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  #11  
Old 01-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
Ironically, there is an underdog element to the story. For the NZ Americas Cup campaign, the obvious Bay Area yacht club to sponsor Ellison for the challenge was the St. Francis YC in SF. Probably not a big deal by East Coast standards, but certainly one of the most prestigious YC's on the West Coast. Apparently, Ellison wanted more power on the board than the St. Francis was willing to give him. So...Ellison went a quarter of a mile down the road to the Golden Gate YC, a little blue collar club. At the time, the Commodore was a radiator repairman and the GGYC was on the ropes financially. They must have been really happy to see Larry walk through the door! As I recall, to be "sponsored" each member of Ellison's crew had to join the club at $1000 per person, not to mention the other obvious perks of "sponsorship" for a little nondescript club. I remember a picture of some of the members being whisked off to watch the race in NZ. They looked like deer in the headlights, still not quite believing what was happening! The GGYC is still Ellison's "sponsor" today, and and I smile every time I hear the club mentioned in reference to the AC! I suspect the folks at the St. Francis don't have the same reaction!
St. Francis doesn't need Ellison and it doesn't need the cup to remain the better organization. At the end of the day, GGYC is never going to be anything more than a plaything for Ellison and it will fade right back into obscurity(or insolvency) once Ellison finds a new way to flaunt his money. Frankly I think the biggest reason he's still aligned with them is that no other yacht club will have him.
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  #12  
Old 01-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmp1284 View Post
St. Francis doesn't need Ellison and it doesn't need the cup to remain the better organization. At the end of the day, GGYC is never going to be anything more than a plaything for Ellison and it will fade right back into obscurity(or insolvency) once Ellison finds a new way to flaunt his money. Frankly I think the biggest reason he's still aligned with them is that no other yacht club will have him.
I don't think you can even compare the two organizations, which is why I think the story is so remarkable! For example, when Ellison does events at GGYC, he has to import all kinds of infrastructure (tents, etc) that would be unnecessary at St. Francis. No matter How "nice" the tents are, they (or the GGYC for that matter) hardly convey the status of the St. Francis! There are other "upscale" YC's that I assume would have gladly sponsored Ellison. I think he went to the GGYC, because it's a stones throw from the St. Francis and he knew how much it would piss them off! Nothing to base that on (besides his reputation), just seems like the only logical explanation (and the one thats the most fun! ).
Any input on SF as a venue for 2013?

Last edited by L124C; 01-02-2011 at 09:21 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-02-2011
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Originally Posted by Fstbttms View Post
Oh, puh-leez. Maybe it should be raced in wooden yachts by men in blue blazers too.
Not quite that extreme, but I wouldn't mind a return to realistic sailboats. There was a great movie called Wind that came out in 1992 about an underdog team winning. That just can't happen with the current, over-commercialized race. I would like to see the race restricted to monohulls, not because I have anything against multihulls, but due to the tradition of the race, and also limitations on what materials would be allowable for sails, etc. It is the pinnacle of sailboat racing, and it should represent the kind of sailing that most people are able to do. Really, can anyone here name someone with a hi-tech racing trimaran with wings as their normal sailing boat?? It doesn't have to be all races, but I'd like to see this one maintain some of that classic tradition.
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  #14  
Old 01-02-2011
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Originally Posted by lobstahpotts View Post
There was a great movie called Wind that came out in 1992 about an underdog team winning.
See, you just shot your credibility all to hell. "Wind" was a fairly lousy movie.

So your position is that the "pinnacle of sailboat racing" should purposely be dumbed-down so that technological advances are not allowed? How do you think "most people" end up being able to use kevlar sails or onboard computers or fast underbody shapes or a plethora of other goodies that make our boats sail faster, safer and easier? Because they were developed for high-end racing first, that's how. I don't want to see the Gran Prix of Monaco raced in Chrysler mini-vans because that's "most people" drive, do you?
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Old 01-02-2011
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I respect your difference of opinion on the quality of the movie Wind, and readily concede it was not the most perfect example of sailing on film, but maintain my statement as to opinion of the film's quality.

I do not per se have objection to adapting to new developments in technology, but I personally find it unlikely that 10 years from now the new boats on market for mass production will involve a lot of the aspects of America's Cup yachts. The monohull thing certainly stems from personal preference and is not critical, but I just find it unlikely that we will all be sailing around in boats with wings on masts going 22 knots in the future. There is a point which is reached where the boats for these challenges with millions of dollars of sponsored investment will incorporate things that can't be practically available for "everyone else".
I would say there is also a difference between car and boat races, stemming mainly from the number of people owning cars versus sailboats. Boats don't need to be dumbed down to the level of Catalinas with dacron sails, but they also shouldn't be taken past the point of what is practically available on the market. If someone wanted to, they could buy a car that could perform at the level of the Grand Prix without nearly as much trouble as someone trying to acquire a winged trimaran for weekend sailing.
Although I suppose it's all a matter of opinion, and one opinion isn't likely to matter in the long run. I just think it would be nice to see them racing in boats that I could one day conceivably come close to. That's all.
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  #16  
Old 01-03-2011
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Originally Posted by Fstbttms View Post
......I don't want to see the Gran Prix of Monaco raced in Chrysler mini-vans because that's "most people" drive, do you?
Auto racing is a good analogy. In the few venues that I'm familiar with, they do require limitations, such as horsepower, tire size, airfoils, etc. That does not impede the creative energy around the remainder of the vehicle, in fact, it focuses it on specific things that would be useful to the rest of us. Much of the auto industry's research and development is done on the race track. There is no popular auto race that I am aware of where anything goes and last year's winner decides what you will race next year, particularly when they are the only one's who can afford or have access to what they pick.

I think this "winner picks" oddity has directly caused a huge decline in popularity of the AC, now that it has been hijacked.

Wing sails and multi-hulls are quite fine in the race, IMHO. There should be limits on size or length or something that allows more creativity into the process, not just one team. Perhaps, if you limited the boat length or wing sail area or something like that, the cost would decline and the competitions would truly be on engineering creativity and sailing skill, not just maximizing the possibilities.

It has become like watching 18 wheel trucks competing in drag races with rocket engines strapped to their roofs. Those are freak shows, not races. Who can't make it go fast like that?
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I think San Francisco was the right choice. We ran a poll on our website (Daily Sailing News from North American Sailor | Boat Reviews, Cruising, Racing, Maintenance, Technique, Photos and Inspiration) and the vast majority of respondents said they would watch the Cup no matter where it was hosted. But those were folks who are already into sailing. If sailing really wants to raise its profile as a sport and attract a new audience, SF is a much better venue than Newport. The reliable winds and incredible backdrop of the SF bay will make the race much more compelling to folks who are new to sailing.
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Old 01-03-2011
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Me...Pick Me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Neat story about the GGYC. But in the end, they aren't the underdog. Ellison just bought what he wanted.
Just who is currently expected to challenge him in 2013 anyway?
Well...I've got a Yankee 30 that goes to weather pretty well. Maybe the St. Francis will sponsor me. I could certainly use some new sails and a bottom job, and I don't even WANT to be on the board!
Seriously, here is a link to the list of challangers on what I think is an interesting site. It offers a digest of the AC news. Certainly more than I fond on the Official AC site!
America's Cup 2013 - Challenger List: Defenders and Challengers - from CupInfo
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Old 01-03-2011
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Originally Posted by L124C View Post
Well...I've got a Yankee 30 that goes to weather pretty well. Maybe the St. Francis will sponsor me. I could certainly use some new sails and a bottom job, and I don't even WANT to be on the board!
Seriously, here is a link to the list of challangers on what I think is an interesting site. It offers a digest of the AC news. Certainly more than I fond on the Official AC site!
America's Cup 2013 - Challenger List: Defenders and Challengers - from CupInfo
This is my point exactly. Someone should be able to take their own boat, something available to them, and upgrade it with the newest technologies to enter the race and not be left in the dust.

Limitations would be a wonderful thing, but the New York court system does not seem to think they are necessary as they keep allowing more and more to happen. Perhaps another amendment to the Deed of Gift needs to be considered now...
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  #20  
Old 01-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobstahpotts View Post
This is my point exactly. Someone should be able to take their own boat, something available to them, and upgrade it with the newest technologies to enter the race and not be left in the dust.

Limitations would be a wonderful thing, but the New York court system does not seem to think they are necessary as they keep allowing more and more to happen. Perhaps another amendment to the Deed of Gift needs to be considered now...
That's exactly what Ellison and Allinghi did in the last cup. We just don't start with the same boat they do. (Yes, I know they had them made specifically for the race.)

The origin of the AC is that I've got this big-ass fast boat, come to my waters and see if you can beat my boat. These were the fastest boats of the day. That is what the last AC was. Like it or not, the last AC was how the AC got started.
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