B. Throw in some danger and a few touching vignettes about a sailor and his family waiting on the docks, and you have something interesting.
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