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post #11 of 125 Old 04-21-2009
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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
Yacht racing will never be a major spectator sport in this country, because people who have never sailed can't relate to it. In order to really get into a sport, you have to relate to it. You can't really relate to a sport unless you have played it, and most people in this country have never sailed.
I'm not really sure I agree with you. I can't prove it, but I believe the VAST majority of folks who watch basketball, football and/or baseball have never played the game(s) beyond sandlot.

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post #12 of 125 Old 04-21-2009 Thread Starter
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Compare the Vendee and the VOR (especially the Vendee) to an Everest expedition or even to crab fishing in the Bering sea. How many in the audiences for these shows/events have ever done these things - how many really understand the intricacies of crab fishing or mountaineering? So I don't buy the premise that it can only be an insider thing - or that it's intrinsically boring.

I think it's about the coverage of the extreme side of the sport. That's what draws interest and eyeballs. How do you make a "Deadliest Catch"/"Beyond the Limit" out of the Vendee or VOR?

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post #13 of 125 Old 04-21-2009
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Racing is in decline because the cost is FUBAR ABSURD

We are still planing are Block Island Race Week and when the total cost came out we decided to stop the bus and think about it for a week

Just to enter the boat ,dock it and THEN buy tickets (70 bucks per person) for the daily awards and a drink is 3000 dollars

Then you have to rent a house and rent a ferry ride for your car to bring food because the local food prices are about double (about 800 bucks per crew )

So your looking at spending and easy 7000 dollars

I dont want to even think what people who truck around a big boat are spending

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post #14 of 125 Old 04-21-2009
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I think it's the camera technology and bandwidth for the video links. Look at professional poker. Poker as a sport was nothing until you got to see the hole cards. The same could be done for boats. 3 self-leveling cameras minimum, one at the helm, one wide-angle at the mast top (for rounding marks), one at the instruments and winch grinders. Live microphones.

All of Nascar uses multiple laps. The courses for sailboat racing should need to go through 50 laps, so crews have to deal with crowds and boats of differing speeds. Now THAT would make it interesting. With that many laps, the course could be other than a triangle too. Make it a square or an octagon. (We are talking about releatively low speeds, so make it a figure 8 and you'd really have some fun!)

It also needs a person who does for sailboat racing what Madden did for football -- live explanations for why certain things were happening.

Think of sea-side stadiums and crowds of people. The air-races got this right, when they went from Reno to towns/waterfronts all over.

Right now, it's as interesting to watch as the Boston marathon. I mean, who has watched even a piece of the Boston marathon, let alone hours of it?

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The best minds discuss sailing (and a little bit of politics). I don't know why. It's a mystery!
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post #15 of 125 Old 04-21-2009
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I've watched a few marathons before. Frankly, like golf, IF you understands what is going on, while watching someone "jog" per say for 26 miles does not seem interesting, it is in that you do see the people tire, how their arms start to tire, stride sometimes becomes off beat, watch carefully you see how the sun, heat and humidity in some area's start to screw up the runners system, concentration and breathing etc.

Having watched some of the Key west vids by jobson, those are interesting to some degree too, listening, watching etc. BUT, like all things, it can get better! cams are getting smaller, remember when the indy 500 got its first cam in the cockpit? Or foot ball with a helmet cam too!

The other that needs to happen, is NOT just show the big boys at these events, granted it is fun to see the J-Boats like now at Antigua, or the AC boats, V70's etc, but even watching the lasers etc at the olympics was fun, when I could get a good feed, and not have delays. The folks talking about wind shifts, why one person went this way, another that way etc.

But, to some degree things need to calm down in cost. Not sure that the Mumm 30. Laser SB3 type boats are/were good for the sport, I am in the yes/no camp. Altho the old IOR boats initially with the cheaper fiberglass boats of the late 60's into the 70's WAS good for the sport, altho probably some of the WORST designed boats in may years, if not century's! came out of this era.

The current IRC boats IMHO are what we need. A bit of a throw back to IOR, where a fast boat with a reasonably decent interior is to be expected in the design. Now if the prices could get down so that the ave person could afford one! this might help.

Now for kicks and giggles, any one know what the most popular sport was in 1900?

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post #16 of 125 Old 04-21-2009
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The laments of the decline of racing sail boats is akin to wondering why Disco died... how could it?

IMHO - just too expensive, and practically every local race requires one to be a member of a club (like the old days of golf), renew up certs every year... and the rating system sucks for anything not competing in a OD category. Coupled with the fact weekends and jobs are not what they were in previous eras (is there really a 9 to 5 job anymore) - that also leaves the timing, acquirement of crew etc...

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post #17 of 125 Old 04-22-2009
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I'd like to add that the IRC is contributing to the demise of racing by diluting the pool of possible racers. With PHRF, local conditions and results of the BOAT determine the rating, (in theory, at least). So if you aren't such a great sailor, you can't buy a trophy, regardless of the boat you buy. There are TENS OF THOUSANDS of PHRF racers in the US, so there is more competition for the three prize-winning slots awarded in most races. IRC sets up a separate division so you can race against fewer contestants. This essentially guarantees more silver to those wanting less actual competition. Compare the numbers of PHRF (and equivalent) and IRC certificates, worldwide. If you can afford an exorbitant "measurement fee" for what is supposed to be a state-of-the-art secret rule that changes every year so you need a new boat every year to be competitive, go ahead. PHRF represents the reality of actual results and real sailors who are interested in testing their skills. IRC gives those who want to buy silver for their mantlepieces an option that isn't available with PHRF. In order to have enough boats to make a decent fleet, Race Committees have been pressured by IRC to require boats (like mine) which are fast enough to be competitive to race under IRC. I refuse to get an IRC certificate, and therefore only race in PHRF competitions. There may be many more sailors like me out there. We want to race, but not under conditions dictated by an outfit in London which seems to favor those with deeper pockets than ours. This may be why there is a "decline" in racing.

On another level, perhaps it depends upon what you count as "racing". If you only count America's Cup, racing in 2008 was... nonexistant. If you count every dinghy at each three-minute frostbite start, 2008 numbers could be huge. Perhaps people have been chased out of cruising boat competition by the high costs of trying to compete under a consistantly changing IRC rule that requires new boats all the time, and they are racing dinghies instead. People are still competitive. Let's keep our eyes open and see what positive trends we can capitalize on.
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post #18 of 125 Old 04-22-2009
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Simple math.

youth sailboat sailing - $$$$
youth basketball...$12 at walmart for a ball and a public park
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post #19 of 125 Old 04-23-2009
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Newport-to-Ensenada Yacht Race Runs into Head Winds

Here's an exerpt from the LA Times on the pettyness surrounding the Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race:

The number of entries is down amid the sinking economy and a fear of Mexico's drug violence. Now, a competing race is being launched at the same time amid a simmering feud.

By Mike Anton
6:51 PM PDT, April 22, 2009
The annual Newport-to-Ensenada International Yacht Race has long been to competitive sailing what Olympic swimming would be if Michael Phelps shared the pool with a gaggle of guys in inner tubes towing a keg of beer.

Some take what's billed as the largest international yacht race seriously. Most, however, treat it as a floating party. Running out of wind at sea is an obstacle second to running out of adult beverages.

Not this year. The sinking economy and a fear of Mexico's drug violence have buffeted the 62nd annual race. The number of entries is down -- about 270 are expected compared with nearly 400 last year -- and the crowd of people who have traditionally driven to Ensenada for a weekend of partying is expected to be considerably thinner.

If the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and spiraling narco wars weren't enough, organizers are dealing with a third headache: a long-simmering feud between a handful of sailors that will boil over into public view at 11 a.m. Friday, an hour before the race begins.

That is when more than 100 boats will take off from Newport Beach in the inaugural Border Run. Billed as the beginning of a "new tradition," the race, which finishes with a party in San Diego, is the outgrowth of a dispute between a Huntington Beach boat designer and the nonprofit Newport Ocean Sailing Assn., which denied him entry into its Ensenada race.

At issue is whether Randy Reynolds' R33 twin-hulled catamaran -- likened to a Ferrari on water -- is unsafe because it is prone to capsizing. The Newport sailing association believes it is. Reynolds insists it is not.

Ensenada race officials say the Border Run -- which has been promoted, in part, as being "safer" than venturing into Mexico -- is a crass and bitter attempt by Reynolds to undermine a venerable Southern California tradition.

Reynolds said he is only trying to promote competitive sailing by offering an option that welcomes all boats. He dismisses the men who run the Newport sailing association, who are on the down slope of middle age and use the salutation commodore, as "the blue blazers" -- an old-guard out of touch with today's adrenaline-fueled action sports.

"We're the crazy people," said Reynolds, who is 53 but comes across as having the aggressiveness of a 23-year-old. "We like speed."

Critics say Reynolds is being uncorinthian -- a smack down that would leave most landlubbers reaching for a dictionary.

"In sailing, when you say someone is being uncorinthian, you're saying the person does not conduct themselves in a gentlemanly manner," said Jerry Montgomery, a retired government attorney who is this year's Newport-to-Ensenada uber commodore. "Scheduling another race on the same day was just wrong -- an in-your-face spiteful thing."

Politics pervades the culture of sailing -- from local yacht clubs competing for prominent members to the ongoing legal war between racing syndicates from three nations over the next America's Cup, the sport's premier event.

Earlier this month, a New York court ruled against a Spanish sailing club and said billionaire software mogul Larry Ellison's U.S. team and his backers have the right to negotiate terms for the next race with the current Swiss-backed champions.

The hubbub over this year's conflicting armadas shoving off from Newport Beach is being played out in Internet chat rooms where sailors take on serious issues (the actual danger of traveling to Baja) as well as juvenile ones (offensive swipes at each other's heterosexuality.)

"It's like being back in high school," Reynolds said. "It's crazy."

The 125-nautical-mile Newport-to-Ensenada race is steeped in history. First run in 1948, the event has attracted celebrities such as Humphrey Bogart and Walter Cronkite, as well as serious racers including America's Cup winner Dennis Conner, Roy Disney and the late Steve Fossett.
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post #20 of 125 Old 04-23-2009
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I joke around with my friend when they ask if I'll be sailing this weekend. I tell them sailing in the US is illegal, and I'm still doing it, but don't tell anyone.

Compare costs to any other sport. Start up and or maintenance costs. Either is a nail in the coffin. That pretty much covers sailing. Not to mention the time it takes. A race isn't going to end in an hour and a half like soccer.

Racing, let me put it this way, I wanted to do the Annapolis to Newport race. Oh, you need a life raft. $30 per crew member including skipper, plus $575 registration fee, and a minimum 30' LOA boat. Plus slip and or launching fees. Oh and that's assuming you're sleeping on your boat. This does not include food, party tickets, or beer.

1.50 / ft for transient slip in annapolis (yeah right) = $45 one day
1.50 / ft for transient slip in newport (yeah right) = $45 one day
reg. fee = $575
6 crew members = $180
life raft rental = $100-200 for 6 person?

You're looking at $1,000 without buying food, beer, party tickets, or a single hotel room. Let me ask this, what the HELL does my $575 pay for? Why are they charging my crew $30 a head? These things should be spelled out, and public information. Sailing is expensive enough w/o organizers trying to retire early after hosting one event.

Southern bay race week? $140 entry fee + slip fees for 3 days of racing + slip fees for 2 days of travel, oh yeah, and they charge you for party tickets, and then you still have to pay for your beers. For what? A POS (piece of silver)? Give me a nylon ribbon, a pat on the head, and 2 free drink tickets. These entry fees are rediculous, and the number one reason I can't make the larger events.

I want to race, closest one to me would require me to give up my FREE slip and pay for one on Solomon's island. Southern Maryland Sailing association member costs $440. Ummm why? I have my own f*(king boat? For me, I get a huge discount of $220 just b/c I'm under 30. You know what, I'm actually considering spending that obscene amount of money so I can race on a regular basis with my own boat (which will give newbies a chance to get into racing).

Sailing has been an elitists sport for far to long, and the "haves" like it that way. It keeps the "have nots" off the water and out of the YC.

Merit 25 # 764 "Audrey"
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